Real Life Stories

Alex, 10–years–old, lives with his mother and grandmother. His parents separated when he was six. Alex's teacher reports that he is in danger of failing, that he becomes preoccupied, often staring out the window, and seldom finishes his work. Alex has stated that the other children in the class are much smarter than he is. He seldom attends Boy Scout meetings or plays baseball, which he used to enjoy. When he gets home each afternoon, he watches television and eats all the cookies he can find. He usually telephones his mother to make sure she's all right and then goes to bed until his mother comes home. "I don't have any reason to stay up; nothing good is going to happen," he said.

Cheryl usually went to school and to her part-time job, and then came home and played with her cats, rather than go out with her two best friends, as she used to. Looking back, her mother realized that Cheryl hadn't gone to the movies or shopping for the past month and seemed to have lost weight. Then her mother found a bottle of sleeping pills on Cheryl's dresser.

Both Alex and Cheryl have been diagnosed with depression.