Dealing with Teen Depression
Ellen felt extremely alone while dealing with the enervating and continuing depression of her teenage son. She also felt guilty. Ellen felt that she had been under the dark cloud of depression her entire life. Her mother had shrouded her family with constant, soul sucking darkness and Ellen couldn’t believe that the same desperation was now staring out at her through her son’s tortured eyes.
Ellen grew up loathing depression, considering it a weakness. Her Dad never discussed, it was the elephant in the room that no one talked about. Now, as Ellen look at brochures in search of a boarding school for troubled teens, she dissolved into sobs. Loving her son, guilty for resenting him, swirling in countless decisions on treatment, Ellen makes the mistake so many parents of depressed teens make. They do not seek out support, either out of embarrassment or denial; too many parents cope with teen depression alone.
Depression is a Mental Illness
“If I could share any lesson from this very bitter experience, it would be to remind other parents to let go of the sense of shame over having a child who is mentally ill. Depression is neither the parents’ nor the child’s fault. During the worst period, our whole family hunkered down, isolating ourselves from family and friends. I avoided people because it was too painful to hear about their children’s college plans, internships, scholarships, and awards…
When things got better, I began to tell people about it. I found other parents locked in isolation while their children struggled with this disease. If your child has been diagnosed with depression, don’t hide. Don’t be ashamed of your child or your parenting skills. Seek support and know you are not alone.”
By Ann Walker