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B is for Breakdown
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B is for Breakdown

I’m absolutely loving working with Lana Penrose – reformed rock chick, bestselling writer and depression survivor – on her new book, The Happiness Quest

After a diagnosis with serious depression, Lana offered herself up to humanity as a guinea pig for every (legal) treatment available for the condition. She documented her experiences, good and bad – C is for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, H is for Healing, O is for Oh My God, Why isn’t This Working?! – to create this survival guide for depression sufferers and happiness seekers everywhere. Lana tried everything from GPs to witch doctors (in Byron Bay, naturally) and medication to meditation on her journey back to wellness and, the good news is, she hasn’t had a depressive episode since 2010 – without the use of medication.

Despite its serious subject matter, The Happiness Quest is funny. I guarantee this is the only book written by a depressive for depressives that’ll make you laugh out loud throughout. And Lana is fearlessly frank, sometimes brutally so, about what it’s really like to suffer with depression in Australia – the wait for appointments and the services on offer, the high of a breakthrough, the low of a relapse.

Anxiety and depression awareness-raising initiative, BeyondBlue, reports that a whopping 45 per cent of Australians will experience depression in their lifetime, and that 3 million of us currently suffer with anxiety or depression. It’s an epidemic, and this is a book that deserves to be read.

Hear Lana talk to ABC Radio National’s Life Matters here.

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