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Darkness Before Dawn
Redefining the Journey Through Depression

Various Authors

An inspiring and thought-provoking collection of essays for those facing depression or helping someone who is.

Starting at: $10.17


There’s no shortage of psychology self-help books on depression—but this collection, envisioned and edited by Sounds True founder Tami Simon, is not one of them.

You won’t be revisiting familiar therapies or antidepressant options. What you will find is a gathering of 19 exceptional and compassionate teachers who have faced profound depression themselves. Their purpose? To radically shift the way that we perceive the experience. To offer insights and practices that reach beyond conventional models. And to help us receive depression’s uninvited yet singular gifts. 

The guidance presented here supports traditional psychotherapy and medication as valuable tools. But for those who’ve found these approaches incomplete—or seek to help others at an impasse—there’s much to discover within these pages, including:

Thomas Moore, PhD, on Saturn’s gifts; Sally Kempton on shifting from suffering and into witnessing awareness; poet Mark Nepo on embracing both emptiness and aliveness; Mary Pipher, PhD, on how despair can open us to long-hidden joy; Christina Baldwin on “ineffable sorrow”; Parker J. Palmer, PhD, on finding meaning and connection through the experience of depression; plus exceptional contributions by Ann Marie Chiasson, MD; James Gordon, MD; Sandra Ingerman; Karla McLaren; Robert Augustus Masters, PhD; Amy Weintraub; Jeff Foster; Elizabeth Rabia Roberts, EdD; Michael Bernard Beckwith; and Reginald A. Ray, PhD.

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Very helpful Review by Karen


I've been a Sounds True customer and sincere spiritual practitioner for decades. I never expected to find myself going through a major and long dark night of the soul, now into its third year, as I contend with the decline of an aging parent and all the unexpected shadows that have been kicked up. I found this book to be very realistic, respectful, and helpful. Thanks Tami, and thanks to all of the contributors for compiling this thoughtful collection of writing that gets to the heart of the matter. I found it to be very helpful and encouraging. (Posted on March 19, 2016)

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A Complete Holistic Insight Review by Sally


Every chapter in this book provided a remarkably different angle of looking at and perceiving the topic of depression. I was surprised at how the authors of these chapters all went through depression at various periods of their lives. Many of them have inspired me in the past, through their publications, but I didn't know that they had experienced depression too (like I have). Like them, I have realized how much depression has played in spiritual journey in life. There are different types of depression and the book discusses this. Just as there are different types of depression, the are a number of different ways to treat this disease. For me, I am learning that living a balanced, healthy life, slowing down to take a breath of fresh air, and being kind to myself are the elements that keep me happy. Perhaps more than anything else, depression has taught self-acceptance. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the topic and/or wants to find the ways to harness its reigns on the path of wellness. (Posted on March 17, 2016)

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Validating Collection, Much Appreciated Review by Eli


Thanks for publishing this set of essays and interviews on depression. As someone who has wrestled with chronic despair and existential disconnection since birth, I was grateful to stumble upon this collection. I appreciated the contributors who examined depression from a spiritual and mythical lens. I particularly appreciated the message that depression is a normal part of existence, not a pathology to be medicated, and an experience worthy of honor and time. In the United States, a culture which perpetuates the message that a constant state of happiness should be projected and attained, it is reassuring to receive a few true lifelines on occasion, such as in this book, that serve as validation for the rest of us, those who aren't shiny and happy, that we are not alone. I was familiar with some of the book's contributors, whom I already appreciate, while grateful to be introduced to some new voices. The topic of depression, outside of the narrow confines of a psychiatrist's clinical notations, deserves much more attention. This anthology theoretically could have a Part 2 because its message is that needed and there are more thoughtful opinions to be shared. (Posted on January 15, 2016)

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View Depression in a Different Light Review by John Chancellor


Even the mildest forms of depression can be debilitating. The most severe cases can be devastating or even fatal. Historically we have been reluctant to openly discuss depression and generally treated it as something to be cured or at least kept in check by medication or therapy.

In the past, “Depression has been sealed off, kept underground and undiscussed.” The major purpose of Darkness Before Dawn is to begin “an open-ended exploration to help you redefine depression as an intrinsic part of the human journey.” The purpose is not to offer “fixes” for depression but to “inspire you in your own way to find the intelligence in your experience.”

The book is a collection of essays or interviews with 19 different authors. Most are authorities in the field of mental health/depression and have experienced depression on a first hand basis.

The most important lesson you will learn from this book is to look at depression in a totally different way. Instead of looking on depression as negative experience, something to run from, you should look for the positive growth that can come from depression. If you, or someone you love is suffering from depression, it might seem impossible to think about finding anything positive about the experience.

But each of the nineteen contributors found a way to look at depression in a totally new way. This lead to some new insights into dealing with depression. Instead of trying to get away from depression, they suggest you embrace depression. Move toward it, find out what depression is trying to teach you.

The book is edited by Tami Simon and the interviews were conducted by her. Ms. Simon, the founder and CEO of Sounds True, is a recognized authority in the mental health field. Ms. Simon had the vision for Darkness Before Dawn and assembled a stellar group of experts to create a breakthrough work on looking at depression in a new way.

I am not a big fan of multi-author books. But this book is a real exception. The diverse and very personal contribution by each of the contributing authors makes this an exceptional work. Well written, ground breaking. A must read for anyone dealing with their own depression, depression in a loved one or treating depression as a mental health professional.

I was provided a review copy of this book. (Posted on June 21, 2015)

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Paperback Book

Contents 1 Paperback book (240 pages)
Date Published April 01, 2015
ISBN-10 1-62203-410-4
ISBN-13 978-1-62203-410-9
Dimensions 6 x 9 inches
Product Code BK04125


Contents 1 eBook (264 pages)
Filetypes EPUB, PDF, PRC
Date Published April 01, 2015
ISBN-10 1-62203-451-1
ISBN-13 978-1-62203-451-2
Product Code BK04125W