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Struck By Living: From Depression to Hope

Julie Hersh

Struck by Living, originally published in 2010, is a story about me, Julie Kosnik Hersh, my experience with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), and management of depression. This new version includes a prologue detailing the strange series of events this book spurred, as well as a wellness list in the back. On the original book tour, I decided it was too depressing to just talk about my depression, so I talked about how I stayed well too. People scribbled down these ideas like gospel, which they aren’t. They are common-sense ideas I’ve learned from years of psychotherapy, my own reading, and talking to people about this topic. I’ve included these ideas in this new edition so people don’t have to scribble. I love to read, so I wrote this book like a novel, instead of like a self-help book. I’m not a fan of self-help books as most of them claim to be “the answer.” The older I get, the more I realize how little I know. I do know there is no single answer for managing mental illness. This is a life-long task, where we all have to figure out our own quirks and how to manage them. If my story can help you figure this out—great. Each time I speak about my experience, I find people are often one step removed from the devastation of mental illness or even suicide. Stories about mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, spouses, and children all make me wonder: Could we have stopped those deaths? If we are more aware, can we see the signs earlier and save a life? 
I think we can. In that belief, I offer my story. Proceeds from this book will be donated to programs and research to battle mental illness.