Breaking the Patterns of Depression

Available as an audio book on your favorite platform (See below)
Buy on Amazon


Listen to the Audio Sample Now

by Written by Michael D. Yapko, Ph.D., Narrated by: Stephen R. Thorne

Available on your favorite platform
Audible, Audiobooks, Google Books, Kobo and more


Twenty to thirty million Americans suffer from some form of diagnosable depression, and their ranks are growing. Psychologist Michael D. Yapko explains that in order to find relief, more than the current episode of depression must be examined. In Breaking the Patterns of Depression, he presents skills that enable readers to understand and ultimately avert depression’s recurring cycles. Focusing on future prevention as well as initial treatment, the book includes over one hundred structured activities to help sufferers learn the skills necessary to become and remain depression-free.

Breaking the Patterns of Depression begins by translating the clinical literature on psychotherapy and antidepressant medication into language that can be used to enhance an understanding of depression, and to personalize individual cures. Yapko uses a conversational, anecdotal tone that encourages readers to take an active approach to helping themselves.

Special sections entitled “Learn by Doing” and “Shifting Perspectives” help develop the skills necessary to manage difficult experiences. Readers learn how to solve problems effectively, anticipate the likely consequences of their actions, think and act in a direct, goal-oriented fashion, balance different areas of their lives, and use self-knowledge to stay out of harmful situations.

Realistic and helpful Breaking the Patterns of Depression defines what causes depression and, best of all, clarifies what can be done about it. With this knowledge in hand, readers can control their depression, rather than having depression control them.

This book is more than 20 years old and remains even more relevant today than when it was originally published in 1998.

How is that possible?


Because in 1998, Dr. Yapko was prescient in telling people that depression was not a disease, it was not due to a chemical imbalance in the brain, and that is was more a social than biological condition.   Now, in 2022 research is being made available to the public about the misinformation about serotonin and the chemical imbalance theory of depression, and we have evidence of what the social isolation of the COVID pandemic did to the rise in depression and anxiety worldwide.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1:   Depression: A Growing Problem in More Ways Than One

Chapter 2:   Less Analysis, More Action

Chpater 3:   Patterns of Depression

Chapter 5:   Beyond One Day at a Time

Chapter 6:   Life: it’s all in the Interpretation

Chapter 7: How You Think and What You Think

Chapter 8:   guilt and Responsibility: Is it You? Or Isn’t It?

Chapter 9:   The Victim Mentality

Chapter 10:  Boundaries, Boundaries, Boundaries

Chapter 11:  Love That Hurts, Love That Heals: Relationships and Depression

Chapter 12:  Navigating the Therapy World

Chapter 13:  Getting On with your Life

Appendix A:  A Complete List of the “Pause and Reflect” Exercises

Appendix B:  A Complete List of the “Learn y Doing” Exercises

Watch this Public Lecture – Keys to Unlock Depression: Why Skills Work Better Than Pills

Reviews of Breaking the patterns of depression

Michele Weiner Davis, author of Change Your Life and Everyone in it and Divorce Busting

“If depression has you in its grip, if your spirits need lifting, if tomorrow holds no promise of a better day, don’t waste another minute: there’s an antidote to feeling lousy and it’s this book, Breaking the Patterns of Depression. Michael Yapko will help you unravel the mystery of depression and, more important, he will show you what you can do today to feel better immediately.”


Lynn D. Johnson, Ph.D., director of the Brief Therapy Center, Salt Lake City, Utah, and author of Psychotherapy in the Age of Accountability

“Dr. Yapko has brought this book to all of us who battle the enemy of joy and peace–depression. And it is a wonderful guide. In it, he will teach you, as he has taught me, how to understand depression and how to defeat it. He will teach you how to look at yourself, the world, and the future in a new way. He will teach you that you can have a peaceful and meaningful life, and he will teach you how to do that.”