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    "You are much deeper, much broader, much brighter than any idea you could have of yourself."
    Harry Palmer, posted by Daniel
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i was just wondering if there any books out there that are recommended that discuss the impact of depression on family life, on the relationship with your spouse/life partner, and how to overcome and heal from that impact?
 

Halo

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BBC

Did you click on the Books Tab at the top of the page right beside where it says New Posts on this page. I don't know if it has anything that you might be looking for but it is worth a look. Also, try going to Amazon and seeing what they might have is probably a good start also. They usually have some good things.

Others might have some specific references but I don't...sorry.

Good luck with your search :)
 
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one of the book titles i came across led me to a website www.depressionfallout.com. this site gives an interesting list of unofficial symptoms, which were confirmed to me to be quite accurate. i was a little shocked, as i never was able to see my behaviour through the eyes of those close to me.

Dealing with depression fallout requires first and foremost an understanding that your depression sufferer has a common, treatable illness, and that its symptoms include the following. In the right-hand column are the ones doctors use to diagnose depression. In the left-hand column are the unofficial, but nonetheless real-life, symptoms that you observe, especially when you are alone together.

UNOFFICIAL SYMPTOMS
self-absorbed, selfish, unaware or unconcerned about the needs of others
unresponsive, uncommunicative, aloof
changeable and unpredictable; illogical and unreasonable
manipulative
pleasant and charming in public, the opposite at home
makes inexplicable and sudden references to separation and divorce
mean, belittling and critical
increased use of alcohol and drugs

OFFICIAL SYMPTOMS
a persistent sad, "empty" or anxious mood
loss of interest or pleasure in activities previously enjoyed, including sex
sleep and appetite disturbances
difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
irritability, excessive crying
thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts
chronic aches and pains that don't respond to treatment

The unofficial list of symptoms explains why depressive illness undermines good relationships and disrupts families. Identifying, understanding, and learning how to cope with them is the first step in helping both the person you love and yourself.

The book suggests ways to tell your spouse, lover, parent, or child that they may be depressed, and persuade them to seek a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
 

Daniel

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Frankly, some of those unofficial, possible symptoms ("selfish, unaware or unconcerned about the needs of others") best describe someone who is addicted to crack and willing to steal for their next high. Most people with depression are not narcissistic.
 
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i find that particular one to have been true for me. i didn't care about others' needs or feelings when normally i should and would have. it was all about me.
 

Daniel

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i didn't care about others' needs or feelings when normally i should and would have. it was all about me.

Maybe that's the problem with unofficial, non-clinical symptoms -- they don't differentiate between the conscious-free killer that tortures animals and the guy/girl that is so depressed that he/she can only think about the depression. There's also the risk of existing stigmas being used to label what is "selfish" and what isn't selfish.
 

David Baxter

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I agree, Daniel. There is certainly a high degree of (negative) self-focus in depression which is part of the condition or syndrome, but that's a far cry from selfishness or narcissism.
 

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In a couple of cases among my friends where one spouse was clinically depressed, the relationships became strained even though the other spouse was supportive and loving.

In one case the other spouse eventually developed clinical depression. Happily after extensive therapy, both are healthy now.

What is it about the illness of depression that can sometimes severely damage a marital relationship, despite the best intentions of a supportive spouse?
 

David Baxter

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The withdrawal, the extreme self-focus, the anhedonia, and the inability to either reach out to the partner or provide emotional support to the partner.

As I always say to spouses and families of depressed clients, it's no picnic suffering from depression but it's no picnic living with someone who is depressed either. I especially point that out to clients who are depressed and don't want to take medication - it's not just you that you have to worry about - it's also the people who love you - if you won't do it for you, do it for them.
 

ThatLady

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Since the first, explanatory, paragraph talked about the Unofficial Symptoms as being those that "you" (I took this to mean the non-depressed partner) observe, I'm wondering if they don't mean that the symptoms mentioned are what the non-depressed person perceives, as opposed to what the depressed person is actually feeling.

If a person is deeply depressed, it could seem to another person who didn't understand depression that the depressed individual is selfish, uncommunicative and manipulative. The non-depressed person has no clue what's really going on in the mind of someone who is depressed. All they can do is surmise, based on what they see.

At least, that's how I took it.
 

Halo

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I especially point that out to clients who are depressed and don't want to take medication - it's not just you that you have to worry about - it's also the people who love you - if you won't do it for you, do it for them.

Good Point Dr. B. I never thought of taking medication that way.....not just for me but for my family as well.

Thanks
:)
 

David Baxter

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TL said:
Since the first, explanatory, paragraph talked about the Unofficial Symptoms as being those that "you" (I took this to mean the non-depressed partner) observe, I'm wondering if they don't mean that the symptoms mentioned are what the non-depressed person perceives, as opposed to what the depressed person is actually feeling.

Good point. Makes sense if that was what was meant.
 

ThatLady

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That really is a very important point, Nancy. Thanks for bringing it up, David! :)
 
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thatlady i think that is exactly it. the page was written for the non-depressed partner. i showed it to my husband and he said it all pretty much summed up what it was he saw. he just couldn't understand what was going on with me. i didn't even see anything was wrong myself, all i knew was that i was miserable.
 

ThatLady

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I can relate to your husband's feelings, bbc. My daughter's teens were pretty awful, and she seemed to be all the things that are mentioned in the unofficial list. I put it off to the egocentricity and self-focus that is normal in teenagers. Unfortunately, doing so allowed her depression to grow worse, resulting in a suicide attempt. It wasn't until that happened that I woke up to reality. It wasn't because I didn't care, but because I didn't understand.
 

Daniel

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The "Depression Fallout" book recommends that the non-depressed person be more selfish, which I would agree is a good way to avoid compassion fatigue. But it just seems a little inconsistent (though very understandable) that they list "selfish" as a symptom of depression and then tell the non-depressed person to be more selfish. The advice is good, but I would prefer a more optimistic way of presenting the material.
 

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