Eric Maisel is the author of 40 books and is widely regarded as America's foremost creativity coach (see our review of Mastering Creative Anxiety). A psychotherapist, he takes on thinking about depression in this book.
Twenty million Americans are diagnosed with depression each year. One in ten people in the United States are taking anti-depressants. Maisel is critical of what he calls the "manufacturing" of mental disorders and the medical community's continued practice of over-medicating people. He does not see depression as a disease but as a part of the human condition. Those who do not agree with him are advised to check out "15 Reasons Why People Believe That 'Depression' Exists."
Maisel wants to provide counsel and practices for those millions of Americans who are unhappy, sad, apathetic, lacking in energy, and feeling helpless and hopeless. He believes that the way to move beyond this state is to create a life of personal meaning. Here are some of his suggestions:
• Accept your obligation to make meaning.
• Honor your wants, needs, and values.
• Snap out of your trance.
• Negotiate each day.
• Seize meaning opportunities.
• Handle meaning crises.
• Engage in self-care on different levels.
We are inveterate meaning makers and part of the challenge and adventure of life is to give what matters to us center stage in our personal and spiritual development. By reminding us of the importance of meaning, Maisel has done us a fine service.