Bite-Sized Book Review: Flagging Depression by Dr. Harry Barry

Dr Harry Barry is a Drogheda-based GP with a particular interest in the area of mental health, especially depression and anxiety. He has written a number of previous books for Liberties Press on these topics, including Flagging the Problem and Flagging the Therapy.

Flagging Depression follows on from these earlier books, continuing their public-friendly demystification of mental health problems. Dr Barry starts by distinguishing the illness of Major Depression (MD) from the common emotion of feeling ‘depressed’ about something difficult in our lives, and outlines the main symptoms of MD. He then goes on to give a neurologically-based explanation of how we become seriously depressed, using the concepts of the emotional brain and logical brain (which he describes in more detail in his earlier books). “When we are unwell, negative emotions overwhelm our logical brain; the classic example of this is major depression” (Kindle location 344).

Most of the book then outlines the necessary stages of recovery, from getting well to staying well, starting with acceptance of the illness. Dr Barry describes the scientifically established value of exercise, nutrition, talk therapies, and medication (emphasising that modern antidepressants are non-addictive). This part of the book includes many illuminating stories of depression and recovery.

Dr Barry has been a great contributor to the de-stigmatisation of problems like depression, and this book continues that good work.

Eoin Stephens, MIACP, MACI (February 2015)
PCI College President

Dr. Harry Barry recently spoke at the re-launch of PCI Counselling Service and talked about the benefits of talk therapy for the treatment of anxiety issues and as part of the treatment mix for depression. If you would like to speak to a counsellor for help to deal with any of these issues, contact the Service on 0818 555 450 or

Course Venues:   Athlone   |   Belfast   |   Carrick-on-Shannon   |   Cork   |   Dublin   |   Kilkenny   |   Limerick