Author(s): Lana Penrose
The Happiness Quest is a mental health memoir written by a depression sufferer for depression sufferers (one in five) and happiness seekers (almost everyone). It is a raw, real and funny antidote to the plethora of literature already available on depression treatments that is heavy, clinically written and well meaning but lacks that one essential ingredient - the insights of an ordinary but articulate individual who has actually suffered from and overcome her depression. In 2008, author Lana Penrose was diagnosed with major depression. Not surprising, really, considering she'd just been through a divorce, moved countries three times and discovered that the new love of her life was a closet drug addict. She returned home, buckling under the weight of her emotions. Taking its cue, the Black Dog bit, and it bit hard. Staring down an uncertain and unhappy future, Lana chose to fight for her happiness, documenting her experiences along the way with the same witty prose that made To Hellas and Back a delight and a bestseller. In The Happiness Quest, Lana takes readers on an A-Z journey through depression, giving them insights about what depression feels like and what the journey of tackling depression is really like (ie. waiting for appointments, finding the right therapy/therapist/medication, searching, suffering, psychological insights, slow progress, stigma, breakthroughs). Her only proviso for trying out a therapy was that it had to be legal, and she tries any and every available therapeutic option in her search for health and happiness, from medication and talk therapy to shamanism, visualisation and practising gratitude, rating them in accordance with their effectiveness for her. Depression was a part of Lana's life on and off for eight years, but since completing her happiness quest, she has not had a depressive episode since 2010, without the use of medication. Her story offers hope to other sufferers that it is possible to beat depression - with help and hope and gritty determination.