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edition:Hardcover
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published: March 2006
ISBN:9781550379419
publisher: Annick Press

My Kind of Sad

What It's Like to Be Young and Depressed

by Kate Scowen, illustrated by Jeff Szuc, afterword by Dr. M. Korenblum

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teenagers, depression
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $19.95
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback eBook
published: March 2006
ISBN:9781550379419
publisher: Annick Press
Description

Helping teens deal with depression.

"Once you've been through it and you're able to get out of it, then you can handle pretty much anything."
- Caroline, age 19

Written to be read by teens themselves, My Kind of Sad lays out the facts on moodiness, depression, and the stresses of teenaged life. From the factors affecting how kids feel to the signs of serious depression, the book explores youth-specific mental health issues and offers teens expert advice on how to find help for themselves or help a friend in need.

To help kids differentiate between general worries and something more serious, the topics include:

  • reactive depression (a mood) vs. clinical depression (a mood disorder)
  • bipolar disorder
  • anxiety disorders (panic attacks, posttraumatic stress disorder)
  • disordered eating (how food affects mood) vs. eating disorders (diseases that can kill)
  • self-mutilation (cutting)
  • suicide and warning signs
  • treatment options

Along with constructive guidance from professionals and stats from the latest studies, the book shares thoughts and feelings from teens who have experienced different forms of depression. Complete with pages of resources to help learn more, My Kind of Sad is a valuable ally in the battle against hopelessness.

 

About the Authors
Kate Scowen has worked with teens and families for over 20 years as a youth counselor, the manager of an inner-city youth center, and a consultant. She lives in Toronto, Ontario, with her husband and three daughters.
Author profile page >

Illustrator Jeff Szuc lives and works in Toronto. He works mostly in acrylics and feels any day he gets to play with paint is a really good day. He is illustrator of the Have You Ever Seen series.
Author profile page >

Illustrator Jeff Szuc lives and works in Toronto. He works mostly in acrylics and feels any day he gets to play with paint is a really good day. He is illustrator of the Have You Ever Seen series.
Author profile page >
Contributor Notes

Kate Scowen has worked with youth for over 15 years in both residential and community-based programs, including the Toronto Children's Aid Society. She interviewed youth and compiled their stories for My Crazy Life: How I Survived My Family. Kate works in Toronto as a consultant and writer.

Dr. Marshall Korenblum, M.D., F.R.C.P.(C), is Psychiatrist-in-Chief at Toronto's Hincks-Dellcrest Centre for Children, former Director of Postgraduate Education for the Division of Child Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto.

 

Editorial Reviews

A chatty, informative, up-to-date resource on a disturbing subject... Teens won't find a quick fix here, just realistic advice -- especially about seeking help.

— Booklist

Well-written, easy to read and use, and quite informative... It is highly recommended for school and public libraries.

— VOYA

An in-depth look at what depression is and how it affects young people... Parents will want to use this book as a starting point for more detailed discussion.

— School Library Journal

It's depressing to think that kids need a book on depression, but there are plenty of statistics to show that it's so. Whether you're concerned about your child, or you child is concerned about a friend, this accessible little volume may be just the thing to get a conversation going.

— About.com: Special Needs Children

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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

My Kind of Sad: What It’s Like to be Young and Depressed

Depression is another common reality for youth, and Kate Scowen’s truthful look at it in My Kind of Sad is an ingenious examination of being young and facing emotional darkness. More than that, it is a resource book that removes the stigma of depression and helps young people learn about it and handle it in the open. Scowen is quick to point out that sadness and mood fluctuations are to some extent normal in the turbulence of adolescence. However, she also makes clear where the line should be drawn between emotional struggles to be expected when dealing with the challenges of growing up, and ones that are signs of a need for concerted professional help. Scowen takes blame and guilt away from depression and puts teens in control, explaining normal feelings, psychiatric issues, and biological, biochemical factors contributing to depression – or to simply feeling low – in a non-threatening, honest way, in language that is accessible to teens.

My Kind of Sad covers everything from peer and media pressure to strive for a distorted sense of ‘perfection’, to how teen concerns around relationships, body image, diet, familial realities, and disturbing world events can contribute to feeling blue – or something more. It examines in depth what different forms of depression or psychiatric issues can look like: manic depression, chronic depression, panic and anxiety disorders. Scowen also handles with sensitivity the reality of how the body’s and mind’s cries for help can manifest themselves in psychotic episodes, self-mutilation, eating disorders, and – most final and desperate of all – suicide. But Scowen’s most important achievement in My Kind of Sad is that she offers no shortage of hope. Throughout the book, there is always a discussion of what to do if you recognize yourself or someone you love in the pages of the book. There are explanations of different treatments – drug therapies, counselling, and alternative or natural approaches. Throughout, there are plenty of thoughts from young people dealing with depression, and concrete references to help and hope. Most revealing of all, most indicative of Scowen’s welcome positive attitude, is her assertion that “depression is not who you are, it’s something you have.”

I can think of no better tribute to Scowen’s work than this: Having faced depression myself in my teen years, as I read My Kind of Sad, I couldn’t help but wish I had had such a resource available at the time. Scowen’s book concludes with an afterword written by Marshall Korenblum (a psychiatrist and expert in child psychology), a list of expert support and treatment resources and more. To say that My Kind of Sad is impressive and thorough is – thankfully – an understatement.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Spring 2006. Vol.29 No. 2.

Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

My Kind of Sad: What It’s Like to Be Young and Depressed

A well-researched look at adolescent mental health issues that helps teens support friends in need or find help for themselves. A listing of phone helplines, black-and-white illustrations, reading recommendations and index are included.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2008.

Other Titles by Kate Scowen

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My Crazy Life

My Crazy Life

How I Survived My Family
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also available: Paperback
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Other Titles by Jeff Szuc

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