Advice I Ignored

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A book review for Advice I Ignored: Stories and Wisdom From a Formerly Depressed Teen by Ruby Walker

Stars: ****

Ruby Walker (2019)
Teen Depression
162 pages

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

Summary: Advice I Ignored is the only book about teenage depression that was actually written by a teenager!

When Ruby Walker was fifteen, she went from a numb, silent, miserable high school dropout to a joyous loudmouth in one year flat. Advice I Ignored answers the question everyone’s been asking her since: What happened? In ten illustrated chapters, you’ll learn how to:

  • get out from under self-hatred
  • gain a sense of free will
  • deal with failure without falling apart
  • create your way through an existential crisis
  • use exercise to beg your brain for endorphins
  • have an identity beyond “sad”
  • and more!

Full of embarrassing stories, honest advice, and fierce hope, Advice I Ignored is a self-help book for people who hate help. And themselves.

Advice I Ignored

I was depressed as a teen, and anxious and apparently hypomanic but I didn’t know it at the time. I was diagnosed with clinical depression, then I was told I had symptoms of borderline personality disorder but not enough to be diagnosed with it. It took till 2009 I think it was to be diagnosed with Bipolar 2.

I wish I had this book when I was a teen. I did read about mental health but this book hadn’t yet been written. It was written by Ruby Walker who is 18 and so being a depressed teenager is not something she is recounting from years ago.

Her chapters are all laid out mostly the same. She gives background information on the idea, gives us a story time section that specifically gives details from when she was in her depression and then gives advice on how get through those thoughts/ideas/problems.

For example, the chapter titled Don’t be so hard on yourself explains how she used to always apologize for her behaviour. She talks about self esteem and about the three things she tried to do to push aside all the negative self talk. Storytime was about when she went to camp at the end of 7th grade. She goes over things that happened, how she felt and revelations she came to. Finally she shares advice on how to stop the hate, get smart and treat yourself right.

Also, the whole book is full of original hand-inked illustrations by the author. The drawings really help you see how she felt inside. She does a very good job of drawing what is going on in her head.

If you are a depressed teen or know a depressed teen, this is a great book.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.