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A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression Paperback – May 15, 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gary E. Nelson, DMin, is a United Methodist minister who for thirty years has worked with teens and their families as a local church pastor and as a pastoral counselor. He currently pastors a church in West Virginia.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 154 pages
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock Pub (May 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 155635309X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556353093
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #711,461 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Wits'End on October 23, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ordered this book when I was at my wits' end. Our son has been suffering from deep depression and anxiety following a traumatic beating two years ago and has experienced rages, school refusal, and some violent outbursts. My husband and I have been trying to find a "fix" and have taken him to several psychiatrists, social workers, and a psychologist. He has resisted all overtures of help and stops taking medication as soon as he feels better. Recently, my son told me, "You don't know what my problem is. Stop trying to find out what it is, and stop trying to fix me." I identify with many of the author's experiences with Tom, and I found his description of the family's journey enlightening. I feel the truth of much that he says. How brave of him to step back and allow his son to go the unconventional route. How futile it is to lock horns and exhaust each other! I am not a churchgoer, but I appreciate the spirituality of this journey and the role of grace in Tom's healing. I found this book the most real of all the books I have read on teen depression, and it has given me a lot of hope for our situation. I have been searching for steps to follow to fix my son. I realize now that healing from depression is a much more nuanced process and will involve trial and error, patience, time, love, and grace. Thank you for this inspired work.
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Format: Paperback
A Relentless Hope: Surviving the
storm of teen depression
By Gary E. Nelson
A Review by Pat Sullivan, Editor Healing Magazine, [...]

Gary Nelson chronicles his son's fight against depression and how they joined together as a family to bring Tom back. Gary is a minister turned pastoral counselor who provides interfaith counseling youth with problems very much like his son's, which makes he situation even more poignant as one reads about Tom's slide downward into a depression that nearly took the young man's life.

Gary wrote this wonderful little book for teens, parents, teachers, counselors and pastors in hopes of teaching them the signs and how to help them bring other youth from the brink of deep, deep depression.

Tom had been a normal kid who played baseball very well and had many friends. Around the time he entered high school, he started pulling away from the friends and activities he had previously loved and began feeling "sick" and unable to attend school. He spent more and more time in his room and literally days in bed, and he would have fits of rage during which he would throw things into his walls and ceiling, one day almost shattering his bedroom door. He left the baseball team in anger over criticism by the coach and withdrew from all of his friends. Eventually he came to realize that something was wrong, but he had no control over it. He described it to his parents as "feeling like he was being beaten
from the inside." His sleep patterns changed, he was irritable and angry a lot of the time and was unable to focus on schoolwork, sports or relationships with his friends and families. It was perhaps harder for Gary to watch considering that he was a counselor himself yet unable to reach his own son.
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Format: Paperback
Methodist pastor and psychotherapist, Gary Nelson, has written a book which is a "must read" for every parent of teenagers. The teen years are filled with the ups and downs of a hormonal and emotional roller coaster, as adolescents make their way in the world, begin forming their identity as adults and finally move into completing the developmental task of making their own way in the world, and breaking away from their parents. At best, it is a tumultuous time. But for many teens, as Gary knows all too well, it is also a private hell, besieged with profound lows, uncontrolled anger and misguided efforts to control their pain through drug and alcohol abuse, reckless behavior and even suicidal feelings and thoughts.

Although many books have been written on parenting teens, Gary's book is unique in that he speaks to the issue from the point of view of pastor, therapist, and perhaps most importantly: father of a depressed teen. In this book, originally titled, "Just Keep Loving Them," Gary opens up the doors of his own home and family history, and allows us to see the painful, yet ultimately redemptive, journey that he and his family took with his oldest son, Tom.

Tom became depressed and school phobic in his early adolescence, and he and his family suffered through years of efforts to help him with his depression before he ultimately found his way out of the dark night of the soul that he was experiencing. Gary's approachable style and unflinching honesty allows the reader a look into the world of loving parents, trying desperately to help their beloved son, having to hold onto only faith and that, surely, please God, this ordeal must have some healing at the end of the journey.
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Format: Paperback
This book does a great job capturing how depression really does feel and effect a family. I've gone through depression myself, and I've never been able to find the words to express how it feels or how it effects anyone, but the author seems to be able to do a good job of doing so. I don't think you can ever know how it feels or what it's like until you go through it yourself, but if you read this book, you can possibly start to see it through a sufferer's eyes.
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