Depression Help
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Coping with Depression and Children

When you suffer from depression and have children, there are certain things that are not an option. Neglecting your children is one of them. For them you must move, you must function, and you must, more times than you'd like to count, pretend. You paste a smile on your face for your children because you know that it is not their fault that you suffer from this often-crippling disease.

Children are more observant than we usually give them credit for. With young children, parents are the most important part of their world, and it frightens them if they think that something is wrong with you. For young children, it is best to talk to them about your depression in words that they can understand. “Mommy has a sickness that makes her tired and sad sometimes, but mommy is going to get better.” Give them the means to cope with your disease by helping them to feel informed and “in the loop.” Keep it simple, though. Long words and a list of frightening symptoms would cause your young children undo stress. Even though your children may notice more than you think they do, that doesn't mean that you should give up trying to be strong or look cheerful when they are around. Seeing mommy or daddy “give up” is more frightening than seeing mommy or daddy act just a little too cheerful.

Remember too, that children can be one of the best treatments for depression. Just seeing their beaming faces covered with chocolate cake or feeling the warmth of their cuddly hugs can give you a boost that no pill can match. It's not that you should make it their responsibility to make you better, you should never do that, but its okay to use your love for them as one more reason to fight against and conquer your disease.