Interview/Virtual Tour ~ Depression In Later Life: An Essential Guide by Dr. Deborah Serani

What inspired your book?

I’m a depression expert, and wanted to write a series of books that cover depression over the life cycle. I’ve written one of pediatric depression and another on adult depression. So, this is the final in the series – on geriatric depression. I’m really proud to say that all my books on depression have won Book of the Year Awards. I try to write books that reach and teach others but are meaningful reads too.

Do you write as you go, or do you have the book all planned out from page 1?

I follow an outline, but then let my thoughts take creative control. This is what works for me.

How long did it take you to write your book?

It took me 3 months to write “Depression in Later Life.” I generally finish a book from start to submission in about 3 to 6 months.

Who are your favorite authors of all time?

I love John Irving, P.G. Wodehouse, Edgar Allen Poe, Elizabeth Bishop and Toni Morrison.

What's the best advice anyone has ever given you?

The writer James Whitfield Ellison told me to always protect your writer voice. In the end, your book should always be your words.

How do you react to a bad review? 

For the most part, pretty well. I know not everyone is going to like my work or my writing style. And that’s how it goes. But one time I did take on a truly inaccurate review by writing an open letter to the reviewer. She clearly didn’t read my book at all!

What is your favorite part in your book?

I’d have to say that appendix that lists almost 400 famous people, like actors, singers, artists, athletes, politicians, authors, who’ve lived with depression. To me, it shows that there’s no shame living with depression.

What books do you love that don’t get a lot of hype?  

I love poetry, so it’s hard for emerging writers in that genre to get the acclaim and limelight they deserve.

What makes your book standout from the crowd? 

I write about depression from a personal and a professional view. I think this duality makes it a stand-out from the other self-help books on depression and makes it a unique read.

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (November 30, 2017)
Genre: Self-Help; Psychology
ISBN-10: 1538110431
ISBN-13: 978-1538110430
ASIN: B01DWXZQ3M
Buy: Amazon, Kindle, IndieBound, The Book Depository

depression-in-later-life

The geriatric population, defined as men and women 65 years and older, is the fastest growing population in the world. Little attention has been given to the mental health of the aging, and often treatable disorders are overlooked entirely. Depression is one of the leading mental disorders in any age group, but among the elderly, it is often viewed as a normal part of aging. But it’s not. Depression at any age requires attention and treatment.

Depression in Later Life is a go-to guide that introduces readers to depression among the aging and elderly. It looks at both sufferers who’ve been diagnosed in their younger years as well as those with a new diagnosis, and reviews the symptoms, the diagnostic process, treatment options including alternative and holistic approaches, and long-term care for those experiencing mild, moderate, or severe depression. With real stories throughout, the book illustrates the many forms depression can take, and Dr. Serani offers a compassionate voice alongside practical advice for sufferers, caregivers, and families.

BOOK IS AN AWARD WINNER: 2016 Gold Medal Winner, Psychology, Foreword

Dr. Deborah Serani is a psychologist in practice over 25 years, an associate adjunct professor at Adelphi University and a TEDx speaker on the subject of depression. She is also a go-to expert on psychological issues. Dr. Serani is the author of the award-winning books, Living with Depression, Depression and Your Child: A Guide for Parents and Caregivers and Depression in Later Life: An Essential Guide published by Rowman & Littlefield.

 

 

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Excerpt ~

What is Late-Life Depression?

 

            I know depression because I’ve endured it my entire life. I had it as a child and it worsened as I became a teenager. And it still lingers in the margins of my life at age 55. For me, depression was a chronic illness that left me in despair and frighteningly unaware of its grinding misery. I didn’t recognize the symptoms – and neither did any family or friends. In fact, as my depression worsened as a college student, I sank into a featureless existence, either awake in a fatigued haze or sleeping the entire day away. Gradually, the bitter brine of depression flooded my mind with hopelessness. I didn’t care about the future and I couldn’t find purpose in the present. It didn’t occur to me that anything was out-of-sorts, short-sighted or even peculiar as my thinking became more corrosive. When I attempted suicide at age 19 with a handgun, it felt right. It felt comforting.

            Of course, looking back, I was in deep emotional and physical pain and believed I found a way to make it stop. But it wasn’t a healthy choice. I was making a decision from an incredibly distorted reality. Luckily my plan was interrupted and I immediately got help. I began intensive psychotherapy and discovered that I’d been living with dysthymic disorder and that it escalated into a major depressive episode. Having both these disorders was called a double depression, and I learned how to replace the quiet agony of my illness with tools to live a more meaningful life. The experience I had with talk therapy was so life-changing and life-saving that it inspired me to become a psychologist. I combined my personal experiences with depression with my training as a clinician and became an expert in mood disorders. I realized that my personal experiences with depression offered enormous insight to those who sought treatment with me because I know the talk and I walk the walk.

           In the 45 years of personally living with depression and the 25 years of professionally treating it as a disorder, this is what I’ve learned:

            Depression doesn’t care if you’re rich or famous, poor or homeless.

            It doesn’t care if you’re young or old.

            Or if you’re ordinary or superlatively gifted.

            Depression cuts across social economic status, is found in every culture and in every country around the world.

            Depression will drape its chokehold over men, women and children – and thinks nothing of how it decays your mind, siphons your soul and crushes the glimpse of possibility, hope and freedom at every turn.

            Depression is not an experience that fades with the next sunrise or can be shaken off with a newfound attitude. It won’t be cured by tough-love. Or rectified by ignoring it. You can’t snap out of it or will it away either. And if you try to minimize its wrenching hold on your health, it’ll root itself even deeper. Depression can’t be ranked alongside adjectives like blue, sad, dejected, down, melancholy or unhappy. Those words just won’t do… because they don’t even come close to describing what depression feels like.

            Depression demands you to see it for what it truly is – an illness. And while it’s a serious illness, it is treatable. The key to success in living with depression is early identification, consistent treatment and planning to manage your illness.

Defining Depression

 

            Depression is a complex illness that significantly impacts the way you feel, think and behave. According to the World Health Organization, depression involves feelings of worthlessness, decreased energy, hopelessness, poor concentration, negative thinking and disrupted sleeping and eating patterns, just to name a few. The most predominant of these symptoms is a depressed mood, and because of this, depression is classified as a mood disorder. Sometimes called affective disorders, mood disorders are the most common mental illness, touching over a hundred million people worldwide. Mood disorders aren’t the result of a weakness of character, laziness or a person’s inability to buck up and be strong. Mood disorders are a real medical condition.

The Geriatric Population

           

It’s important to know that depression can occur at any age, but in this book, we’re looking at depression in later life. Specifically, the geriatric population – which are individuals 65 years of age and older. Sometimes referred to as seniors or the elderly, geriatric citizens are the fastest growing population in the world.  In America, alone, the baby boomer generation now makes up over 50 million of the senior population. With people living longer, and the combination of medical advances and technology improving the state of healthcare, the senior population is expected to soar to 72 million by the year 2030. More specifically, The US Census Bureau reports that in the next 45 years, people over the age 65 will double, and people over the age 85 will triple. And now more than ever, centenarians, people 100 years of age and older, are not just reaching these amazing ages, but living richly textured lives.                       

            While gerontology, the study of the aging process in human beings, has brought insights about the physical, emotional and social needs of this population, little has been done to train geriatric health professionals. In fact, 97% of medical school students have no training in geriatrics, and the rate of doctors graduating with a geriatrician degree are lower now than ten years ago. 

            Even geriatric psychology, or geropsychology, the specialty that focuses on the mental health of the elderly, isn’t gaining the kind of traction needed to help those living in their golden years.

            This makes identifying and treating depression in later life difficult. But with the help you get in Depression in Later Life, you'll be equipped to see the early warning signs and know where to get help.     

Tour Schedule

Monday, November 20

PUYB Book Teaser at YouTube

Tuesday, November 21

Book Featured at The Reader’s Handbook

Wednesday, November 22

Book Review at Books for Books

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Monday, November 27

Book Featured at Confessions of an Eccentric Bookaholic

Tuesday, November 28

Book Review at Sefina Hawke’s Books

Wednesday, November 29

Book Featured at Mythical Books

Book Featured at C.A. Milson’s Author Blog

Thursday, November 30

Interview at Books, Dreams, Life

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Monday, December 4

Interview at SheWrites

Tuesday, December 5

Book Featured at Nuttin’ But Books

Wednesday, December 6

Interview at Lori’s Reading Corner

Thursday, December 7

Book Featured at My Bookish Pleasures

Friday, December 8

Book Featured at What’s That Book About

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Monday, December 11

Book Review at Lisa-Queen of Random

Tuesday, December 12

Interview at Deal Sharing Aunt

Wednesday, December 13

Book Featured in I’m Shelf-ish

Thursday, December 14

Book Review at Literarily Speaking

Friday, December 15

Book Review at The Reading Addict

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Monday, December 18

Book Review at Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin’

Tuesday, December 19

Book Featured at My Book Launch

Wednesday, December 20

Book Review at Mina’s Bookshelf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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