Why Do We Act in Such an Illogical Way?

Dear Dr. Burns,

My name is Sonja and I am a student of psychology in Mainz, Germany. Ironically, I got my first depressive episode in the middle of my studies. After reading “Feeling Good,” I just had the strong wish to let you know how awesome and amazing your book is!

It seems to me that it is not written only for people with depression or other mental illnesses, but it has a huge potential to enrich all kinds of human interactions. The methods you describe for fighting against the symptoms of depression seem so totally logical and comprehensible that I wonder why most people act in such an illogical way, even if they are more or less healthy.

I was never before so exited by a book and just wanted you to know that your work is appreciated :). I just wanted to tell someone, but didn’t expect that all of the people around me would understand my excitement.

With kind regards,


Dr. David’s Response

Thank you Sonja! Your kind words are greatly appreciated. I agree with you that it is kind of a mystery why we human beings do this to ourselves—why do we beat up on ourselves so relentlessly with negative messages that are so distorted and unfair? Even though we don’t yet know the causes of depression and anxiety, it is great to have powerful, practical tools to help people break out of bad moods. And when a patient or reader has been helped, I feel the joy, too! Best of luck in your ongoing studies and career.

Please keep in touch! And if you ever visit the San Francisco Bay Area, please visit my training group that meets at Stanford Tuesday evenings. And thank you for giving permission to publish your wonderful note on my new website!

David Burns, MD