She can't sleep, she's lost weight, and now she's tried to kill herself. What's wrong? Will we ever get her back?
These questions started science writer Sarah Zabel on a mission to understand the biology of depression, from its origins in a person to how it is treated today. Decades ago, the discovery of antidepressant medications pushed psychiatry to realize that depression has a medical basis, but the very success of those medications stifled new research into its causes and cures. For nearly half of depression's sufferers, though, traditional antidepressants fail to restore a normal life. Now, new discoveries have started to lift the veil obscuring what is happening in the brain and body of the sufferer, providing new treatments and hope for millions of people.
Winner of the IndieReader Discovery Award (Psychology / Mental Health) and Silver Medalist, Independent Publisher Book Award (Psychology / Mental Health)
"Fighting Chance approaches its subject with hope." -- Foreword Clarion Reviews
Fighting Chance: How Unexpected Observations and Unintended Outcomes Shape the Science and Treatment of Depression takes the reader inside the circuitous search for the causes and cures for depression, the leading cause of ill health and disability world-wide. A surprisingly human tale of failed experiments and unanticipated victories, Fighting Chance reveals many of the people and experiences behind the modern approach to understanding and treating depression. The story begins with the serendipitous discovery of antidepressant medications, an unexpected advance that encouraged psychiatrists to reconceive major depression as an illness rather than an emotional state. The discoveries pile on, showing depression's relationship with stress, inflammation, circadian rhythms, and more. As scientists work to make sense of these observations and advance the biology of depression, they are also learning about vulnerability and resistance, and the process of recovery.
From its underpinnings in cellular neuroscience to current research efforts, Fighting Chance is a scientific journey inside depression. Incorporating the voices of researchers making fundamental discoveries about depression, physicians fighting to bring the most advanced treatment options to their patients, and ordinary people struggling for relief from their illness, Fighting Chance is a compelling tale of hope, resilience, and ingenuity.
"Fighting Chance is an essential resource, particularly for those who encounter depressed individuals who may be at high risk for suicide... It is unusual to find a book on depression that is so well written, with clear takeaways of where the field is today and future directions." -- Blynn Garland Bunney, PhD, University of California, Irvine
"An essential addition to the library of anyone impacted by this disease." -- IndieReader
"Inherently fascinating and impressively informative." -- Midwest Book Review