The Devil You Knew by Professor Ian Hickie explores the spectre of depression - what it is, where it comes from and the common myths and misconceptions surrounding it - so we can find our unique path to healing and live fulfilling lives on our own terms.
We are living amid a mental health epidemic.
Clinical depression has devastated the lives of countless people, sending families into crisis and weakening the ties that hold communities together.
It's a disorder that doesn't discriminate.
At the outset it can be confused with grief and ordinary sadness; at its extreme it can end in tragedy. Within its labyrinth, the corridors and dead ends are many - unabating hopelessness, withdrawal from loved ones, fatigue of body and mind, panic attacks and addiction - and the ladder out difficult to find. But there is hope.
Informed by internationally renowned psychiatrist Ian Hickie's 35 years of clinical experience and extensive case studies, The Devil You Knew (Penguin, $34.99, October 3) explores the inner workings of the depressed mind and the myriad influences - environmental, physiological, social - to guide us towards the right diagnosis and offer pathways to healing.
Useful tips on what to do and how to get better health care abound. Along the way he dispels some of those common fears and myths that keep people in need away from the best possible care.
Hickie includes stories and lessons learned from many people who have travelled these paths, reinforcing that, while we are all on our own journey, we're never alone.
He also looks into the latest cutting-edge treatments that are pushing our knowledge of the brain and consciousness, and their influence over the body, into the future.
Every mental labyrinth might be different, but The Devil You Knew offers a dynamic, expert look into the architecture of those labyrinths, passing along a blueprint so we - as individuals and as a society - can climb out into the open air.
Professor Hickie is a psychiatrist and Co-Director of Health and Policy at The University of Sydney's Brain and Mind Centre.
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