By Brenda Erdahl
Patrick Day isn’t a doctor or a professor of medicine at a well-known college. His degrees are in English Literature and Reading, but his true expertise is depression. Day has what he refers to as an “experiential degree” in the disease that afflicted him for four years and very nearly killed him. It’s with those credentials that he presents his newest book, “How I Escaped from Depression: Ten Critical Lessons Learned the Hard Way.” Published in December, this is Day’s fourth book, and perhaps his most important. “My brother calls it my signature book,” said Day who lives in Buffalo with his wife Diane. Day started writing in 2008, soon after coming out of the depths of deep, clinical depression that had its hold on him for four dismal years. It was cathartic, he said, to write a fictional story about a man who escapes the grip of depression. Titled “Too Late in the Afternoon: One Man’s Triumph over Depression” it was his first book and it was published in 2010. Two more books followed: “Murders and Genealogy in Hennepin County: An Anna Fitzgerald Mystery,” and “Arm in Arm with the Holy Spirit.” He also wrote and published “How to Stay out of Jail” which he gives free copies of to inmates. It wasn’t until 2016 that he felt capable of writing his own autobiography and put pen to paper. A year later, “How I Escaped from Depression: Ten Critical Lessons Learned the Hard Way” was finished. “This was not cathartic,” he said. “I wrote it because I have an affinity for people who are depressed. I wrote it so people don’t have to go through four years like I did, and I wrote it for people who have situational depression so they don’t fall into clinical depression.” While telling his own emotional story, Day offers 10 lessons he learned the hard way. It’s not a clinical book about depression, it’s a first-hand account. “For four years, two people struggled against each other to command my body and control my soul (that is, my mind, will, and emotions). One was me. The other was Depression,” he wrote. Day and his wife moved to Buffalo in 2005. It was a big change for the couple who left behind a life of 30 years in Willmar; both were employed at the college there. Diane taught business communications and Day worked for ten years in a learning center helping disadvantaged and handicapped students succeed in college programs.
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