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Help Me, I'm Sad: Recognizing, Treating, and Preventing Childhood and Adolescent Depression Paperback – October 1, 1998
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"Help Me, I'm Sad" first addresses diagnosing depression in a child, including what I had never seen before: symptom lists specific to children at different stages of childhood, infants to teenagers. Companion illnesses that might indicate depression are also discussed as part of the diagnosis section.
The treatment section covers how to find effective treatment, whether therapy, medication or both, including questions to ask a potential therapist. The last section, on preventing depression, contains suggestions on how to raise an emotionally resilient child. All in all, a complete, compassionate resource for parents and others who have a depressed child in their lives.
This book reports on few case histories, but because only twenty years of research are behind this subject, that isn't surprising. Most of the descriptive text looks at the stages of childhood depression, and what to expect from various treatment options. The authors do suggest that while several stressful situations such as parental divorce, or placement in foster care can lead to childhood depression, in most cases, there will be no single, obvious, precipitating factor, and parents should not look for one.
More than once, the authors state that depression is not the fault of the parents, or the result of bad parenting. Of course, what are they going to say, if they want parents to buy their book? Parents don't want to be blamed. At any rate, if they are voluntarily looking for help, the family is probably at a point where placing blame will not solve anything, so the authors are undoubtedly correct in this approach. The problem is that this approach appears to slant the book toward physiological causes of depression almost to the exclusion of environmental factors.
Nonetheless, the information presented is readable, clear, and written in a soothing narrative voice. Just reading the book may give relief to parents who are concerned about a child.Read more ›