1 out of 4 stars
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I have battled with depression since I was a teen. And I'm not alone. 16.2 million adults and approximately 1.9 million children ages 3 to 17 have been diagnosed with depression just in the USA. Depression Where: Journey To Recovery by Briana Isham is a 13-day journal to help the reader cope with this debilitating disease. It includes, among other things, quotes, journal prompts, a list of depression symptoms, and a list of resources to turn to for help.
I applaud the intention of the author to help with such a common mental health problem. In principle, the idea of journaling is fabulous. It has been proven that journaling helps to manage anxiety, depression, and stress. Some techniques suggested, like the S.T.O.P. one, are legitimately helpful. The handwritten-like font gives the journal a cozy feeling that I enjoyed.
To be honest, I was disappointed by this book. The journal prompts are all the same, and the rest is information that one can easily find on Wikipedia, Healthline, Web MD, or any other similar website. The author, at least, hyperlinked some parts of the text to redirect you to helpful websites. The quotes, except the ones by the author, pop up on Pinterest on the first try. Briana Isham also makes some very bold claims that show a lack of deep understanding of how mental health problems work. For example, she advises to remember that "you are loved" and "dark moments don’t last forever." Depression, unfortunately, is like having gray-colored glasses that prevent you from seeing this. This phenomenon is known as cognitive distortion. She also asserts that "you are the light of your parent’s life." But she can't possibly know that. Child maltreatment, from emotional neglect to downright abuse, has been directly linked with depression in a plethora of research studies. Almost all the book is full of platitudes that people with depression have heard time and again.
Furthermore, I was also left wondering what led the author to write such a book. I'm sure there's a story behind it, and sharing it might make the depression sufferer feel less like an anomaly.
I found over ten editing mistakes. These are minor but bothersome in such a short book. I rate Depression Where: Journey To Recovery by Briana Isham 1 out of 4 stars because of these editing flaws, the repetitive journal prompts, the lack of originality, and the misunderstanding of the complexities of mental illnesses.
I would recommend Depression Where: Journey To Recovery by Briana Isham to readers who want a quick compendium of resources about depression. This is not a suitable book for readers looking for a deep-dive on this mental health issue, who are searching for original healing tactics, who need a comprehensive and diverse journal, or that crave a relatable story.
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