Children's authors provide guidance to families
depression | Child Development
This summer, William
Beardslee, MD, psychiatrist-in-chief at Childrens
Hospital Boston, published Out of the Darkened Room: Protecting
the Children and Strengthening the Family When a Parent Is Depressed.
The book is written for families who are dealing with the burden
of one family members depression, and stresses the importance
for those families of initiating and continuing honest communication.
Darkened Room stems from a long-term study that Dr.
Beardslee and a group of colleagues embarked upon in 1979. They
traced the lives of 275 children from 143 families in which the
parents struggle with depression or other adversities, such as
the death of a relative or loss of a job. Researchers noted specific
factors and characteristics that enabled particular children to
survive and even thrive in the midst of great difficulty. Based
upon their discoveries, the team implemented a prevention program
for families in crisisstrategies that Dr. Beardslee highlights
for a wider audience in his book.
Interspersing the viewpoints of both parents and children, Beardslee
relates each familys account while emphasizing the importance
of families constructing their own stories. Such stories
are the comprehensive collection of a familys identity,
memories and experiences acknowledging the role of depression,
but not allowing depression to become the sole aspect of the story.
A Map of the Child
In A Map of the Child: A Pediatricians Tour of the
Body, Darshak Sanghavi, MD, a fellow in pediatric
cardiology at Childrens, reflects on the astonishing development
of children, who begin as single cells and rapidly develop into
The book takes readers on a dramatic tour of medical discovery
through the eight vital organs of a child, beginning with the
lungs and proceeding to the heart, blood, bones, skin, brain,
gonads and gut.
Through patient narratives that touch on medicine, psychology,
religion, culture and politics, Sanghavi involves readers in his
own learning process, and illuminates many controversial topics
in pediatrics: circumcision, vaccination for chicken pox, child
abuse, alternative medicine, and more. Sanghavi also describes
his struggle to come to terms with illness in his own family,
a theme that echoes throughout the book.
A Map of the Child, is available in bookstores. An
excerpt is available HERE.