|Publisher:||New World Library|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)|
|Age Range:||12 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Nancy Guerra, EdD, is a professor of psychological science and the dean of the School of Social Ecology at the University of California, Irvine.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Gavin’s Story
Personal story of Gavin’s severe depression, suicidal thoughts and eventual recovery.
Chapter 1: Listen Up
Acknowledgement of teen pressures and issues, that that it’s OK not to feel OK, and
assurance that there is help. Hugstad also discusses the fact that the teenage brain is not yet
fully developed, which may cause teens to engage in risky or impulsive behavior.
Chapter 2: You are not Alone / Take the Quiz
Ten questions for readers to answer about their own lives and behavior that may indicate
that they’re depressed and may need help.
Chapter 3: What is Depression? (Jackie’s Story)
Personal story of Jackie’s struggle with gender identity and subsequent depression and eating
disorder. Extensive discussion on depression as underlying cause for many destructive teen
behaviors, and the importance of getting help.
Chapter 4: Eating Disorders
Underlying issues that may lead to eating disorders, facts and statistics and how to get help.
Chapter 5: Bullying (Caitlin’s Story)
Personal story of Caitlin’s sister’s suicide resulting from bullying at school. Discussion of
bullying and cyberbullying, how to recognize symptoms and warning signs and how to help.
Chapter 6: Self-Harm (Kaley’s Story)
Personal story of Kaley’s sexual abuse and resulting PTSD and self harm. Discussion of risks,
signs and symptoms of self-harm.
Chapter 7: PTSD
Discussion of post traumatic stress disorder causes, symptoms and the importance of getting
Chapter 8: Pressures on Teens
Discussion of peer pressure, academic pressure and potential negative impact on teens’ selfesteem
and mental health. Hugstad provides coping strategies teens can implement themselves,
as well as suggesting professional help when appropriate.
Chapter 9: Anxiety (Asher’s Story)
Personal story of a dyslexic teen’s anxiety and depression and positive transformation after
therapy and medication. Discussion of anxiety symptoms and risk factors, panic attacks and
importance of treatment.
Chapter 10: Substance Abuse
Physical, social and behavioral warning signs of alcohol and drug use and potentially
devastating physical, emotional and social effects.
Chapter 11: Teen Suicide (Ethan’s Story)
Personal story of Ethan’s lonely childhood, video game addiction, depression and suicidal
thoughts and his ultimate recovery after his parents’ intervention. Further discussion of risk
factors and warning signs of suicide, and truth about “myths” surrounding suicide.
Chapter 12: My Story
Hugstad’s story of her husband Bill’s life as a teenager and young adult, his depression,
substance abuse and ultimate suicide.
Chapter 13: There is Hope
Strategies for overcoming obstacles, focusing on goals rather than obstacles and staying
motivated. Cultivating hope – and getting help from a support system and treatment team.
Chapter 14: How Can I Help a Friend?
An invitation to teens to support their peers in small, but meaningful ways, with suggestions
as to what to say and what not to say, and how to be a good listener.
RESOURCES: Where to Go for Help
A guide to the many hotlines and websites teens can contact to seek help for self-harm,
bullying, substance abuse, depression, suicide prevention and more.
Questions related to the content of each chapter designed to generate deeper conversation.
What People are Saying About This
Praise for Kristi Hugstad and her previous books: “I wanted to reach out to thank for everything you do to help our teens. Coming to speak to our students at San Clemente High School about it being ok not to be ok. That there is SO much hope and help. Powerful message for those feeling scared of what’s in their head. You are making a difference! Thank you for all you do!” — Angie Tisdale, San Clemente High School Health “Kristi Hugstad’s presentation to the health students at Dana Hills High School was very moving and informative. She brought her firsthand expertise and personal insight when living with a person who is experiencing the ill effects of substance-related disorders, specifically steroid use. Her story demonstrates the importance of recognizing the signs of mental illness; including paranoia, depression and suicide. Kristi’s natural ability to interact and connect with high school students was inspiring to witness. Our health students were captivated with her story and many students expressed that her message was heard loud and clear. Thank you, Kristi, for sharing such a painful event and turning this personal tragedy into a lesson to be remembered.” — Jeanette Boyle, DHHS Health Educator, Dana Point, California “Like many of us, I’ve lost friends and family in the last few years and reading What I Wish I’d Known, I discovered new and significant ways to cope with grief. Kristi Hugstad’s advice about sleeping on a lost spouse’s side of the bed so you don’t feel as alone, making sure you have adequate electrolytes such as vitamin D and telling yourself, “I have suffered enough, and now it is time to be free,” are just a few of the hundreds of ideas she offers in her unique book about finding your path to healing. Kristi’s honesty, courage and insight offer truths that can lead all of us to dance in the light.” — David Whiting, Metro Columnist, The Orange County Register