The Way Up from Down

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

There is a certain shame to being depressed, a tacit feeling that the sufferer has brought it upon himself and is responsible for its not going away. Hence, depression is a problem whose victims often choose to remain silent, but it is also, according to Dr. Slagle, a problem very widely shared and too often undiagnosed. THE WAY UP FROM DOWN offers hope. The book begins with a definition of depression, its symptoms, and a checklist for self-diagnosis; then, Slagle outlines a safe, but non-traditional, approach to its cause and treatment. According to Slagle, depression is biochemically induced and biochemically treatable. The theory is that to function properly the brain needs certain chemicals, neurotransmitters; when they are in short supply, mood slumps set in. By taking supplements of amino acids and certain vitamins, one can produce an increase in these brain chemicals, and a better mood as well as better health can be achieved without serious side effects.

Slagle writes with the zeal of a missionary, as she has seen the biochemical approach work for many desperate individuals who had given up on traditional forms of therapy. She explains the scientific rationale carefully and concisely and directs the interested reader to more scholarly support of her extensive bibliography.

The book’s well-rounded approach also includes a discussion of other factors influencing depression (environment, stress, diet, and so on) and other treatments (therapy, attitude shifting, spiritual seeking) that can work in synergy with the nutritional supplements. For anyone suffering from depression, this book offers guidance and hope.