It keeps happening. I'm beginning to think that some part of me knew somehow that this would be the Booklover's School. Next month, over a Friday evening and all day Saturday session (to be preceded by a reading of the text and followed by a properly done research paper), I'll take a one credit course called Interpersonal Neurobiology and Treatment of Depression. I borrowed (from the public library) the book we're going to use as the text, and I've been looking it over today. Now I know that I will buy this book, refer to this book, recommend this book, quote from this book, and keep an eye on the developments that proceed from this book and everyone referred to in it.
Honest and true, this is another real gem.
The title is underwhelming, to say the least. In fact, that's why I put it on hold at the library. I didn't think I'd want to own it, and I thought maybe once I looked at it, I'd drop the course. It's called (in stunningly boring reflection of anything that might be near it on the shelf) Unstuck: Your Guide to the Seven-Stage Journey Out of Depression. I know. Really, really uninteresting, right? Verrry loonggg yaaawwwwn.
But ... hm ... well, lookee here. Some of the nation's most interesting and multi-disciplinary health gurus du jour are on the back cover, singing this book's praises. That's interesting ... we've got Deepak Chopra, Christiane Northrup, Dean Ornish, Andrew Weil, Mehmet Oz ... huh. Okay, so let's look inside.
The flyleaf says that the author is "Dr. James Gordon, a Harvard Medical School-educated psychiatrist who founded and directs The Center for Mind-Body Medicine in Washington, D.C., has been helping his patients find their way out of the darkness of depression for the past forty years." "A pioneer in integrative medicine." He "believes that depression is not an end point, a disease over which we have no control. It is a sign that our lives are out of balance, that we're stuck."
Yes, that's interesting, all right. So I start reading - start with the introduction. That's where (I've finally figured out) I want to start when I want to be introduced to the author. Did you know that? The "introduction" is the place where the author shakes your hand and tells you a bit about himself. That's where you figure out who you're dealing with. If you don't care who's talking, skip the intro. If you're going to "consider the source" in a more skeptical way (or if your instructor assigned it), read it.
So I do. And I keep reading. And I start plowing through the first chapter, and then I start saying things on a Saturday morning like, "Hey! Pause the TV for a sec. Listen to this."
Wow. At last! Someone who's been around awhile (he did his residency in 1968) has seen that the West and the East, the ancient and the modern, the biological and the psychological/spiritual, the predisposition and the precipitating event(s) are all part of this picture for wholeness and healing and wellness and a good life, well lived. The history of our nation's blithe acceptance of the "disease" (often compared to diabetes) model for depression is in here. The science (and lack thereof) behind the pharmaceutical answer is in here - and so is a proposal for a more helpful use of that option. Options, reality, the glorious resilience of the human being ... it's all in here.
I really like my school.