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When Nothing Matters Anymore: A Survival Guide for Depressed Teens by Elizabeth Verdick,Bev Cobain

  • Author: Elizabeth Verdick,Bev Cobain
  • Book title: When Nothing Matters Anymore: A Survival Guide for Depressed Teens
  • Category: Teen & Young Adult
  • Subcategory: Education & Reference
  • Publisher: Free Spirit Publishing; Revised & Updated edition (March 20, 2007)
  • Pages: 160
  • ISBN: 1575422352
  • ISBN13: 978-1575422350
  • Rating: 4.4
  • Votes: 375
  • Other formats: lit doc azw lrf
On April 8, 1994, Kurt Cobain ended his long struggle with depression and chemical dependency by taking his own life. His suicide profoundly affected millions of fans around the world who identified with the music of Kurt and his band, Nirvana. Bev Cobain is Kurt's cousin, and this powerful book is her way of dealing with his death—and reaching out to teens with a life-saving message: You don't have to be sad, discouraged, or depressed. There is help and hope for you. Full of solid information and straight talk, When Nothing Matters Anymore defines and explains adolescent depression, reveals how common it is, describes the symptoms, and spreads the good news that depression is treatable. Personal stories, photos, and poetry from teens dealing with depression speak directly to readers' feelings, concerns, and experiences. Teens learn how to recognize depression in themselves and others, understand its effects, and take care of themselves by relaxing, exercising, eating right, and talking things over with people who care. For some teens, self-help isn't enough, so Bev also tells about treatment options, presents the facts about therapy, explains the differences between various types of helping professionals (psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, physicians, counselors, etc.), discusses medications, and more. This book isn't just for teens who have been diagnosed with depression. It's for any teen who feels hopeless, helpless, and alone. Clear, encouraging, and matter-of-fact, it's also recommended for parents, teachers, and counselors who want to know more about teen depression.

7 Reviews
I bought this to use with some of my adolescents who struggle with depression in therapy sessions. Most of the students feel it reads like a dictionary and is not very engaging.
My daughter read this book while in an acute psychiatric care facility and she really connected with it. I read it at her request and I am very thankful that I did. I will never be able to understand how it feels to be a teen girl with depression. But now I can recognize how she is doing and be that trusted adult and friend that she needs.
like it.
This book provides an excellent "insider's" view of how it feels to be without hope. There is no worse place to be in life. Teens who have overcome this tragic state share their experiences with a sensivity and honesty that can be extremely useful to help parents understand what their child is suffering and help teens truly see that they are not alone, that their experience can be understood and dealt with. I recommend this book as a useful tool for anyone who works with teenagers in any capacity.
The book is good and exactly what I expected, I will use this as a reference in my work. Very helpful.
In When Nothing Matters Anymore, Bev Cobain offers a teen-friendly reference guide to adolescent depression, complete with self-help suggestions, counseling resources, and case studies of teens who sought help for their illness and now lead "normal" adolescent lives. Cobain is a credentialed author: a certified registered nurse, a mental health professional, and a recipient of the National Mental Health Association's Green Ribbon Award for efforts on behalf of teen depression awareness; however, the book reads like Cliff's Notes of a more comprehensive text - as if Cobain simply compiled the bullet-point lists, sidebars, and quick-reference statistics from an American Psychiatric Association web listing for teen depression. When Nothing Matters Anymore relies little on Cobain's personal observations and extensive experience, and too much on peppy, inspirational messages from its case study teens.

The book is structured in two parts: What's Wrong? and Getting Help and Staying Well. What's Wrong? is primarily diagnostic, providing a checklist for the reader to determine whether he or she is depressed, explaining the varieties and causes of depression, and outlining the correlations between depression and chronic illness, sexual abuse, sexual identity, drug use and addiction, eating disorders, and "perceived differences" from peers. Getting Help and Staying Well highlights treatment options, suggests ways to seek help from family or trusted adults, and lists self-help activities for readers undergoing treatment. Both sections include "Survival Tips" that a health professional might suggest to any teen: Get Exercise, Have Fun, Eat Good Food, etc. There are some practical suggestions, like journaling and creating mood charts, and there is a chapter dedicated to the important topic of teen suicide, but the book as a whole rarely digs below the surface of the illness and underestimates its audience's desire (and perhaps ability?) to understand depression more fully.

One aspect of the book that seems borderline inappropriate is Cobain's ad nauseam referencing of her cousin Kurt, the popular lead singer of grunge band Nirvana, whose suicide shocked the MTV youth culture in 1994. Perhaps this approach is an effective way of securing "street cred" amongst teen readers, but this hook feels opportunistic at times, particularly in "A Letter to Kurt Cobain," a three-page, sappy, metaphor-heavy eulogy in which Cobain rues that Kurt's handlers wouldn't give her the access that could have prevented his suicide. I understand the intent is to show the readers that she cared for someone they cared about and saw the beauty of his music and the tragedy of his death as they did, but to a non-teen reader, it rings hollow. Had Cobain been close with Kurt, a reader might not bawk at this inclusion, but she mentions that she did not know Kurt "personally," a fact that makes the multiple, casual mentions feel like name-dropping.
Perfect book as a guide for my niece. She and her mom loved the book/workbook so much that they shared it with the other girls in my neices inpatient. My sister could not say enough about how perfect this was!
I liked the book, the supportive and easy-to-read style, but some of the values it expressed were not consistent with my own. For this reason, I did not let my teen, who I had purchased the book for, read it.
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