Treated for depression as a teenager, Dr. Deborah Serani found her treatment “life changing.” She majored in psychology and treated people who struggled with the same disorder. When she began to write about depression, she decided to write a trilogy. “I know the good, the bad, and the ugly of this disorder,” she tells Show Daily. “So my first book, Living with Depression, was from both sides of the couch, as I like to say.”
The psychologist explains that she developed her current book, Depression and Your Child: A Guide for Parents and Caregivers (Rowman & Littlefield, Sept. ) both as a resource guide and as a primer to help parents recognize symptoms of depression in their children. “Depression looks different in adults—they can get irritable, angry, or lethargic, but they’re good about saying, ‘I feel sad.’ Young children, however, often have what we call ‘masked’ depression—they’re just kind of quiet, prefer solitude, and sleep a lot. They might be irritable, but it’s seen as whininess or clinginess.” Dr. Deb, as she likes to be called, adds, “We have the highest rates of anxiety and depression of any industrialized nation.”
She notes that parents can tell when their children are having a tough time after a significant event occurs—like the loss of a loved one or a major accident. “But there are many children who are in a loved home, have shelter and food and everything they could possibly want, but are struggling with the neurochemistry of a unipolar depression or a bipolar depression, and parents don’t understand that. I wanted to write a book for those parents.”
The last part of the trilogy—which she just started working on—is a picture book to help young children have a better understanding of what it’s like to be depressed and what they can do about it.
Dr. Deb attended Book Expo for her first publication. “I’m embarrassed to say that when I was here the first time and someone gave me a book, I took my wallet out, and they said, ‘No—you can take this!’ It’s a thrilling experience to walk the aisles and see all the new books and all the people promoting or selling books. It makes me feel really good about the book industry.” Dr. Deb will be signing galleys in the Rowman & Littlefield area within the National Book Network megabooth (1120) today at 2 p.m.