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Book Review: Help! My Teen is Depressed by Christine Chappell

From the series:

by Rachel Cain

It is evident that Christine Chappell has written this “Help!” booklet from her heart. Her words overflow with the compassion and understanding that comes with walking gracefully through a trial. She writes that she’s both experienced depression herself, and walked through depression with her child. From that perspective, she’s written this mini-booklet to comfort others “with the comfort with which ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Cor. 1:4).

Due to their length, “Help!” mini-booklets can not possibly cover all that there is to know about a topic. Within a small booklet, however, Christine was able to convey deep, abiding truths that can not only comfort the hearts of struggling parents but also offer practical, applicable plans for help.

Christine touches on what is probably the most discouraging feeling for a parent – helplessness. It is agonizing to watch our children suffer. As with all suffering, we are unable to control the duration, the severity, or the presence of suffering in our own lives, let alone our children’s lives. That kind of helplessness can tempt us towards controlling behavior, bitterness, or even a lack of compassion towards our suffering kids.

Christine encourages parents to remember their role as “ministers of Christ” (20) to their children. As a minister of Christ, parents should weep with their children, communicate openly with them, offer support, and endure with patience. There’s no use in rushing a child’s healing or trying to “fix” them. That is not the calling of a parent. Christine writes, “you are not the Savior of your child’s soul” (5). And how poor saviors we would be! Praise God that he’s provided all the help and hope that both we and our children need in Christ.

Parents in the thick of this unique battle will be glad to know that Christine confronts the hard questions head on. With grace and sound biblical reasoning, she tackles a number of Christian wisdom issues like medication, hospitalization, and academic issues. She offers a number of specific, practical applications that parents can easily implement with their children. Most of all, she offers the hope that she’s learned herself – God can be glorified, even through you and your child’s suffering.

This mini-book brings light to the purpose of our pain, succinctly guiding parents to peel back the layers of the heart in their depressed teen, offer gospel-care to them, and ultimately, move forward in trusting the Lord in such a trying season.

Read more about Help! My Teen is Depressed here