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Review - Understanding Depression by Maria Prendergast

Review of Maria Prendergast's 'Understanding Depression'

By Catherine - ADAVIC Volunteerunderstanding depression.jpg

Understanding Depression , written by Maria Prendergast, is a straightforward, informative and honest discussion of the many facets of depression illustrated by personal stories of depression sufferers.

Prendergast begins by providing an overview of the nature, types and symptoms of depression. She then discusses the diagnostic process, and provides advice and helpful hints about such events as seeking a doctor’s help. The common treatments used are discussed, and Prendergast considers the different aspects of recovery, such as the importance of support from loved ones. She calls on various professionals for their opinions and experiences throughout this comprehensive look at the different aspects of the condition.

The chapter on professional perspectives is particularly insightful, as it details the differing approaches and types of treatments offered by various health professionals. The section on low-chemical elimination diets was also interesting, as it is a treatment method that is not well publicised, but one well worth considering, especially in this day and age where food is more processed and hence more damaging to our health, both physically and mentally.

The beauty of Prendergast’s book is the personal stories, which enhance the usefulness of the book, in various ways. As Prendergast set out to do, she really does humanise the experience of depression with the inclusion of quotes and anecdotes from both sufferers and their carers. This works to help deepen the reader’s understanding of the nature of depression, and to reassure them that they are not alone. It highlights the fact that depression affects many, many people, and that there are varying experiences of depression – everyone experiences the condition differently, and that different treatments are more effective for some people than others. Above all, the personal stories give the reader hope that they too can manage and overcome their depression.

Prendergast covers the basics of what sufferers and their carers should know about depression and how it can be treated. The book is easy to read and understand for those who are not astute with medical terminology.

As suggested by the title, this book is perfect for anyone wanting a greater understanding of depression.

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