This Is Depression

A Comprehensive, Compassionate Guide for Anyone Who Wants to Understand Depression

Dr. Diane McIntosh

Depression sucks. It’s a debilitating illness that affects the mind and the body—and chances are that you or someone you love will battle depression at some point in your lifetime. This Is Depression is your guide through the darkness.

A widely respected authority on the diagnosis and treatment of mood and anxiety disorders, psychiatrist Dr. Diane McIntosh provides all the information you need to understand and combat this serious and isolating disorder. This Is Depression is written in an accessible format with compassion and humor. Dr. McIntosh takes an evidence-based approach as she outlines the causes, impact, and treatment of depression and along the way provides encouragement that it can be overcome.

This Is Depression reveals:

  • How life experience, genetics, and hormones factor into depression, and explores the common overlap between depression and other mental and physical illnesses
  • How all areas of life can be impacted by depression—home, school, work, and relationships
  • How to communicate about mental illness, whether with your doctor or your boss, a rude friend or nosy co-worker, or loved ones
  • Critical information about every available depression treatment—and those that are on the horizon—describing how antidepressants work, which treatments are worth taking, and which are useless… or even dangerous
  • When to consider psychotherapy, brain-stimulation treatments, mindfulness meditation, and exercise and what to expect from a therapeutic relationship essential tools to support you in your recovery or your loved one on their journey.

Depression can be a lonely, debilitating illness, but sufferers are not alone, and there is always a path forward. This book is the first step on that path.


“Dr. Diane McIntosh has achieved the impossible with this book: she enables everybody to understand depression in a highly readable way. As someone who has suffered from depression, I empathize deeply with Dr. McIntosh’s narrative. She combines real-life stories with academic rigor to bring clarity and insight to this debilitating disease. Whether you’re a sufferer or a caregiver, This Is Depression will be an indispensable guide to understanding and ultimate healing.”

“This book provides balanced and complete information in an easy-to-understand way. Dr. Diane McIntosh cares so passionately about people living with mental illness and offers clear information and optimism. Mental illness does not discriminate; anyone living with mental illness or who cares for someone living with mental illness should read this book.”

“Dr. Diane McIntosh is an outstanding communicator. This Is Depression translates the way clinicians and researchers think about many aspects of the most disabling disorder in today’s society. Her discussion of the genetic and brain disruptions in people with ‘major depression’ conveys complex science in plain language and provides the rationale for subsequent discussions of cognitive and other ‘talk’ therapies as well as the different families of medications and ‘device’ therapies. I recommend This Is Depression to anyone who needs to know more about the current understanding and treatments for depression, particularly persons with lived experience and their families. Anyone reading This Is Depression before going to see a mental health specialist will be an informed consumer.”

“Thoroughly up to date, this book is comprehensive yet engaging and easy to read. It describes the illness from both personal and clinical perspectives and successfully weaves case vignettes and valuable summaries of complex research literatures. Although there are many books on depression, this unique volume fills a void and I recommend it to depressed people and their loved ones, those who work with or employ depressed people, and mental health professionals looking to sharpen their psychoeducational skills.”

Dr. Diane McIntosh graduated from Dalhousie University, where she completed an undergraduate degree in pharmacy before completing medical school and residency training in psychiatry. She is a clinical assistant professor at the University of British Columbia and has a community psychiatry practice, with a particular interest in the neurobiology of mood and anxiety disorders and ADHD. She is extensively involved in continuing medical education programs to colleagues nationally and internationally, including her own educational program, PsychedUp CME. She is the co-founder of SwitchRx, the online psychiatric medication switching tool. Most recently, she co-founded, which advocates for more compassionate care for psychiatric patients and their families.

ISBN 978-1-989025-56-7
$21.95 CAD $17.95 USD
Published October 10, 2019
6 × 9 416 Pages
Paperback, ebook, audiobook