Book Review: Mindfulness For Teen Depression by Mitch R. Abblett, Christopher Willard

This book appears to be part of a series of books about mindfulness as treatment for disorders in teenagers. I can’t comment on the other books in the series but this one has…..issues. 

I will start off by saying that this book doesn’t give bad advice per se. Everything it says would be great advice for pretty much anyone. Things like getting enough sleep, sleeping in a dark, quiet room, eating well, exercising etc etc etc. 

Where the book has issues is that it is just a bit overly ambitious. It is expecting a lot from teenagers who are depressed. It would be expecting a lot from anyone who was depressed. Teenagers are especially prone to writing off things that seem ridiculous to them, though and I am almost certain most would not be open to mindfulness in general. Asking a teenager to meditate would be unlikely to be met by anything other than eye rolls. 

That is not to say that the book couldn’t be helpful for some people. I’m sure some teenagers would even be open to the suggestions and the advice itself isn’t bad. I would just worry that some teenagers would be quick to dismiss it and then even more hesitant to give another book a chance. I know I wouldn’t have been open to its advice and I was actually a pretty open minded kid. 

If you’re purchasing books for a teenager you suspect is depressed I wouldn’t start with this book unless you are certain the teen is the type open to things like meditation. Otherwise I would suggest starting with something a bit more straight forward then perhaps trying this book once the depression has been acknowledged and treatment has been started. 

Even then I would be careful about who this book, or any book on this subject, is given to. It’s one thing if you are buying books for yourself but buying books for someone else that you suspect or even know is dealing with depression can be tricky. You don’t want to give them a book that could make them stop taking you and their depression seriously. Or that could even overwhelm them and make them want to give up even attempting to get help. 

Do not misunderstand me. I am in no way belittling mindfulness as a method of treatment, it is a well studied and well documented valid form of treatment for many issues but it isn’t something you can just do and be better. It is an overall form of life and requires dedication and effort and it isn’t easy. Presenting it in a workbook to a depressed teenager just isn’t likely to actually work in 99% of cases. It isn’t a simple concept and I just feel like the presentation of this book and its title is made to appeal to parents buying books for their teenagers they suspect are depressed. And as I stated before I don’t personally think that would be a good idea. 

In conclusion, while I wouldn’t recommend buying this book for someone else, if you yourself are depressed and you are open to the idea of mindfulness and things like meditation and visualization then this book absolutely could be good for you and I would recommend it whole heartedly. 

If you would like to purchase this book it will released on May 1, 2016. 

*i received this book for free through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

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