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Finally, a book of insightful and practical advice for the millions of people suffering from low-grade depression, also known as dysthymia or chronic discontent
Frustrated. Stressed. Irritable. Discouraged. Cynical. Fed up. These are among the feelings experienced by millions of people. Whether they realize it or not, their feelings are not caused by a negative attitude, a lack of gratitude, or laziness. Rather, these feelings are among the symptoms of a condition called dysthymia, also known as chronic discontent or low-grade depression. It blocks feelings of happiness, contentment, and passion, leaving emptiness, a lack of meaning, and despair.
This powerful and practical book explains how this condition takes hold—and presents simple yet profound ways to overcome it once and for all. Using anecdotes from his private practice as well as insightful questions and exercises, psychotherapist Alan Downs, Ph.D., shines light into the dark corners of this isolating and debilitating condition and includes a five-week program to help you feel good again.
Not a superficial, magic-bullet approach, The Half-Empty Heart is a probing, honest book that offers a path to meaningful change. The path begins here.
Downs, a clinical psychologist and author (Why Does This Keep Happening to Me?), discusses the increasingly common low-grade depression known as dysthymia. Symptoms of this problem include constant disappointment, lack of motivation and feelings of hopelessness. Downs offers many brief case studies of people suffering from dysthymia, as well as descriptions of this condition. For example: "The block we create to emotional flow is best described as emotional dishonesty. Emotional dishonesty ranges from simply hiding our true feelings from others to actively falsifying our feelings in ways that may be more acceptable and less confrontational.... We hide our true feelings from other people when those feelings aren't convenient or might be uncomfortable." Downs does a first-rate job of explaining how "chronic discontent" can develop and how it affects relationships with friends and family. The last part of the book is a five-week program designed to help people change their lives and conquer some of their symptoms. The center of his cure is a series of writing exercises (focusing on keeping a journal of feelings and recollections), and while this may not address everything sufferers may need to know, it is a solid effort to help them get on their way.