Book Review: Back from the Brink

Back from the Brink by Graeme CowanGraeme Cowan, Back from the Brink: True stories and practical help for overcoming depression and bipolar disorder

Disclosure: This book was a pre-publication review copy and a gift from the author.

Overcome Depression

Recently I interviewed Graeme Cowan for the Ideas Architect podcast. I had met Graeme at a book publishing workshop over 5 years ago when he was plotting his first book in this series. This latest edition includes international examples, the results of an updated survey of what really works to overcome depression and an extensive resource guide.

Back from the Brink is focussed on overcoming depression and bipolar disorder. Whilst I’ve had flat spots and dull days in my life (haven’t we all) I haven’t suffered with these conditions. I was keen to read this book to find out how successful people manage their energy and emotions.

The Human Condition

Graeme CowanThis book uncovers some simple and powerful truths about the human condition. The interviews pull back the curtain on many things about our mental wellbeing that we normally hide. The candour and honesty of interviewees is a real joy. We hear what daily challenges, stigmas and social misconceptions they had to overcome. Plus, the practices and rituals they employed to be successful.

The standouts for me were:

  • Patrick Kennedy talking about the chasm between the public persona of being a Kennedy and what really was going on behind closed doors.
  • Alastair Campbell, Chief Advisor to Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, who battle alcoholism and depression for many years.

Boost Your Mental Health

This book is for anyone wanting to boost their mental health and build their resilience. It points to some basic truths that we can all adopt and cherish.

  • Social: We all need a social support network, be it family, friends, colleagues and ideally some combination of these.
  • Exercise: We all need exercise to clear our heads and fuel our energy.
  • Work: The importance of work and career. In particular, working in your strengths. As a result of reading this book I’ve completed the Clifton Strengths Finder questionnaire and adjusted my focus for the year ahead.
  • Things we put in our mouth: Why it matters what we put in our bodies in terms of nutrition, alcohol and the right medication.

Hope and Resources

The unique value of this book is that it is written for people suffering from depression and bipolar disorder and the people that care and support them, by someone who has been there and come back from the brink of suicide and total despair. The stories will give you hope and the resources will point you to a healthy future.

For more info and to buy the book visit:

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