My Kind of Sad: What It's Like to Be Young and Depressed

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9781550379419: My Kind of Sad: What It's Like to Be Young and Depressed
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Helping teens deal with depression.

"Once you've been through it and you're able to get out of it, then you can handle pretty much anything."
- Caroline, age 19

Written to be read by teens themselves, My Kind of Sad lays out the facts on moodiness, depression, and the stresses of teenaged life. From the factors affecting how kids feel to the signs of serious depression, the book explores youth-specific mental health issues and offers teens expert advice on how to find help for themselves or help a friend in need.

To help kids differentiate between general worries and something more serious, the topics include:

  • reactive depression (a mood) vs. clinical depression (a mood disorder)
  • bipolar disorder
  • anxiety disorders (panic attacks, posttraumatic stress disorder)
  • disordered eating (how food affects mood) vs. eating disorders (diseases that can kill)
  • self-mutilation (cutting)
  • suicide and warning signs
  • treatment options

Along with constructive guidance from professionals and stats from the latest studies, the book shares thoughts and feelings from teens who have experienced different forms of depression. Complete with pages of resources to help learn more, My Kind of Sad is a valuable ally in the battle against hopelessness.

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About the Author:

Kate Scowen has worked with youth for over 15 years in both residential and community-based programs, including the Toronto Children's Aid Society. She interviewed youth and compiled their stories for My Crazy Life: How I Survived My Family. Kate works in Toronto as a consultant and writer.

Dr. Marshall Korenblum, M.D., F.R.C.P.(C), is Psychiatrist-in-Chief at Toronto's Hincks-Dellcrest Centre for Children, former Director of Postgraduate Education for the Division of Child Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:


This book is about a lot more than depression. It's about being an adolescent and how that shapes you. It's about what happens when your moods and habits move beyond the everyday and become harmful. And it's about how to recognize that and know when to get some help.

We all get moody sometimes. Our moods can fluctuate throughout the day without much warning. Depending on what is happening in our lives, our moods can be more visible sometimes than at other times. It's all part of being human. Imagine a world without moods or emotions -- no laughing at funny jokes, no crying when your feelings are hurt, no anger when someone pushes you, no fear watching a scary movie -- what a boring world that would be.

When you're little, chances are your emotions and moods are managed by your parents. If you fall and hurt yourself, they pick you up and brush you off. If someone hurts your feelings, they mediate the conflict for you and help to restart your friendship. As an adolescent, this begins to change. Not only do you want your parents to be less involved, they just aren't around as much. You're probably spending more time at school and more time with your friends. This all happens at a time when you are going through some major physical and emotional changes.

Your brain and your body are both changing in weird and wonderful ways. Now you have to figure out how to navigate the world on your own at a time when you're experiencing some serious inner chaos. This can be stressful and can certainly affect your moods. In this way, moodiness is a normal part of adolescence. The relationship between your moods, the world around you, and your life as an adolescent is explored in Part I.

Depression is more than moodiness; it is a mood disorder. A mood disorder is different from moodiness in that it is not a phase or something that will necessarily pass on its own. Depression may have one specific clinical description, but it's really so many different things. We get a real glimpse of this through the personal stories of youth who generously contributed to this book. Moodiness, depression, anxiety, mania, eating disorders, self-harming, substance abuse, and suicide are some of the issues that came up in their stories. These issues and their connection with adolescent depression are presented in Part II.

A friend may be able to cheer you up when you're feeling sad, but if you are clinically depressed or struggling with another mood disorder, you need to get some professional help. That help can come in a variety of forms, and you may need to spend some time finding out what suits you best. Different kinds of therapies and treatments are discussed in Part III.

This book is not going to give you a quick fix for depression or some magic formula for getting through adolescence. There is none. What this book will do is tell you what depression is and how it is different from being sad. I hope it will make you think a bit about what it means to be an adolescent. It will suggest ways to get help and will provide you with resources where you can find that help. If you are a friend of someone who you think is depressed or is struggling with some of the other issues explored in this book, it will give you some ideas on how you might be able to help.

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9781550379402: My Kind of Sad: What It's Like to Be Young and Depressed

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ISBN 10:  1550379402 ISBN 13:  9781550379402
Publisher: Annick Press, 2006

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Kate Scowen
Published by Annick Press (2006)
ISBN 10: 1550379410 ISBN 13: 9781550379419
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Book Description Annick Press, 2006. Condition: New. Jeff Szuc (illustrator). book. Seller Inventory # M1550379410

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