Organized in a handy question-and-answer format, Restoring Intimacy: The Patient's Guide to Maintaining Relationships During Depression, by Drew Pinsky, M.D., et al., is divided into five chapters on diagnosing depression; treating depression; relationship issues; getting appropriate help; and resources, such as self-tests, an annotated list of organizations and their Web sites, and a list of medications. This is certainly one of the first books, perhaps the first, to deal directly and frankly with the impact of affective disorders on sex, marriage, and family relationships. Among the problems addressed here are the sexual side effects of some antidepressants and the ways in which the symptoms of depression in men differ from those in women.
Five of the seven contributors-Pinsky, Anita Clayton, David Dunner, Robert Hirschfeld, and Thomas Wise-are psychiatrists, and two, Martha Manning and Laura Epstein Rosen, are psychologists. All are trained and experienced in the treatment of people with affective disorders and relationship problems, and their expertise is clear in their straightforward, compassionate answers to the questions of consumers and family members. Manning is also a wife and mother who has been treated for depression, a fact that makes her comments particularly helpful.
The book's five-part structure is helpful, but the sequence of questions in the chapters isn't always logical. And the list of medications does not mention any mood stabilizer other than lithium, an inexcusable omission in so recent a book in which bipolar disorder is discussed.
Although this book is somewhat expensive, the NAMI Literature Committee recommends that NAMI affiliates purchase it for their libraries and suggest it to public and professional libraries because there is so little information about these problems of mental illness and intimacy.