Recovering from Depression: A Workbook for Teens

Recovering from Depression: A Workbook for Teens




Do you know...The warning signs of adolescent depression? The best ways to respond to a teen considering suicide?

With suicide as the third leading cause of death among young people aged 15 to 24*, school administrators, guidance counselors, and psychologists must understand — and know how to address — adolescent depression. This workbook is the lifeline they need! Counselors can use it in their work with teens, who'll use the surveys, checklists, practical tips, fill-in-the-blanks, and brainstorming activities to recognize depression in themselves, learn what they can do to feel better, and build a safety plan to stay well. And all education professionals can work through the book to increase their knowledge of the symptoms, causes, treatments, and effects of depression. Recovering from depression is possible — and this interactive workbook guides and supports both teens and the professionals who help them on the journey.

This revised edition is packed with tips and activities on

  • dealing with suicidal thoughts and feelings

  • changing negative thought patterns to positive ones

  • reaching out to friends and supporters

  • avoiding substance abuse

  • solving problems constructively

  • recognizing and avoiding "triggers" of depression

*American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 2001

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781557665928
Publisher: Brookes Publishing
Publication date: 08/01/2002
Edition description: REV
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Mary Ellen Copeland, M.A., M.S., is a mental health educator. She has worked with adults and young people all over the world, teaching them how to recover from troubling conditions such as depression and how to stay well. She has also worked as a teacher, founding and directing a school for teens with special needs. She believes that if teens understand how they feel and know how to help themselves feel well, they will be happier and better able to do the things they want to do. She received her master's degree in counseling psychology from Vermont College of Norwich University and her master's degree in resource management and administration from Antioch New England Graduate School. She is the author of The Depression Workbook: A Guide for Living with Depression and Manic Depression; Living Without Depression and Manic Depression: A Workbook for Maintaining Mood Stability; Wellness Recovery Action Plan; Winning Against Relapse: A Workbook of Action Plans for Recurring Health and Emotional Problems; The Worry Control Workbook; The Loneliness Workbook: A Guide to Developing and Maintaining Lasting Connections; and Healing the Trauma of Abuse: A Women's Workbook, co-authored with Maxine Harris.

Stuart Copans, M.D., is a husband, father, child psychiatrist, cartoonist, writer, speaker, book illustrator, paper cutter, bookplate designer, mail artist, book artist, swimmer, and canoe paddler (not always in that order). His children have all survived his parenting mistakes, for which he is grateful to them and to some undefined higher power. He enjoys collaborating with others and hopes they enjoy collaborating with him but always feels as if he's the lucky one in any collaboration. Dr. Copans graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University and received his medical degree from Stanford Medical School. He has researched parent-child interactions for the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and has worked with adolescents in both inpatient and outpatient settings for nearly 30 years. He is on the faculty of Dartmouth Medical School and the University of Massachusetts Medical School and is board certified in child and adolescent psychiatry. Dr. Copans likes to write books that teach through humor or that help people deal with problems. His books include Who's the Patient Here?: Portraits of the Young Psychotherapist, co-authored with Thomas Singer; How to Avoid the Evil Eye by Brenda Rosenbaum; Smart Moves: Your Guide Through the Emotional Maze of Relocation, co-authored with Audrey McCollum and Nadia Jensen; Twelve Jewish Steps to Recovery: A Personal Guide to Turning from Alcoholism and Other Addictions, co-authored with Rabbi Kerry Olitzky; The Healing Journey: Your Journal of Self-Discovery, co-authored with Phil Rich; The Healing Journey for Couples: Your Journal of Mutual Discovery, co-authored with Phil Rich; The Healing Journey Through Addiction: Your Journal for Recovery and Self-Renewal, co-authored with Phil Rich; and The Healing Journey Through Job Loss: Your Journal for Reflection and Revitalization, co-authored with Phil Rich and Kenneth G. Copans.

Read an Excerpt

Excerpted from chapter 1 of Recovering from Depression: A Workbook for Teens, Revised Edition, by Mary Ellen Copeland, M.A., M.S., & Stuart Copans, M.D.

Copyright © 2002 by Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Am I Depressed?


Have you been feeling really awful and don' know why? If so, you may be depressed. Many people are depressed, don't know they are depressed, and don't know why they feel so bad. You deserve to feel well. Your health and happiness are important. If you are depressed, you can help yourself to feel better, and you can get help from others. This book will give you information to help you do that.


The Depression Survey on pages 4–6 will help you discover if you are depressed. But before you take this survey, answer the following questions.

Have you been:

  • Feeling like killing yourself?

  • Making plans as to how you will kill yourself?

  • Wishing you were dead?

  • Wishing you would get killed accidentally?

  • Feeling like killing yourself is the only way to solve your problems?


If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need help right away. Turn immediately to Chapter 3, Suicide Prevention.

Things to Remember

  • If you are feeling bad, even if you are not sure whether or not it is depression, don't use alcohol or street drugs to make yourself feel better. They will make you feel better at first, but you will feel much worse later. Street drugs and alcohol can keep you from seeking the help you need to really feel better, and they often lead to an addiction, which can be a very big problem.

  • You may think you will never feel better, but you will. Depression ends. By helping yourself and getting help from others, you will begin feeling much better very soon.

  • It is not your fault you feel this way. Don't blame yourself. That will just make you feel worse.

Every morning my mother tries to get me up to go to school. I feel so awful. I don't want to get up. I just want to keep my head under the covers and sleep all day. If I go to school, I know I will fail. I'm sure I will flunk that math test. I can't understand anything the teachers are saying anyway. None of my friends like me anymore. I used to like the Drama Club, but now I can't stand it. Everyone is laughing and having a good time, and I'm not part of it. I don't think anyone even cares about me.

The following checklist will help you discover for yourself if you are depressed. Check off any symptoms that apply to you.

Depression Survey


  • Hopeless, worthless, useless, like not caring about anything, like you might as well be dead, like you are a failure?

  • That there is no solution to your problems?

  • Numb, without feelings?

  • Like you have nothing to look forward to?

  • Like you never have any fun?

  • Ugly, like everyone is staring at you?

  • Like nobody would miss you if you were gone?

  • Like sleeping all the time or sleeping much more than 8 hours a day; or you have trouble sleeping and seem to be awake all night?

  • Like you don't want to eat anything or like eating all the time?

  • Very tired almost all the time?

  • Irritable, angry, and/or anxious most of the time?

  • Like you don't want to do anything?

  • Very lonely, even when you are with your friends or family?

  • Like you are a bad person?

  • Like there is no one you can trust or talk to, that no one likes or cares about you?


  • Lost more than 10 pounds recently without being on a diet (you just don't feel like eating)?

  • Secretly cut, burned, or hurt yourself?

  • Heard your friends telling you they are worried about you, that you are quieter than usual, or that you are always in a bad mood?


  • Have a hard time getting up in the morning or find you are unable to get up for school or work?

  • Worry a lot?

  • Have a very negative attitude?

  • Cry easily?


  • Very quiet?

  • Always thinking about mistakes you have made in the past?


  • Smiling when you don't feel like it?

  • Taking risks such as driving too fast?

  • Having sex?

  • Using drugs and alcohol?

  • Getting in fights?

  • Secretly hurting yourself?

  • Not showing your feelings?

Things to Do

You need to get help for depression right away if you:

  • Checked off or answered yes to several of the symptoms of depression

  • Have felt bad for more than 2 weeks

  • Feel so bad you can't keep up with your schoolwork and other responsibilities

  • Are thinking about hurting or killing yourself or anyone else

  • Think a lot about dying

Things to Remember

The next chapter will tell you how to get help. Don't delay. Get help now. You deserve to feel better. The sooner you get help, the sooner you will feel better.

After you have gotten help, there are things you can do to help yourself feel better and to keep you from getting depressed again. But first, get help.

Do not turn to alcohol or street drugs to make you feel better. They will make you feel better for a very short time, but after the effects wear off, you will feel MUCH WORSE.

Next Steps

If you think a friend is depressed, turn to Appendix A, If a Friend Is Depressed, to find out what to do.

Excerpted from chapter 1 of Recovering from Depression: A Workbook for Teens, Revised Edition, by Mary Ellen Copeland, M.A., M.S., & Stuart Copans, M.D.

Copyright © 2002 by Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Table of Contents

About the Authors

I. Getting Started

  1. Am I Depressed?

  2. Getting Help

  3. Suicide Prevention

  4. Helping Myself Feel Better Right Away

  5. Using the Rest of this Book
II. Things I Need to Know About My Physical and Emotional Health

  1. Understanding Depression

  2. Getting Good Health Care

  3. Medication
III. Things I Can Do to Help Myself Feel Better

  1. Friends and Supporters

  2. Avoiding Substance Abuse

  3. When Bad Things Happen

  4. Diet, Light, Exercise, and Sleep

  5. Helping Myself Relax

  6. Peer Counseling

  7. Creative Activities
IV. Things I Can Do to Maintain a Positive Outlook Over the Long Term

  1. Raising Self-Esteem

  2. Changing Negative Thoughts to Positive Ones
V. Building an Ongoing Recovery and Safety Plan

  1. Wellness Tools

  2. Monitoring My Moods and Preventing Depression

  3. Developing a Safety Plan

  4. Managing Medications

  5. Avoiding Relapse

  6. Dreams and Goals
Appendix A: If a Friend Is Depressed
Appendix B: Information for Parents
Appendix C: Important Telephone Numbers
Appendix D: Information for a Friend

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