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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Depression and Your Child: A Guide for Parents and Caregivers...Review

About the book:
Seeing your child suffer in any way is a harrowing experience for any parent. Mental illness in children can be particularly draining due to the mystery surrounding it, and the issue of diagnosis at such a tender age. Depression and Your Child gives parents and caregivers a uniquely textured understanding of pediatric depression, its causes, its symptoms, and its treatments. Author Deborah Serani weaves her own personal experiences of being a depressed child along with her clinical experiences as a psychologist treating depressed children.

Current research, treatments and trends are presented in easy to understand language and tough subjects like self-harm, suicide and recovery plans are addressed with supportive direction. Parents will learn tips on how to discipline a depressed child, what to expect from traditional treatments like psychotherapy and medication, how to use holistic methods to address depression, how to avoid caregiver burnout, and how to move through the trauma of diagnosis and plan for the future.

Real life cases highlight the issues addressed in each chapter and resources and a glossary help to further understanding for those seeking additional information. Parents and caregivers are sure to find here a reassuring approach to childhood depression that highlights the needs of the child even while it emphasizes the need for caregivers to care for themselves and other family members as well.

I have a child who has Asperger's Syndrome and suffers from anxiety.  While we haven't seen signs of depression in him, that is still a possibility as he goes through his life.  As I went through this book, I was brought back to the early days of realizing that my son had some issues.  Our first diagnosis was Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and speech and language delays.  As our son was put into an early intervention program, The Doctor and I set out to educate ourselves and to learn about everything we could on SPD. The more we learned about the disorder, the more we filled our "toolbox" with techniques and knowledge and coping mechanisms and things we could do to help our son.  For instance, we learned that spinning helped to calm him down, we learned about how loud noises and crowds affected him, as well as other things.

As our son has grown older, we have seen his diagnosis finally evolve into Asperger's and he is quite a classic definition of it, although mild.  Again, we educated ourselves and we have continued to fill that toolbox as we learn about him and how he reacts to situations, how he learns, and somewhat how he thinks. We have a team of doctors and teachers who work with our son and together we do what we can to help give him the best possible situation in life.  When we started to see the signs of anxiety, we talked with his doctor and he began seeing a counselor who he loves.

As I read this book, I had the thought that this is a perfect book for those parents who are wanting to learn and educate themselves about depression.  It's a book full of resources, and is written in a straightforward manner. It's not full of big, undefined medical terms.  I liked the case studies that made things more relatable. The myth section was eye-opening and I loved the chapter on holistic approaches to depression.  Being married to a chiropractor, I have a firm opinion that all medicine should work together.  I have a couple of prescriptions I need to take regularly but I complement those with some homeopathic supplements.  I have a son who needed open heart surgery at birth and nothing else would have saved his life. So, my belief is that medicine, whether allopathic or homeopathic can and should all work together.  Here, Deborah talks about the importance of vitamins, touch, movement, music and more as well as explaining and addressing the use of traditional treatments like anti-depressants which are also effective in managing depression.

Overall, a great resource for parents who want to know and understand what their child is going through and how to help.

Thanks to Dorothy at Pump Up Your Book! for the opportunity to review this book.. You can learn more about Deborah Serani here.  You can purchase your own copy here.  You can see other reviews and tour stops here.

Read 9/13

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4/5 Stars


  1. I'm reviewing this one too and I look forward to reading it. I love learning more about psychology and this book is just the kind I like. So glad you found it helpful.

  2. Thank you so much for your review of my book. I'm glad you found it a meaningful read.