cover image Life B: Overcoming Double Depression

Life B: Overcoming Double Depression

Bethanne Patrick. Counterpoint, $26 (208p) ISBN 978-1-64009-129-0

Book critic and PW contributor Patrick (The Books That Changed My Life) turns a mirror on her lifelong struggles with mental illness in this bracing memoir. After grappling with depression for decades and coming to the cusp of self-harm multiple times (“On my best days, I was depressed... on my worst days, I considered ending my life”), Patrick finally received a diagnosis at age 52 that changed her life: double depression, a condition in which chronic depression spirals into major depressive episodes during times of great stress. As Patrick dug into her adolescence, she came to realize how the disease had driven her feelings of inadequacy and stalled her productivity: “Being depressed every day—and during high school and college I was not treated for the condition at all—means that every day you come up short. You’re not as good, not as worthy, not as savvy, not as talented, not as studious.” But with medication and therapy, Patrick began to brighten, and here provides a road map for others to do so as well. Riveting and remarkable in its portrayal of the author’s struggles, this will lend hope to others suffering from mental illness and those who love them. It’s a standout in a very crowded field. Agent: Jennie Dunham, Dunham Literary. (May)