Not long after the release of my book, Eating Myself Crazy, I knew I would be writing a book for teens. During my book signing events I met several people who would tell me about their son or daughter struggling with eating disorders, body image and self-esteem issues. Quite often after listening to their stories they would ask if I could write a book for teens. It became my next mission. Starting on the book I initially figured it would be for the parents and caregivers of teens. However, after seeing the small amount of resources in the teen section of bookstores and libraries I changed my mind. I would be writing to the teens directly. This wasn’t going to be a book on eating disorders either. It will be about what teens have to deal with on a daily basis and the pressures imposed upon them. Without proper supports and self-care adolescent life can cause emotional breakdowns. And they are happening…a lot.
The messages teens receive from the outside world are very influential. These messages can motivate them to behave a particular way. This goes deeper than peer pressure. It goes down to the very basics of our self-esteem or self-esteem needs. I explain self-esteem needs to the teens in my book so they can get an understanding of why they think, feel and act the way they do. I have worked mainly with teens throughout my career and most kids feel both judged and pressured. This is on top of trying to deal with and understand a developing brain and body. They have told me it is very stressful to contend with. The overwhelming of it all is causing kids to tune out, disconnect or give up altogether. Studies are telling us that today’s kids are more anxious and depressed than they have ever been. We as a society need to start acknowledging that we are beating down our future leaders, not building them up. This mentality of the survival of the fittest doesn’t mean we are pumping out the brightest and most effective leaders for the workforce and economy. In fact, we are losing out on a large group of empathic, creative, inspiring young visionaries that we need to make the world a better place.
My new book, “Am I the Only One? Struggling Being a Teen” is meant to help teens understand their feelings and navigate this sometimes harsh critical world. My hope is build confidence and evoke hope by letting teens know they are not alone. Even if they think they are.
“Am I the Only One?” will be released January 24th.