When Someone You Know Is Depressed: How to Help Your Loved One without Losing Yourself

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Although numerous books have been written for those suffering from depression, until now none of them has addressed the "secondary" victims of this debilitating disease: the loved ones of the depressed. If someone you love is depressed, you undoubtedly recognize that the depression has placed some new burdens on you; however you may be affected in more ways than you realize. Research shows that if you are close to a depressed person, you are at a much higher risk of developing problems yourself, including ...
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Overview

Although numerous books have been written for those suffering from depression, until now none of them has addressed the "secondary" victims of this debilitating disease: the loved ones of the depressed. If someone you love is depressed, you undoubtedly recognize that the depression has placed some new burdens on you; however you may be affected in more ways than you realize. Research shows that if you are close to a depressed person, you are at a much higher risk of developing problems yourself, including anxiety, phobias, and even a kind of contagious depression. Yet, too often, those of us who care about a depressed person are so focused on their needs that we don't realize that we might need help. There is startling evidence that marriages in which one person is depressed are nine times more likely to end in divorce; that children with a depressed parent are at an increased risk for a range of adjustment difficulties; and that if you are caring for an elderly depressed parent, your physical and mental health are likely to suffer. Depression is also notorious for causing increased misunderstandings and sexual problems in intimate relationships. Laura Rosen and Xavier Amador, psychologists with expertise in treating the secondary victims of depression, explain the mechanisms of depression that can cause communication breakdown, increase hostility, and ultimately destroy relationships. Rather than just explaining these secondary effects of depression, the authors teach you concrete methods that you and your loved one can use to protect yourselves and your relationship from depression's impact.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Feeling overburdened by your elderly depressed mother? Or maybe you're a parent worried about your withdrawn son. In either instance, this latest title from Rosen, director of family therapy at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, can help. Rosen's work is not as much about the causes and symptoms of depression as about how depression affects relationships. The author's ultimate goal is to help readers learn strategies to counter interaction problems, and she succeeds in this attempt. This empowering title will help readers and their loved one to speed their recovery and to safeguard the relationship against the weight of depression. Every chapter provides step-by-step guidelines for countering the negative effects of depression; special circumstances such as substance abuse or suicidal inclinations are also addressed. This is a solid purchase for all psychology collections.Marty Dean Evensvold, Magnolia P.L., Tex.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780684824079
  • Publisher: Free Press
  • Publication date: 9/6/1996
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.45 (w) x 9.62 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
1 How Does Your Loved One's Depression Affect You? 1
2 How to Recognize If Someone You Love Is Depressed 14
3 When Your Partner Is Depressed 43
4 When Your Child Is Depressed 63
5 When Your Parent Is Depressed 86
6 Friendships and Depression 101
7 Constructive Communication 115
8 Is It Fair to Ask for What You Need? 134
9 When Your Help Is Turned Away 147
10 Alcohol and Drugs 163
11 Suicide 177
12 Psychological Treatments for Depression 200
13 Medical Treatments for Depression 214
14 Finding Help for Your Loved One and Yourself 229
Afterword 251
Recommended Readings 253
Recommended World Wide Web Sites for Dealing with Depression 256
Index 257
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