Undercurrents: A Therapist's Reckoning with Her Own Depression

Front Cover
HarperCollins Pub., 1994 - Psychology - 197 pages
2 Reviews
Depression transformed Martha Manning from a happy, healthy, and successful wife, mother, professor, and psychotherapist who "lived with the innocent arrogance that [her] life was the simple product of [her] effort, will, and design" to a sleepwalker haunted by thoughts of suicide, "a house of cards, held precariously by the fragile conspiracy of wind, weight, and angle."
Undercurrents chronicles this transformation through Manning's startlingly funny, deeply affecting, and always honest journal entries. Outlining the depths and dimensions of severe clinical depression, Manning's quick wit and razor-sharp powers of observation allow us to laugh at and empathize with the mounting disarray in her life: insurmountable household clutter, nightly insomnia, manic, caffeine-fueled efforts to meet deadlines. We understand her terror as she evaluates a new patient only to realize that she herself meets all of the textbook criteria of depression, and feel her nowhere-to-turn despair as she is forced to acknowledge that the love of her family, the support of her therapist, and the exhaustive drug treatments administered by her psychiatrist are not succeeding in stemming the tide of her disease. Finally, Manning agrees to electroconvulsive therapy, or ECT. Notorious for its past abuses, its safety and efficacy open to debate, this controversial treatment becomes her last resort and only hope.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JLSmither - LibraryThing

I don't often read memoirs, and this one has a few problems similar to others (e.g., stories that don't directly relate to the central narrative, too many characters to keep straight). However, it ... Read full review

UNDERCURRENTS: A Therapist's Reckoning with Depression

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

It is strange to find small joys in a book about depression, but there are many in Manning's tale of her descent into hell. Among a spate of recent memoirs about depression, what defines Manning's ... Read full review

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About the author (1994)

Martha Manning, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and former professor of psychology at George Mason University.

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