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Editorial comments on the book Depression is a Choice:
(click on the titles for complete review)
Watch television and you can’t miss the ads for anxiety, depression, Zoloft, Prozac and more. We are hit from every media...

Book Description:
In this revolutionary and provocative work, a psychotherapist with a family history of depression takes a hard look at the syndrome and how to overcome it naturally -- without medication...

"Will rouse discussion among caregivers, patients, and drug companies."

Publisher's Weekly:
"According to Curtiss, as soon as one becomes aware of depressed or manic feelings, one must "as an act of will, replace the accidental, unchosen thoughts that have caused the problem ...

Kirkus Reviews:
Curtiss, a long-time sufferer of manic depression who spent years in therapy before deciding to become a cognitive behavioral therapist, concedes that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain,...

Self Magazine:
Picture this: It’s a rainy Fall morning, the sort of day that makes you want to retreat to bed before you’ve even brushed your teeth. Unfortunately, you’ve got tons to do–can you shake this negative mood? Yes, says a new book DEPRESSION IS A CHOICE (Hyperion), by psychotherapist A. B. Curtiss. "A Chinese proverb says, ‘we cannot prevent the birds of sadness from flying over our heads, but we must not let them build a nest in our hair," she notes. Using this idea, Curtiss created ...

Booklist, American Library Association:
The most engaging aspects of her long book are her accounts of her experiences and of the growth in awareness that led her to "Directed Thinking," the major goal ...

The Electric Bookstore:
Excellent work, highly recommended.
DEPRESSION IS A CHOICE is a documentary, text book type work of 20 chapters in which a woman
who is a therapist and well acquainted with depression offers some concrete insight and ...

In Depression Is A Choice: Winning the Battle Without Drugs, Curtiss explores an alternative to coping with depression, one that she calls "directed thinking". ...

Writers Write:
Over seventeen million Americans suffer from depression, with symptoms ranging from mild sadness to incapacitating misery. A.B. Curtiss is ...

HR Magazinee:
The old adage of “take two pills and call me in the morning” apparently doesn’t apply to depression anymore. Increasingly, those who suffer from depression are taking the pills



Is depression a decision?
Psychotherapist touts `directed thinking,' not drugs, as cure...

Zoloft Message Board:
I've been clean of anti-depressants for about a year now and all that you say is totally true. People...

Biblical Exegesis:
This is my favorite book so far (May) in 2002. Even though it is not Christian, it has many parallels to what the Bible teaches on...

Written Voices:
In our culture, it is taken as an unquestionable fact that depression is a disease, that it is quite common, and that it is the explanation...

Readers Read:
Over seventeen million Americans suffer from depression, with symptoms ranging from mild sadness to incapacitating misery. A.B. Curtiss is a board certified...

Christopher Dowrick:
Curtiss is a family therapist and cognitive behavioural therapist. She also has long personal experience of the condition now known by psychiatrists as bipolar...

Customer Reviews
(click on the titles for complete review)

This book is life saving!, September 7, 2003
Reviewer: A reader
I have suffered from depression my entire life. Although I found prozac to be very helpful, it eventually stopped working for me along with other antidepressant medication. If medication is the "fix it" for depression, and the medication does not work for you, or you are unable to take it, it is frightening to feel that you are a victim to depression.
With this incredible life saving book A.B. Curtis reminds us that we do have the power to make changes in our lives. Her exercises that she recommends work! Overcoming depression is not easy. We will never completely be cured, but with this book we learn that we can take responsibility for our lives, and win the battle with depression. I highly recommend this book.

This book gave me hope, November 8, 2006
A Reader, Chicago, ILL
Reading this book was a turning point for me. It gave me the strength, conviction, and fortitude to sort out the problem which brought on my depression, to look at myself more deeply, and to try more earnestly to change my thinking. The latter being enormously difficult. I applaud the author for putting out such a book. I have read it through twice and gone back to re-read a few other chapters. The author, having had her own experience with depression, points out the pitfalls of blaming our problems on others or on forces we see as out of our control. She offers the practical advice to look inward, fix what we can fix in ourselves. She offers the concept that we can choose our thoughts, that we don't have to helplessly go with our feelings and suggests tricks or exercises to achieve this end. I have opted to not go the medication route and after reading this I believe, if at all, medication should only be used as a very last resort. Being a constant reader, I have always found the words of great people comforting and inspiring. The quotes the author sprinkles throughout her book are thoughtful. I don't understand the negative reviews; I think we can pull from many books and find our own personal perscription for depression. All in all, we are better off strengthening ourselves than depending on medication.

Finally someone says it, August 21, 2006
Kate, Dorchester, MA

For me, it was a great relief to be told to take responsibility for managing my moods and to be given some very specific suggestions about how to do it. The author states her case very strongly, but it didn't really bother me - and I found the repetition, the examples from her life, and the references to literature, etc. to be actually rather helpful in etching new thoughts into my brain. I have always felt - in my own case, at least, that drugs were not the anwer and that in some way I simply was not taking enough responsibility for my self. But I needed some help in figuring out how to proceed. Therapists - who push drugs or the repetition of painful stories from childhood - have not helped me. This book has and I recommend it. I am saddened by those people who are so scared of challenging idea that they have given it a negative review on the basis of the title alone - and have lacked the courage to read the book and see what it actually says.

A great book on overcoming depression., June 21, 2006
Adam D. Wadsworth

A book like this is needed in our society--it is a direct challenge to the "victim" mentality of mental illness in our culture. A powerful book for those seeking to overcome depression in their lives.

Forever indebted & grateful to the author--3 1/2 years later, June 10, 2005
Daliah S. Rainone, Washington, D. C.

I wrote my first review of this book in November, 2001, but I wanted to follow up, and since I can only have one review on here, I am consolidating what I had to say. It has now been more than three years since I read _Depression is a Choice_, and I am cured of my depression. It is no longer a factor in my life. This book gave me the tools that I needed, and after awhile, I didn't even need to employ them actively anymore. It became a natural way of being. Once in awhile, I do wake up with a hint of depression, but it is rare, and I make it go away easily. I have also learned to coexist with feelings that can be painful depending on life circumstance but not give into them. I am NOT my depression. My depression is only a feeling, and it can no longer stop me. I learned this, because of this life-saving, amazing book. Best wishes in your journey to feeling better. It is definitely possible.

asdfThis book saved my life, April 20, 2004
Reviewer: A reader
When I was in the throes of a moderately deep (for me) depression, this book showed me a path forward. I am enormously appreciative of the guidance, including many practical tips on matters such as overcoming insominia, that I obtained from Ms. Curtiss.

asfdBrilliant and Insightful,    December 10, 2006
April Jean, Charlottesville, VA

I stumbled across this book at the public library. I am currently dealing with my sister's "depression" and I have seen first-hand the medications take her much lower than any "depression" she ever had before taking them. A.B. Curtiss nailed it right on the sister is battling fear...she graduated from college and didn't know what she wanted to do with her life and froze and didn't come out of her room for a year...but when the psychiatrist put her on anti-depressants and anti-psychotics, she turned into a manic monster. The drugs may help some people, but regular exercise is just as effective without risking the dangerous controlling side-effects that cause some patients to kill themselves or DOES happen. In addition to understanding depression, I found this book so helpful for life in general...we are not merely victims of our thoughts and is a set of choices and it does not matter what our particular circumstances are, but how we respond to them. I wasn't crazy about all the quotes from psycics and sages in the book, but was easily able to look past them to a lot of truth that she presents. It was verbose in some parts, but I truly appreciated how she spoke from her heart and hearing her story unfold kept me quite interested. She's clearly a brilliant revealed by her writing and insights and ideas. I took many quotes away that I plan to implement in my own favorite being, "It isn't discipline that makes us organized. It's the humble stumble and bumble of working on getting organized that makes us disciplined." I wish more psychologists would be blunt like A.B. Curtiss and stop consoling us as victims and making excuses for us. Lots of wonderful famous people throughout history dealt with depression their whole lives (such as Abe Lincoln) and they didn't succomb to it or numb themselves with medications, they used the pain to make themselves stronger people and they lived courageously with purpose and direction. You can choose that path too...and be a stronger person because of it.

asfdAwesome Book if You Can Keep Yourself from Getting Defensive,
April 28, 2007 A. Soet, Chicago Ill

I have to say that I agree with another reviewer about this book, it was a complete turning point for me. I will comment on the meat of the book, the concept, as I agree some parts of the book were slow and not necessary, but the point of this review is for the important parts. I read others reviews, and was not surprised at the shock people have felt from reading this book. even when I read it, I could tell a lot of people would miss the greatness of it because of its controversial concepts which will touch a nerve with many who feel helpless to their depression.

I have suffered from moderate to severe depression since I was very young. My mother has it, so does my brother; and I come from many generations of people who suffered from depression. I stumbled upon this book in the library when I was doing a research report. I think not everyone who reads this book, as evident by some of the reviews, will be able to handle this. It flies in the face of what society drills into your head about depression and asks you to step up and take responsibility for your life. Other reviewers who have touched on the idea that the author is blaming people for their own depression are missing the mark. I don’t think it’s about blame, and I’m pretty sure that the author is just trying to get you to see that your own action is the key to healing for the future. I never felt once while reading this book that it was 'all my fault' in a negative sense. All it did was bring the big picture together and it made my actions and thoughts and patterns throughout my life make a little more sense.

People who are not ready for this concept will just not be ready for it and will put up a wild defense that they really have nothing to do with being able to effect their depression. I can understand why, its devastatingly hard at times to get out of a mood or feeling that takes over and just seems to never go away.The author gives the idea of power back to the reader though. We are taught that we have no choice over depression, it is an 'illness' and that word in this society often means 'you have no personal power over this part of your life anymore, only external solutions work now'. But that is not true nor is it ever true when it comes to real healing.

You do have a choice, if you are only willing enough. Many people who are convinced they have no choice in depression will be angry at this book because they are under the expectation that depression IS  just  a chemical imbalance. They believe in the science about it being a real imbalance which means they have no power over it. But if you believe in that, why don’t you believe in the science of changing your brain? I know that my depression has been partly hereditary but also learned, and I can say it’s been a year since I’ve read this book and it remains one of my favorites because since then I have decided to take it into my own hands and really look closely at my thought patterns and do the hard, but very satisfying, work.

My mom is on meds, as is my brother, I am not. They are not open to this idea. They do not want to think they could do something to make their lives better because that is a really scary thought, and that is okay because that is what works for them, so medication is the best thing for them. Similar to the author, I always felt like there must be another way. And there is if you are open to it. I don’t deny some people work much better with medication and I don’t think it’s bad, but for those who are capable of surviving without and willing to do the work, you will not be disappointed by this book.

This book enlightened me, October 1, 2001
Reviewer: Helen Lee Fletcher from Winchester, VA
For me the book was enlightening. If biofeedback can be taught, why not Curtiss' method of fighting depression? She states clear conclusions....

This book is incredible!!!, October 20, 2001
Reviewer: Daliah Rainone, Henderson, NV USA
I have only completed the second chapter, but I had to write right away in case someone who has struggled like I have comes...

Thoughts DO count, September 21, 2001
Reviewer: from San Diego
A. B. Curtiss provides a needed countervoice to the chorus of "experts" who insist that conditions like depression can only...

The Beginning of a War, September 18, 2001
Reviewer: Dianne C. Foster from Newton, MA USA
This book is sure to stir up controversy. It draws on a traditional approach which to many might look suspiciously like insisting one simply must find within himself the "right stuff"

I Love the Positive Concept, October 5, 2001
Reviewer: Yoko Ono, from New York City:
I love the positive concept, depression is a choice. It’s so uplifting! Us women should all say that together and clear the air.

Thank You For Your Beautiful Work, October 10, 2001
Reviewer: Ken Brown, San Diego California
Thank you for your beautiful work. As you must know, it is hard to reach people where they hurt. We are more attached to our suffering than practically anything else.

Book Review: Depression is a Choice, November 13, 2001
Reviewer: Danielle M. McClain
I read this book with the thought in my mind that I would be offering a review to help with understanding, and knowledge, so that you, the reader, could offer assistance to help a family member, a friend, or even yourself. It never dawned ...

Forever indebted and grateful to the author-follow up review, November 13, 2001
Reviewer: Daliah Rainone from Henderson, NV USA
I have a chemical imbalance. I put myself into a psychiatric hospital when I was 20. I was there for three months, before they would release me. I have suffered deep depression for the last twelve years, since that ...

Book Review: Depression is a Choice, November 26, 2001
Reviewer Jack Lieberman
I have just finished the first 100 pages of your book and can't wait to read the rest of it. Just thought I would let you know how much a love it! ....

A New Look at an Old Problem, December 1, 2001
Reviewer: Jeri Noble from Sedona, AZ
This is a somewhat different approach to treating clinical depression. Although we've seen a variety of works on taking a positive ...

Just a quick note to say how very interesting and helpful your website is!
I have suffered from depression for many years and generally ...

Some light in the darkness,
January 24, 2002
Reviewer: jacklie from San Francisco, CA USA
This is such an important book! Contrary to some reviewer’s statements it does not claim to be everyone’s answer. It does stand up and say "The emperor has no clothes on!" ...

I happened upon this book on depression at my local bookstore and since I have battled depression ...

Excellent way to re-think your depression, February 12, 2002
Reviewer: Robert P Tema from Minneapolis, MN United States
I have been dealing with depression, and have sought therapy and am currently taking ...

This Book the Culiminating Healer of My Lifelong Depression,
February 12, 2002
Reviewer: from Austria, Europe
This book, Depression is a Choice, is the culminating healer of my lifelong depression. I find that examination of any circumstances...

I am greatly impressed and indebted to the author,
February 12, 2002
Reviewer: Norma Davis
I am half way through this book "Depression is a Choice," and I am greatly impressed and indebted to the author for writing it. So much ...

Although I have never written to an author of any book before, I felt strongly compelled to do so. I have read many, many books in my lifetime, particularly of the "self-help" genre, but never has any single book had such a profound impact on my life as your book, Depression is a Choice.

Good psychology
June 18, 2002
Reviewer: Roberta C. Henderson from Los Angeles
I found Curtiss' book inspiring in that it really encourages the depression sufferer by describing how to cope without drugs using the process of directed thinking. The basic inspiring in that it really encourages the depression sufferer by describing how to cope ...

Indeed it is
February 24, 2003
Reviewer: Adam Schwartz from Bloomington, IN, United States
I waited over six months after reading Depression Is a Choice to reflect on the book and put its principles into action. I can tell you that for me at least, Curtiss is correct--depression is indeed a choice....

Depression is a Choice is my newest and bestest friend.
Reviewer: Edwinna Knee,
There's not one person I know or have ever met that wouldn't benefit from your book. Suffering from depression or not!!! ...

Your Book Turned on A Bright Light Inside of Me
Reviewer: Julia Murray, San Francisco
The other day I was perusing the "New Books" shelf at my local library when I came across your book, Depression is a Choice, Winning the Battle...

Thank you, A. B Curtiss, November 21, 2002
A Reader
I think this book is wonderful. I can see how the other reviewers dismiss its simplicity but this is the key. Truths are simple. They may be difficult to grasp but they are ultimately simple.

The Power to Change - April 11, 2003
Reviewer: Renee Jawish
Assistant to the Editor
Ironworker Magazine
Washington, D.C.
"Your work has encouraged me a great deal and makes me feel that I have the power to change."
I have been diagnosed with Bipolar Affective Disorder. However, do notice I write 'diagnosed'...

Reviewer: Norma Davis
I have just finished reading Depression is a Choice. For me, it was not a book I could eat too much of at one time and it has taken

Reviewer: K.D.
I bought your book after I had heard you on TV. My sister was diagnosed Bi-Polar in 1997 and has been in and out of hospitals.

Still Works for Me After Two Years
Reviewer: J. O.
I was at a real point of struggle when I came upon your book and it has certainly brought a new freedom

Buddhist Philosophy
I know that in Buddhist philosophy we are to know that life is unknowing and impermanent, sometimes good, sometimes bad...

Boy, did a lot of people get angry when they saw that title!

Reviewed by Dr Hufrish Suraliwala
A thoughtful & explosive book which explores depression from a philosophical, psychological & a deeply personal point of view.

New Books Review
Reviewed by Diane Morgan
Watch television and you can't miss the ads for anxiety, depression, Zoloft, Prozac and more.

Alexander Seth Marcus - January 1, 2004
Okay, so perhaps the author's style is a bit symptomatic of her manic approach to life. And perhaps I did get a little lost in her free associative style. She...

Reviewer: A reader from Los Angeles, CA United States
When I was in the throes of a moderately deep (for me) depression, this book showed me a path forward. I am enormously appreciative of the guidance, including many practical tips on matters such as overcoming insomnia, that I obtained from Ms. Curtiss.