LIVING WITH DEPRESSION: Why Biology and Biography Matter Along the Path

to Hope and Healing,

by Deborah Serani.

Rowman & Littlefield

Publishers, 199 pp., $29.95.

Psychologist Serani, who lives and practices in Smithtown, courageously reveals her own lifetime struggles with serious depression -- including devastating thoughts of suicide. Chapter 1, "My Depression," opens with this stunner: "Dad's gun is in the left hand drawer of his dresser, I thought to myself."

She was 19. And stopped herself at the thought.

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The book has nowhere to go but up from there, and it delivers -- with details about her own depression and treatment woven into a useful primer geared to the suffering and their families.

THE SCOOP Her advice extends beyond the usual, such as "Understanding Stigma," about whether to share a diagnosis, and how to deal with health insurance carriers that might deliberately put roadblocks in your path to reimbursement.

THE BOTTOM LINE Serani will speak at Book Revue in Huntington Thursday at 7 p.m.