Surviving America's Depression Epidemic: How to Find Morale, Energy, and Community in a World Gone Crazy

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9781933392714: Surviving America's Depression Epidemic: How to Find Morale, Energy, and Community in a World Gone Crazy
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Millions of us have experienced periods of low morale, struggled to find cheer in the day-to-day world, and then found ourselves pacified into believing the smooth-talking spokesperson in yet another medication ad. We’ve all heard them, there’s no denying the fact that these ads have made each of us wonder: Do I suffer from depression? Would I be happier and healthier if I simply consulted my physician and requested (insert drug name here)?

The rate of clinical depression in the U.S. has increased more than tenfold in the last fifty years. Is this epidemic properly being addressed by the insurance, pharmaceutical, and governmental powers-that-be or exacerbated by a failing system focused on instant results and high profit margins? Dr. Bruce E. Levine, a highly respected clinical psychologist, argues the latter and provides a compelling alternative approach to treating depression that makes lasting change more likely than with symptom-based treatment through medication.

Surviving America’s Depression Epidemic delves into the roots of depression and links our increasingly consumer-based culture and standard-practice psychiatric treatments to worsening depression, instead of solving it. In an easy-to-understand narrative style, Dr. Levine prescribes antidotes to depression including the keys to building morale and selfhealing. Unlike short-term, drug-based solutions, these antidotes foster a long-term cycle where people rediscover passion and purpose, and find meaning in acting on their societal concerns.

A groundbreaking work, atypical of the shelf-loads of “pep-talk” based self help books on the market, Surviving America’s Depression Epidemic provides the knowledge and counsel of a practicing psychologist in a digestible format that will improve your future. A must read for guidance and pastoral counselors; non-dogmatic psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers; and those tired of the TV ads shilling for better living through chemistry.

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About the Author:

Bruce E. Levine, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and has been in private practice since 1985 in Cincinnati, Ohio. His most recent book is Get Up, Stand Up: Uniting Populists, Energizing the Defeated, and Battling the Corporate Elite (2011). He is also the author of Surviving America's Depression Epidemic: How to Find Morale, Energy, and Community in a World Gone Crazy (2007), and Commonsense Rebellion: Taking Back Your Life from Drugs, Shrinks, Corporations, and a World Gone Crazy, and has authored a chapter for Alternatives Beyond Psychiatry. Dr. Levine has been a regular contributor to AlterNet, Z Magazine, and The Huffington Post and his articles and interviews have been published in Adbusters, The Ecologist, High Times and numerous other magazines. He is an editorial advisor for the Icarus Project/Freedom Center Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs and on the editorial advisory board of the journal Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry. Dr. Levine has presented talks and workshops to diverse organizations throughout North America. www.brucelevine.net. Visit Bruce's blog on The Huffington Post at www.huffingtonpost.com/bruce-e-levine/.

Review:

"How does a sane person find meaning in a world gone mad? The question is not a new one, but author/psychologist Bruce Levine offers timely insights about the social and cultural causes of demoralization. Like other critical thinkers within the existential tradition Levine implies that the phenomenon of psychological depression is a 'not unreasonable' response to the pressures of corporate authoritarianism. What was once a country of immigrant aliens has become increasingly a country of the alienated. But is this alienation inevitable? Surviving America's Depression Epidemic presents startling facts, powerful anecdotes, and poignant aphorisms. In this, the Dark Age of the pharmaceutical-military-industrial complex, Levine has given a much needed wake-up call which challenges each of us to find our own antidote, in the healing aspects of integrity, nature, self-transcendence, and community."--Grace E. Jackson, MD, author of Rethinking Psychiatric Drugs: A Guide for Informed Consent



"In a society permeated by medicalized images of 'depression,' Bruce Levine reminds us to take a broader view, and incorporate historical analysis, social criticism, cross-cultural perspectives, creative insights, and spiritual wisdom into any future public discourse about why so many in our culture are so unhappy, and how we can best help them thrive instead. Surviving America's Depression Epidemic is a bold, intelligent, courageous, and insightful book that will enlighten and inspire many individuals who count themselves as among 'the depressed' (including myself)."--Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D. author of The Human Odyssey, and The Myth of the A.D.D. Child



"While Surviving America's Depression Epidemic is an excellent self-help book, it is not just for the clinically depressed. This well-conceived and researched book illuminates the general malaise tinting the canvas of our lives and validates the background of unhappiness inherent in our contemporary lifestyles--a background often mislabeled as pathological. We are all trying to survive this epidemic. The book is empowering, energizing, and provides a road map to greater psychological health, motivation, and fulfillment."--Stuart Shipko, M.D., author of Surviving Panic Disorder



"If you've ever smelled a rat in the way corporate America tears down community with one hand and pushes antidepressant drugs with the other, this book is for you."--Will Hall, co-founder of Freedom Center (Northampton, MA) and staff member, The Icarus Project



"Surviving America's Depression Epidemic bravely connects much of the overwhelming despair in our society to society itself, and offers innovative remedies. I encourage anyone who has ever asked, 'What are the alternatives to the current mental health system?' -- to read this book. Bruce shows us an array of specific, practical options to fight the good fight on our increasingly demoralized planet. As a psychiatric survivor, I highly recommend that mental health professionals read this book."--David W. Oaks, Director MindFreedom International



"This well-written and insightful book locates depression where it should be situated-in the dehumanization of American culture and the corporatization of psychological health and well-being. Moreover, Dr. Levine offers insights into what we've lost sight of and what we can do about it."--David Walker, Ph.D., Associate Professor, American School of Professional Psychology



"This is a terrific book. Bruce E. Levine argues convincingly that our modern depression epidemic is the result of a demoralized society. He integrates critical thinking about psychiatry, extensive clinical experience with clients diagnosed as depressed, and a refreshing look at the factors that affect our morale--alienation, consumerism, and spirituality. Highly recommended."--Jeffrey Lacasse, MSW, Visiting Lecturer, College of Social Work, Florida State University



"Levine is the smartest, most level-headed guy around when it comes to depression, and it comes from years of clinical practice, not ivory-towered theory."--Kirkpatrick Sale, contributing editor for The Nation and author of The Fire of His Genius: Robert Fulton and the American Dream and After Eden: The Evolution of Human Domination



"Unlike pharmaceuticals, this book is an anti-depressant that works. When depression is a reaction to a depressing culture, all the drugs in the world can't numb us to the truth that health--whether mental, physical, or spiritual--is about wholeness. This is the message we should be getting from our preachers, politicians, doctors, teachers, and therapists. What a rare, welcome, and timely message."--Rev. Davidson Loehr, author of America, Fascism, and God



"Levine's holistic approach, bolstered by plenty of scholarship and popular literary references, will give depression patients a useful big-picture perspective."--Publishers Weekly

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