Dr. Deborah Serani is one of my favorite psychologists. Not only does she maintain a fun, hip social media presence, she also writes an informative and popular blog. Oh, and that’s in addition to working as a clinical psychologist and professor. Earlier this year I reviewed her book, Living with Depression – which I absolutely loved. Here’s a bit of that review:
There have been other psychologists who have written about their own struggles with mental illness, but I found Dr. Serani’s candid admissions and forthcoming attitude about her mental health history to be not only refreshing but intriguing. I found myself wishing she had written more about herself and her family (full disclosure: While Dr. Serani and I have never met in “real” life, we have had several conversations via social media in the last few years). And while it’s been done before, integrating personal and professional knowledge about depression made the whole book a quick and informative read.
Check out the whole review here.
Because of my feelings about her first book, I was thrilled to learn that she was working on a new book. I was even more thrilled when a brand new copy of Depression and Your Child arrived in my mailbox!
As with her first book, Dr. Serani includes personal experiences in this book, recounting her own childhood memories of struggling with depression. It was equally fascinating and heartbreaking to read about her lack of energy and interest in the world as a result of her low mood. More importantly, it helped me understand how depression feels as a small kid in a big world – and how it varies from depression in adults.
But this isn’t just an autobiography – at its heart it is a handbook for parents (and really anyone who loves, works with or is around kids). Teachers, health care providers, grandparents and babysitters will all find this book useful as it explains, in readable language, why depression occurs, and how it can feel once it has set in (hint: it isn’t just about sadness and crying). The book also outlines (in a non-judgmental way) options for treatment, including psychotherapy, medication, and lifestyle changes (food, exercise, etc). And Dr. Serani goes even further to describe not just the treatments available but also how and why they work.
None of us want to consider that there are children among us who struggle with feelings of hopelessness, sadness or a desire to end their lives. Unfortunately some do. And Dr. Serani’s book will serve as a manual for those helping kids through these most difficult times.