Out of the Darkened Room: When a Parent is Depressed; Protecting the Children and Strengthening the Family

William R. Beardslee, United States, 2002

‘Depression wreaks havoc on families, yet there remains a veil of silence between parents and children about this insidious disease’. With Out of the Darkened Room, Harvard psychiatrist Dr. William Beardslee breaks apart the myth that shielding children from the ravages of the disease is the best approach, showing that open communication about depression is the key to healing for both the individual and the family.

Armed with evidence gathered through his 20-year study, Dr. Beardslee blends personal and clinical experiences with hard scientific data to present a comprehensive look when a parent is depressed. Among his many valuable points, he gently insists that depression is a biological disease that can be treated and that sufferers are not at fault. Black moods, unnecessary anger, and lethargy caused by hormonal imbalances in the brain can be corrected with a combination of medication and therapy. But part of the healing means speaking honestly with your children and spouse as well as facing your own fears and shame about the disease.

Citing positive case studies (made even more powerful by the fact that they result from two decades of meetings with patients and their children) Dr. Beardslee outlines the tactics that fortify children of depressed parents. Armed with this knowledge, parents can free themselves from the burden of viewing depression as a legacy they might pass on to their children. There is a path to a better life, and if you or someone you know suffers from depression, this kind doctor’s words can make a world of difference’. Jessica Leigh Lebos

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