New from Seeds of Hope Books
I'm Not Alone Book Cover
Book of the Year Award
Finalist of the ForeWord Magazine's
Book of the Year Award
Lisa Dixon, M.D., M.P.H, Psychiatrist and Professor
Shirley Glynn, Ph.D., Psychologist
Department of Psychiatry, UCLA School of Medicine
Leslie S.


"A highly informative and remarkably sensitive book that provides children of parents who have a mental illness with easily accessible information and compassionate support that will make their difficult journey easier. This book provides a tremendous amount of information about mental illness and convincingly informs the readers that their confusion and feelings are not an indication that there is something wrong with them - but rather that they are dealing with extraordinarily difficult circumstances that are not of their own making. It is essential that this book be made available to teens dealing with mental illness in the family. It could make all the difference in the world." (Fred Sautter, Ph.D., Tulane University Health Sciences Center.)

I’m Not Alone: A Teen’s Guide to Living with a Parent Who Has a Mental Illness focuses on the teenager’s experience of living with a parent who has a serious mental illness, with particular attention to depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. The reader learns about the causes of mental illness, common symptoms of each disorder, the role of mental health professionals, and treatment options. A variety of educational techniques are used throughout the text including stories, poems, inspirational quotes, and key lessons. Part Two normalizes the teen’s experience of a wide range of emotions and teaches effective coping tools. The reader then identifies his/her personal support system and weighs the pros and cons of sharing personal information with trustworthy friends. Throughout the book readers are encouraged to respond to questions, to consider hypothetical scenarios that may resonate with their experiences, and to reflect on their feelings via journaling. Part Three includes frequently asked questions, a glossary, and an extensive resource list. This practical, reassuring book connects with readers so they feel informed, in control, hopeful, and not alone.

Preview the Book
  pdf icon Table of Contents pdf icon Sections of Chapter Six
  pdf icon Sections of Chapter One pdf icon Sections of Chapter Eight

In the News

A tremendous gift for every parent who lives with a mental illness to give to their teenage children.
Marcia Hayes - Depression and Bipolar Support (DBSA) Oklahoma newsletter (2006)

(Suggestions) are both research-based and thoughtfully and calmingly conveyed to a teen audience ... the authors carefully and with great sensitivity convey a sense of concern about the reader’s well-being.
Cathy Haarstad, MS - Journal of Family Social Work (2008)

Describes in simple, direct terms and makes it clear that mental illness is neither contagious nor mysterious. Adolescents are urged to empower themselves through education, support, and overall good self-care. Takes a very strengths-based approach. Reframes challenges into "lessons learned."
Counseling Today (American Counseling Association) (2007)

A welcome resource given the paucity of available information aimed at adolescents who are coping with a parent who has a mental illness. Easily read by pre-teens through adults - encourages open communication. Interactive, engaging, optimistic book provides compassion, empathy and hope.
Kristine Haertl, Ph.D., OTR/L - Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal (2007)

Very practical and actionable ... and gives the reader hope.
Trish Reubottom - World Fellowship for Schizophrenia and Allied Disorders (WFSAD) newsletter (2007)

Authors very obviously know the teen mind - reminds me of a friendly health class teacher ... soothing, reassuring, and factual. Comforting and enabling: Yes, your parent is ill. No, you didn’t make it happen. Yes, it could happen to anyone. Yes, you can still have a life. It takes the mystery out of strong emotions.
Jeanette TFW Pelton, LISW-S - THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER Online (2008)

Presented in an easily understood manner that is culturally sensitive to the adolescent’s world. Normalizes experiences, thoughts, and feelings. These pioneering books promote understanding and empathy, absolve teens from guilt, increase self-efficacy, and, most importantly, provide hope.
Lora Humphrey Beebe, Ph.D., PMHNP-BD - Issues in Mental Health Nursing (2008)

Easily accessible, comprehensive information and skill-building activities. Excellent for counselors and therapists to use with groups.
Ronda Cooperstein - NAMI Maryland Connections (2008)

Guide? Resource? Tool? Interactive journal? All four terms describe Sherman & Sherman’s practical books. Provide teens with a blend of developmentally-appropriate information and blame-free support with a personalized resource as they learn to cope with trauma and mental illness in their world.
Jessica T. Amorosa, Ed.S. - Connecticut School Psychologist (2008)

Read Reviews

"Provides both answers to tormenting questions and coping techniques that will be helpful throughout the life course ... an invaluable resource for families and clinicians."
Harriet P. Lefley, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

"A calming, outstretched hand in the middle of an emotional storm ... it offers hope to teens who may feel that they are walking a tightrope and their lives are out of control. Written in respectful, encouraging language that any teenager would find helpful’"
Marcia Hayes, Past Executive Director, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) ’ Oklahoma.

"A "must-have" book for school counselors, clinical child psychologists, child and adolescent psychiatrists, clinical social workers, and all other mental health professionals working with families ....a "must-read" book for youth who have experienced a parent's schizophrenia, depression, or bipolar disorder. No-nonsense yet compassionate, practical yet deep, and concise yet thorough, it provides information, emotional support, coping resources, and a hands-on approach to problem solving for those millions of youth whose parents display troubling, mysterious, and anxiety (and guilt) provoking psychological disturbances. Highly recommended."
Stephen P. Hinshaw, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley. Author of The Years of Silence are Past: My Father's Life with Bipolar Disorder.

"What an amazing resource for young people, families, and professionals! It should be on the shelf of every mental health professional who works with families. This easy-to-read, experiential book provides an excellent toolbox for young people and will help to improve the quality of their lives."
Teresa Peden, MPH, MAMFT, Associate Director of LifeCare Ministries at Crossings Church; Former Executive Director, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Oklahoma.

"This book fills a void that has been long neglected in child psychology. Finally, a book designed specifically for teenagers with parents who have a mental illness. This fabulous resource provides a reader-friendly text that helps adolescents understand what is happening to their parents, and more importantly, gives them HOPE and strategies to understand their own complicated feelings. You can be sure that I will be recommending this book to my patients."
Kira Armstrong, Ph.D., ABPP-CN, Harvard Medical School, Center for Child and Adolescent Development, Cambridge Health Alliance.

"Answers teens’ questions about mental illness and imparts hope and understanding of their parent’s problems. A truly inspired self-help guide."
Carolyn Archer, Certified Recovery Support Specialist, Oklahoma Mental Health Consumer Council.

"This is the answer to a mother’s prayers. Helpful, hopeful, and full of great information and activities. Thank you for not forgetting these kids at such a vulnerable, critical time in their lives."
Debby Shepard, mother of three teenagers.

"A much needed resource ... easy to understand and developmentally appropriate for teens. Provides sound information about mental illness and teaches teens appropriate ways to cope."
Lisa M. Swisher, Ph.D., Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

"Thorough, engaging, and right on target for teenagers dealing with a family member who has a mental illness."
Nancy Petree, NAMI Family to Family Teacher.