Perfectly Hidden Depression: How to Break Free from the Perfectionism That Masks Your Depression


Dr. Margaret Rutherford



Perfectly Hidden Depression


If you were raised to believe that painful emotions are a sign of weakness, or if being vulnerable has always made you feel unsafe, then you may have survived by creating a perfect-looking life - a life where you appear to be successful, engaged, and always there for others. The problem? You’re filled with self-criticism and shame, and you can’t allow yourself to express fear, anger, loss, or grief. You recognize something is wrong, but you’re not sure what exactly - only that you feel trapped and alone. If this sounds like you, you may have perfectly hidden depression (PHD).


With this compassionate guide, you’ll begin the process of understanding your perfectionism, identifying destructive beliefs, and connecting with emotions suppressed for far too long. You’ll also find over sixty guided exercises for quieting that critical inner voice, and powerful strategies for coping with difficult feelings. Most importantly, you’ll learn that asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength. If you’re ready to stop hiding and start healing, this groundbreaking book will guide you - every imperfect step of the way.


In Perfectly Hidden Depression, Margaret Rutherford shines a powerful and revealing spotlight on an important aspect of depression that receives far too little attention. As she describes in exquisite detail, the relationship between perfectionism and depression is an intense one; it creates a toxic internal environment that robs worthy people of the ability to enjoy even true successes, since perfection rarely, if ever, exists in the real world. Rutherford’s compassion and wisdom is matched by her courage in challenging all of us to expand our understanding of depression in its diverse appearances. The guidance and support she provides here will be invaluable for anyone struggling with these debilitating issues.

(Michael D. Yapko, PhD, clinical psychologist, and author of Depression Is Contagious and Keys to Unlocking Depression)












About The Author





Margaret Rutherford, PhD, is a clinical psychologist in private practice with more than twenty-five years of experience treating individuals and couples for depression, anxiety, and relationship issues. She also offers her compassionate and commonsense therapeutic style to the general public through her popular articles and podcasts, with the goal of decreasing the stigma around psychological treatment. Her podcasts and shows on perfectly hidden depression (PHD) have reached thousands, as she sheds light on this overlooked presentation of the disease.



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