Geeks Vs Loneliness: when your child is depressed

A post for parents, whose children are struggling with depression.

However confident they seem, and however much they appear to have everything together, no parent stops worrying about their children to some degree. That’s whether said offspring are still toddling around or fully grown adults. And one of the toughest challenges any parent can face is supporting their child through an illness.

This week’s Geeks Vs Loneliness has been inspired by the outstanding work of The Blurt Foundation, and a post Tweeted from its account earlier this week. It’s not a new post, as it turns out, but it is an important one. It’s entitled ‘a letter to parents who have a child with depression’.

It makes key points from the off. Depression is an illness, and it’s an illness that can happen to anyone. It doesn’t matter whether lots of people in your family have been affected by it or not. Depression isn’t picky. And sadly, it can turn its glare towards children, even young ones.

The key points, therefore, that we took out of Blurt’s post and want to reiterate here:

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• It’s nobody’s fault. It’s not down to you, it’s not down to your child. You wouldn’t blame anyone – at least with any real conviction – if someone got a cold. The same rules should apply with depression.

• Accept that you might not have all the answers. Again, if your child came to you with a broken bone, you’d take them to the hospital to see an expert about dealing with it. Depression, likewise, is a disease that you may only be able to support to a certain degree. That’s absolutely fine. Don’t worry about asking for help. Lots of it is available, which in turn should give you a clue as to just how common this is.

• You need to look after yourself. This is advice that’s not exclusive to what we’re talking about here, but it’s relevant. You can’t support or help someone else if you don’t take care of yourself too. Caring for someone else can cause you to sacrifice your own needs, but thinking practically, what if they also need you in ten years’ time, and by then your own health has suffered? Try to think long term, and make sure you find room for you.

• Give your child a hug. We know we don’t need to tell you this bit, but you’re both still the same people.

The full post from Blurt can be found here. And thank you, as always, for reading. You all stay awesome.