• Book Review: Raising A Moody Child

    Time for another book review!  Because I’ve done a few posts recently on depression, I decided to stick with that theme for this book review.  Today I’m reviewing:

    Raising a Moody Child: How to Cope with Depression and Bipolar Disorder by Mary A. Fristad, PhD, and Jill S. Goldberg Arnold, PhD

     Based on reader feedback, I’m going to try out a new formula for my review today. I’ll probably continue to tweak the format it every time I do these, so let me know what you think!

    Intended Audience: This book is intended for parents of children who have been diagnosed with depression or bipolar disorder. The first few chapters discuss how to discern whether your child may have symptoms of these disorders, but after that the book is only for parents whose kids have one of these diagnoses. 

    Authors: Dr. Mary Fristad is a well-known researcher on childhood depression, suicide, and bipolar disorder. According to her bio, she’s published over 150  articles and book chapters on these topics! Dr. Goldberg Arnold is in private practice (like me!) and she specializes in childhood mood disorders. 

    Summary: This book is divided into four parts:

    1. Understanding your child’s problems. This section covers what symptoms look like, the causes of depression and bipolar disorder, and how to get a good evaluation and diagnosis.
    2. Treatment. This section describes the different types of treatment available and focuses primarily on medication and therapy.
    3. Helping your child cope. This is my favorite section. It describes many concrete ways to help your child deal with their symptoms at home and at school.
    4. Helping your family live with a mood disorder. This is a very brief section that discusses how to take care of yourself and your other kids when you have a child with a mood disorder.

    Helpfulness: I think this book would be very helpful for any parent who has a child with depression or bipolar disorder.  This book would be ideal for parents with children who have recently received this diagnosis and aren’t sure what to do next. I especially like the section on coping skills, because it closely aligns with the techniques I use in my practice. I definitely base some of my strategies off of these authors’ suggestions.

    Readability: The authors use a clinical, matter-of-fact “voice” that’s easy to read and understandable.  They do a great job of explaining everything in terms that anyone can understand and use multiple visuals as well.

    Critiques: This book was published in 2004, so some of the information about treatment and medications is outdated. I would definitely choose a more recent book if the most current information is what you’re looking for.

    Overall Rating:  4 out of 5 stars.

    Have you read this book? What did you think of it? 

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