Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Perfectly Hidden Depression: How to Break Free from the Perfectionism that Masks Your Depression” as Want to Read:
Perfectly Hidden Depression: How to Break Free from the Perfectionism that Masks Your Depression
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  126 ratings  ·  37 reviews
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 fea ...more
Paperback, 216 pages
Published November 1st 2019 by New Harbinger Publications
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Perfectly Hidden Depression, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Perfectly Hidden Depression

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  126 ratings  ·  37 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Perfectly Hidden Depression: How to Break Free from the Perfectionism that Masks Your Depression
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really resonated with this book. I seem to always have some level of chronic anxiety and depression and much of it all stems from my perfectionism. I am in a frenzy if someone wants to come over last minute and the house isn't perfect or if I haven't lost the baby weight after leaving the hospital after giving birth 48 hours late.r In my head I sometimes realize that things like these may be a bit silly, but somehow in the moment they never seem that way and it really takes a toll on my emotio ...more
Lucille Zimmerman
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm 3/4 of the way through this book. Because I'm a counselor myself, and because I can relate to my own history of Perfectly Hidden Depression, this book didn't offer me huge"ah ha's" or insights. Much of it was similar to what I use with my own clients and what I've written about in my own books.
However, there are two things that are especially helpful:
1. Dr. Rutherford formats the material into a set of reflections for you to consider and write about. If I were getting this book I would buy a
Dani (The Pluviophile Writer)
No one knows the real you because you never let them in. You're not comfortable with the reality of you so you pretend it doesn't exist.  If this sounds all too familiar to you, then you need this book.

5/5 stars.
ARC, ebook, 232 pages.
Read from May 29, 2019 to May 31, 2019.

Review at The Pluviophile Writer:

You always meet your deadlines regardless of how you're feeling, you push forward through difficult circumstances and hide behind a facade in order to keep an appearance o
Dec 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Perfectly Hidden Depression by Dr Margaret Rutherford s a must read. Even if you do not think you have it, I am confident that you know someone with it and it will help you in your interactions with them. These people do not appear depressed. They are very active and appear happy; not what you expect depression to look like.

Some of you may automatically know you are a perfectionist. Others may not recognize the behavior until you read how it can manifest itself. The author shares 10 characterist
Raoufa Ibrahim
Dec 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever said: "I Should be grateful", "My life is perfect, why am I feeling like this?!"

Probably you're suffering from Perfectly Hidden Depression (PHD). How to make sure you really have this? There are ten characteristic, some of them are:

You detach from painful emotions by staying in your head and actively shutting the off.

"You may deny emotional pain of any kind. you might tell yourself, Things just don't bother me. You've stuffed all your painfull experiences and memories into boxes
Jan 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Perfectly Hidden Depression is a dangerous thing and not enough people are aware of it. This book provides comforting guidance in finding the root of the readers’ PHD and chronic perfectionism and how to move forward. I skimmed through a lot of the reflections because I’m currently too lazy for that but the prompts definitely seemed like they would be enlightening.
If your own critical thoughts are oftentimes your worst enemy, this might be a book for you?

If nothing for you is ever quite as good as it could be, if your focus is on what isn’t, instead of what is, and inwardly you’re chastising and demeaning yourself over what you perceive as inadequacies and failures, then this book might be for you?

It's a funny(not in the HAHA way) thing how shame works, isn't it? Let’s face it. Sometimes, we all need to be critical of ourselves. Obviously, having a consci
Nichola Elder
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to receive an advanced readers copy from Dr Margaret! And I urge everyone to give it a read!

I didn’t fit the ‘typical depression’ criteria, but I always knew something wasn’t quite right with my mood, I had anxiety sure, but my mood didn’t fit the standard mould. I was perfectionistic, highly strung and functional, I filled my days with busyness you mask the crippling inadequacy I felt.
for years i was often ignored by professionals. So To finally have someone recognise that
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
Perfectly Hidden depression is a well written book, with amazing exercises that I would encourage for many if not most people that are really motivated to work on their depression. However, I found Margaret Rutherford's tone a bit harsh at times and it rather than the difficult exercises made me want to stop. Rutherford also, in my opinion, takes liberties about naming perfectly hidden depression without any true examples about how this hidden depression is not, in fact, diagnostically relevant ...more
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ng
This is a powerful book. I recognized traits and behaviors in myself and others that I never would have attributed to depression before, yet it makes perfect sense. I hope this work will not only bring relief to those struggling with depression, but also bring more understanding to mental health as a whole. There is an unfair stigma around depression that prevents many from getting the help they need, and that needs to change. Margaret Rutherford does an excellent job of explaining issues in lay ...more
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
Goes through five stages of healing, understanding and living. There are reflections sections - throughout the book and are exercises, then someone's story/ information. progress through the information presented. Does give some information on a few disorders. There are 3 pages of references and 2 pages of resources for readers which can help the reader to go further. Good starting point to anxiety and depression. ...more
Donna Hines
Jun 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, netgalley
PHD is something that in today's world is not often discussed in fact it's term made up by this author to describe what many feel but keep hidden to simply go along to get along.
Not showing your true authenticity could be unsettling considering the fact that you are not staying true to you.
So often we find ourselves overcome with anxiety, fears, trauma, abuse, and the like that we forget to deal with and process these emotions and that can wreak havoc upon us.
How many times has someone come up t
Penny Wright
Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
In this new book, due to be released in November 2019, Rutherford talks about an obscure form of depression marked by completely hiding your symptoms and being a perfectionist. Whereas with normal depression, people will notice your lethargy or increasingly sad moods, people with Perfectly Hidden Depression (or PHD, as she calls it in the book) outwardly show no signs of being depressed.

For people who are perfectionists, how others perceive you is incredibly important, and showing your vulnerabi
Hannah Grace
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it

Well, wow. This is what I needed in my life. A wake up call and and eye-opener to parts of myself I usually like to keep hidden. (Ha, get it?)

I knew the traits discussed in this book were a) defining parts of my personality yet also b) toxic in their intensity in my life. Therefore, I really needed this book in my life.

VERY intensive with exercises. I'm talkin' like basically every other paragraph. (LOL not QUITE that much, but quite extensive... and for good reason... since PHD people
Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book delves into what author Margaret Rutherford she "perfectly hidden depression", a syndrome that doesn't fit the official diagnostic criteria for depression, and so has flown under the radar, as have the people struggling with it. While some of the symptoms that charactize this condition came be helpful in moderation, those who struggle with PHD are so convinced they must present a "perfect" front to the world, that they don't acknowledge that they're struggling, often even to themselves ...more
Kris Compton
Jul 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book describes me to perfection! I definitely have perfectly hidden depression. Thankfully I've been in counseling off and on for 13 years now, which saved my life.

Working thru the reflections were a great exercise, along with therapy, to do some deep inner work. One thing I've learned about my particular form of darkness is that I cannot take days off from pursuing healing and doing the inner work. This is an ongoing journey for me.

I appreciate that this book is in every day language ra
Sarah E.
Apr 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I regret letting this book go unread for far too long. It is fantastic. A much needed resource for those struggling with perfectionism and depression, and the professionals that help them. The journaling reflections will be priceless to them!

If you don’t struggle with perfectly hidden depression, this book can give you insight and compassion for someone you know that does. Depression doesn’t have the same characteristics in everyone. That woman you know that seems to do everything effortlessly
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As a mostly-recovered, recovering-perfectionist, I read this out of curiosity and to see there were any new tips I could use (or just learn something new, in general). This is really good stuff. The author describes a set of recovery stages, and also includes lots of stories and wisdom from others; Great tips and techniques as well. She also heavily encourages readers to journal (ugh!), which I didn't do -- but I'm sure it's well-worth the effort. Make no mistake that if you're struggling, this ...more
Walker Walker
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was speaking to me directly. I had no idea I was battling with OCD which was contributing to my depression. This book will help you process what is happening in your life. For instance, I get depressed whenever I take classes. It helped me pin point that I was so busy trying to perfect all of my assignments to the point where I got nothing done. That alone was depressing in and of itself. This book help me discover my actions and how to work on improving these habits in order to light ...more
Nov 08, 2019 rated it liked it
This was a good starter guide that is aimed at people who aren’t aware that they actually have depression.

It includes criteria for diagnosis, support exercises & advice on how to tell the people in your life.

I thought it was interesting read though there was often a focus on people who have faced trauma or significant adversity rather than including people who have had no prior issues but are now having to fake being okay for fear of being seen as an attention seeker.

Overall 3.5 stars
Nov 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
This informative book identifies those negative patterns or beliefs that keep us emotionally detached from our selves and others. With detailed explanations, readers can use this book to help address their own issues of perfection. Perfectly Hidden Depression is a unique construct that explores a hidden mental health struggle becoming more and more prevalent.

The book includes great reflections questions throughout, but I do wish the publishers had included room for readers to respond to each qu
Diah R
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
(I received a digital ARC via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Perfectly Hidden Depression is perfect for those who doesn't know that they're depressed or can't/won't admit that they're one. I like that it contained step by step to identify and to tackle it without being too condescending. It gave more than 50 questions to ask ourselves, mostly on our beliefs. It'd be nice to do the questions/exercises with group. Overall, it was a good book, but a bit boring to me.
Tasha Driver
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a well written and researched book on the perfectionism that masks depression. It has conversational language and the style of a good therapist. This book should be read by everyone because you are either hiding your depression from those around you or you know someone who is. This book can help pick up on the signs of masked depression and get the person that needs it the help that they need.

It is very easy to follow and I highly recommend it.
Nov 17, 2019 rated it liked it
I could really relate to the beginning of this book. It was like she was speaking directly about me. Towards the middle of the book, it slows down a lot and becomes more like a therapy session. I can see where this could help many people if they want to be helped. For me, it was an interesting look at a topic I wasn't aware of before.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the advanced copy of this book. The opinions are my own.
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Books, especially "self-help" type books don't generally make me cry. However, I found myself tearing up often while reading this book.. Majority of it smacked of truth in my life especially growing up in a household were doing was given more credence than being. If you're curious about the root to your perfectionism and what to do about it, I highly recommend this book. ...more
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
I received an arc from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Okay so the 1/3 of this book wasn't that bad, I liked some of the tips and stuff but the last 2/3 was not that useful and it just dragged at the end.
Kitt O'Malley
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Unmask Your Depression

Rutherford’s book rings true to my experience as an overachieving perfectionist masking depression. No matter how hard I strived, I felt like a failure. Luckily, sought help. Rutherford offers a path to acceptance and healing.
Lili Mousa
the book is really great when it comes to discussing depression from a wider point of view, therefore I must recommend it to anyone interested in psychology and psychological health.
Matthew Bernard
May 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Anyone living in North America should read this. Especially men, and especially those who have read No More Mr. Nice Guy, as I think they are complementary. Rutherford articulates some concepts that otherwise have no vocabulary. Do the exercises, as much as they'll make you cringe. ...more
Heather Bennett
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Perfectly Hidden Depression is a fantastic and informative book. This is a must read for the year. I learned a lot in this book and will buy it for some people I know when it comes out.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • You Matter.: Learning to Love Who You Really Are
  • Live in Grace, Walk in Love: A 365-Day Journey
  • In the Heart of the Fire (Nameless #1)
  • The Wives
  • The Big Book of Reel Murders: Stories That Inspired Great Crime Films
  • Before the Broken Star (The Evermore Chronicles #1)
  • Nutrition Guide For Clinicians
  • Winterwood
  • The Sun Down Motel
  • Full Throttle
  • Call Your Daughter Home
  • Figures In Silk
  • Lady Helena Investigates (Scott-De Quincy Mysteries, #1)
  • The Emperor's Conspiracy (Regency London, #1)
  • Cardboard Creations - House Stuff
  • Seeking Slow: Reclaim Moments of Calm in Your Day
  • 10 Blind Dates
  • Justice. Mercy. Humility.: A Simple Path to Following Jesus
See similar books…
I have been a psychologist in private practice for over twenty-five years. I began writing online in 2012, and I’m excited to announce that my book, entitled Perfectly Hidden Depression: How to Break Free from the Perfectionism that Masks Your Depression, will be launched in November of 2019.

You can learn more about perfectly hidden depression and other topics by searching for articles on my webs

Related Articles

  Luvvie Ajayi Jones—author, cultural critic, digital entrepreneur—might be best described as a professional truthteller. Her crazily popular...
50 likes · 0 comments