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Talking to Depression: Simple Ways To Connect When Someone In Your Life Is Depressed: Simple Ways To Connect When Someone In Your Life Is Depressed Paperback – January 6, 2004

4.4 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The author of Talking to Alzheimer's shares a simple, direct and effective approach for family and friends of those living and dealing with clinical depression. Strauss delves into specific scenarios with depressed loved ones, clearly explaining why certain responses and phrasing of comments are helpful while others are ineffective or seem like mere "stock phrases" to the person who is depressed. Strauss also explains that simply being there for the depressed person helps more than giving specific advice. "It isn't her job to listen to you; it's your job to listen to her. That's the best way to help her." Clinical psychologist Martha Manning, whose book Undercurrents offered a personal dimension to the illness, hits the exact note when she writes in the foreword that "dealing with depression is a collaboration." Strauss uses this approach throughout the book, explaining the unique ways in which the depressed mind works and, consequently, how others can better connect with that way of thinking through appropriate conversation, body language and practical support. When viewed individually, these suggestions may seem like ways to tiptoe around the depressed person, but altogether they are considerate and sensitive methods of communicating in any type of relationship. Strauss's insight applies to the day-to-day battles alongside the depression sufferer, but she also stresses how much can be learned from these strong individuals: "In physical battles, we celebrate the bravery of the soldier who falls. The bravery of the psychological warrior is no less."
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Review

...a really important tool for knowing...how to connect when people in your life are struggling with depression. -- Jo Cohen Hamilton, Ph.D

...a war chest of tools to aid our understanding of something that defies understanding unless one has experienced it firsthand... -- Christine B. Smith, Ph.D., President of Survivors of Loved One's Suicides, Inc. - SOLOS

This magical book...makes numerous practical, valuable, and doable suggestions. -- Catherine M. Schultz, School Counselor, Reading High School
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: NAL (January 6, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451209869
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451209863
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
When I got diagnosed my family immediately began researching depression and learning all they could. I just discovered this book at my parents' house, full of yellow highlighted passages. It was so touching to learn that they care that much about me and that they know me so well.

I found the book to be so very truthful on many levels. She describes many possible actions and reactions and thoughts and feelings of the depressed person. While not all of them related directly to me, I could see that my family had found the ones that did and really took them to heart. So, the list must be very exhaustive and you will surely find your loved one there, even if all the symptoms don't match.

My family has responded in such a wonderful manner to me and seem to have given me exactly what I needed when I needed it. Underneath the depression I had marveled at how "good" they were at supporting me. Now I can see where they got the specific advice as to what to do and what to say and what not to say - right here in this book and it was SPOT ON. Thinking back, I can almost pinpoint when they read this because I distinctly remember when they stopped saying the "Things you should never say to a depressed person." I remember being thankful that they had finally stopped the useless advice(!)

It's a short book, an easy read but don't discount its helpfulness and usefulness.

I recommend this book highly. For you - if you're depressed - find yourself on the lists and show your family what will help and what won't; for you - if you have a depressed loved one. I have even recommended it to my counselor to recommend to the families of her other depressed clients.
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Format: Paperback
First and foremost, Talking to Depression by Claudia Strauss is a map. It's a map for travelers in a tricky and sometimes dangerous land. If you have a family member, friend, or co-worker who suffers from depression, then this guidebook will serve as your navigator through troubled waters. While it offers an overview of depression in general, and a list of resources to contact at its close, its greatest strength lies in the concrete, down-to-earth tips it has to offer to individuals who are trying to help a depressed person. From conversation starters to non-verbal shows of support to "gifting," no avenue is left unexplored for the person desperately trying to cope with a depressed person on an every day basis.
Philosophically the author believes in a community approach to depression, not just in terms of teamwork on the part of the professionals who may be treating the depressed person, but also in terms of family and friends who have daily contact with the afflicted individual. Additionally, if depressed persons are made to feel part of that community of helpers, then they may be more likely to reach out to others and thus contribute to their own recovery.
Certainly, Talking to Depression can be read from cover to cover, but it's organized and indexed in such a way as to facilitate easy access to certain sections of interest to the reader. For example, there's a "Do Say/Don't Say" Cheat Sheet, a chapter on suicide, and a section on childhood depression, just to name a few. Ms. Strauss has gathered together quotations from a variety of sources, which she skillfully uses as epigraphs for each chapter. These quotations not only enlighten the reader, but also bring in the wealth of human experience to bear on the subject at hand.
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Format: Paperback
As someone who has suffered from depression for years, I found the book to be fairly accurate. It doesn't provide a lot of detail, but it gives enough information that non-sufferers can gain a little better understanding of the illness and how to deal with those suffering from it. At 200 pages it's a very easy read (I read it in two sittings). Not a bad book to get a quick overview on depression and some ideas on how you can help (and what *not* to do) when someone you care about is suffering.
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Format: Paperback
I highly recommend this compassionate handbook which gives simple, practical suggestions about how to help a person who is struggling with depression. TALKING TO DEPRESSION is not for therapists but rather for the rest of us--family members and friends who are in the trenches with a depressed person "in all the moments of every day." The book begins with a brief overview of depression written in plain language and goes on to provide a glimpse of what depression feels like from the inside as described by people who have actually experienced it. What I found most helpful was the author's specific advice about what to say and what not to say, about what to do and what not to do when trying to give comfort and support to someone suffering with depression. And the book closes with an excellent list of resources for further study and assistance. With TALKING TO DEPRESSION, Claudia Strauss has given us a gift--she reminds us that everyday people in everyday situations can make a difference, and she teaches us how.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a former mental health therapist and a person diabled by depression, I highly recommend this book. I wish I had had it 7 years ago when my mother moved in with me. She was saying all the "don'ts" and not doing any of the "dos". I got this book recently and read through it, marvelling at how my mother has, over the years, learned how to help me with my depression.

Another plus for this book is that it is written on a human level, not using a lot of dry facts or professional terminology, but just saying what needs to be said. It even includes a section on how children and teenagers can learn what to say and do as well as a section on what to say and do if a parent notices symptoms of depression in their child or adolescent.
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