Until recently, psychologists and psychiatrists believed that adolescents did t experience true depression in the way that adults do. Medical experts w realize that young people can and do get seriously depressed, and that depression and bipolar disorder may be more serious and more difficult to treat in adolescents than in adults. Depression may also be harder to recognize as an illness, both because moodiness is considered universal among teenagers and because parents often resist having their child treated for a psychiatric illness that they think-and often hope-will be just a phase. In Adolescent Depression: A Guide for Parents, Johns Hopkins psychiatrist Francis Mondimore helps parents understand that serious depression in adolescents is an illness-an illness that can be effectively treated. He describes the many forms of depression and the many ways it can appear in young people-from intensely sad feelings to irritability, anger, and destructive rages. And he answers parents' questions, including: What are the danger signals of serious depression in teenagers? How are mood disorders diagsed? How do medications work? What about talking therapies? How does depression relate to other problems, such as drug abuse, ADHD, and eating disorders and other self-injurious behavior? Of the one in five adults who go through a period of serious depression during their lifetime, many had their first experience of depression as teenagers. This comprehensive and compassionate guide detailing the symptoms, treatments, complications, and causes of adolescent depression provides parents with the information they need to ensure that their children receive the best possible treatment and become happy and healthy adults.
Francis Mark Mondimore, M.D., is a psychiatrist and member of the clinical faculty of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His books include Depression: The Mood Disease and Bipolar Disorder: A Guide for Patients and Families, both available from Johns Hopkins.