Title/Description   Author

Spotlight On Indie Author Ashley L Peterson
indie author Ashley L Peterson

Ashley's first career was as a pharmacist, but she chose to give that up to become a nurse. While completing her nursing degree she realized that mental health resonated more with her than any other area, and she has worked in the field for her entire 14+ year career. She has published papers in a number of academic nursing journals. She was first diagnosed with depression in 2007, and since then she has been passionate about speaking up to challenge the stigma around mental illness. She completed a Master of Psychiatric Nursing degree despite two hospitalizations while she was in grad school. She is the author of the blog Mental Health @ Home, where she talks candidly about all things mental health-related. You can find the blog at mentalhealthathome.org.

Here are my books

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Psych Meds Made Simple: How & Why They Do What They Do

People living with mental illness are often left out of the loop when it comes to understanding how exactly medications work. This book will explain pharmacology in a simplified way to help you understand the effects, both positive and negative, of psych meds, and why these effects occur. It's everything you didn't realize you wanted to know about medications! The book begins with the essentials of pharmacology and moves on to cover all the major classes of psychiatric medications. You'll learn why one medication in a particular class might be a better fit for you than another. Are you having weight gain from your medication? You'll find out why, and what other medications might be less likely to have the same side effect. I've pulled together what I've learned in my training as a nurse and (former) pharmacist and years of clinical experience, added in my personal perspective from having taken many of these medications, and distilled it down to the essential elements you need to know to take charge of your own health and illness.

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Making Sense of Psychiatric Diagnosis

Making Sense of Psychiatric Diagnosis aims to cut through the misinformation, stigma, and assumptions that surround mental illness and give a clear picture of what mental illness really is. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th edition (DSM-5) has been criticized for overly subjective diagnostic criteria and pathologizing normal human experience. This book will discuss the right and the wrong way to use the DSM, and the problems inherent in trying to diagnose oneself or others. The book is structured based on diagnostic groupings in the DSM-5. It will help readers to understand the diagnostic criteria for a wide range of different mental illnesses, and gain an appreciation for what those criteria actually mean. Since symptom criteria can only capture a part of what a condition is truly like, many of the diagnoses in this book are paired with narratives from contributors with first hand lived experiences of these illnesses. The book is also infused with the author's 15 years of experience as a mental health nurse working with clients with a wide range of psychiatric illnesses, as well as her own experience living with depression. With the fusion of diagnostic information, clinical experience, and lived experience, this book offers a unique, well-rounded perspective on the reality of mental illness.

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Managing the Depression Puzzle

Managing the Depression Puzzle provides a comprehensive, holistic look at how to manage depression, including bipolar depression and schizoaffective disorder.  While the term holistic is often used to refer only to alternative therapies, here holistic is used to cover everything up to and including the kitchen sink in order to target as many different aspects of depression as possible. Both illness treatment strategies and wellness promotion strategies are covered, including medications, somatic treatments like transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), psychotherapy, supplements and herbal products, activation, mindfulness, self-care, and more.  Elements of the depression experience like stigma, decision-making around disclosure, and identity management are also discussed. Managing the Depression Puzzle draws on the author's training and experience as a mental health nurse and former pharmacist, as well as personal experience living with treatment-resistant major depressive disorder.  The approach is pragmatic, candid, and very much anti-BS.  The book is written from the perspective that every individual's depression is unique, and the pieces that fit in the puzzle of every individual's illness will be just as unique.

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