Author(s): Cait Irwin
Nearly one in five adolescents experiences the symptoms of major depression before finishing high school. Where once experts believed that this serious mood disorder did not exist in children at all, now we know that depression often first appears in the adolescent years, and can be a long-lasting, recurring, and even life-threatening problem. Cait Irwin was diagnosed with major depression at the age of fourteen, and she nearly lost her battle against the illness before her family intervened and she received expert psychiatric care. Now an adult, Irwin writes of her own experiences and, with the help of science writer Linda Wasmer Andrews, offers practical advice and guidance to adolescents who have recently been diagnosed with depression. In easy-to-understand language, Irwin and Andrews incorporate the psychiatric expertise of Dwight Evans, discussing "what doctors know" about depression in adolescents, and demystifying the often confusing science behind the illness. The book also covers difficult topics such as psychiatric hospitalisation, anti-depressant medications, and how to deal with a mental illness at school and at home.
"Sometimes, only those who have been in dark places can provide the light for others to get out. Cait Irwin provides a wonderfully clear-eyed and brave look at depression in teenagers, which is so often undiagnosed or shrugged off as 'moodiness.' Without melodrama or self-pity, she takes us through the whole experience, and shows how medication, therapy, love and the creative spark can combine to heal a ravaged mind." -Tracy Thompson, author of The Beast: A Journey Through Depression
"An honest, helpful, and hopeful account of one teen's journey from pain to promise. Monochrome Days takes the mystery out of depression and provides real guidance to teens who may struggle with this illness, as well as to their friends and families."--Reed, MSW, Executive Director, Suicide Prevention Action Network USA
"This book is of great value to people of all ages-however, particularly to adolescents. Cait skillfully manages to make 'fear of the unknown' - so often experienced by teens when diagnosed with depression and other mental illnesses -- a non-issue. This book leaves no stone unturned. While sharing her story, Cait quite effectively combats the stigma and misconceptions so often associated with mental illnesses, especially for teens. She shows that depression is a real illness with mental, emotional, and physical implications and conveys the enormous importance of early diagnosis and treatment."--Darcy Gruttadaro, J.D., Director, NAMI Child & Adolescent Action Center
"No one can understand the mind of a young adult better than a young adult herself. In Monochrome Days, Irwin uses personal experience and professional insight to arm teens with the tools they need to conquer thebeast of depression. The book includes information about the thoughts and feelings teens are experiencing or see their friends experiencing, with suggestions as to how to talk to parents and other trusted loved ones. By conveying this information by telling her own story, Irwin arms young adults with the most important knowledge of all: that through it all, they are not alone... With so many teens facing challenges to their mental health every day, this book is a must-read for all teenagers and the adults that love them." -Alison Malmon, Founder and Executive Director, Active Minds, Inc.
"Aimed at adolescents who struggle with mental illness, Irwin's story provides a road map to recovery that she describes as a graph with lots of peaks and valleys, but an overall trend that was heading upward. Her voice is that of an older, wiser friend who empathizes with what depressed teens are going through. Chapters are divided into two sections. InMy Story, Irwin details her personal history with depression. The Big Picture includes more general information on symptoms, risk factors, treatment, and a Guy's-Eye View sidebar. This format is highly effective for balancing the author's autobiographical perspective with scientific input from her coauthors. Additional features include FAQs and sources for more information."--School Library Journal
Preface; What's In This Book For You?; Why I'm Revisiting the Beast; 1. The Clouds Roll In: Introduction to Depression; 2. The Belly of the Beast; 3. My Last Thread Pulled Apart: Thoughts of Suicide; 4. Eight Days in the Dark: A Stay in the Hospital; 5. Back Among the Living: Medicine and Therapy; 6. Bumps in the Road: Coping in Everyday Life; 7. One Day at a Time: Recovering From Depression