Managing the Depression Puzzle

book cover: Managing the Depression Puzzle by Ashley L. Peterson

Managing the Depression Puzzle: Putting the Pieces Together is the newest book from Ashley L. Peterson, BScPharm, BSN, MPN, and Mental Health @ Home Books.

It’s available from:


Managing the Depression Puzzle provides a comprehensive, everything-up-to-and-including-the-kitchen-sink look at how to manage mental illnesses involving depression (including bipolar disorder).  A wide variety of different strategies are presented, and they’re broken down into illness treatment and wellness promotion approaches; both are important, but they’re not interchangeable pieces of the depression puzzle.  Every individual’s depression is unique, and the pieces that fit in the puzzle of every individual’s illness will be just as unique.

Topics covered include medications, somatic treatments like electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), psychotherapy, supplements and herbal products, activation, mindfulness, self-care, and more.  Elements of the depression experience like treatment resistance, stigma, decision-making around disclosure, and identity management are also discussed.

Managing the Depression Puzzle draws on the author’s education and experience as a mental health nurse and former pharmacist, as well as personal experience living with treatment-resistant major depressive disorder.  The approach is pragmatic, candid, and realistic about the potential usefulness of different interventions.  Knowing your options puts you in the best position to manage your illness.

potential pieces of the depression puzzle: meds, self-care, therapy,,e

Chapter List

  1. Defining depression
  2. Medications for depression
  3. Evidence-based treatment guidelines for medications
  4. Somatic treatments
  5. Psychotherapy
  6. Complementary & alternative therapies
  7. Activation
  8. Mindfulness
  9. Self-care
  10. Understanding your illness
  11. Coping with specific symptoms
  12. Creating a holistic plan
  13. Living with a chronic illness

Readers’ responses to Managing the Depression Puzzle

“I love that Ashley doesn’t tout a one-size-fits-all  cure for depression. Nor does the book come across as self-helpy. Instead, this book feels like a menu of options that a depressed person (or caregiver) can use to construct a unique treatment plan. The book focuses on improving one’s quality of life, which I certainly endorse.”

“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

“I like Ashley’s approach so far. There is something for everyone, in the sense that I can read about differing types of depression: bipolar, unipolar (and schizoaffective). But also, gain a better understanding of some of the science behind what she says.

All in all, I find the first chapter worthy of reading the second and third and so on. Everything so far is quite informative!”

– Mio Angelo of Mentally Ill in America

“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

“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…

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

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.

Related Posts on MH@H

You can find all of the posts on MH@H about depression on the Blog Index. The follow posts are specifically based on the book:

Managing the Depression Puzzle Graphics

Symptoms of major depressive disorder, from Managing the Depression Puzzle
From Managing the Depression Puzzle by Ashely L. Peterson, a chart contrasting illness treatment strategies and wellness promotion strategies for depression
characteristics symptoms of the melancholic subtype of depression
Forms of psychotherapy for depression
list of somatic treatments for depression, taken from Managing the Depression Puzzle
Compensating for depression brain: routines, to-do lists, and step-by-step task breakdowns
overall management strategies from Managing the Depression Puzzle
Overall management strategies from Managing the Depression Puzzle
List of supplements that can help with depression, from Managing the Depression Puzzle by Ashley L. Peterson
Mental Health Book Series bundle from Mental Health @ Home Books, available at a discounted price

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