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A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression [Paperback]

By Gary E. Nelson (Author)
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Item description for A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression by Gary E. Nelson...

Gary Nelson has not only counseled teens with severe depression, he's lived with one — and his story is an inspiration to all families who find themselves in the midst of this life-interrupting and life-threatening illness. If you're one of those families — or know one — this is a must-have resource built on biblical and scientific truth that may save the life of someone you love. Paperback.

Publishers Description
Description: Depression and related illnesses threaten to wreck the lives of many teens and their families. Suicide driven by these illnesses is one of the top killers of these young people. How do teens become depressed? What does depression feel like? How can we identify it? What helps depressed teens? What hurts them? How do families cope with teen depression? In A Relentless Hope Gary Nelson uses his experience as a pastor and pastoral counselor to guide the reader through an exploration of these and many other questions about teen depression. Nelson has worked with many teens over the years offering help to those who nd themselves confronted by this potentially devastating attacker. The author also uses the story of his own son's journey through depression to weave together insights into the spiritual, emotional, cognitive, biological, and relational dimensions of teen depression. Through careful analysis, candid self-revelation, practical advice, and even humor, this pastor, counselor, and father reminds us that God's light of healing can shine through the darkness of depression and offer hope. A Relentless Hope is written for teens, parents, teachers, pastors, and any who walk with the af icted through this valley of the shadow of death. Endorsements: ""Whether you are a youth struggling with depression, a family member of a depressed teen, or a pastor, counselor or teacher providing support and help in such circumstances, this book is a must read as the most informative and helpful volume available on the subject."" --Merle R. Jordan Professor of Pastoral Psychology Emeritus, Boston University School of Theology ""This story of a family is an incredible gift of honest reflection. So many families deal with the issue of teen depression. . . As the dean of a theological school I am aware of the numbers of youth that my students deal with who are in this book. Depression, self-medication with alcohol and drugs, self doubt and even considerations of suicide as an answer--all are in our communities and probably in even a small church. This book is about an attitude that avoids denial, attempts to keep a sense of humor, and believes in the miracle of life. Thank you, Tom, for allowing your story to be told."" --Maxine Clarke Beach, Vice President and Dean, Drew Theological School This is a story of amazing grace I love the challenge Gary gave the reader throughout the book: ""Never give up on loving "" I was reminded in a very tangible way of the limitless capacity of God who loves us the same way--He never stops What an incredible mantra for all of us: ""Never give up on loving. . . . Never "" I wonder how different our world would be if we practiced this command? --Rev. Dale Seley, Pastor Downtown Baptist Church, Alexandria, Virginia About the Contributor(s): Gary E. Nelson, DMin, is a United Methodist minister who for thirty years has worked with teens and their families as a local church pastor and as a pastoral counselor. He currently pastors a church in West Virginia.

Citations And Professional Reviews
A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression by Gary E. Nelson has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Christian Century - 02/12/2008 page 50

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Pages   137
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.92" Width: 6.66" Height: 0.35"
Weight:   0.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 15, 2007
Publisher   Cascade Books
ISBN  155635309X  
ISBN13  9781556353093  

Availability  0 units.

More About Gary E. Nelson

Gary E Nelson Guest Speaker and Workshop Leader Dr. Gary E. Nelson has been a United Methodist pastor and pastoral counselor for over 30 years, serving as a pastor of local churches and working as a clinician in an inter-denominational pastoral counseling ministry. Dr. Nelson has counseled with individuals, couples, and families and worked extensively with teenagers as a pastor and pastoral counselor. As a result of his work with teens and his own teenage son’s battle with severe depression, Dr. Nelson recently published a book entitled, A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression. The book uses everyday language, his own son’s story, and Dr. Nelson’s experience with many other teens and their families to describe teenage depression and offer practical advice for families and teens suffering through this difficult and dangerous illness. Dr. Nelson has given many presentations and workshops on teen depression and parenting and is available as a guest speaker in your church, school, professional or other community organization. He has been interviewed for radio, TV, newspapers, and magazines all over the country.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > Counseling

Reviews - What do customers think about A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression?

Help for your teen...  Oct 16, 2008
Gary Nelson brings new insight to overcoming teen depression in this caring book with sensible solutions that he has learned through his experience with his own son. Parents with a teen who is in the throes of clinical depression just feel that they have no place to turn for help. He advises to stop excusing behaviors and to learn to deal with the issues.

Depression and resulting suicide is the leading cause of teen deaths; that is a frightening premise, and gives us reason to fear for our children when we see behavior that could indicate depression instead of just the usual ups and downs of puberty. Nelson addresses the confusion about just what depression is, and how it manifests itself differently in various individuals. It is a clinical disease that often runs in families, but this book will help you to recognize real depression in your teen. Nelson gives you the knowledge to explore the many dimensions and levels of the disease.

That the whole family should have professional therapy is a must. Certainly you will all live with frustration, and frequently desperation. Nelson also addresses spiritual issues, and this book expounds Christian values. It considers other faiths, too, and addresses the importance of faith in the life of a depressed teen. Gary Nelson and his family show what worked for them, and the main point of the book shows that parents must just keep loving their child through his progress in overcoming depression and all of the discouraging backslides that he may experience.

This book is highly recommended for parents, teachers, and counselors dealing with teenagers, as well as the teens themselves.
A Relentless Hope  Jun 9, 2008
A Relentless Hope: Surviving the
storm of teen depression
By Gary E. Nelson
A Review by Pat Sullivan, Editor Healing Magazine,

Gary Nelson chronicles his son's fight against depression and how they joined together as a family to bring Tom back. Gary is a minister turned pastoral counselor who provides interfaith counseling youth with problems very much like his son's, which makes he situation even more poignant as one reads about Tom's slide downward into a depression that nearly took the young man's life.

Gary wrote this wonderful little book for teens, parents, teachers, counselors and pastors in hopes of teaching them the signs and how to help them bring other youth from the brink of deep, deep depression.

Tom had been a normal kid who played baseball very well and had many friends. Around the time he entered high school, he started pulling away from the friends and activities he had previously loved and began feeling "sick" and unable to attend school. He spent more and more time in his room and literally days in bed, and he would have fits of rage during which he would throw things into his walls and ceiling, one day almost shattering his bedroom door. He left the baseball team in anger over criticism by the coach and withdrew from all of his friends. Eventually he came to realize that something was wrong, but he had no control over it. He described it to his parents as "feeling like he was being beaten
from the inside." His sleep patterns changed, he was irritable and angry a lot of the time and was unable to focus on schoolwork, sports or relationships with his friends and families. It was perhaps harder for Gary to watch considering that he was a counselor himself yet unable to reach his own son. Gary also became very concerned that Tom may turn to suicide to stop the pain he was experiencing.

He makes the point that parents need to work "with" their depressed children rather than trying to "fight it" with anger and recriminations. Gary strongly suggests asking your children if you can help them develop a plan for getting through it but not trying to pressure them into feeling better because they have no control over it and feel like greater failures if they cannot meet parent expectations. He also suggests trying to get them into counseling but make sure that you find someone to whom your child can relate and talk. In some cases, medication can help, but that is a big decision that must be made on an individual basis.

Gary and his wife were willing to try some creative and even risky ways of
helping Tom fight his depression and accompanying anxiety, allowing him
to start working at a young age and getting his GED rather than finishing a high school he just could not make himself attend. They bought him a car and encouraged his interest in music, even heavy metal if it made him feel that someone understood his pain.

There are so many strong and hopeful messages in this book to help families get through a child's depression in tact, still spending quality time with other children and not allowing this illness ruin a marriage. Tom is married and doing very well as an adult now, and Gary even describes the wedding that was moved at the last minute due to hurricanes. This wonderful little book speaks of faith and love and hope and a family's decisions to fight to help their child no matter what it took.
It is an inspiration and well worth reading if you have any contact youth who are debilitated by depression.
Copyright 2008 KidsPeace. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.
Amazing!  May 16, 2008
This book does a great job capturing how depression really does feel and effect a family. I've gone through depression myself, and I've never been able to find the words to express how it feels or how it effects anyone, but the author seems to be able to do a good job of doing so. I don't think you can ever know how it feels or what it's like until you go through it yourself, but if you read this book, you can possibly start to see it through a sufferer's eyes.
Review by Kathryn Goetzke White - Pres. & CEO of Innovative Analysis & Mood-Factory  May 9, 2008
Thank you so much for sending me the book you wrote about your family's journey through depression. It was a wonderful book, and one that I believe can help many. I think it gives parents a real tool for understanding and moving through a child's experience with depression.

I believe that your son Tom does give one of the best descriptions of depression I have ever heard - 'It is like being beaten from the inside'. Your additional description of that does it justice: `Take a moment and let that sink in. Recall a picture you've seen of a person who has been severely beaten. Sometimes the bruising and swelling are so bad that the victim's features are grotesquely contorted. The bruises, cuts, and scrapes on the outside scream the agony the beaten soul must suffer from deep within. Every bone in their body aches, every muscle throbs. Maybe it even hurts to be touched.'

That is how it is. The pain of depression hurts so bad, so much on the inside, you become numb and the person you are becomes distorted. And then you do whatever they can to actually feel something to get rid of it (including drinking, self-mutilation, drugs, eating disorders, sex, and more). It gives a temporary high to an endless despair.

I encourage parents to read this book, as not only do you provide insight and ideas on how to work with children that are dealing with depression, it gives validation.

I commend you on providing a very useful tool that can help so many.
A friend to lean on  May 4, 2008
In A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression, Gary Nelson offers to teens and their parents what he has learned from walking closely with his son through prolonged depression, and from counseling many struggling teens and their families. His book testifies that God is at work in our world, offering hope and new possibilities that can transcend even life-threatening mental illness. One of this book's strengths is its warm and empathetic approach to suffering teens and their parents. Recognizing how much stress the illness of one of its members places on the whole family, he cautions parents against turning frustration with the illness into anger toward the teen. He encourages parents above all to "just keep loving them."

Nelson's accessible theological reflection is another of the book's strong contributions. He argues that teens need both "a theology that works in the midst of the suffering" and "the opportunity for God to be present through our patient presence."

I wish that as a teen with depression I had had someone like Gary Nelson to lean on and offer hope, to help me understand what was happening to me and encourage me to extend myself some grace. I especially commend A Relentless Hope to parents and other adults who love someone with depression. While some teens may find the hope Nelson writes about through reading his book themselves, most teens with depression will benefit from companions who embody the acceptance and encouragement that Nelson fosters.

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