Over the many years this book has been in the works, many people have given me the most valuable of gifts - their time, their thoughts, their good wishes, and some laughter. Most important have been Kenneth Colby and Albert Ellis, whose crea- tive minds jumped out of their accustomed sets of ideas and quickly understood the explanatory and therapeutic power of the concept of negative self-comparisons; both of them gave me volu- minous written comments which greatly benefited the book, and generous praise which kept me going in this work.

David Holmes, Arnold Miller, and Dori Seiders read the book as professionals in the field, and gave valuable comments.

Howard Altstein, Nancy Bogen, Susan Krieger, and Sandra Philips provided helpful editorial suggestions. Several other people whose identities I have forgotten (please forgive me) also did so.

Z. and B. told me that reading the manuscript saved their lives by saving them from suicide. Both think it better that their past depressions not be known by their associates, and it is not for me to say that they are wrong. Knowing that I helped them helped me.

We are all indebted to those writers quoted in the book - from the composer(s) of some Psalms, to Shakespeare and Tolstoy, to (most recently) William Styron - who have set down their personal stories so that other depressed people can read and find help in them.

Thank you one and all.

Julian L. Simon