Managing the Depression Puzzle

book cover: Managing the Depression Puzzle, 2nd ed, by Ashley L. Peterson

Managing the Depression Puzzle, now in a revised and expanded 2nd edition, is the latest title from Ashley L. Peterson and MH@H Books.

It’s available from:


Managing the Depression Puzzle provides a comprehensive look at how to manage depression. The goal is to provide a wide range of pieces that might fit in your own unique depression puzzle, so you can pick and choose what does fit for you. No one strategy (or set of strategies) is going to work for every individual, but having information about what the options are will put you in a better position to make choices about your mental health.

The book begins with an overview of depressive illnesses and subtypes. Strategies for dealing with depression are broken down into illness treatments and wellness promotion strategies. Illness treatment strategies like medication, ECT, and therapy, lift you from sick to less sick. Wellness promotion strategies, including mindfulness and self-care, help boost you up from less sick to well. Finally, the book looks at common issues faced by anyone living with a chronic mental illness.

Managing the Depression Puzzle draws on the author’s education and experience as a former mental health nurse and pharmacist, as well as personal experience living with treatment-resistant major depressive disorder.  The approach is pragmatic, candid, and realistic, with the recognition that depression doesn’t happen just one way; it is as unique as you are.

Chapter List
  1. Introduction
    1. 1) What is depression?
    2. 2) Why do we get depressed?
  1. Part I: Illness treatment strategies
    1. 3) Medications
    2. 4) Somatic treatments
    3. 5) Psychotherapy
    4. 6) Complementary & alternative therapies
  1. Part II: Wellness promotion strategies
    1. 7) Activation
    2. 8) Mindfulness
    3. 9) Self-care
  1. Part III: Putting the pieces together
    1. 10) Understanding your illness
    2. 11) Suicide
    3. 12) Living with a chronic illness

Readers’ responses to Managing the Depression Puzzle

The most important thing I wanted to mention to you is that right from the start I love the tone of this book. I felt as if Ashley was an experienced guide and was holding my hand and reassuring me, as she explained all sorts of facets of a mental health diagnosis and the array of potential treatments to aid recovery. 

Caramel (Learner at Love) (1st edition)

Knowledge is power and that power is provided in this book. I would recommend it for everyone who is interested in depression, is with living the illness themselves, knows somebody struggling with depression or who wants to have a better understanding of the condition.

– Five star review from Kacha of Food.for.Thoughts (1st edition)
More Reader Responses

I wasn’t sure this book would have a lot of relevance to my life, since my episodes of depression haven’t been “that bad.” I was wrong. I found tons of helpful info throughout Ashley’s book. 

Five star review from author Paula Light (1st edition)

It’s mind-blowing to me how much info is packed in this seemingly tiny book… I would also highly recommend it for anyone with depression or, more specifically, if they’ve tried different treatment options and are still depressed. There are so many ideas in here that if I were depressed, I’d feel hopeful just from reading this.

– Meg of Where Good Advice Happens… (1st edition)

I think my favorite aspect of this book is that it is truly holistic, in that it covers both medical and alternative methods to use in handling depression… Whether you favor traditional or intuitive medicine, you are sure to find helpful, effective strategies for handling your depression symptoms in this informational read.

Maranda Russell on Amazon (1st edition)

I believe that this book will be a great resource for those struggling with depression and those who care for someone with depression. I would not hesitate to suggest this book to my therapy clients, as it is both clinically sound and user-friendly.

Johnzelle Anderson of Panoramic Counseling (1st edition)

About Ashley L. Peterson

author Ashley L. Peterson, creator of Mental Health @ Home

I began my career in health care as a pharmacist in 2002, and quickly returned to school to become a nurse two years later. I specialized in the field of mental health for my entire 15-year career, working with people with serious mental illness in both hospital and community settings.

Two years into my nursing career, I was hospitalized with a diagnosis of major depressive disorder.  Since then, I’ve been passionate about challenging the stigma around mental illness.  I completed a Master of Psychiatric Nursing degree in 2015, despite two hospitalizations while in grad school. My thesis work and several academic journal publications focused on my experience of mental illness within the context of nursing culture.

More About Depression on MH@H

Given that depression is the illness I live with, I write about it a lot here on MH@H.

Symptoms of Depression

The mix of symptoms can vary from person to persona and from one episode to the next. Different types of depression have their own typical patterns, including:


Cognitive symptoms:

Decreased energy: When taking a shower is like climbing a mountain

Irritability: “You can be a real bitch” – Is it me or my depression?:

Isolation: Becoming a Hermit and I admit it – I’m a ghoster

Effects on movement:

Is there a root cause for depression?

Potential causes

Treatment Options

  • Botox: Botox in the frown line area may help with depression

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