Seeing your child suffer in any way is a harrowing experience for any parent. Mental illness in children can be particularly draining due to the mystery surrounding it, and the issue of diagnosis at such a tender age. Depression and Your Child gives parents and caregivers a uniquely textured understanding of pediatric depression, its causes, its symptoms, and its treatments. Serani weaves her own personal experiences of being a depressed child along with her clinical experiences as a psychologist treating depressed children. (publisher's blurb)
I broke my self-imposed ban on accepting books for review for the chance to read and review this book on a topic that is close to my heart. I battle depression myself, and raised a child who struggles with it, also. I wish I had read this book twenty years ago. Maybe I could have recognized the signs sooner and known how to help.
Dr. Sarani's book covers a lot of technical information - types of depression, genetics, treatments - all of which is presented in language non-medical parents can understand. Children affected by depression are often labeled as "moody" or "sensitive". Parents convince themselves that "She'll grow out of it" or "He's just a teenager!" This book helps parents understand which behaviors and attitudes are "normal" and which are signs of concern.
As a parent, a depression diagnosis is usually met with guilt ("Why didn't I know?" "I'm a bad parent."), uncertainty ("What do I do now?" "How do I 'fix' this?"), and fear ("How do I protect my child?" "What if he harms himself?") Ms. Sarani addresses each of these questions with more than platitudes or medical jargon. She offers practical advice parents can use.
I especially appreciated the chapter devoted entirely to holistic treatments. While medications are a blessing and can provide wonderful results, I'm a firm believer in using all available options for treatment of any illness. The approaches defined in this chapter are simple, practical mood-building steps that parents can use to create an atmosphere that allows their child to cope with depression, and possibly ward off cyclical events. These are steps that I will use for myself and recommend to our now-adult child.
Thank you to Dr. Sarani and Pump Up Your Book blog tours for providing this useful book for review. I highly recommend it for all parents, caregivers, and teachers.