The Mindful Way Through Depression – by Mark Williams et al

This is the self-help book that I used to get started in meditation.

In 2012, I first heard of mindfulness and it sounded like exactly what I needed. I looked up a psychotherapist with mindfulness in their profile and booked an appointment. He did a couple of sessions of guided meditations and then handed me this book.

The Mindful Way Through Depression – by Mark Williams

The first sentence is “Depression hurts”. I’ve read a few books about depression and many of them start with chapters of information describing the damage depression does to society, with lots of statistics and lamentations. But, if you’re depressed, this is hard work. It’s a form of rumination written on the pages. So, when Mark Williams starts with a paragraph that describes the experience of what it’s like to be depressed, then we can start to hope that we’re finally in the right place.

Depression hurts. It is the black dog of the night that robs you of joy, the unquiet mind that keeps you awake. It’s the noonday demon that only you see, the darkness visible only to you.

Following this, there are some chapters that explain very clearly how depression works. This is already helpful because we can see that depression is an understandable process. It can creep up on anyone very stealthily and can be hard to recognise on first experience.

The 8 week program itself is fantastic. The guided meditations that accompany the book are by Jon Kabat-Zinn. These are the gold standard in my opinion and I still use them ten years into my meditation practice.

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