7 Things a Depressed Parent Can Say to a Child


medpagetoday.comI’m usually pretty good at hiding my tears from my kids, but lately I’ve been busted a few times because they come so frequently and don’t go away. How do I respond when my grade-schoolers ask me why I’ve been crying? How do I explain this insidious illness to them? Two years ago I wrote a children’s book devoted to these questions. It’s called, “What Does Depressed Mean? A Guidebook for Children with a Depressed Loved One.” Excerpted from the book, here are seven things that you can say to your child when you’re depressed. Written for a child …

Your Loved One Is Sick

You have probably heard someone say that your loved one is “depressed,” and you wonder what that means. You understand when a friend breaks his leg, or sprains a wrist, or has the flu. But what does it mean when someone’s depressed? Depression is an illness like any other illness. The messengers inside the brain that deliver notes from one side to the other get stuck … kind of like when you are supposed to bring in a permission slip from a parent to your teacher. If the note never got there, your teacher wouldn’t know what to do, right? Depression is the same sort of thing. Messages get stuck, and so the person becomes confused or sad.

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Therese Borchard
I am a writer and chaplain trying to live a simple life in Annapolis, Maryland.

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