Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Understanding Adolescent Depression, with guest blogger Cara Bean

Hello Dear Readers. As some of you may know, I'm not only a smart-alecky blogger, but also a trained mental health professional. Recently, my dear and very talented friend, artist and educator Cara Bean, posted to her blog what I felt was an amazingly clear and compassionate distillation of information about adolescent depression. It was so good that I thought it was time to finally have a guest blogger on my site. 

If you are a parent, know a parent, are a teacher or healthcare worker, or know of one, then please share this valuable information widely so we, The Village, can help raise those kids up good and strong, with whatever help they need. Without further ado, here is the wonderful Cara Bean's compassionate and sometimes humorous "comic strip" designed to help you understand and help the teenager you love. [ The sections are made of different JPEG files in different sizes, so If the images appear small, for those who don't know, you can hit the "ctrl" key on your keyboard and the "+" key at the same time to enlarge the page as much as you need to. To bring it back down to size, hit "Ctrl' and the "-" key.]

The info above was compiled by Cara from a workshop organized by Randy P. Auerbach, PhD, Director of Child and Adolescent Mood Disorders at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts, which covered a range of issues related to adolescent depression. Cara teaches art to teenagers, and she said, "After reflecting on the concepts that were introduced, I approach the emotional state of my students in a more sensitive and educated manner."

She says that Dr. Auerbach spoke about Causes, Consequences, and Treatment for Adolescent Depression.  Christian Webb, MA from the Harvard Medical School talked about Treatments and Prevention of Depression.  Pia Pechtel, PhD discussed her research on Maltreatment, Depression and the Adolescent Brain. Then, Cara went home and did what she does best--made some amazing artwork.               

So there you have it, folks. Many thanks to Cara Bean for all of her hard work and for allowing me to share it with you here. If you like what you saw here, check out Cara's other works on her blog, Bean Doodling. I think you'll agree, she's the real deal--compassionate, talented, funny, and a total fox. That's right, I said it, Ms. Bean. Love that lady!

For further reading on depression and mental illness, or to find help, I recommend these to start: National Institutes of Mental Health, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Cara also suggests these on her blog, and I can vouch for them. Frontline is fantastic:

If you've found this page because you were searching for help for yourself or someone you love, I wish you strength and peace and hope as you search for solutions to this challenge. Keep looking. Never give up. Help is out there. 

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