“Depression advances along a million unique tracks shrouded behind a gallery of distortions,” opens ‘After Depression,’ my new book about mental illness and the burgeoning world of magnet-based brain therapies.
“It sails to mind from an unfamiliar distance, picking apart confidence and undermining relationships as it weaves its way through one’s mental and emotional body, calcifying there as a sort of malign superstructure. With time the victim comes to define their essential self by this colonizing force, this veritable subtraction of the self. And that is, perhaps, the greatest tragedy of this global epidemic.”
I’m happy to say that since publishing yesterday, ‘After Depression’ is already generating positive reviews. Many of you that know Depression Time have tracked my progress over the last couple of years. You’ve pushed me to dig deeper into recovery. Challenged me in my understanding of the behavior of my brain and body. You’ve encouraged me in more ways than you know and made this publication possible.
Some of you have surely had your fill of my clodfooted meanderings by now. However, others may be interested in diving into the full, much-ruminated-over (for better or worse) account of these last two years.
Don’t be put off by the title. This is not the typical “recovery” book. Rather, it is my quest to discover what comes after depression. I’m grateful to say that I’ve had a peek and it’s worth sticking around for. Worth working back toward.
Overcoming depression is a critical challenge for tens of millions of people around the world. Many continue to suffer silently from this global epidemic due to the stigma that still surrounds mental illness. Journalist Gregory Harman hid his own illness for more than 20 years, despite the difficulties this created in his personal and professional lives. But a convergence of suicidal depression and raging panic attacks finally forced him to make recovery his primary concern.
Quitting his job as a newspaper editor, he joined an experimental device trial promising relief via magnetic waves. This is the story of his involvement with synchronized transcranial magnetic stimulation (sTMS), the world of magnetic medicine, and the depression epidemic. It is also, perhaps more significantly, a story about the human problem of suffering and the challenges and joys of recovery—a story of one person’s ongoing effort to live meaningfully with illness and transform his life into one of service. It is a story of dreams, determination, spiritual conflict, and complicated histories. As the title suggests, it is an intimately recounted quest to discover what comes after depression.