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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Ought to be on Every High School or College Counselor's Bookshelf, October 10, 2007
This review is from: Behind Happy Faces: Taking Charge of Your Mental Health - A Guide for Young Adults (Paperback)
Behind Happy Faces is a very personal look at what happened to Ross Szabo when he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder his senior year in high school. The authors weave other stories into the message that, despite the stigma society attaches to mental health issues, help is out there and that with treatment, there is reason for great hope.

The authors don't sugarcoat their message though. While they point out statistics may show that "a large majority of people who seek help can see improvement in their symptoms," they must first be willing to ask for help.

Szabo and Hall have written this book as a guide for young adults. Yet, their work is valuable for those who love and work with young people. They touch on what I believe to be the most difficult issue and offer suggestions about how to get those young people to see the need for help. Common mental disorders like anxiety, depression, eating disorders, attention deficit disorder/attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder are discussed. And Szabo describes how in his case, he fell into substance abuse to self-medicate the pain of his illness as so many other people do.

Whether it's planning, maintenance, understanding the illness or adjusting one's lifestyle, the authors stress "you are not your disorder." They write: "The reason this distinction is important is because it casts a more positive outlook on your treatment. You'll start to think of your disorder as something you can manage, not something you're stuck with, or something that can't be help."

While this is a straightforward and realistic look at mental illness in young people, Szabo's story provides much encouragement. From the low point of wanting to take his own life, he has come to terms with his illness and has an understanding of what it takes to manage the bipolar disorder. The authors promise no easy answers but they do offer advice from the mental health community and Szabo's personal experience. Today, Szabo is Director of Youth Outreach for the National Mental Health Awareness Campaign and a popular campus speaker for CAMPUSPEAK, Inc. where he has reached thousands of young people. You might also catch him penning a post for the Huffington Post. He is a man with a mission after all.

Behind Happy Faces is a book that ought to be on the bookshelf of every high school and college counselor, adviser, teacher and administrator.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, November 23, 2008
This review is from: Behind Happy Faces: Taking Charge of Your Mental Health - A Guide for Young Adults (Paperback)
I purchased this book for a psychology class book report. It provides a great amount of advice for mental health not only for young adults, but for anyone. It really gives a good perspective on how to deal with mental problems that many people face.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read for High School Students, December 15, 2010
This review is from: Behind Happy Faces: Taking Charge of Your Mental Health - A Guide for Young Adults (Paperback)
I checked this book out for a college presentation on mental health. I didn't expect to even find it interesting, but the cover drew me to it. I did a quick read of the first chapter and couldn't put it down. I instantly connected with the author Ross Sazbo. This man dealt with mental issues for years before finally finding the help he needed. Ross is right, it's 2010 and while the social stigma of mental illness may not entirely be gone, the need to hide it and pretend it isn't there certainly is. The only way that we can have healthy kids is to address issues as they arise and get our kids the help they need. I think it should be in every library and a required reading for every health class in America.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and Informative, September 3, 2013
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I haven't completed the book yet, but it has been very informative! I am pleased that my daughter's college campus is using this book for their seminar. Thank you!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it., January 5, 2010
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This review is from: Behind Happy Faces: Taking Charge of Your Mental Health - A Guide for Young Adults (Paperback)
This is probably the most inspirational book i have ever read. I had had some problems dealing with troublesome events and in general i was about ready to quit. Last summer, i had the opportunity to hear Ross speak, and afterward i bought his book and was immediately sucked into it. It gave me a lot of perspective on just mental health, others' problems, and, in general and how to deal with all of that, and it greatly brought me out of my time of hopelessness. This book changed my life.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully human, July 24, 2013
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This book is so personal and yet it deals with a wide range of mood disorders. It really TEACHES us that anyone or everyone may have some kind of mood disorder or episode at e point in their life
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5.0 out of 5 stars new way of thinking for a president, July 9, 2013
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I just became president of a club at my college and this book has helped to open a new way of thinking for me not only as a leader but as a person on mental health and so much more. Easy read
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good textbook, July 9, 2012
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This review is from: Behind Happy Faces: Taking Charge of Your Mental Health - A Guide for Young Adults (Paperback)
I just finished reading this book for my class. It was, in fact, an inspirational read. It was easy to read too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars It was a great read. I highly recommend it, November 5, 2014
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This review is from: Behind Happy Faces: Taking Charge of Your Mental Health - A Guide for Young Adults (Paperback)
I bought this book for a class. It was a great read. I highly recommend it.
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