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How You Can Survive When They're Depressed: Living and Coping with Depression Fallout Paperback – May 18 1999

4.5 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; 1 edition (May 18 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609804154
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609804155
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.8 x 20.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #94,590 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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"Depression fallout" is the emotional upheaval suffered by the friends and family members of someone who's depressed. Because at any given time, 17 million Americans are suffering from depression, there's a huge number of people suffering from this, says author Anne Sheffield, the daughter of a depressive. She compassionately recalls situations discussed in her support group at New York City's esteemed Beth Israel Hospital to illustrate how "co-sufferers" can successfully cope with their grief, confusion, guilt, and reduced self-esteem.

One of the most overlooked yet thoroughly damaged lots of depression fallout victims, she says, are the toddlers and children of depressed mothers. Children with behavioral problems at home and in school may be struggling for attention they don't get from a depressed parent. She writes, "Although a depressed parent of either sex creates problems for a child, the bulk of the research on parental depression and its effects on young children has zeroed in on the mother, because she is the center of a young child's existence: the primary nurturer, teacher, and emotional and social contact. Ideally, a mother is a good listener, communicator, and problem solver; authoritative without being authoritarian; warm and consistent; and tolerant and patient. Mothers in the grip of depression are often just the opposite: harsh, critical, impatient, irritable, and unaffectionate. And because one in every four women will suffer serious depression at some time in her life--more often than not, right in the middle of her prime childbearing years of twenty-five to thirty-five--the research findings are applicable to a very substantial number of children."

Without being flippant, Sheffield inserts bits of humor into the book. She describes what she calls "sticky-flypaper depressives" as those who blame themselves for everything and anything that has ever gone wrong, whether it be a relationship, or, as one psychiatrist recalled from one patient's session, "the bad Broadway season of 1947." She also gives a thorough analysis of the many causes of depression, illustrates the five stages of depression fallout, and considers the benefits and downfalls of psychotherapy and how a fallout victim may be affected by it. Sheffield offers reassuring advice on how fallout victims can defuse stress and rebuild their self-esteem and social lives, abundant resources and references for support groups and informational organizations, and an extensive list of medications commonly used for the treatment of mental disorders. No matter what the age or relationship of the fallout victim, How You Can Survive When They're Depressed will prove to be a much-needed dose of sympathy. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Anne Sheffield has guided me to fresh recognitions of myself . . . I wish we'd had this book decades ago."        
--Rose Styron

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on April 16 2000
Format: Paperback
I purchased this book for my husband to better understand my problem with depression. After reading these great reviews, I was very hopeful that the book would help him understand and be more compassionate. But quite the contrary happened. It created a monster, my husband became very uncaring, insensitive and hateful. Only concerned with his fallout problem, and no long caring ennough to love me through my depression. After reading the book, my husband concluded that he is at no fault for the problems in our marriage, and because Anne Sheffield says that he doesn't have to "put up" with my depression, and that he is to "walk away" when we are having a discussion whenever he feels like it, it leaves the depressed person even more depressed. Since he has read this book it has totally devestated our marriage, and he has told me he is leaving me and wants a divorce. Because, Anne implies that many marriages wont withstand depression, he doesn't want to even try anymore. She did a good job of describing the depressed person. However, what I didn't like was that it was all one sided. The responses from the "fallout" victims, were just that, only from the "fallout" victims. What caused the depressed person to react the way they did. One guy on his wedding night was shut out. Did he possibly do something that caused that reaction from his wife. Did he say something or do something inexcusable that made her say "don't touch me". These things we'll never know. Obviously this book has been very helpful for the fallouts, but what effect has it had on the depressed? On me, it feels like it has literally ruined my life.
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Format: Paperback
A couple years ago, my depressed boyfriend and I were having lots of trouble in our relationship. I was reading reviews for different books on the subject when I came across this one. I read a review by a woman who said this book helped her realize that her husband was still in there somewhere, hidden by the depression. I started crying right at my desk and I knew I had to get this book. This book helps you understand how your partner's depression affects you. I didn't realize how much damage it had done to my self-esteem to be around someone who suffered from depression. It just eats away at you and hurts you in ways that you wouldn't even think of. After reading this, it made sense why we were having so many problems and made our efforts to work on these problems much more fruitful. You have to know the ways their depression has affected you before you can start making it better. That relationship is over now but I am doing very well and I give credit to what I learned in this book.
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By A Customer on Feb. 9 2001
Format: Paperback
There are a zillion books out there about depression, and I'd bet nearly all of them are being bought by people who are desperately trying to help someone they love. "Here Honey, it says if you eat right..." and "Sweetie, they say exercise can do a lot of good..." and "Mom, there are a lot of medicines now that could help you..."
People who love a depressed person spend an enormous amount of energy trying to bridge a chasm to bring help to their loved one. Meanwhile they suffer isolation, rejection, critisism, self-doubt, frustration, and terrible worry and stress. Worse, every book they read urges them to put all their needs aside, to lower their standards to rock bottom, to be continually more understanding of their loved-ones limitations. Often they're not even mentioned at all.
Anne Sheffield's book is a fantastic support and relief for these caregivers. She acknowleges the toll this illness takes on family members, and she offers them compassion and a sense of community. By respecting their frustration, she helps open the door to a more constructive sort of understanding of depressive illness and how it affects the family.
This book has helped me build a life with my depressed partner that is healthy for us both, a place where I can deal with this illness without giving up my happiness. It has helped me trust my instincts, set boundaries, campaign for change and keep my love alive even when I'm angry. Through me, it has helped my partner seek better medical help, treat the family better and feel more secure that we'll still be there tomorrow.
If your hunt for answers has left you feeling like you're out in the cold alone, this book is for you.
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Format: Hardcover
The American Psychiatric Association, in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, offers the "official" list of symptoms of depression.
Anne Sheffield makes a significant contribution to the field of mental health when she spells out the "unofficial" list of symptoms: the "clinical" presentation of a depressive disorder is not necessarily the same as the "behind closed doors" presentation.
In his Foreword, TV journalist Mike Wallace (who is open about his own depression) acknowledges that "there is no way properly to describe the anguish that a depressive can put his family through." Anne Sheffield points out that the depressed person may be self-absorbed, quarrelsome, and critical at home "but charming in public."
While depression is often thought of as deep sadness, the author debunks the stereotype of people with depressive illness as "passive bundles of misery." There are some people with depression who do fit that description, but depression comes in varying degrees and with different combinations of symptoms (both official and "unofficial"). Many of us who have lived with a depressive have seen that a generalized negativity may be much more prominent than any sadness, and that the negativity is often targeted at us.
A must-read for anyone who knows a loved one has depression, for those who suspect a loved one might have it, and for doctors and other clinicians who would do well to learn how to recognize some of the more subtle forms of depression, which can be just as devastating as the "passive bundle of misery" form of the disorder.
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