Talking to Depression: Simple Ways to Connect When Someone in Your Life is Depressed

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Overview

When someone suffers from depression, friends and family members naturally want to help—but too often their good intentions come out all wrong. This practical, compassionate guide helps readers understand exactly what their loved one is going through, and why certain approaches help and others have the potential to do damage. Talking to Depression offers specific advice on what to do and what not to do—and what to say and what not to say—to avoid frustration and give the kind of caring, effective support that ...

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Talking to Depression: Simple Ways To Connect When Someone In Your LifeIs Depressed: Simple Ways To Connect When Someone In Your Life Is Depressed

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Overview

When someone suffers from depression, friends and family members naturally want to help—but too often their good intentions come out all wrong. This practical, compassionate guide helps readers understand exactly what their loved one is going through, and why certain approaches help and others have the potential to do damage. Talking to Depression offers specific advice on what to do and what not to do—and what to say and what not to say—to avoid frustration and give the kind of caring, effective support that will make a difference.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The author of Talking to Alzheimer's shares a simple, direct and effective approach for family and friends of those living and dealing with clinical depression. Strauss delves into specific scenarios with depressed loved ones, clearly explaining why certain responses and phrasing of comments are helpful while others are ineffective or seem like mere "stock phrases" to the person who is depressed. Strauss also explains that simply being there for the depressed person helps more than giving specific advice. "It isn't her job to listen to you; it's your job to listen to her. That's the best way to help her." Clinical psychologist Martha Manning, whose book Undercurrents offered a personal dimension to the illness, hits the exact note when she writes in the foreword that "dealing with depression is a collaboration." Strauss uses this approach throughout the book, explaining the unique ways in which the depressed mind works and, consequently, how others can better connect with that way of thinking through appropriate conversation, body language and practical support. When viewed individually, these suggestions may seem like ways to tiptoe around the depressed person, but altogether they are considerate and sensitive methods of communicating in any type of relationship. Strauss's insight applies to the day-to-day battles alongside the depression sufferer, but she also stresses how much can be learned from these strong individuals: "In physical battles, we celebrate the bravery of the soldier who falls. The bravery of the psychological warrior is no less." (Jan. 6) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Given that ten percent of adults suffer from mood disorders each year, the plethora of literature available on depression is not surprising. While there are ample resources for those who are depressed, books devoted to their loved ones are less abundant. Strauss (English, Albright Coll.; Talkisng to Alzheimer's) attempts to fill this gap with a book aimed at "the rest of us," listing useful resources, reminding caregivers to maintain their own well-being, and suggesting conversations and activities to engage depressed individuals. Unfortunately, these one-liners aren't enough; the book would have benefited from real-life examples of exchanges with depressed persons. In addition, important issues are not discussed (e.g., evidence that depression increases the risk of heart disease), and a bibliography of sources consulted in the depression overview is notably absent. "Tips for Kids" reads like an afterthought, since so few pages are dedicated to this special group. Those interested in helping a depressed loved one should see Laura Epstein Rosen's When Someone You Love Is Depressed or William R. Beardslee's Out of a Darkened Room. An optional purchase for large public collections.-Heather O'Brien, Acadia Univ., Wolfville, N.S. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451209863
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/6/2004
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 350,282
  • Product dimensions: 5.48 (w) x 7.96 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Claudia J. Strauss is an award-winning communication consultant and educator. An adjunct professor of English at Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania, she runs a business in strategic communications, and coaches adults with ADD and learning disabilities.

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Table of Contents

Talking To Depression Foreword by Martha Manning
Preface

PART I—GETTING STARTED

Chapter One
An Overview of Depression: Frequently Asked Questions

Chapter Two
Where to Start: Deciding You Can Help

Chapter Three
Seeing Through Their Eyes: What Depression Feels Like

PART II—WHAT TO SAY

Chapter Four
Opening the Conversation: First Things to Say

Chapter Five
Words That Wound: What Not to Say

Chapter Six
Words That Work: What to Say

Chapter Seven
Dos and Dont's: A Helpful Reference

Chapter Eight
Answering and Unanswerable: Responding to Difficult Questions

PART III—WHAT TO DO

Chapter Nine
Without Words: Using Body Language to Show Your Support

Chapter Ten
Some Practical Support: Ways You Can Help Keep Life on Track

Chapter Eleven
Gifting: What You Can Give to Help Healing Happen

PART IV—SUICIDE

Chapter Twelve
Warning Signs: What to Look For

Chapter Thirteen
Assessing Imminent Danger: What to Ask

Chapter Fourteen
Still Here: Moving Toward Survival

PART V—LIVING DAY TO DAY

Chapter Fifteen
Situation by Situation: One Thing at a Time

PART VI—KIDS AND TEENAGERS

Chapter Sixteen
Tips for Kids: When Someone in the Family Is Suffering from Depression

Chapter Seventeen
Tips About Kids: When They Are Depressed Themselves

PARTt VII—TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF

Chapter Eighteen
Talking to Yourself: Sustaining Your Strength

Afterword
Easing the Way

Resources
Where to Find Out More

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 3 of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2014

    very helpful

    Excellent book - I've a fairly big library devoted to better being there for my depressed wife, this book has been a great addition and VERY HELPFUL, especially for recommending to other people (like her parents).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted December 7, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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