Author Interview & Book Giveaway: Living with Depression by Deb Serani

Welcome to Author Deb Serani


Deborah Serani is an American psychologist and author of “Living with Depression.” Her clinical specialty is in working with depression, a condition she has experienced since early childhood. The oldest of three children, Serani descended into a debilitating depression as a teenager, attempting suicide at age nineteen. The fallout from this major depressive episode required her to take a medical leave of absence from college in order to recover. Upon her return, Serani directed her focus to the field of psychology has spent the majority of her twenty plus years as a practicing psychologist using her personal experiences with depression to inform her clinical work and research. Serani has been a sought after speaker and go-to expert for television, radio and print media.
In “Living with Depression,” Serani talks about her lifetime struggles with unipolar depression and suicidal thinking, and how finding the right combination of treatments can lead to health and healing. Serani comments on the roadblocks of stigma and reminds us that the pain of depression and most mental illness arise not solely from the illness, but from the harsh response society has to people with these disorders. Clinical definitions, updated research, and the promise of science serve not only as a resource guide for anyone who has depression or loves someone with this disorder, but also as a testament to those who live productively with mental illness. “One of the greatest things I’ve been able to do,” Serani says, “Is to let others know that there’s no shame in living with a mental illness. Help is out there – and you don’t have to suffer quietly or alone.”
Beyond the academic and literary praise for her work, high profile individuals who’ve openly talked about their own experiences with depression such as actress, Delta Burke, activist, Jessie Close, talk show host, Dick Cavett, and US tennis champion, Cliff Richey, are just a few who count Serani as a bold and gifted author.

Facebook Page for Book:!/pages/Living-with-Depression-By-Deborah-Serani/227062310643715

Book Website:


Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book. 
Memoirs are like mirrors, so when you read about someone else’s life, you end up exploring the breadth and depth of your own personal history.

What inspired you to want to become a writer? 
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing. As a little girl, I’d write all kinds of things – poems, short stories, science fiction novellas – and loved the process of it all. Being in haze of creativity was so exciting to me. I’d choose sitting in my room to write over going out to play with friends or watch television. I know some people think that writing can be a solitary experience, but I never felt alone or lonely. In fact, just the opposite. I felt fulfilled and enriched whenever I created something with my imagination. As I got older, my writing styled moved from fiction to non-fiction as I was training to be a psychologist, but I always had my hands on pen and paper or my fingertips were on a keyboard. Writing has always been a part of my life. And always will be.

Which authors have influenced you most how? 
For me, I have to say that the most influential authors are the ones whose prose is felt on a textural level.  There’s an ease to their writing that makes reading effortless – and the word structure those writers have chosen falls beautifully in both my mind and my mouth. When I read passages from Thomas Ligotti or Richard Yates, for example, I not only imagine what’s been written, but enjoy the sensorial feel of their prose.
If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future? 
My book “Living with Depression” is about mental illness and suicide, so I would very much want to go back to the past. Three of my childhood friends died by suicide. I’d go back and tell them that there’s more hope and help than they were able to realize when they were in the grips of their depression. I still feel such heartache about their deaths. Depression has a way of distorting thinking and making a person feel that there’s no better solution to problems than death. So, going back in time to help my friends reframe their thinking or get them intervention would be my time travel goal.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published: 
I’d have to say that it’s when a person tells me that “Living with Depression” gave them hope. There’s really nothing more rewarding than knowing my story helped someone find their way to healing.

What is your favorite Quote? 
“Life is not a dress rehearsal”, by author Rose Tremain. We have but one time on this earth, so live it fully and freely.

If you were a super hero what would your kryptonite be?
Chocolate. And given the vast supply and variations of chocolate available on this earth, I’d make the worst super hero ever!
Give us a glimpse into a typical day in your day starting when you wake up till you lie down again. 
I wear a lot of hats in a given day.  Mother. Wife. Caretaker. Psychologist. Daughter. Author. Woman. I start my day by making sure my daughter and husband get out the door with all they need for their respective day.  Then I take care of things within and around the house before I go to work as a therapist. I usually see patients in the late morning till late afternoon, and then tend to the clerical end of things in the office.  I have elderly parents, so I check in with them daily after work to see how they’re doing,  and then I make sure to get some writing time in before the sun sets. After tending to dinner and prepping for next day’s events, I make sure to get some time for myself. And I do. I definitely do a lot of things in a day, but the key for me is that I keep realistic expectations of what I’m capable of doing when wearing each hat. There’s always tomorrow to get to things done. It’s all about balance.  

What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors? 
I think it’s extremely important for any author to hold tightly to their voice.  Once your work is read by another’s eyes, it becomes grist for everyone else’s mill.  Who thinks this would be a better ending. Why did the story go down this path instead of that one? What about adding this or removing that? Writing is subjective, as is reading, and if you don’t hold tightly to your authenticity, the experience of being a writer will leave a bitter taste in your mouth. James Ellison, the late author, was a mentor of mine, and he reminded me to always make sure the story I was telling was the story I wanted to tell.

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects
I’m just putting the finishing touches on my first fiction novel, a psychological suspense story titled “The Seventh Session.” It was an enjoyable experience to write it, and I hope it will be an enjoyable experience to read it.

Living With Depression by Deb Serani

In the US, major depressive disorder afflicts more than 20 million adults and children every year. Living with Depression details the various forms and manifestations of depression alongside Serani’s own personal and professional experiences with depression. Clinical definitions, updated research, and the promise of science serve not only as a resource guide for anyone who has depression or loves someone with this disorder, but also as a testament to those who live productively with mental illness.

Living with Depression was released July 16, 2011 by Rowman and Littlefield Publishers

Book Giveaway:
3 people will each win a hardcover copy of Living With Depression
Open Internationally
Ends 10/13/11

Optional Extra Entry:
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