The Ghost in the House: Motherhood, Raising Children, and Struggling with Depression

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9780060843793: The Ghost in the House: Motherhood, Raising Children, and Struggling with Depression

Consumer health text address maternal depression as a lifelong illness that can have profound ramifications for mother and child. Topics include depression during child-rearing years, how struggle with depression can make a better mother, when maternal depression starts with a bundle of joy, and more.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Washington Post reporter Thompson wrote about her experience of depression as a young woman in The Beast. Now she shares her experiences as a mother struggling with depression, mirrored in her childhood memories of her own mother's depression. All of this is filtered through research about the role of this cycle in families. Meandering anecdotes from the author and a survey of 400 mothers conducted by Sherryl Goodman of Emory University serve as both a strength and weakness of the book; they're instructive, but the various voices become confusing at times. Further, Thompson cites only evidence that "validates" her conclusions. And she may be too close to her subject. Yes, motherhood is daunting and difficult, but not every overwhelmed mother is depressed, as Thompson seems to imply. The information Thompson offers on depression (symptoms such as withdrawing and hyperirritability) and coping ("faith, friends, feeling like a child") will help guide and support readers. Sporadic emphasis on how children are affected includes an account of a young boy whose migraines are linked to his mother's depression, and another suggesting that one mother never learned healthy parenting skills because of childhood experiences with her depressed mother. Taken cautiously, this book offers support for those in the midst of struggling. (Aug. 1)
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Review:

Thompson manages to integrate multiple perspectives, demonstrating how children respond to and internalize their mother’s depression.... (Library Journal)

In this vital book, Thompson achieves the same level of nuanced insight that made The Beast so compelling. (Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon)

A moving and deeply personal account....Thompson, a wonderful writer, shows how maternal depression can be managed and even overcome. (Ann Crittenden, author of The Price of Motherhood)

“[The Ghost in the House is a] compelling mixture of memoir and research....fascinating....a welcome opening statement designed to get people talking.” (Boston Globe)

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