COPING WITH TEENAGE DEPRESSION: A Parent's Guide by Kathleen McCoy


Email this review


After the first 50 pages, this is less a specific look at teenage depression than a general handbook on adolescence--and, as such, decidedly inferior to Schowalter and Anyan's The Family Handbook of Adolescence (1979). On depression, it is only vaguely helpful. McCoy has compiled statistics, definitions, and ""early warning signs"" that validate her observation that ""depression is often used as a catch-all phrase to describe a variety of symptoms""--anything, here, from lack of motivation and headaches to pregnancy and suicide threats. To deal with such varied problems, parents are advised to look for differences between ""normal rebellion"" and depression (""the time, the degree, and the amount of deviation from the child's normal behavior""); ""the ideal way to cope with teenage depression,"" then, is a litany of conventional wisdom (""Being alert to the symptoms, investigating your teen's feelings, listening, giving loving support,"" etc.). Parents' communications skills are to be sharpened, meanwhile, through ""active listening"" and ""I messages""--techniques borrowed from Gordon's Parent Effectiveness Training. Chapters on school problems, medical conditions, sexuality, and ""substance abuse"" are, if anything, slighter. For overall guidance (including psychological expertise), see Schowalter and Anyan; for help with a truly depressed adolescent, the best bet is professional help.

Pub Date: April 23rd, 1982
Publisher: New American Library