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A Deeper Shade of Blue: A Woman's Guide to Recognizing and Treating Depression in Her Childbearing Years
     

A Deeper Shade of Blue: A Woman's Guide to Recognizing and Treating Depression in Her Childbearing Years

by Ruta Nonacs
 

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Depression affects women almost twice as often as men, with about one in four women suffering from it in her lifetime. While depression may strike at any time, studies show that women are particularly vulnerable during their childbearing years.

Despite the increasing awareness of this deeply concerning issue, many studies and health professionals still

Overview

Depression affects women almost twice as often as men, with about one in four women suffering from it in her lifetime. While depression may strike at any time, studies show that women are particularly vulnerable during their childbearing years.

Despite the increasing awareness of this deeply concerning issue, many studies and health professionals still continue to focus almost solely on postpartum depression, ignoring the fact that depression is just as likely to affect women while they're trying to conceive and during pregnancy. Now, in this comprehensive, empathetic, and candid book, Dr. Ruta Nonacs, a senior member of the Center for Women's Mental Health at Massachusetts General Hospital and mother of two children herself, confronts the seldom talked-about issues of pregnancy-related depression, including:

Becoming pregnant while being treated for depression

Infertility-related depression and the effects of fertility treatments

Understanding the effects of maternal depression on spouses and family

Postpartum depression and anxiety

Nonacs also addresses the many complicated issues in a woman's life during the span of her childbearing years -- education, career, marriage, childbearing, and child rearing -- and discusses the ways in which depression often takes hold during potentially stressful times. Nonacs identifies many of the symptoms of depression associated with pregnancy and discusses treatments and cures, as well as ways to minimize effects of depression on family and friends.

Straightforward and honest, as well as emotionally sensitive and deeply moving, A Deeper Shade of Blue gives every woman who has suffered from pregnancy-related depression the information she needs to get the best care for herself, during pregnancy and beyond.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A Deeper Shade of Blue takes great steps to provide us with a clear road map to a more complete understanding of depression during the childbearing years...Failure to recognize and treat [this] depression...cannot be an option."
— from the Foreword by Lee S. Cohen, M.D.

"This book is unique because it discusses depression within the context of women's health needs, but it will be useful for anyone seeking in-depth information about the disease. Highly recommended."
Library Journal

"Timely and critical. A lot has been written about postpartum depression — but very little about depression pertaining to the entire process of childbearing and rearing. Dr. Nonacs has done a fantastic job of illuminating and elucidating this condition, in prose that is at once authoritative and empathic. I am thankful for her book in particular and her work in general."
— Lauren Slater, author of Opening Skinner's Box: Great Psychological Experiments of the Twentieth Century

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780743293518
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Publication date:
08/08/2006
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
416
File size:
2 MB

Read an Excerpt

A Deeper Shade of Blue

A Woman's Guide to Recognizing and Treating Depression in Her Childbearing Years
By Ruta Nonacs

Simon & Schuster

Copyright © 2007 Ruta Nonacs
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780743254755

Foreword

The last decade has brought great advances in our understanding of depression and the ways to treat this serious illness. Nonetheless, a majority of patients who suffer from depression do not get appropriately diagnosed or treated. These individuals suffer the significant consequences of untreated mood disturbance. In addition, the impact of depression on others, including partners, friends, and family members who surround those suffering from this illness, is too often underestimated. Despite the consistent finding from well-conducted studies that depression is more common in women than in men and that it is particularly common during the childbearing years, it has really only been during the last fifteen years that attention has been paid to treatment of depression in women during critical times such as pregnancy, the postpartum period, and the interval following miscarriage.

A Deeper Shade of Blue takes great steps to provide us with a clear road map to a more complete understanding of depression during the childbearing years, its recognition and treatment, and indeed the extent to which it is treatable. The information found here will empower those who require treatment to work with those who can provide it.

We have yet to completely understand whatunderlies women's vulnerability to depression during critical times in their reproductive years. Meanwhile, too few sources of information on what is presently known have been available thus far. The Internet has vast potential, and yet it can sometimes incompletely inform or even misinform us when we search it for answers. Nor should we have to rely on magazines for discussion of a problem as serious as depression. In A Deeper Shade of Blue, readers will find full explanations regarding a wide range of mood disorders that appear to be linked in some fashion to female reproductive biology. For example, they will find a discussion of PMS, and particularly the more severe form of PMS known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), which used to be a pejorative term but has evolved over the last decade into a more clearly understood problem of mood. They will read a demystifying description of infertility treatments and an honest discussion of the range of experiences associated with pregnancy loss, for which there is not only helpful information but encouragement to follow a woman's own intuitive feelings, rather than an expectation to "move on" after so significant a loss. They will read straightforward descriptions of what women actually experience during pregnancy, from normal mood swings to clinically significant depression in need of professional evaluation and treatment.

Postpartum depression remains one of the most common complications in modern obstetrics, and yet it remains largely undetected and frequently untreated. Just as the general range of feelings experienced by postpartum women varies widely -- ambivalence, joy, confusion -- postpartum depression may be very different for the single mom, the older mom, the mom managing a fussier baby, the mom caring for a newborn in an unfamiliar culture with a level of support different from her native one.

From PMS, to depression during pregnancy, to postpartum mood disorders, women need to be able to distinguish what is normal from what is more serious and in need of definitive treatment. Perhaps the most critical message of this book is that a failure to recognize and treat depression during the childbearing years cannot be an option. With the publication of A Deeper Shade of Blue, women are given a valuable resource that offers them a way to better understand depression as they collaborate with family, friends, and care providers in the process of treatment and recovery.

Lee S. Cohen, MD

Boston, Massachusetts

February 2006

Copyright © 2006 by Ruta Nonacs



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Excerpted from A Deeper Shade of Blue by Ruta Nonacs Copyright © 2007 by Ruta Nonacs. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Dr. Ruta Nonacs, M.D., Ph.D., is the associate director of the Center for Women's Mental Health at Massachusetts General Hospital and an instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

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