What do you do when depression invades your life, casts a dark cloud over your house, and slowly chokes the life out of your marriage? How do you deal with the roller-coaster ride that is life with a depressed spouse? Is it okay to be a selfish at all, or should you sacrifice everything, including your own mental health, to help your loved one overcome his or her depression?
Thankfully, the answers to those questions have been answered. The author of How You Can Survive When They’re Depressed, Anne Sheffield has utilized countless stories and post from her forums on www.depressionfallout.com to bring a bit of support to those living with the burden of depression in her new book Depression Fallout: The Impact of Depression on Couples and What You Can Do to Preserve the Bond.
Growing up in a home clouded with depression, and battling the debilitating disease herself, Sheffield speaks not only of her experiences, but of the trials and tribulations shared to her within the online community.
This book is primarily aimed at couples, where one partner suffers directly from a depressive illness and the other suffers the side effects, like: tension in the relationship, fights, arguments, passive-aggressive behavior, apathy, and helplessness.
Chapters include an overview of depression and its symptoms, understanding the mysteries of depression, overcoming denial about depression, couples therapy, repairing the relationship and reclaiming your life. Also included, for further information, is a guide to more resources available via the Internet.
"Love and depression speak different languages," says Sheffield in the beginning of the first chapter, "The Deadly Duo: Depression and Depression Fallout." This one sentence aptly sets the tone for the whole book. After all, living in the same house with depression is a bit like traveling to a foreign country – the climate, customs and language are so different that you begin to feel hopeless and lost. Consider this book the definitive travel guide to the rocky landscape of Depressionville.
Even though I have not personally dealt with the repercussions of depression, I found this book user-friendly and poignant. It offers a wealth of information about the many facets of depression, how depression strains personal relationships, and ways that you can fight back and reclaim the person that you loved, and feel like you’ve lost.
I enjoyed the related stories from Sheffield online depression support site, as I can see how many people could easily relate to the everyday plights of others. Just reading the stories offers hope to those in the first stages of coping with depression, as well as real, tried-and-true advice from those that have been-there, done-that.
Even a person that is beginning to suspect that their partner (or themselves) has a problem with depression will find this book useful in understanding the complex dynamics that depression brings to a relationship.
I enjoyed reading this book, so I know that those that really need the help need look no further than Depression Fallout for guidance.