Dealing with kids as a Parent when Depression hits you…

depressed parents- Parenting resources by ZenParent

With the world changing so rapidly, everything seems to be whizzing past and each moment seems to engulf you in its mad frenzy. This leaves you feeling highly stressed, leading to depression and anything and everything seems to be pushing you to the edge. Does this sound familiar?

The rise in the number of cases of depression among adults (parents included) is taking on the form of any epidemic and continues unabated. As parents, it gets even tougher since there are children involved and the occurrences of depression that debilitate and make every day functions an uphill task can take a toll on the children too. Depression in parents can have serious repercussions on children that range from running away from home, suicide, drug abuse, refuge in extreme bad behaviour, seeking the company of seemingly bold ‘friends’ and other such manifestations.

I am writing today about a friend who had several bouts of depression after she gave up her career for personal reasons. She so wanted to remain energetic, lively, the fun mother she was but all she felt was lethargy, annoyance and extreme irritability. These negative feelings left her even sadder and with pangs of guilt at being a ‘horrible’ mother and was racked with anxiousness as to the effects on her growing children. Parenting is a tough call as it is, but with depression being your companion, there is no will or inner strength left to deal with the challenges that being a parent brings. Not being able to cope with her duties as a parent, she was beginning to waste away.

depression as a mom- Parenting resources by ZenParent

Image Source

 

What’s worse about dealing with depression is that it is taken as a sign of weakness and worse still an escape route. She heard phrases like “snap out of it”, “stop being a wimp”, “there’s nothing really wrong, you just needed a break” and other hurtful stuff. It broke her spirit till one day when she was struggling with going to work but just had to, she realized that if she could spend a day with strangers who did not really care about her, what was stopping her from ‘kicking depression’ out of her personal life? She wanted to be a great mother and it was only herself that she couldn’t go ahead and do what she really wanted to. This resolve and the extreme care of her spouse helped her pull herself out of depression.

The fact is that depression is an illness and the beginning of dealing with it, is to acknowledge it as such. Being a parent, the children are the worst affected by any such behaviour on the part of parents. While I am not suggesting that it is easy nor are we super-parents, but children learn what they see and emulate their parents whether the parents want it so or not. Dealing with depression, just like any other problem, is about acknowledging it and then not forcing yourself to do too much. It is acceptable to reach out to friends and relatives for help and its fine to let some of the unimportant stuff drop – tidying the house, or cooking daily or even partaking socially – your life and your children’s happiness do not depend on these.

depression as a dad- Parenting resources by ZenParent

Image Source

Taking time off to focus on throwing away the feelings of depression will go a long way in teaching your children some valuable life lessons. Trust me – children learn a lot better when you lead by example and are smart enough to know that if mum or dad is down for a while the world will not stop. You are their world – all they need is you – depression, begone!

 Featured Image Source

loader