During the spring of 1992, Brad Anderson was a 39-year old vice president and co-founder of the Covey Leadership Center, the organization that brought the world the best-selling business/self-help book of all time, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. It was during this time, at the peak of his career, that Anderson found himself in an all-day executive committee meeting, so overcome with crippling despair for seemingly no reason, that he was barely able to function. There were no adverse circumstances precipitating his descent into this depressive episode-- the paralyzing misery occurred without volition. After years of seeking remedies to lessen depression's pain, Anderson would be deemed "treatment resistant," having tried every class of antidepressant medication, undergoing talk therapy, self-medicating with prescription pain killers, and in a last ditch effort, undergoing the highly controversial and stigmatized practice of electro-convulsive therapy, all to no avail. Yet, through persistence and with the help of a creative psychiatrist, Anderson would eventually cobble together a treatment program that has allowed him to survive to tell the tale.
Depression affects 19 million Americans and is the leading cause of disability worldwide, yet very little is available to illuminate this secret that we share from a workplace perspective. In this highly readable memoir, Anderson offers hard-won insights to readers, both for those who suffer, their leaders who manage them, and family members wanting to support their loved ones in this oft times brutal condition. The book, The View From Under My Desk--My Battle with Depression In The Workplace, chronicles the progressive development of his depression through a 40-year career, and provides the reader with an oft times harrowing journey into the measures he undertook in order to gain relief, including an attempt to self-administer electro-convulsive therapy by sticking a straightened paperclip into an electrical outlet. The View From Under My Desk provides a unique blend of real world workplace experience fighting mental illness, along with an indomitable will to not only survive, but thrive.