Rebuild from Depression

Silhouetted mother and child

Learn more about the Rebuild book.

Check out:
How I had a baby and survived!

Biography of Amanda G. Rose, Ph.D.
And the Rationale for the Book

One reviewer of Rebuild from Depression, a clinician of many years experience, asked me, “How did you figure this out?” After all, it is not many depressed people who have the energy to contemplate why they are suddenly faced with multiple chronic diseases. And when most of us have the energy to return to the world again, reading about depression does not top the to-do list.

I faced depression in pregnancy and postpartum. I had extreme fatigue and then weight gain due to hypothyroidism. After over two years of depression, the weight gain sent me on a mission to figure out why for the first time in my life I was facing multiple chronic illnesses.

With my training in research design and data analysis, my first question was: “What is the common cause of these medical issues?” The health problems occurred in close proximity to one another in the timeline of my life when no other health problems had plagued me in my pre-mother years.

I began to talk to women in their 50s and 60s about their own experiences. One said, “All of my health problems started when I had children. First it was postpartum depression, then hypoglycemia, then thyroid disease, now heart disease.”

Amanda G. Rose, Ph.D.

I reflected on my maternal grandmother’s life and early death at 61 years of age. She had postpartum depression before it had a name. The depression went largely untreated and she developed diabetes and heart disease. Heart disease and depression, in particular, share a key related nutrient deficiency: Omega-3 fatty acids.

I came to realize that had my grandmother treated her depression as a young woman, she would have had a much richer life and perhaps would have lived as long as her husband, who just gave up golf this year at the age of 88.

So how did I solve the grandmother puzzle as a social scientist with no training in medicine? As my social scientist friends would say, “Our data is so bad we have to be creative.” We are trained to examine complex relationships and have limited data to test our theories.

It’s natural in the process to ask, “
What is the common cause?”, when faced with a set of circumstances that are related in time. As I found answers in the medical literature to why my body would find itself in one health crisis after another, I integrated them into this book.

As an academic I am best known for my work with Prof. Burt Monroe, now of Pennsylvania State University, on election laws and their consequences for behavior – something we called “
the variance effect,” also known as the “Monroe-Rose Effect.” We showed that certain electoral structures favor rural political parties at the expense of urban political parties.

In my private sector business I work with school districts to establish structures that will ensure that students perform at their best on their achievement tests. It is only natural that my book discusses structures we can build to ensure that every day we wake up healthier than we would have otherwise. These structures move us farther along the path to being depression-free.

Besides my daily quest to
rebuild from depression, I work as a data analyst for social service agencies, primarily educational agencies. I live in the Sierra Nevada foothills with my husband, mother, and son. We drink clean well water and breathe fresh air. I attempt to walk the mile downhill to the post office every day (and back) to lose the pounds given to me by my now-working thyroid gland. We work daily to convince our son that he should eat a variety of foods. He continues to campaign for peanut butter and honey.

Learn more about the Rebuild book.

Check out:
How I had a baby and survived!