If you are someone who is living with depression and anxiety you must read Therese J. Borchard's Book Beyond Blue. This book offers advice, inspiration, and an honest account from someone who has endured severe depression first-hand. Even for those not living with depression, Borchard's story is fascinating, you will find yourself chuckling on one page and deeply moved the next, and overall, the book will leave you with a greater understanding of the illness.
About the Author: Therese Borchard is the author of the hit daily blog "Beyond Blue" on Beliefnet.com, which is one of her most popular columns on the website. Her blog appears weekly on the Huffington Post and she is becoming a top go-to expert on pop psychology. Borchard's work has been featured in salon.com, Psychology Today, Real Simple, Redbook, Parenting, More, and Ladies Home Journal. She writes a syndicated column for the Catholic News Service and is a regular guest on Sirius Satellite Radio.
About the Book: Beyond Blue- Surviving Depression & Anxiety and Making the Most of Bad Genes. ISBN 978-I-59995-I56-0. Copyright 2010 Center Street, Hatchette Book Group.
Beyond Blue is Therese J. Borchard's book that was written based on her blog posts in her daily blog Beyond Blue. Borchard is a manic depressive, an alcoholic, an adult child of an alcoholic and (sadly) her list of disorders goes on. Borchard reveals her day to day struggles and honestly examines her own depression biologically, holistically, spiritually and gives the reader guidance based on her acquired wisdom and research.
The Review: The main reason I wanted to read Beyond Blue is because I live with mild depression and I was curious to read about someone else's experience with the illness. I couldn't have picked a better book, as I can relate to Borchard in so many ways. We are both moms; bloggers; writers; Catholics; people-pleasers; sugar addicts; hormonally imbalanced females; and highly sensitive people who live with depression. If I ever have the opportunity to meet her, we will certainly have a few things to chat about.
My book is marked with so many flags of interesting, moving and informative excerpts, I hardly know where to begin. I couldn't agree more with Borchard when she says, "And besides, 'wounded' people are so much more fun to hang out with than 'flawless' folks who deny their illnesses and object to prescriptions. "
I used to be one of those people that objected to taking a prescription for depression, because I didn't want to admit that I needed it. I thought it was a weakness or a cop-out. Thank God I got over that and thanks to medication, I am feeling a whole lot better.
Borchard experiences the same thing, but on a much, much more severe level. This is a woman who would cry and shake with anxiety at her son's karate class. She was obsessed with thoughts of suicide and spent her time thinking of ways to kill herself.
She attempts to overcome her depression and Bipolar disorder without medication and is unsuccessful. Borchard comes to understand that it is the combination of the right medications in the right quantities, the right doctor, the right therapist, exercise, meditation and diet that has enabled her to control her depression and anxiety successfully.
Borchard has the ability to reveal something so painful (and shameful) as her alcohol abuse and yet brings levity by writing, "I woke up in between trash cans on the lawn of a classmate (or) in a friend's closet- my mom subsequently told me that my dad used to pass out in closets, too, so I guess it runs in the family..." At just the right moments, she is very funny throughout the book.
In the chapter From the Maternity Ward to the Psych Ward, Borchard describes how having her first child disrupted her biochemistry and literally landed her in the psych ward in four simple steps. This made me think about my own depression (which not surprisingly showed up after having my first child). Borchard cites Ruta Nonacs, MD, PHD who explains in her book A Deeper Shade of Blue that, "one of the most challenging aspects of caring for a young child in our culture is social isolation.... Today most women are left to care for their baby alone." HELLO?! How many moms can relate to that?
In the Chapter Work It, Girlfriend! Borchard reveals her 12-Step Program. Find the right doctor. Find the right cocktail (medication). Exercise. Eat well. Sleep. Light up. (get sunlight). Reach Out! Get Involved (service to others). Keep a Mood/sleep/gratitude journal. Therapy and lots of it. Pray and Meditate. Fake it Til You Make It.
Borchard thoughtfully describes her recovery from severe depression as being "much like the metamorphosis of a caterpillar to a butterfly. Butterflies are stonger and more beautiful than caterpillars as a result of their struggle."
My eyes got misty when I read, "My sincere intention for Beyond Blue is that anyone who struggles with anxiety or depression-even in the slightest way-might find a companion in me, some consolation in the incredibly personal details of my story, and a bit of hope to lighten an often dark and lonely place." Once you read the details of her story, you know that these words are written with compassion and humility, (no question) coming straight from her heart.
This book is a valuable resource for overcoming depression recommended highly by fellow authors, licensed clinical phychologists and me.
Buy It: Beyond Blue is available on Amazon.com for $14.95.
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