This book was written to illuminate and clarify the pivotal role patterns of avoidance have on the development and maintenance of depression. All too often this author has seen both laypersons and professionals view and treat people suffering from chronic depression as if their condition is something they are simply born with, an attitudinal problem, or a condition caught like some type of disease. Consequently, their symptoms of depression tend to receive minimal or superficial treatment in the form of antidepressant medication or “pep talks” aimed at getting them out of their chronic state of discontent. Unfortunately, these simple answers to complex issues tend to miss the core causes of how they became depressed in the first place and/or what is preventing them from getting out of their misery. This book focuses on the common causes of chronic depression, including patterns of avoiding responsibility, stress, more realistic perspectives, acceptance of key aspects of living, as well as inappropriate escape patterns such as excessive use of drugs, eating disorders, compulsive gambling, etc. Research completed by the author on the relationship between patterns of avoidance and chronic depression is reviewed, along with pertinent case study examples of how his clients backed themselves into depression and either successfully emancipated themselves from this psychological prison or continued to languish within such. Finally, the critical roles of acceptance and purposeful living will be discussed, including 32 acceptance guidelines proposed by the author for those interested in self-help or application in the service of others. This book was written at a level appropriate for educated laypersons, undergraduate and graduate students in psychology and related fields, as well as people considering counseling or currently in psychotherapy. Additionally, it was written for practitioners in the mental health field who want a resource at a basic level which blends both traditional theories and therapies with more contemporary approaches, such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.