Teenage Depression and Drugs: Teenage, Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Drugs

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More About This Book

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780877547716
  • Publisher: Facts on File, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/1/1992
  • Series: Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Drugs Series
  • Edition description: REISSUE
  • Pages: 124
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.54 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 0.52 (d)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2000

    Worse than Placebo

    First, I must admit that I was fooled into thinking that the book was about medication used to treat teenage depression as well as updated, pragmatic advice on recognizing and helping depressed adolescents. Perhaps my disappointment with the book, which focuses on illegal narcotics and alcohol, taints my review with undue bias. However, there are certain weaknesses in the book so that the cons override the pros...and you may be better off not reading it at all. First, the book is addressed by the authors towards adolescents, some of them most likely suicidal teens themselves. The photographs of past completed and attempted suicides serve no purpose (at best being unnecessary, at worst only aggravating the depressive mood of the reader). Nor do any of the prints of paintings and 'human-interest' photos that are plastered on every page. Such meloncholic visual content may worsen the depression of a suffering youth who picked up the book in an attempt to help him or herself. Second, the authors made a particularly vague statement that may be easily misunderstood. Teens who have constant thoughts of suicide ARE more likely to attempt suicide than the authors claim. In fact, this 'suicidal ideation' serves as a red-flag for anyone diagnosing a potentially depressive teen. Brief suicidal thoughts may be common in people, but when one does so for an inordinate and inappropriate duration, one should take the situation very seriously. This statement by the authors is later contradicted by themselves when they state that vocalization of those thoughts are immediate indicators of an oncoming suicide. Many depressed teens end up attempting or completing suicide by giving signs that are less obvious than words...and vocalization implies constant suicidal thoughts. Another contradiction can be found in the authors' assesment of attempted suicides. Third, the authors do not touch upon issues that have been known to be aggravating factors when looking into the cause of teen depression and instead obsessively preach the evils of illegal narcotics and alcohol. When one discusses mental health one must adequately cover all basic elements of its causes, and the authors failed to satisfy this. They make it sound like alcohol and drug addiction are necessary attributes for the onset of suicidal ideation and completion. Finally, the authors do not even touch open medications used to treat depression. It is true that the book is somewhat outdated, they still could have discussed the effects of lithium and tricyclics. Instead, they rant on about cocaine, marijuana, and other illegal narcotics. Obviously, I was extremely displeased with this book. It could have been much better regardless of when it was published. However, I must give it credit for offering a list of resources for drug recovery and prevention, hence the two stars.

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