Julian Simon was depressed for 13 long years, living each sad day under a black cloud of sadness and pain. Except for occasional brief episodes, he was continuously conscious of being miserable, constantly preoccupied with his own worthlessness, and held back from suicide only by feelings of duty towards his family. A dedicated scholar, quick-witted, erudite and curious, Simon consulted psychiatrists and psychologists of several schools, and read widely and critically in the psychological literature, desperate to find some therapy that would banish his depression. Eventually he began to find help in the writings of cognitive therapists like Aaron Beck, Albert Ellis, and Martin Seligman, authors who argue that emotional problems often arise from specific habits of thought which can be changed. Applying his newly-gained insights, Simon cured his own depression within weeks, and has remained depression-free for the past 18 years. From his own experience and analysis, he has made innovative contributions to the cognitive approach, resulting in his own distinctive technique, which he calls Self-Comparisons Analysis.
Simon argues that depression ultimately results from negative self-comparisons, comparisons we all make continually between the state we think we are in and a hypothetical benchmark state - the state we believe we ought to be in. Sadness and depression arise from too great a contrast between the perceived actual state and the benchmark state. Self-Comparisons Analysis yields many fruitful techniques which can be employed to improve the perceived actual state and reduce the demands of the benchmark state. These techniques should interest depression sufferers, their loved ones, therapists, and psychologists. Simon has also developed an interactive computerised program for combatting depression which provides psychotherapy in the form of instruction/dialogue in everyday language. The disk is available free of charge to purchasers of "Good Mood".
Publisher: Open Court Publishing Co ,U.S.