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Home | Book Lists | Feeling Blue? You’re Not Alone
Feeling Blue? You’re Not Alone  

Fiction | Non-Fiction | Biography | HELP HOTLINES


Adrift.  Julie Burtinshaw.
Jack Garret lives in an unstable household—his mother suffers from depression and his father buries himself in his work. In this gripping story, readers learn how mental illness affects an entire family.

The Bell Jar.  Sylvia Plath.
Esther is a young girl who aspires to be a writer and works for a magazine company in New York. But because of numerous suicide attempts, she is admitted to an asylum where she undergoes electric shock therapy. Does Esther ever get permission from her doctors to leave?

Get Well Soon.  Julie Halpern.
Anna is so depressed that her parents commit her to a mental hospital. But the hospital isn’t what Anna expected – her roommate has a plastic baby and a secret, there’s a cute boy (who likes her??), and way too much focus on her weight. You’ll relate to Anna, even if you’ve only ever felt a little bit crazy.

It’s Kind of a Funny Story.  Ned Vizzini.
15-year-old Craig Gilner is accepted into a prestigious Manhattan high school. But as the pressure builds, he finds himself partying too hard. Soon he’s battling depression. He checks into a hospital to get help, where he discovers his hidden artistic talents.

Saint Jude.  Dawn Wilson.
Taylor Drysdale is sent to outpatient treatment at St. Jude’s Brick House for bipolar disease and depression. Things start to look up when she finds a caring boyfriend who believes in her musical talents. But a suicide at St. Jude changes everything, and Taylor must cope with the harshness of reality once more.

Under the Wolf, Under the Dog.  Adam Rapp.
The Red Groupers are caught up in drugs; the Blue Groupers have tried to commit suicide. Steve Nugent is a Gray Grouper, and he has no idea why. But until he figures things out, he won’t get out of Burnstone Grove, a therapeutic facility for teens. Is there hope for Steve?


Beating Depression: Teens Find Light at the End of the Tunnel.  Faye Zucker.
This book focuses on the relationship between positive health behaviors and the prevention of mental illness and disease. It also discusses how mental, emotional, and physical health are connected. Zucker discusses ways a family and peers can influence the health of adolescents and prevent depression.

Cutting Out the Pain: A Poetic Guide to Teen Depression.  Ashley Renee Lynch.
This is a collection of poetry based on the author’s own battle with mental illness as well as self-mutilation. The poetry book is meant to educate people about mental illnesses, as well as be a relatable source for teens who suffer from depression. The poetry is a blend of sadness, hope, and reason.

The Disappearing Girl: Learning the Language of Teenage Depressions.  Lisa Machoian.
Adults can do a lot to help depressed teens, starting with learning how to recognize depression. Machoian describes the pressures and disconnection that can lead teen girls to become depressed, and suggests a “whole-girl approach” for getting better. Listening and talking can make the most important difference.

Helping Your Teenager Beat Depression: A Problem-Solving Approach for Families.
Katharina Manassis.
This book offers parents a strategy that enables them to become active partners in the treatment of their child's depression. Chapters begin with an overview of teenage mood problems followed by treatment explanations.

Living With Depression.  Allen R. Miller.
A teen’s guide to living and coping with depression. Miller discusses how major depressive disorders are caused by brain chemistry, family history, distorted thinking, and a person's emotional environment. The information teens need to understand the nature of depression and its treatments.

My Kind of Sad: What it’s like to be Young and Depressed.  Kate Scowen.
The author offers an in-depth look at what depression is and how it affects young people. Scowen discusses the difference between normal mood shifts and signs of serious trouble. Bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and suicidal feelings are also discussed.

Rescuing Your Teenager from Depression.  Norman T. Berlinger.
The author gives a personal account about his son’s own depression, and how he had missed the signs. However, Berlinger drew on his skills and training as a doctor and was able to develop a set of techniques that helped his son out of depression.

When Nothing Matters Anymore: A Survival Guide for Depressed Teens.  Bev Cobain.
Cobain, a psychiatric nurse who works with teens, is also the cousin of Kurt Cobain (the lead singer of Nirvana who committed suicide in 1994). Her book offers support to teens who are dealing with depression and clears away misconceptions about mental illness.


Burn Journals.  Brent Runyon.
This is a true story. Brent, 14 years old, attempts suicide by lighting himself on fire. He survives. Follow him through a year of surgery, skin grafts, and therapy – a painful but hopeful story back to "normal".

Hide & Seek: How I Laughed at Depression, Conquered my Fears, and Found Happiness.
Wendy Aron.
Wendy battled depression during her twenties, and as a middle aged woman finds that at times she still fights the same battle. A laugh-out-loud biography about Aron’s "master plan" – all the right ingredients to help conquer depression.

I Don't Want to Be Crazy.  Samantha Schutz.
Samantha thinks college will be liberating – she needs to get away from her parents, her controlling boyfriend, and the pressure she puts on herself. But then her anxiety attacks begin, leaving her feeling trapped and powerless. This memoir, written in poetry, tells the story of how she learns to cope.

Mind Race: A Firsthand Account of One Teenager's Experience with Bipolar Disorder.
Patrick E. Jamieson.
Bipolar disorder can seem overwhelming – frantic vs. bleak, energetic vs. deeply sad. Patrick went through these feelings for years before he was diagnosed at age 15. His book is an important resource for anyone with a new diagnosis. It includes advice, information about research, and treatment options.

Monochrome Days: A Firsthand Account of One Teenager’s Experience with Depression.  Cait Irwin.
This moving memoir reveals the personal story of Cait Irwin’s battle with depression, and discusses the stigma often associated with mental illness. An inspirational road map to recovery.


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Free & confidential counseling
St Francis Counseling Services

Researched and compiled by C. Shilling. 4/2009

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