When Living Hurts: For Teenagers, Young Adults, Their Parents, Leaders, and Counselors

Overview

Highly lauded by Psychology Today and School Library Journal when it was first published in 1985, this groundbreaking work has been thoroughly revised and updated. This insightful, direct book is written for young people who are in trouble or for those who want to help those in trouble. It identifies early warning signals of suicide, suggests how to get help for different kinds of problems, and offers ways to cope creatively with anxiety, anger, frustration, sadness, loneliness, or depression. Dr. Gordon ...
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Overview

Highly lauded by Psychology Today and School Library Journal when it was first published in 1985, this groundbreaking work has been thoroughly revised and updated. This insightful, direct book is written for young people who are in trouble or for those who want to help those in trouble. It identifies early warning signals of suicide, suggests how to get help for different kinds of problems, and offers ways to cope creatively with anxiety, anger, frustration, sadness, loneliness, or depression. Dr. Gordon acknowledges that we live in an imperfect world. There is much to worry about, and everyone at some time feels hopeless, helpless, and unloved. Yet there are things that we can do that will lead to new understandings and appreciation of the opportunities that life has to offer. The author frankly discusses difficult subjects such as drug and alcohol use, sexuality, relationships, and high-risk behaviors in an honest, nonjudgmental way. In a time when depression and suicide among youth are being documented in greater numbers than ever, Dr. Gordon makes it clear: you and those you care about can find help when living hurts.
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Editorial Reviews

VOYA
Gordon has a national reputation as a speaker and author on sexuality, family, relationships, and suicide prevention. This work was first published in 1985 and is reprinted and revised in this third edition. Gordon's gentle and practical advice continues to have something to say. Aimed at youth, parents, counselors, and community leaders, major topics-friends in need, suicide prevention, sex and love, parents, God, the purpose of life-include short, pithy essays punctuated with advice and suggestions, making it easy for the reader to target a specific area of interest. For example, on the topic "Parent Concerns," the first essay is about getting along with parents. Gordon acknowledges that parents might not understand, that a teen might be more sensitive than his or her parents, and possibly that parents do not care or are abusive toward their teens. In most cases, he says, parents do love their children, but they might not know what is right for them or how to express it. He explores this topic in a down-to-earth manner offering help for coping. Although some of his advice sounds simplistic, the appeal of this book is its accessibility because of the non-accusatory style and compassion. The reader feels as if a caring counselor is talking with him or her, offering support. For youth and the adults who care about them, this book might provide comfort and common ground for talking about the problems and worries through which young people struggle. It is not a prescriptive book for handling serious, major problems, although it might help someone recognize the signals of real trouble brewing. A long list of Web sites of helping organizations is included. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P M J S (Better thanmost, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2004, URJ Press, 179p.; Further Reading. Appendix., Trade pb. Ages 11 to 18.
—Dolores Maminski
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807408643
  • Publisher: URJ Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2004
  • Edition description: Revised Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 179
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Fragments of an Autobiography 3
1 What to do if you or a Friend Needs Help 5
Do you have a good reason to feel bad? 5
Are you feeling sad, unhappy, depressed? 6
Are you lonely? 11
Seven messages 14
What's a mensch? 15
Mitzvah therapy 17
Hooked on drugs or alcohol? 18
Eight key messages about drug and alcohol abuse 21
If you don't like the way you look 22
Are you bored or are you boring? 24
How to overcome boredom 26
Do you have a disability or do you know someone who does? 28
You can't please everybody! 30
Are you very angry? 31
Are you being teased, bullied, or left out? 32
Do you feel empty inside? 33
Meditation 37
Did something terrible happen to you when you were a child? 38
Living well is the best revenge 39
What was the worst thing that ever happened to you? 40
Do most people fall short of your expectations? 41
Do you have disturbing thoughts? 42
Friendship 44
2 If You or Someone You Know is Suicidal 47
How to get help urgently 47
How to help someone who is in a panic or having what's sometimes called an anxiety attack 50
Dying to live the good life? 52
What to do if someone you care about is suicidal 55
Do not keep a suicidal intent confidential 60
Can you tell the difference between a cry for help, a wish for attention, and depression? 62
Possible suicide warning signs 65
Why are so many young people killing themselves? 66
What if you think that life isn't worth living? 67
Why teens commit suicide 68
A letter from a bereaved mother 73
Suggestions for survivors by Iris Bolton 76
3 Sex and Love: Worries and Facts 79
Are you worried about sex? 79
AIDS alert and STD (sexually transmitted disease) cautions 81
Sexual fantasies 85
Masturbation 86
Homosexuality 88
More on sexual orientation 95
Pregnancy 97
Virgin rights 98
How can you tell if you are really in love? 99
Dying for love 102
4 Parent Concerns 105
If you don't get along with your parents 105
A message to you: don't turn off your parents 107
Did a divorce or separation--or living with a stepparent--mess you up? 110
A message to parents 112
"Askable" parents raise sexually responsible children 120
5 God Concerns 125
Are you disappointed in God? 125
Have you lost faith in religion? 126
Do you feel in need of prayer? 127
6 What is the Purpose of Life? 129
Does life have a purpose? 129
How does forgiveness work? 132
If you can't forgive someone who hurt you or if you can't accept the idea of forgiveness 133
It's never too late 134
When someone you love has died 135
How is hope renewed? 136
7 Ideas to Push You Into Thinking about Your Life 137
Eighteen slogans and thoughts 140
Thoughts and things to do for the next eighteen days 142
Think about it! 143
8 A Special Message for School Counselors and Youth Leaders 151
Why "at-risk" youth do not pay attention to what we (so-called) educators have to say 151
9 Appendix: Choice USA: Leadership for A Pro-Choice Future 159
The difference between Emergency Contraception and Mifepristone (RU-486) 159
10 Resources 163
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