How You Can Survive When They're Depressed: Living and Coping with Depression Fallout by Anne Sheffield
Each year more than 17 million Americans suffer from a depressive illness, yet few suffer in
solitude. How You Can Survive When They're Depressed explores depression from the perspective of those who are closest to the sufferers of this prevalent disorderspouses, parents, children, and loversand gives the successful coping strategies of many people who live with a clinical depressive or manic-depressive.
Depression fallout is the emotional toil on the depressive's family and close friends who often are so focused on the welfare of the depressive, they are unaware of their own stressful reactions and needs. Sheffield outlines the five stages of depression fallout: confusion, self-doubt, demoralization, anger, and, finally, the desire to escape. Many people will find relief in the knowledge that their self-blame, guilt, sadness, and resentment are a natural result of living with a depressed person. Family and friends may even go through an unacknowledged period of mourning for the pre-depression person who has ceased temporarily to exist. These well-intentioned caregivers of depressives and manic-depressives suffer in painful silence, believing their own problems have no claim to attention.
Sheffield brings together many real-life examples from the pioneering support group she attends at Beth Israel Hospital of how people with depression fallout have learned to cope. From setting boundaries to maintaining an outside social life, she gives practical tactics for handling the challenges and emotional stresses on a day-to-day basis. For example, adepressed spouse may make random threats of divorce and unfounded accusations of infidelity or deny the need for professional help. Sheffield counsels the depression fallout victim on how to deal with these and other typical behaviors, as well as providing invaluable information about both drug- and talk-therapy options and how to select the best practitioners for the depressive.
No other book about depression focuses so clearly on the needs of the family and friends of a depressive and gives such a thorough program and sympathetic support to enable them to reclaim their lives and bring their depressive back to health. With an introduction from an expert physician, Donald F. Klein, professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, How You Can Survive When They're Depressed is the self-help book for depression fallout sufferers.