When a parent is depressed – what kids want to know (Guide)

When a parent is depressed – what kids want to know (Guide)

This guide, titled “When a Parent is Depressed – What Kids Want to Know,” aims to assist adults in addressing children’s questions and concerns when a parent is dealing with depression. It recognizes that children often have numerous questions when a family member is unwell and that depression is a topic that is sometimes kept hidden, leading children to create their own sometimes incorrect and frightening explanations.

The guide acknowledges that each family’s conversation about depression will be unique, depending on the child’s age and ability to comprehend the information. It emphasizes that caregivers and adults who are involved in the child’s life should be prepared to take the first step in discussing depression, whether they are the well parent, the one with depression, a grandparent, or another adult.

It guides how to answer the following questions:

  • What is depression? How does depression work?
  • Why does my dad act the way he does? How does it feel to be depressed? What goes on in my mom’s head when she’s not herself?
  • What causes depression? How does it start?
  • Will the depression ever be fixed?
  • How can my mom or dad get better?
  • Is there anything I can do to make my mom or dad better?
  • Will it happen to me? Will I get it too?
  • Is there anything I can do so that I don’t get depression?
  • Can parents give it to other people? Is it like a cold? Can you catch depression?


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