I am currently working with teens who are depressed and have been at one time suicidal. It is an illness just as devastating as cancer or muscular dystrophy. It is a true family crisis when a teen has a behavior the parent cannot see or cannot change. It makes the family feel helpless and at a loss.
Consider this book for another point of view for parents who wonder what teen depression means to a family, especially if the end result is suicide.
A Parent's Guide for Suicidal and Depressed Teens: Help for Recognizing if a Child is in Crisis and What to Do About It By Kate Williams
Here is a review from Amazon.com :
Drawing from personal experience, Kate Williams provides support for parents seeking help for their teen . Williams helps parents recognize the signs of a child in crisis, how to find immediate and effective help, and how to deal with ongoing adolescent issues.
Needed addition in suicide literature This is the first book I've seen that looks at a suicide attempt from the family's perspective. In so doing, it acknowledges the family's terror, the stigma issues the family faces, and the family's love for their child as they struggle to try to understand and help.
Williams helps parents explore their own feelings about suicide, encourages parents to overcome their reluctance to reach out for help and support, then discusses suicide issues and therapeutic approaches.
On one hand, the book seems too simplistic. It doesn't discuss the impact of the suicidal person's moods and behaviours on the family; the terrifying roller coaster of therapists and medication before the right combination is found; the families torn as they try to help their precious child.
But the author's calm, compassionate presentation may be the more useful and helpful approach, particularly for parents who have never been to any kind of mental health professional and are afraid of being blamed for their child's behaviour.
Visit www.amazon.com to order your copy or to check on their list of other titles with similar topics. Teens can be challenging, but as parents we are responsible for their well being. Read what you can and seek professional assistance if your teen has symptoms of depression, a change in behavior, or you are concerned for their safety. You may save a life.