Parenting with Depression

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor nor do I claim to be one. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, are injured, or are feeling thoughts of depression, anxiety, or anything else, please contact a medical professional IMMEDIATELY!

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

Making it Easier for You and Your Children

As a mother of four children and suffering from depression, I know how hard it can be to be a parent with depression. It is hard to enjoy my kids sometimes because it is hard to enjoy anything. Depression not only takes it toll on myself but it plays a part in my children’s lives also. They know and sense that something is not right. They can see the sadness and the lack of energy. When a parent is depressed they might not want to play with the child or they could have little patience for them. This does effect the child’s well being and the child may become depressed themselves.

Fortunately, there are ways to make it easier on yourself and more importantly; your children.

First, make sure your children know you love them no matter what. Tell them as often as you can and give them lots of hugs and kisses. Little ones will even enjoy just sitting on your lap to watch TV. This is good for you and the child. Let them know they are not the reason why you feel sad. Knowing you love them unconditionally will give them a better sense of security even when times are hard.

If they are old enough, explain to them what depression is and how it effects you as an individual. Let them know that something is wrong with your brain and you are working to get it fixed. If you are taking medication, explain that the medicine will help but may not always fix the problem completely. Let them join in on therapy or doctor visit and ask the therapist or doctor to explain to your child what is going on with you. When you are feeling good let them know and when you are not so good let them know then too. Remind them it is not their fault.

If your child seems to be having a hard time coping with your depression, get them professional help. A therapist may be the best for them. They can offer a listening ear and some coping strategies. Let the school guidance councilor know about your depression and ask for him or her to speak with your child. This will also benefit your child if they act out in school. The staff will already know the child is having a hard time coping and be more helpful to the child than quick to punish.

Ask for help! Ask family members or friends to do things with the children you cannot do yourself. They can take them to the park or to see a movie. They can sit down and play a board game or just talk with them. Get the non-depressed parent to give your child more of his or her time. Asking for help around the house can leave you less stressed ans possibly give you more energy for your child. Never hesitate to ask for help in times of need!

Do not feel guilty for the way depression effects your parenting. You are doing the best you can and guilt will only make you feel worse. When your doing well, make the most of that time with your children. Going for a walk can give you time with them and can help life to lift your mood. Get plenty of sunshine. It is said that sunshine raises your endorphins, which helps with depression. Even if it only sitting on the front porch or in the grass watching your children play, get outside with them.

You will get through this and so will your children. In the end it just may make them stronger from the experience.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor nor do I claim to be one. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, are injured, or are feeling thoughts of depression, anxiety, or anything else, please contact a medical professional IMMEDIATELY!

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

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