Adolescent Depression: A Guide for Parentsby Francis Mark Mondimore
Until recently, psychologists and psychiatrists believed that adolescents did not experience true depression in the way that adults do. Medical experts now realize that young people can and do get seriously depressed, and that depression and bipolar disorder may be more serious and more difficult to treat in adolescents than in adults. Depression may also be harder
Until recently, psychologists and psychiatrists believed that adolescents did not experience true depression in the way that adults do. Medical experts now realize that young people can and do get seriously depressed, and that depression and bipolar disorder may be more serious and more difficult to treat in adolescents than in adults. Depression may also be harder to recognize as an illness, both because moodiness is considered universal among teenagers and because parents often resist having their child treated for a psychiatric illness that they think—and often hope—will be "just a phase."
In Adolescent Depression: A Guide for Parents, Johns Hopkins psychiatrist Francis Mondimore helps parents understand that serious depression in adolescents is an illness—an illness that can be effectively treated. He describes the many forms of depression and the many ways it can appear in young people—from intensely sad feelings to irritability, anger, and destructive rages. And he answers parents' questions, including: What are the danger signals of serious depression in teenagers? How are mood disorders diagnosed? How do medications work? What about talking therapies? How does depression relate to other problems, such as drug abuse, ADHD, and eating disorders and other self-injurious behavior? Of the one in five adults who go through a period of serious depression during their lifetime, many had their first experience of depression as teenagers. This comprehensive and compassionate guide detailing the symptoms, treatments, complications, and causes of adolescent depression provides parents with the information they need to ensure that their children receive the best possible treatment and become happy and healthy adults.
Description: This is a comprehensive update of a book that characterizes the essential issues and concerns that parents should be aware of to help determine the presence of depression in their teenaged children. The previous edition was published in 2002.
Purpose: The authors emphasize the importance of parents recognizing that clinical depression in adolescents does occur and can be a serious medical problem if dismissed as typical teenage mood variance and not met with formal assessment and treatment.
Audience: This book is intended for parents and guardians of teenaged children as well as other lay persons responsible for the well-being of teenagers. It serves to answer the many questions they may have about clinical depression, warning symptoms, diagnoses, and treatment options.
Features: The first part, on symptoms, syndromes, and diagnosis, makes readers aware of how clinical depression in a teenager can be a serious problem that is just as important as other medical problems. It describes our best understanding of normal adolescence and then explains the several types of clinical depression. It concludes with a simple historical review of the DSM that is often the source of diagnoses. The second part, on treatment, is a simple yet comprehensive overview of both psychopharmacology and medical treatments for depression along with their methods of action, side effects, and common concerns. It also discusses psychotherapeutic approaches and how they complement these treatments. Part three, on variations, causes, and connections, addresses some of the complexities of clinical depression when it is comorbid with ADHD, autistic spectrum disorders, substance use disorders, eating disorders, self-injurious cutting, and the influence of genetics. The fourth and final part reads like a concise compendium of professional advice for parents who have just made the decision to seek care for an adolescent with signs of clinical depression.
Assessment: This is an exceptionally thoughtful book for parents that is so well done that it not only comprehensively covers the essentials they must understand about depression and its treatment without using technical jargon, it anticipates and addresses many of the questions parents may have about a clinically depressed adolescent, providing an honest depiction that is quick to highlight the limits of professional knowledge. The book could be enhanced in two ways. First, it would benefit from addressing more of the influence of social acceptance and identity challenges of adolescence that pertain to gender, race, socioeconomic class, body image, and cultural assimilation, to name a few. Second, it is clearly stated that the book was written after DSM-5, so there is no good reason for its prediction that the multi-axial diagnostic format would remain, its use of outdated diagnoses of childhood from DSM-IV, and its failure to accurately note how names of some disorders of childhood have changed. Despite this, it remains an excellent resource to keep parents informed while they are seeking care for a clinically depressed adolescent.
Marcia Slomowitz, M.D.
Nancy A. Durant, M.D.
What People are saying about this
This is Dr. Mondimore's best book yet, thorough and comprehensive. He provides information that is vital for parents, pediatricians, and general practitioners trying to understand the behavioral symptoms of mood disorders in adolescents.
This well-written book is both comprehensive and scientifically rigorous. Dr. Mondimore makes the complex concepts and terms involved in the diagnosis and treatment of adolescent depression enormously accessible to the layperson.
Dr. Mondimore has clearly succeeded in his goal of providing parents with a sophisticated summary of everything that is currently known about adolescent mood disorders. His writing combines a keen clinical skill in the care of patients with a comprehensive and sensible review of the research literature. In our clinic at Johns Hopkins Hospital, we spend a lot of time simply educating parents about these conditions, and we have badly needed a book to recommend to families. Dr. Mondimore's book more than satisfies this urgent need. This is an outstanding work that surpasses anything else I have read for parents on clinical depression and bipolar disorder in teenagers.
Meet the Author
Francis Mark Mondimore, M.D., is a psychiatrist and member of the clinical faculty of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His books include Depression: The Mood Disease and Bipolar Disorder: A Guide for Patients and Families, both available from Johns Hopkins.
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