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Out of the Darkened Room: When a Parent is Depressed; Protecting the Children and Strengthening the Family Hardcover – June 17, 2002

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

To move out of the darkened room that is depression, a parent must first move beyond denial--about the disease itself, and about its toll on the entire family. Politely bucking traditional reactive psychiatric methods, Dr. William Beardslee presents his effective program of "preventive intervention," designed to work over the long haul. The goals are twofold: first, to bolster suffering parents with strong tools for healing; second, and most importantly, to promote resilience in their children.

A handful of pages cover the basics about medicines and therapy styles available for harnessing one's current depressive disorder. Beardslee strongly recommends incorporating both forms of treatment. But the majority of his praise (and page realty) is dedicated to teaching parents how to initiate and maintain powerful family communication. True healing begins with a family meeting, where parents speak honestly about their disease and invite children to discuss their own feelings, thoughts, and worries.

Throughout the book, in-depth stories from diverse families under Beardslee's professional wing illustrate the difficulties and rewards associated with this commitment to sharing. Beardslee's gentle, encouraging confidence in this process, supported by many additional research findings, sends a positive and optimistic message to those seeking help for themselves and protection for their children. --Liane Thomas

From Booklist

Beardslee, a psychiatrist, draws on 20 years of study to offer encouragement and therapeutic strategies for families struggling with depression. The illness is fairly widespread (20 percent of Americans suffer from depression at some time in their lives) but goes generally unrecognized and untreated because of guilt, shame, and confusion. Beardslee outlines the symptoms of depression as well as the biological bases and causes of the disease. He provides accounts of families coping with depression to illustrate the treatment program developed at Children's Hospital in Boston, where he practices. Beardslee takes a preventive approach to help families recognize depression, develop resiliency, and reduce the risks. Profiles of families who have coped well with a range of challenges, from divorce, death, job loss, and other life woes, show the characteristics associated with triumphing over adversity and avoiding depression. Separate chapters explore depression in adults and children and the threat of suicide, the ultimate mental health crisis. A useful and accessible resource. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown; 1 edition (June 17, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316085499
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316085496
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #354,948 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of those rare books in the mental health field that has the capacity to inspire. It is the story of a lifetime devoted to trying to provide families with one depressed parent with tools that can lead to healthy and successful outcomes for the family.
It could have been better written (parts of it bogged down a bit in the individual family stories) but I think it provides a place to start for a family wrestling with the terrible dilemmas of what to do, what to say to the kids, how to flourish in the face of terrible adversity.
I recommend that families buy one copy for themselves and one copy for a family therapist or other mental health practitioner and then sit down with that practitioner to develop a plan of action.
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Format: Hardcover
This book manages to be both realistic and full of hope. The author is a child psychiatrist who has extensive experience helping children and families with a depressed parent, both from his clinical practice and from his research. This dual perspective, combined with his deep compassion, makes this book come alive. He offers a wealth of advice, lessons learnt from and with the families he describes.
A book to be recommended to all who are dealing with a depressed family member and wonder how to help the children.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a much needed resource for anyone who's family is dealing with depression or any other mood disorder. An easy and comprehensive read with plenty of helpful advice.
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By A Customer on January 15, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is a book that is both realistic and full of hope.
The author is a child psychiatrist who has extensive experience with children and families with a depressed parent, stemming from his clinical work and his longitudinal research.This dual perspective, combined with his deep compassion, makes the book come alive. The advice embedded in the book is practical and realistic, meaning that it can actually be followed.
A book to be recommended to all who are dealing with a depressed family member and wonder how to help their children.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Borrowed this from the library and thought it was so good I needed a copy of my own. I found it very helpful in learning more about the subject.
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