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The View From Under My Desk: My Battle With Workplace Depression

By Brad Anderson

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.

  • Paperback: 268 pages

  • Publisher: Beacon Publishing Group 

  • Language: English

  • ISBN-13:  978-1949472684 

  • Category: Biographies | Self-Help

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About Author

Brad Anderson was co-founder and vice-president of The Covey Leadership Center (now Franklin-Covey), the company that created the all-time best-selling Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. His work in developing the early thinking of Dr. Stephen R. Covey into a globally implemented training course has resulted in millions benefiting from Covey’s life-changing principles. As he developed updated versions of the program, he produced over a dozen award-winning films on leadership.


He is the author of forthcoming book, The View From Under My Desk—Battling Depression in the Workplace and developer and presenter of the keynote based on the book. Advance praise for the book includes: "Brad Anderson gives us a beautifully written, achingly honest first-person account of depression. I recommend this to anyone who is on the inside of depression or on the outside looking in--as a leader, a friend, or a loved one." -Angela Duckworth

Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and author of The New York Times bestselling book, Grit-The Power of Passion and Perseverance

He is also coauthor of The Resilience Breakthrough—27 Tools for Turning Adversity into Action.

Brad’s life experience living with treatment-resistant depression, combined with his background and education in leadership and organizational development has provided him with the experiences and insights to enable leaders and employees of organizations to gain greater awareness of the realities of mental illness in the workplace. One of his goals for the book is to demonstrate that those dealing with mental illnesses can be productive members of organizations, as both they and their leaders overcome the stigma mental illness unfortunately often carries. In addition to recounting the battles he’s faced dealing with depression at work, he provides several evidence-based strategies to enable leaders and employees alike to more productively navigate and achieve organizational goals.


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