Perfectly Hidden Depression

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 15 Oct 2019

Member Reviews

(Also posted on my GR account!)

Perfectly Hidden Depression is perfect for those who doesn't know that they're depressed or can't/won't admit that they're one. I like that it contained step by step to identify and to tackle it without being too condescending. It gave more than 50 questions to ask ourselves, mostly on our beliefs. It'd be nice to do the questions/exercises with group. Overall, it was a good book, but a bit boring to me.
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Despite the fact I am Cptsd and live with depression and anxiety, I am not the target market for this book.  I gleaned a very few tips, but unfortunately found the tone jarring and at odds with what the message of the book could be.
Self-help books are either bad, ok or life-changing.  This one is "ok".
I think a lot of it was to be- it felt like the author was harsh at points, and quite honestly, reminded me of the worst psych teams I worked with, so I could be simply reacting to that.
Blunt and honest is of course important with mental health, but I feel like the tone might have been softer to make the exercises more approachable.
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Perfectly Hidden depression is a well written book, with amazing exercises that I would encourage for many if not most people that are really motivated to work on their depression.  However, I found Margaret Rutherford's tone a bit harsh at times and it rather than the difficult exercises made me want to stop.  Rutherford also, in my opinion, takes liberties about naming perfectly hidden depression without any true examples about how this hidden depression is not, in fact, diagnostically relevant depression.  This book does know it's own boundaries and Rutherford does a good job of encouraging the reader to get IRL support when necessary.  I believe that the exercises in this book may be very helpful for anyone wanting to make changes in their depression, if they can manage the book.
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This book delves into what author Margaret Rutherford she "perfectly hidden depression", a syndrome that doesn't fit the official diagnostic criteria for depression, and so has flown under the radar, as have the people struggling with it. While some of the symptoms that charactize this condition came be helpful in moderation, those who struggle with PHD are so convinced they must present a "perfect" front to the world, that they don't acknowledge that they're struggling, often even to themselves. 
While I don't have this myself, I could relate to a lot of the perfectionism the author writes of, and the journaling prompts and exercises would help anyone who struggles with perfectionism. I love how she frequently says things like, "This isn't something else you have to do perfectly." Rutherford is a reassuring guide on the journey to acceptance.
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Perfectly Hidden Depresson takes readers who need guidance when trying to understand and figure out the process of understanding what they are going though.  The book is broken up into sections and readers will be given home work to work though at the end of each section.
There are reference pages and guides to help readers find and connect with someone to better help them deal or process the depression.
Thank you to Netgalley for a advance copy of Margaret Rutherford Perfectly hidden Depression.
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This was a solid and informative book. I especially enjoyed that author highlighted important parts of the book with real life examples and cases.
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Lots of useful information. Well written, compassionate, concise, constructive. Usually self help books are too long and become boring, but this one isn't. I see myself in some of it, my daughter in most of it. I will keep this book handy as a reference. Thank you to netgalley for offering this book for review.
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This is a powerful book. I recognized traits and behaviors in myself and others that I never would have attributed to depression before, yet it makes perfect sense. I hope this work will not only bring relief to those struggling with depression, but also bring more understanding to mental health as a whole. There is an unfair stigma around depression that prevents many from getting the help they need, and that needs to change. Margaret Rutherford does an excellent job of explaining issues in layperson terms and without judgment. If you have ever known a perfectionist or been one yourself, you need to read this book.

Thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for the digital ARC.
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This book provides practical advice, thoughtful reflection questions, and hope for anyone who struggles with perfectionism and depression. As a person who has experienced both, I can honestly say that this book would have been a great help to me during the beginning of my recovery. Rutherford kindly guides the reader through every step from acceptance to change. I love how Rutherford does not "dumb down" her language yet makes this mental health self-help book approachable and engaging. I also think this book is special because this book is truly an experience and a guide for navigating the first steps of releasing one's inner feelings in order to recover. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is struggling with perfectionism and depression. 

I do want to say, however, that those who are already on the road of recover may not find a ton of new information in this book. There are numerous sections of true stories though that provide hope and inspiration.
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Perfectly Hidden Depression provides and in depth and easy to understand look into perfectionism and how it goes hand in hand with depression. Personal stories and exercises are provided throughout the book in an effort to provide context and tools. The author is shedding light on a very important aspect of depression that is incredibly relevant to today’s society. 

Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Perfectly Hidden Depression helped me realize that I had this condition too!  The excersizes were extremely healing and helpful insights and realizations about my own experience.  I would recommend this book to anyone suffering from mental illness.  Do not be afraid to ask for help.  Help is available and it may save your life or someone else's.
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I received an arc from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  

Okay so the 1/3 of this book wasn't that bad, I liked some of the tips and stuff but the last 2/3 was not that useful and it just dragged at the end.
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Perfectly Hidden Depression is a fantastic and informative book. This is a must read for the year. I learned a lot in this book and will buy it for some people I know when it comes out.
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Goes through five stages of healing, understanding and living. There are reflections sections - throughout the book and are exercises, then someone's story/ information. progress through the information presented. Does give some information on a few disorders. There are 3 pages of references and 2 pages of resources for readers which can help the reader to go further. Good starting point to anxiety and depression.
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In this new book, due to be released in November 2019, Rutherford talks about an obscure form of depression marked by completely hiding your symptoms and being a perfectionist. Whereas with normal depression, people will notice your lethargy or increasingly sad moods, people with Perfectly Hidden Depression (or PHD, as she calls it in the book) outwardly show no signs of being depressed.

For people who are perfectionists, how others perceive you is incredibly important, and showing your vulnerability is not an option. You might hide your symptoms so well that even the people closest to you might have no idea what you’re really going through.

The book is perfect for people who think they might be experiencing this sort of depression and want to do something about it. Each section of the book is followed by a journal prompt to help you reflect on yourself and your own habits. I like that with a book such as this one, you’re able to move at your own pace and spend plenty of time on the prompts and reflections. There are also real-life stories about Dr. Rutherford’s patients and how they learned to deal with PHD.

I do not have what Dr. Rutherford calls “Perfectly Hidden Depression;” my depression is of the more typical variety. However, if you recognize that your perfectionism is causing you to internalize your depression and you want a way out of that suffering, I highly recommend this book.
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This book was impossibly good! Fresh twists, mysteries upon mysteries, and a somewhat ambiguous ending that I'm still thinking about days later. I hope to see more from this author in the future!
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You always meet your deadlines regardless of how you're feeling, you push forward through difficult circumstances and hide behind a facade in order to keep an appearance of having it all together. All because you don't want to be perceived as incompetent or weak, yet inside you're constantly battling with yourself, your feelings, and your self-worth. You've tried to line yourself up with the standard definitions of depression yet you never fully fit it due to your heightened sense of responsibility, your inability to recognise or share your feelings, and the high sense of control you constantly try to implement in your life. No one knows the real you because you never let them in. You're not comfortable with the reality of you so you pretend it doesn't exist.  If this sounds all too familiar to you, then you need this book.

After some harrowing experiences with patients, the author of this book noticed a pattern and began to put together the shape of this unique type of depression that often goes unnoticed and undiagnosed. Coined by the author, Perfectly Hidden Depression (PHD) can be the result of a variety of factors such as upbringing, ingrained beliefs, and personality traits. The author states that there isn't anything in the Diagnostics and Statistics Manual (DSM) on this type of depression but that this is an acknowledgement and an observation from her own professional experiences (which she details and provides resources for). The author believes PHD is a subset of depression that many practitioners miss because it doesn't present the way the DSM has listed. The author gives this list of defining features that make up someone with PHD:

Are highly perfectionistic and have a constant, critical,
and shaming inner voice.

Demonstrate a heightened or excessive sense of
responsibility.

Detach from painful emotions by staying in your head
and actively shutting them off.

Worry and need to control yourself and your
environment.

Intensely focus on tasks, using accomplishment to feel
valuable.

Focus on the well-being of others but don't allow them
into your inner world.

Discount personal hurt or sorrow and struggle with
self-compassion.

May have an accompanying mental health issue, such
as an eating disorder, anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or addiction.

Believe strongly in counting your blessings as the foundation of well-being.

May enjoy success within a professional structure but
struggle with emotional intimacy in relationships.

Think of some of the shocking celebrity suicides that have happened recently in years, Anthony Bourdain, for example. Everyone thought he has this dream life and that he seemed like a generally happy and satisfied person. What if Anthony was the epitome of PHD? In that, he felt his personal value was only in his accomplishments, driven by how grateful he thought he should feel, and then feeling burdened and overwhelmed by the mask of achievement and perfection that he felt he had to wear. He also had addiction problems. If we knew more about people that presented with this perfectly masked depression we could provide them with better treatment and save them and those around them an immense amount of suffering.

"Anthony Bourdain was apparently not physically ill, not financially destitute, not concerned about getting his next meal, and not lacking in fame. In fact, he remarked he had “the greatest job in the world.”" - Toronto Sun, July 7, 2018

It's hard not to get personal in reviewing this book as I picked it up from Netgalley out of my own personal interest. After reading The Gifts of Imperfection eight years ago I worked through my own PHD, which at the time was just learning to be vulnerable again. I started talking and writing about my issues and the condition, dermatillomania, that still plagues me, something that would have been unthinkable before. I made steep headway with Brené Brown's book but it wasn't enough. This book feels like the acknowledgement and the validation I need to press forward in my own personal growth and happiness in terms of the regressions I have made at this point in my life.

The author of this book is shedding light on an area of depression that requires some serious attention. Her writing is personable, concise, insightful, informative, resourceful and clinical. I have already recommended this book to at least three people I know and I anxiously await its publication as I look forward to adding this to my permanent bookshelf.  At this time, I have not done the reflections recommended in the book as I was excited and anxious to get through all the content because of how alarmingly relevant I found it. I am now looking forward to re-reading the book and diligently doing the reflections which I believe will be immensely valuable. I've already started recommending this book which is due to be published on November 1, 2019. I highly recommended this book to anyone who feels they fit this description, and if you do, chances are you're reluctant to reach out for help, so start with this book, no one has to know. T
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PHD is something that in today's world is not often discussed in fact it's term made up by this author to describe what many feel but keep hidden to simply go along to get along.
Not showing your true authenticity could be unsettling considering the fact that you are not staying true to you.
So often we find ourselves overcome with anxiety, fears, trauma, abuse, and the like that we forget to deal with and process these emotions and that can wreak havoc upon us.
How many times has someone come up to you and said how's it going only to say 'I'm good' but did you really mean it or were you on the verge of disaster inside?
Depression is a 'dirty word' in 'mental illness' that creates a stigma that one is broken, damaged, unable to cope in life as a 'normal' person and therefore must be cast away, set aside, dealt with at another date and time.
It's not something easily discussed nor it's readily accepted by society so in order to go about one's day to day activities and if one is a perfectionist it becomes stuffed down till it manifests reaching a boiling point.
It's not till this revelation of reaching the top of the iceberg that one seeks help and that others begin to even notice there was ever a problem to begin with.
For the 5 c's of healing the author suggests getting back to reality checks and balances. A form of self acceptance, a level of awareness, a degree of authenticity and most importantly a new norm of self forgiveness and self love.
Her 5 c's of healing include conciousness, commitment, confront, connect, and change.
What I enjoyed about this book is that for myself it was something I could comprehend as I was and in many ways still am a perfectionist.
I've dealt with narcissism and NPD most if not all of my life from being raised in a family of them to eventually marrying and finally divorcing one after raising three kids (who I believe 2 of them have the NPD disorder).
It's a personality trait disorder much like bipolar that was discussed in length in this novel.
Often one may find that these disorders go hand in hand so when checking up with a therapist make sure they address that fact.
As for all else what I've noticed over the years is the lack of compassion, empathy, acceptance, and love from those closest to me and society in general.
Labels are often attached to a person and often times we live in an immediate diagnosis society in which people claim to be knowledgeable and cast blame and shame upon others for their own self control and self empowerment and have no need nor wish to assist others who are suffering.
The idea that victim blaming and shaming continues without the basis of mental illness being addressed is mind blowing to me.
I grew up with the need of helping others and have been awarded the highest award for community service by our nation (Points of Light -Pres. George H.W. Bush in 2016).
I'm dumbfounded to see how many are suffering and how much people scoff, mock, and downplay their pain.
Just the other day my local news posted on FB about people being afraid of doorbells entitled,"Do Doorbells Give you Anxiety": https://www.facebook.com/eyewitnessnewstv/photos/a.207050702642833/2712646958749849/?type=3&comment_id=2712848618729683¬if_id=1559847521816980¬if_t=feedback_reaction_generic
You can't imagine the commentary but I assure you it was not supportive in anyway. Much of the commentary centered upon the dummying down of society and the babying of the world with kid gloves.
As if this was a masculine or feminine task and as if it had nothing to do with abuse, trauma, ptsd, or other forms of the DSM manual of personality trait disorders.
I'm at a loss for how our world arrived at this point - a point in which nothing else matters anymore.
What I will suggest is in setting up boundaries, finding good support system, and letting things go that are beyond one's control. 
Don't sweat the small stuff as they say and try to focus on oneself as it's not selfish but necessary for a healthy living.
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I read this book to gain insight on others who may be dealing with depression... but didn’t realize that I found a book that would personally affect me. PHD makes so much sense in hindsight, but at first I was just so confused. If you are a perfectionist, or a really hard worker, you might find yourself in this book and it’ll really make you think and ponder about your psyche. I’m also not a journaling person, but the activities were insightful. I would suggest this to other adults who may have this type of personality.
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As a mostly-recovered, recovering-perfectionist, I read this out of curiosity and to see there were any new tips I could use (or just learn something new, in general). This is really good stuff. The author describes a set of recovery stages, and also includes lots of stories and wisdom from others; Great tips and techniques as well. There are also suggestions for dealing with triggers (and things that set you off) and how to handle a number of situations -- which is great.

She also heavily encourages readers to journal (ugh!), which I didn't do -- but I'm sure it's well-worth the effort. Make no mistake that if you're struggling, this book will help if you put in the effort while reading it; so it's obviously going to take some time to read and utilize. Highly recommended.

I really appreciate the complimentary copy for review!!
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