Out of the Woods: A journey through depression and anxiety

Brent Williams provides a compelling insight into the experience of depression told mainly through pictures

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

This book tells the story of the author’s personal journey through and out of depression, including his dark moments of despair and helplessness.

He uses comic-book style drawings that develop a narrative of the struggles of his life, the impact that depression has had on his life and his sense of self, the subsequent experiences with medical and psychological professionals and how he got his life back on track.

The use of pictures does not detract from the serious nature of the subject matter, which contains helpful and accurate descriptions about how clinical depression can distort perceptions of yourself, the world and your future.

The use of visual images to tell this story is remarkable, creating a compelling narrative with an immediate impact. The material is sensitively described throughout, and the brief text with the pictures convey deep and significant meaning.

Common methods for helping those who experience worry with depression and anxiety are described, which broadens the focus of the book from depicting depression to methods for overcoming it.

The style and content make a fascinating reading experience. It is an essential resource and could increase anyone’s understanding of this unseen and potentially devastating illness.

I found myself incredibly moved by this book. It would be fantastic to see a copy in all GP surgeries as an additional self-help resource for people wanting to understand the experience of depression but who may find it difficult to access or engage with resources that rely on a large amount of text.

Brent Williams | Educational Resources Ltd | 160pp | £19.95 | ISBN: 9780473390068

Reviewed by Kate Pemberton, cognitive behavioural psychotherapist, Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust

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