Depression is an already mentally and emotionally exhausting battle that everyone needs to deal with. It affects and changes lives in an instant. No one gets to be exempted from its negative impact. In some instances, daily chores are neglected, work and school become more of a struggle, and even getting out of bed needs so much energy. Depression can make everyone feel stuck despite knowing that the world still moves.

I somehow know how it feels in this state, but we can’t entirely get to the bottom of it. Luckily I know when to seek help whenever I couldn’t even understand where to begin. But as a parent, I worry about my children. I am not confident that they can do whatever I think I’m positively doing to help myself get rid of the mental health struggles. So as much as possible, here are the things I need my children to understand so we can all discuss their mental health issues.

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They Should Realize That There Is Nothing Wrong With Asking

I believe my kids are smart. I know they can easily understand the things around them since they are doing everything they could to adjust to every situation completely. But with mental health issues, I admit things can get complicated. As much as I want to know everything about their thoughts and feelings, I know I can only wait for my children to open up with their struggles.

I understand the stigma attached to depression, and I know my kids are embarrassed to tell me everything they are dealing with mentally and emotionally. I know the reason behind it is because they might think I don’t care, but I do. My kids should realize that there is nothing wrong with asking anything because, as a parent, I know I also need to exert any effort to meet them halfway. My kids are not alone in this battle, and I am more than willing to pay attention. I know my children need my support more than ever, so I want them to talk to me openly.

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They Should Understand That Their Depression Is Not Anyone’s Fault

Most times, I think my children do not want to talk to me because they do not want me to think they are blaming me for their mental health struggles. I somehow feel like they want to distance themselves because they do not want to be seen as failures. They are reluctant to approach me because they somehow believe I might take it the wrong way. But it would be an honor to contribute a part to my children’s overall mental and emotional recovery.

Honestly, all I want is for my children to see me as a friend. I might not be a better parent to them, but I am certain that I can provide my kids the emotional support they need, especially during their mental health struggles. Because the last thing I would never want to do is hurt my children’s feelings.

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They Should Be Calm And Prepare Themselves Before Starting A Conversation

My children must calm themselves before trying to make a conversation with me. I would suggest that they do not force themselves to open up if they feel uncomfortable discussing anything. I would rather not talk to them while they are struggling, even just forming a sentence. I prefer that they talk to me in a state where they are not scared of expressing themselves. I know this can be difficult, but I would never want to see my kids in a devastating, anxious state.

It is not an easy process, and I know my children would feel disheartened by this and make them think that I don’t care about what might happen to them. But as a parent, I would rather not take advantage of their weakness, especially when they are depressed. I want them to take all the time they need and give themselves space until they finally want to talk about their mental health issues.

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They Should Let Me Know What They Need

I understand that discussing mental health struggles is a complicated thing to do. And I also admit, I might have a hard time understanding what my children will say. But I would want them to let me know what they need to focus on working on it much better. I know that recovering from depression requires listening and talking. But I also know that it is more than that. I want my kids to tell me exactly what they want from me and what they think I can do to make things a lot easier for their healing process.

Communication is always the key. My children should realize that I can’t read minds. So all I could ask them is to inform me about what they are going through and let me help them. I may not understand where they might be coming from, but I can certainly try.

 

Family Therapy: What I Think My Children Should Do To Discuss Mental Health Issues