Publications | Secret Sadness

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

Secret Sadness Book Cover

I wrote this book for women who experience depression and for the people who love them. I summarize the research on women's depression, with an emphasis on the known link between depression and interpersonal problems. I illustrate the research using three case studies taken from my private practice and I provide an overview of women's treatment options.

Publisher's Weekly (2006) wrote:

Whiffen's fine introduction to depression places the disease in the context of women's interpersonal relationships, simply and methodically underscoring the correlation between a woman's formative connections with her parents, her romantic relationships as an adult and her emotional well-being and sense of self. For many patients, "feeling depressed is better than admitting a truth about a relationship with someone important that would lead to profound feelings of sadness," theorizes the author, a professor of clinical psychology at the University of Ottawa. She examines various stages of development to illuminate how parenting styles and early life attachments affect a child's ability to cope with stress or conflict in intimate relationships later in life. Throughout, Whiffen enhances the accessible, instructive text with the stories of three of her patients. The volume includes thought-provoking, workbooklike questions at the end of each chapter for readers to consider their own behavior and feelings. Whiffen encourages women suffering from depression to undergo therapy, and information about treatment options, with a brief mention of antidepressants, rounds out the book. Readers are left with an encouraging mantra: "Remember that our lives don't change; we change our lives."

Janice Kennedy, columnist for The Ottawa Citizen (April 29, 2007), said:

"When author/psychologist Valerie Whiffen wrote the book on female sadness, she broke new literary ground on women and relationships."

To read the full article click here.

Dr. Stephen Beach, depression researcher at the University of Georgia wrote (Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Vol 25, 2008):

"The book is much more than a biographical account and more engaging than most scientific accounts ... The presentation invites the reader into a caring, sympathetic relationship with the three depressed women who provide the focus of the book ... engages and enlightens."

Copyright © 2018 Valerie Whiffen |