Deborah Serani was on intimate terms with childhood depression long before she became a psychologist. Growing up, she’d suffered from symptoms of depression — she was sensitive, insecure, prone to crying, and plagued by headaches and stomachaches. She struggled to concentrate at school, had few friends, and was seen as “a sad sack.” Her condition wasn’t debilitating but rather, “it was a silent partner — hazily clipping the edges of the light, subtly pressing itself against me,” Serani writes.
It was only later that Serani learned that she’d had dysthymia, a form of depression that’s relatively mild but lasts for years rather than months. This escalated into major depressive disorder when she was at college and attempted suicide. That’s when she was finally diagnosed and learned that she didn’t have to live with the constant sadness and isolation she’d grown up believing was normal.
Serani’s experience inspired her career in psychology. “I’ve since turned the wounds from my childhood into wisdom and believe that sharing the textures of my experiences will help parents realize what their own depressed child is going through,” she explains. From someone who’s been in the trenches herself and studied the subject extensively comes a book that helps parents recognize the signs of depression in children, find the right kind of treatment and care for themselves so they can care for their kids.