A Secret Sadness: The Hidden Relationship Patterns That Make Women Depressed

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New Harbinger Publications, 2009 - Family & Relationships - 196 pages

Can Your Relationships Make You Depressed?

Past and current patterns, unrealistic expectations, and assumptions about your role in the lives of the people close to you may cause or worsen depression. A Secret Sadness offers a groundbreaking perspective on this phenomenon, as well as powerful tools you can use to explore this issue in your own life.

Women experience depression at a higher rate than men, and researchers have recently uncovered evidence that suggests this may be due to the higher importance they place on their interpersonal relationships. Some of these researchers believe that women who struggle with relationships may be at higher risk for depression because their relationships are intertwined with their self-esteem and perceptions of personal success. This breakthrough book examines the often hidden relationship factors that make women depressed, the secret sadness that can last a lifetime.

Using three detailed case studies from her own practice, author and psychologist Valerie Whiffen explains how interpersonal problems can contribute to feelings of depression. Her insightful narrative sheds light on these problems, and will help you begin your journey toward healing. You'll learn how to explore your own relationships with intimate partners, children, and parents -with an eye for how these relationships may contribute to feelings of hopelessness, sadness, and anxiety. You'll ultimately be able to use this information to help overcome depression. And if depression has touched the life of someone you love, this book will help you to understand her better. Revealing the secret sadness is the first step to moving beyond depression and into a life of balance and joy.


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About the author (2009)

Valerie E. Whiffen, PhD, has been a researcher, professor, and psychologist in private practice since 1986. For twenty years, she was a researcher and professor of psychology, first at the University of Western Ontario, then at the University of Ottawa. After publishing the hardcover edition ofA Secret Sadness in 2006, she moved to Vancouver, BC, where she is now in private practice. Whiffen continues to be actively interested in research and holds a research grant to study couple relationships in breast cancer patients. She also serves as a peer reviewer and sits on the editorial boards for several professional psychology journals. Since 2008, she has been an elected member of the Board of the College of Psychologists of British Columbia. In addition toA Secret Sadness, she has authored numerous chapters in professional books, more than forty research articles, and coauthored Attachment Processes in Couple and Family Therapy with Susan Johnson. Her primary research and clinical interests are gender and depression.

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