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Rescuing Your Teenager from Depression by Norman T. Berlinger
320 pages Collins April 2005 Hardcover rated 5 out of 5 stars   

Teen depression is rampant and on the increase in our society, yet few parents of depressed teens know where to get help and what to do about it. Sometimes, the end result is tragic, as in suicide. But there is hope and plenty of help in Rescuing Your Teenager From Depression by bioethicist, pathologist, former surgeon and health writer Norman T. Berlinger.

Berlinger’s approach centers on a ten-step “parental partnering” program that helps parents help their teens by taking control of the recovery process. And this doctor knows, for he himself helped his own teenage son, Eric, out of the depths of depression. The book also features insights gleaned from interviews with dozens of parents of depressed teens and shows their experiences as they journeyed from despair to hope.

Berlinger starts with the Seven Parental Powers, unique powers parents have when dealing with their children. As parents come to understand the role they play in helping their teens, they can then best utilize the ten strategies that make up the program. These strategies include seeing through the disguises of depression, recognizing the clues, identifying related problems, finding the right kind of help, taking family inventory and so much more, including what to do beyond therapy to keep teens from slipping back into the darkness of depression. Thus, the Eleven Do’s for Talking With Your Teen, which help parents communicate better, and dozens of suggestions for helping teens through the ups and downs they are sure to face as they go through life.

Berlinger also provides ideas for choosing the right kind of treatment, monitoring medications and how to avoid other emotional illnesses like eating disorders that often accompany depression, or are an extension of it.

No doubt these strategies can be applied to anyone with depression but are focused on the special relationships teens have with parents, peers and themselves, and the unique issues teens deal with in those trying years. Teen depression is something that can be helped, perhaps in many cases even avoided, if parents and caregivers are equipped with the right knowledge and information.

Rescuing Your Teenager From Depression is a book every family with children should have, because depression can happen to any child. With the tools and ideas presented in this practical guide, many families just might find those chaotic years much easier to deal with and survive, together.

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