Dealing With Depression


Depression is a serious condition that probably affects every family either directly or indirectly. We have three members of our family who deal with depression in various forms. Two of my now adult children and one of my husband’s adult children have coped with depression and it has been at times devastating to their lives. Because they are adults who live their lives outside of our home, we don’t know it is happening to them unless they reach out to us for help. The first thing we try to do is get them to a professional to start treatment which usually comes in the form of medication and talk therapy. Our kid’s depression seems to be episodic brought on by stressful life events like a job loss, school, or relationship break-up. Unfortunately often times, by the time they reach out to us, they have tried to cope with their depression by self-medicating with pills or alcohol which just exacerbates their despair. So we make a point to stay in regular contact with our kids even when they don’t make regular contact with us. My husband and I have become pretty astute in recognizing the symptoms of depression in our kids by the sound of their voices. They have a really monotone way of talking and sometimes complain about not being able to sleep or eat. Or their lives are spiraling out of control with alcohol and legal incidents. That is when we go into rescue mode and help them get exercise, good nutrition and some professional help.
So if you have someone in your family who deals with depression, know that situational depression is often only temporary. It is brought on by major life events, and treatment is available. It is certainly something to watch out for but something that can be managed. A really good resource I have referred to often is a website, a nonprofit organization that helps families recognize and cope with depression and bipolar disorder to get people well and prevent suicides.

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