It’s hard to imagine how you would react if your child is diagnosed with depression. I’m not sure I’ve fully processed everything yet. I do know that I watch my child and try to keep an open dialogue. I’ve alerted the counselors at school, who’ve given the teachers a heads up to watch for a change in behavior. I’ve seen and heard too many stories to let my guard down too much, despite the fact that everything seems to be “ok”. If you were to talk to my child or watch them, you likely wouldn’t even know depression was an issue. That can be an issue in and of itself.
When I was in high school (way too many years ago), I had a friend who suffered depression. No one seemed to recognize what was wrong, only that something WAS wrong. By the time anyone figured it out, he had dosed himself with drugs, covered his head with a plastic bag and tied it shut. It was extraordinarily hard to visit with his parents and have them ask me what went wrong when I had no idea myself.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned more about my family than I would have recognized as a child. Depression DOES run in families. Regardless of whether doctors say genetics do not necessarily lend themselves to you having depression. My grandmother had depression. When she went to the doctor, they handed her valium and told her to go back to her life. My mom currently suffers through depression. She is under a doctor’s watch and is on medication. To my knowledge, I have never suffered what would be termed depression.
So we get to the current generation and my niece and nephew both are going through it. Each handles it in their own way and they seem at this point to be doing ok. Then you add in my child. I have to worry about their children and can only hope that treatments and diagnoses are more accepted and available.
In the interim, I learn what I can and learn what I can do. The series of videos is a good place to start. Talking to other parents helps too.