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Undercurrents: A Life Beneath the Surface by…
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Undercurrents: A Life Beneath the Surface

by Martha Manning

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The diary of Martha's 2 year battle with extreme depression. She try many different meds and therapy, all while still working. Finally she goes through ECT and slowly gets better. Very well written and easy to read. ( )
  camplakejewel | Sep 14, 2017 |
I don't often read memoirs, and this one has a few problems similar to others (e.g., stories that don't directly relate to the central narrative, too many characters to keep straight). However, it offers a personal and excellent view into the mind of someone severely depressed. It can certainly help people understand how to treat and act around a depressed person, and I imagine it can help give hope to depressed people by showing how she lived through it. ( )
  JLSmither | Aug 22, 2013 |
A therapist journey in to and out of the dark side where so many of her clients reside. Told through her journal. Very good. ( )
  LivelyLady | Jun 20, 2013 |
About: Written in the form of dated entries, clinical psychologist and psychology professor Manning tells of her almost 2 year battle with a severe bout of depression.

Pros: Very quick read. When I sat down to read it, I usually ending up reading it for longer than I had planned. Well written. Some of the best descriptions of the feelings of depression since Styron's Darkness Visible.

Cons: Her introspection, description and analysis work well when she's focusing on depression but there was a bit too much material about spirituality, religion and poetry for me.

Grade: B+ ( )
  charlierb3 | Jul 27, 2009 |
From Publishers Weekly
Manning, a clinical psychologist, led a busy life as therapist, mother and psychology professor at George Mason University in Virginia when, in 1990, she sank into crippling depression. Obsessed with images of death and plagued by suicidal thoughts, she vainly sought relief through antidepressants and psychiatric counseling. Simmering with misplaced anger at her husband, Brian, and fearful that their daughter, Keara, could not rely on her, Manning finally agreed to her psychiatrist's recommendation to submit to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). In this sensitive journal covering the period 1990-1991, she credits electroshock with lifting her out of a life-threatening depression, though she concedes that it caused some memory loss and confusion. She also continues to cope with much smaller depressions and may have to take antidepressants or lithium for the rest of her life. Her edgy self-portrait will probably fuel the debate over a controversial therapy.

From Library Journal
As psychotherapist Manning began her slow descent into depression, she recognized the signposts along the way: a sense that she was losing control of her life, perpetual fogginess in her head, social withdrawal and subsequent isolation, and a painful alienation from all that gave her life pleasure and meaning-except her daughter. She recounts how medications were tried and discarded, psychotherapy proved fruitless, and her mind became overwhelmed with thoughts of death as a way out of her ceaseless torment. The one last hope was electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), the thought of which left her feeling frightened and totally helpless. Nevertheless, ECT alleviated her despair and began her recovery. Told in journal form, the events so sensitively and insightfully depicted here reveal how tenuous one's connection to physical and mental well-being can be. Recommended for general readers.
Bonnie Hoffman, Stony Brook, N.Y. ( )
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  gnewfry | Nov 25, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 006251184X, Paperback)

Like the lucid madness chronicled in "Girl, Interrupted," this riveting memoir traces the devastating path of clinical depression through the diaries of Martha Manning--a psychotherapist who became a patient and underwent electroshock therapy.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:28 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus mystery.

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