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NLS Minibibliographies

Depression and Anxiety

Content last modified September 2000


Feelings of depression and anxiety are common to everyone at some time. However, not all types of anxiety and depression are simply the results of a passing mood; some types last a long time and may turn into incapacitating illnesses. According to the Mayo Clinic Family Health Book, serious depression goes beyond grieving or having the blues and can even cause physical symptoms. People may suffer from a sense of helplessness and gloom and a loss of self-esteem and retreat from relationships with others. For some people who are especially susceptible, depression may be a side effect of certain medications.

Anxiety disorders can sometimes be traced back to childhood fears or losses that reappear later in life. The Mayo Clinic Family Health Book defines anxiety as a painful or apprehensive uneasiness about some impending or anticipated ill fortune. It is an emotional reaction with various physical symptoms that have different degrees of intensity. Symptoms may include tremors, gastrointestinal distress, and rapid heartbeat. Efforts to avoid symptoms may sometimes lead to drug abuse.

Following is a list of books available from NLS library collections that address anxiety and depression, providing explanations and suggesting possible actions that may be taken by those who experience these disorders and by their families.

Anxiety and Panic Attacks, Their Cause and Cure: Five-Point Life-Plus Program for Conquering Fear by Robert Handly and Pauline Neff

Robert Handly, who overcame his own agoraphobia (a severe form of anxiety and paranoia), offers a simple program for conquering fears and thereby reducing or eliminating stress-related illnesses such as colitis and migraines. Explains how to use the unconscious mind and relaxation and visualization techniques to reprogram one's responses to life's stresses. 1985

RC 23842

A Brilliant Madness by Patty Duke

Actress Duke has the bipolar I form of manic depression, which is a genetic chemical imbalance of the brain. She describes her past nightmarish highs and lows and her relief when finally diagnosed at thirty-five and treated with lithium. Medical reporter Hochman examines the forms, symptoms, and treatment of the disease. Some strong language and some violence. 1992

RC 34046

FD 34046

Courage Is a Three-Letter Word by Walter Anderson

A mixture of personal survival and general inspiration gleaned from the experiences of famous people. The author explores feelings of fear, anxiety, and inferiority, as well as some of the characteristics that assist in conquering these psychological barriers. 1986

RD 24181

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David D. Burns

The author reports on results of treating depression, from mild blues to serious cases, with "cognitive therapy," a program pioneered by colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania. The therapy involves fighting automatic responses to disappointments by intelligent thinking that can put one's shortcomings into perspective. 1980

RC 17777

BR 9097

Getting Up When You're Feeling Down: A Woman's Guide to Overcoming and Preventing Depression by Harriet B. Braiker

The author, a clinical psychologist, has developed a program to help women combat everyday depression. The regimen involves procedures designed to manage negative emotions and raise self-esteem. Overcoming depression, says Braiker, means learning to identify low moods and accepting them as a part of life. 1988

RC 29402

Helping Your Depressed Teenager by Gerald D. Oster

Guide to the symptoms and various treatments available for teenagers dealing with depression. Discusses the difference between typical teen behavior and serious psychological depression. Includes information on suicide, substance abuse, sexuality, and inheritable conditions. 1995

RC 47166

Horror, Fright, and Panic by Margaret O. Hyde and Elizabeth Forsyth

The authors begin by defining normal fear and exploring it as a positive mechanism. They then distinguish between common fear and anxiety and explain in detail what phobia is and how it interferes with everyday life. Separate chapters take a close-up look at children's fears, anxieties about death, and ways to handle stress. For junior and senior high and older readers. 1987

RC 31761

I Don't Want to Talk about It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression by Terrence Real

A psychotherapist analyzes male depression, a disorder he describes as epidemic, covert, and largely untreated. Argues that American boys are socialized to seek esteem through competition, while they are discouraged from expressing feelings or empathizing with others. Describes destructive behaviors that may result. Strong language. 1997

RC 45734

Learn to Relax: 13 Ways to Reduce Tension by Clarence Eugene Walker

Presents a method for treating fear and nervous illness for those who feel the effects of anxiety in their daily lives. 1969

BR 2106

The Light Book: How Natural and Artificial Light Affect Our Health, Mood, and Behavior by Jane W. Hyman

Hyman describes the roles she believes natural light and light therapy play in insomnia, eating disorders, alcoholism, stress, infertility, depression caused by seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and general health and growth. She explains the daily and monthly biological rhythms tied to the sun and the moon, and the role of the hormone melatonin. 1990

RC 36502

BR 9268

Listening to Prozac by Peter D. Kramer

The author, a professor of clinical psychiatry and a practicing psychiatrist, may prescribe the drug Prozac, but he also supports the need for further study of its long-term effects. Is it right to give someone a personality-altering drug that makes him or her feel "better than well"? Through clinical studies with his own patients, Kramer addresses questions about how Prozac and other mood-changing drugs can affect society. 1993

RC 37014

Managing Your Mind by Gillian Butler

Self-help guidebook on mental fitness and psychological health. Topics include problem-solving, cognitive therapy, relaxation techniques, overcoming phobias, building self-confidence, dealing with depression, building relationships, breaking habits, controlling panic, improving memory, and better decision making. 1995

RC 43234

The Meaning of Anxiety by Rollo May

Examines various theories of anxiety in cultural, biological, historical, and psychological contexts. Seeks a common denominator among the classical theories of anxiety to synthesize a comprehensive theory from various viewpoints. Also relates anxiety to the intelligence factor and to the achievement impetus. 1977

RC 15175

On the Edge of Darkness by Kathy Cronkite

Having long battled depression herself, Cronkite uses her experience and those of noted people who share her illness to describe what depression is and the effect it has on people. Her interviewees include Mike Wallace, Dick Clark, Kitty Dukakis, John Kenneth Galbraith, and Rod Steiger. Their explanations are interspersed with those of medical specialists. Some strong language. 1994

RC 39731

Overcoming Agoraphobia: Conquering Fear of the Outside World by Alan J. Goldstein and Berry Stainback

A professor of psychiatry discusses the causes of the phobia and the treatment methods he has devised. He also outlines a self-help program based on such techniques as diaphragmatic breathing and positive thinking to rid oneself of "catastrophic thoughts." 1987

RC 27951

Phobia Free: A Medical Breakthrough Linking 90 Percent of All Phobias and Panic Attacks to a Hidden Physical Problem by Harold N. Levinson and Steven Carter

Rejecting the traditional view that phobias are a mental disorder, the author suggests that most phobias have a physiological basis, having to do with inner ear problems that can be treated simply and safely. Dr. Levinson offers case histories and self-diagnostic tests and advocates a holistic approach to treatment. 1986

RC 25252

Prozac Diary by Lauren Slater

Autobiographical account of Slater's introduction to Prozac when it was first released in 1988 and her subsequent feelings about taking it for ten years. Describes the positive results of the drug and also the unpleasant side effects. Some strong language and some descriptions of sex. 1998

BR 12105

Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel

Wurtzel claims to speak for herself and for a young generation facing major societal problems. A former popular-music critic for the New Yorker, she details her life with depression, from a despairing preadolescence through suicide attempts after college. Prozac has helped her, but she worries that its trendy reputation may minimize the seriousness of depression. Strong language. Bestseller. 1994

RC 41273

The Right to Feel Bad: Coming to Terms with Normal Depression by Lesley Hazleton

A practicing psychologist and journalist defines depression in imaginative, non-medical terms. Hazleton focuses on "normal" as opposed to chronic depression, arguing that this form of the condition should be viewed "not as a problem but as a process." 1984

RC 21392

The Sky Is Falling: Understanding and Coping with Phobias, Panic, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders by Raeann Dumont

Dumont employs cognitive therapy and self-help strategies to treat those incapacitated by irrational fears. In the first two sections, she defines various anxiety disorders and illustrates them using actual case histories. In the final section, Dumont advises affected people and their spouses on specific techniques for treatment. 1996

RC 43436

Speaking of Sadness: Depression, Disconnection, and the Meanings of Illness by David Allen Karp

A sociologist limns the human face and private experiences of depression through intimate interviews with fifty affected men and women. Addresses the incidence, etiology, and treatment of this pervasive mental health problem. Discusses conditions in modern society that promote depression. 1996

BR 10742

Unfinished Business: Pressure Points in the Lives of Women by Maggie Scarf

An exploration of depression in women, evolving from the author's long, probing interviews with ten depressive women. Their various life situations and psychological vulnerabilities are points of departure for examining why so many women are treated for depression. Information on psychological and physiological causes of depression is interwoven into the case histories. Some strong language. Bestseller. 1980

RD 15517

An Unquiet Mind by Kay R. Jamison

Jamison, professor of psychiatry, reveals her own experiences with manic depression, in spite of not knowing the effect disclosure will have on her professional life. She observes manic-depressive illness from her position as a noted authority and describes her earlier life of inspired highs and bleak lows. She tells of her initial reluctance to regularly take the lithium that eventually, with love and therapy, helped her find stability. Bestseller. 1995

RC 43477

When Someone You Love Is Depressed: How to Help Your Loved One without Losing Yourself by Laura Epstein Rosen and Xavier Francisco Amador

The authors, both clinical psychologists, explain ways to help depressed friends and family members without being overcome by sadness or anger. They define depression, suggest means of communication, and recommend further reading and related web sites. 1996

RC 45598

When Your Child Is Afraid by Robert Schachter and Carole Spearin McCauley

The authors present an extensive discussion of the normal fears of childhood, from infancy through age sixteen. Parents are advised on identifying fears, helping their children deal with them, and recognizing serious fears that may require professional help. The final section of the book discusses phobias, their symptoms, causes, and treatments. 1988

BR 7392

Worry: Controlling It and Using It Wisely by Edward M. Hallowell

Dr. Hallowell, an expert on attention deficit disorder, turns to a study on worry, in both its destructive and productive forms. Hallowell analyzes the uses and benefits of worry and discusses when to seek help if someone worries too much. Offers recommendations on how to maintain a healthy balance. 1997

RC 45699

BR 11485

You Are Not Alone: Words of Experience and Hope for the Journey through Depression by Julia Thorne

In 1980, at the age of thirty-six, Thorne was just minutes away from taking her own life. She was emotionally, physically, and spiritually exhausted by depression. In this book, Thorne integrates her story with those of other sufferers to advise persons who experience depression on the positive choices they can make. 1993

RC 38929

You Mean I Don't Have to Feel This Way? New Help for Depression, Anxiety, and Addiction by Colette Dowling

After observing both her husband and her daughter battle mental illness, Dowling has come to believe that many mental disorders (including depression, panic disorder, certain phobias, and even PMS) are caused by biochemical imbalances. She advocates and describes biopsychiatry--combining psychotherapy with medication to alter the level of mood-regulating chemicals in the brain. 1991

RC 37256

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Posted on 2014-12-02