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BOOKS


The Ghost in the House: Real Mothers Talk About Maternal Depression, Raising Children, and How They Cope

The Ghost in the House

Motherhood is a job that impacts every aspect of a woman's self—mental, physical and emotional. Unfortunately, so does the many-faceted illness we call major depression, which can start affecting maternal-fetal health during pregnancy, lay waste to the supposedly blissful postpartum time of bonding, and go on to shadow mothers and their children for a lifetime. In 2004, I teamed up with Emory University psychologist Sherryl Goodman to survey some 400 mothers about their experiences with depression and parenting—what it was like, how it affected their children, what got them through and what they learned from the experience. Motherhood can be tough, I learned, but mothers can be tougher. Yet this is an illness with a uniquely destructive power, especially in an American society where women are encouraged to have it all, do it all, and never speak the truth: for some of us, motherhood is not all bliss.

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Praise

"Tracy Thompson has an uncanny ability to get at the experiential reality of depression."
   —Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon

"Thompson manages to integrate multiple perspectives, demonstrating how children respond to and internalize their mother's depression."
   —Library Journal


Harper Perennial, Paperback, July 2007, ISBN: 9780060843809