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Teaching children about depression

(5 Posts)
Lizum Mon 08-Apr-13 23:19:38

Both DH and I are suffering from depression at the moment. I'm really worried that this will affect our DS. Any advice about what to say to him about it, helping him understand it's not his fault etc.?

We really don't want for him to suffer from similar problems later in his life.

Grockle Tue 09-Apr-13 02:47:31

How old is DS? Depending on age, experience, level of maturity & understanding, I would say that Mummy & Daddy sometimes get poorly.

That sometimes people have an illness you can see, like chicken pox & other times it might be pain or being sick, but this type of illness can't be seen & makes you feel very sad & tired and might make you a little bit grumpy.

I'd emphasise that it is an illness from which you can recover. It might come back but it won't kill you (I say this as a parent of a child who thought I was going to die because of an invisible illness).

I'd also explain that is no-one's fault. That you still love DS & that there is medicine you can take that will help but that it sometimes takes a long time to get better.

Make sure your DS has someone to talk to if they need to. And try not to worry - as long as DS is well looked after, feels cared for & loved then he'll be ok.

Ouchmyhead Tue 09-Apr-13 03:14:46

It really depends on his age. My mum had depression between my ages of 14-20, she didn't tell me she was depressed till I was 17 and it really put a massive strain on our relationship. I wouldn't understand why she would start shouting at me over the littlest things, why she would always seem to be 'getting at me' and as a teenager I obviously retaliated by shouting back, and I did feel very unloved from my mum for those years! When I was told about the depression, it was like a weight had been lifted from us! She told me why she was depressed, her medication and how it effects her and how she has been trying to get the right one and how the depression effects her. Well, it all made so much more sense to me! I was much more forgiving and understanding and now we have an absolutely great relationship! So I would say if your child is older, tell them! If they are younger, I'd probably say leave till he's older and can understand.

Lizum Tue 09-Apr-13 18:45:39

Thanks for the replies so far.

I should have said DS is 4.

cestlavielife Thu 11-Apr-13 11:28:53

this one is for slightly older but could give you some ideas - you could write your own story reflecting your own circumstances using WORD and photos see also the linked books eg

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