I've always been open about my mental health. To friends, family, even my eldest son (the other 2 wouldn't understand). The battle still remains to explain it though!
How do people not understand that it's not that I'm not happy with my life, it's that I know I have a wonderful life, but still can't be happy.
It's a chemical imbalance?! I take tablets to help my diabetes, I take tablets to give me iron............yet if I take tablets to help my 'happy hormone' work, there MUST be something wrong with my life?
I don't have 'circumstantial' depression, where some really bad stuff has happened and my brain just can't cope. I have a chemical imbalance that causes it.
One pill, it goes away, makes me feel normal. Why is that so hard to understand?
This week, after months of counselling and talking, my 18yo has been diagnosed with depression and anxiety. It doesn't come as a surprise to me, as I have always been able to listen to him. This has meant he has opened up a lot to me about how he feels.
I'm not going to lie, I've heard things NO mother wants to hear from her child's mouth. But if he couldn't talk to me, it could be so, SO, much worse.
Just think about that.
I'm glad, now, that I was open about my own depression, because it means I can understand what he needs. I can listen when required, however hard it is to hear.
He has been prescribed anti-depressants, now we wait. Hopefully he will begin to feel 'normal' soon too.
I guess what I'm saying is: don't assume there is something wrong, if someone is depressed. Sometimes it's simply that everything is right, you just don't know how to enjoy it.
I implore you to be the parent that listens, however big or small the problem may seem. Look for signs that your child is struggling.
Think back to when you were that college age teen, remember how tough that time of life can be!
We will get through this together, like our family always does.
We will be thankful that we have each other for support, however hard life seems.
Just love one another, always.