Women and Depression: Recovery and Resistance takes a welcome look at women's experiences of living well after depression. Lafrance argues that the social construction of femininity is dangerous for women's health, and ultimately, central to their experiences of depression. Beginning with a critical examination of the ways in which women's depression is a product of the social, political, and interpersonal realities of their everyday lives, the analysis moves on to explore an often ignored aspect of women's experience - how women manage to 'recover' and be well after depression.
The book draws on extensive in-depth interviews with women who have been depressed, as well as on previous research and on analyses of representations of women's health practices in the media. In this way Lafrance critically examines how women negotiate and actively resist hegemonic discourses of femininity in their struggles to recover from depression and be well. Threaded throughout the analysis is the exploration of a variety of subjects related to women's distress and health, including:
• negotiating identity
• the medicalization of women's misery
• women's narratives of resistance
• the material and discursive context of women's self-care
In exploring the taken-for-granted aspects of women's experiences, Lafrance sheds light on the powerful but often invisible constraints on women's wellbeing, and the multiple and creative ways in which they resist these constraints in their everyday lives. These insights will be of interest to students and scholars of psychology, sociology, women's studies, social work, counseling, and nursing.
About the Author:
Michelle N. Lafrance is Associate Professor of Psychology at St Thomas University in Canada. Her research and teaching interests are in the area of women's mental health.