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A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression Review by Nancy KingDr. Gary E Nelson
c/o Wipf and Stock Publishers
199 West 8th Avenue, Suite 3
Eugene, OR 97401
A Relentless Hope written by Dr. Gary Nelson is a book about teen depression. This is not just an author writing about something he was interested in; he's writing about his son's depression and the struggles the family went through for three years.
I really have enjoyed reading this book and gathered quite a bit of information on the struggles of teen depression. I realize there are families all over the world that are probably struggling with this illness and don't even know it. I personally, can think of two or three families within my group of "homeschool friends" that may be going through this and not realize yet what it is. If my own family situation hadn't changed two years ago, I think I would be dealing with this same illness. I've never accepted the old adage that "it's just a phase" or the child is just being "rebellious." Everything in a person's life has a reason for being what it is. Depression presents itself in a slow-moving set of stages, and sometimes those stages include "phases" or rebellious behavior, but there is a reason for that and there is a way to move beyond it without having teens that are misbehaving and getting into problems with the law. I like the way Dr. Nelson puts things into a picture, as in this quote: "Do you remember the last time you smashed a finger? It's a truly weird sort of feeling. It hurts like crazy but has almost a numb feeling all at the same time." I also like the way he describes willpower: "The point is you never want to have to use it, instead try to live your life in a way that you can avoid that crisis." He goes on to tell about his love for ice cream and says that if he has a half-gallon in the freezer at home, his willpower cannot withstand the temptation. So instead he buys a smaller portion and enjoys it right away instead of taking it home where he knows he cannot resist eating it. He took the situation and put it into a more manageable position. He uses this example to encourage the reader not to rely on willpower to keep from hurting someone with angry words or actions. Satan knows our weak points better than we do ourselves, so he's going to be lurking around to provoke those dark moments in our lives.
This book is a very informative read, even for parents who don't have children going through this. If you love digging into new realms, this book is good to read. On the other hand, a person who is not of the Christ-believing faith probably would not enjoy it. This book is written in such a way that there should be some understanding of Christianity. It's well worth the price and is a good way to get a start with some help, if it's necessary.