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Depressed parents with depressed kids

Depressed parents with depressed kids


Depressed parents with depressed kids

Our son became depressed & anxious in year 11, and this year so depressed he left school in year 12.  Now he is at home, but 14 year old sister has become depressed & anxious & is avoiding school & suicidal  Husband is depressed & withdrawn but trying.  I'm having a shocking menopause, have chronic back pain which is getting worse because I have a scoliosis & no time to exercise, I am self-employed & not making much because I've been dealing with doctors/ psychologists/schools for months, & have debts which are just mounting up & stressing me more, not least all the medical bills. Husband was off wrk sick for 18 months 5 years ago, we ahve just not got back on track since. Still sad about having to terminate an unexpected baby while he was off work (I'd had my tubes tied & was 42!) due to medication I was taking for my skin which is utterly contraindicated & wrecked her, so I feel very guilty & can't seem to get beyond that. Cannot focus when I even make it to work. 


My daughter's psychologist makes helpful suggestions like "get help from family" (they were emotionally abusive, which is why I started getting depressed at 9, and are still uninterested self-absorbed & critical, and live 100km away, so no use), "one of you needs to stay home & not work" (and go bankrupt & become homeless), etc.. Had a party for my 50th to cheer me up, jointly with my husband who also turned 50, all his friends came, most of mine didn't, which just made me feel worse. Soem didn't even respond to the invite, some said they'd come & didn't, one even said she was comig & then said she couldn't because she had another party the same day! I just feel embarrassed I even tried.


I am not coping & really feeling total despair, as we are all on medication for depression, have no support or help, and there seems to be no end to this. My own counsellor has no appointments for 2 weeks, I have missed my last 2 appointments due to crises with my daughter.  Our marriage is on the rocks, my husband can barely conceal his dislike, he's jus had enough. We are falling apart, & I am worn out looking after everyone.


Any suggestions? I am starting to feel everyone would be better off without me, which isn't true, they need me to make money & pay off our debts.

Prolific scribe

Re: Depressed parents with depressed kids

Welcome to ReachOut Parents @Tulips, I'm so glad you've found us because It sounds like you are going through an incredibly stressful time at the moment.


It's clear that you are doing everything possible to hold it together for your family but that it might be taking it's toll on your own mental health. Please try not to be too hard on yourself, you are doing your best in a very challenging situation. 


@Worriedmum, and @Sadie have posted previously about their teens and mental health - do you have anything from your experience that you can share with @Tulips


Some of our other RO parents have also had their own mental health challenges, who I'm sure will be willing to offer some suggestions. 

Active scribe

Re: Depressed parents with depressed kids

Dear Tulips,


Well done for reaching out!  Sounds like things are hard at the moment,  so sending you a big hug.  I have been through lots with my children particuarlly my oldest, who had depression adhd and wanted to kill himself.  I was fighting with him every night and then one day I made a decission it was not working the way things were going so I had to change.  So i changed the way I parented.  I stoped noticing the bad things and started putting massive attention on the positive!  this helped enourmously!  So lovely lady I have a small task for you,  how would it feel to get a pen and some paper and note down,  3 positive aspects of your son, daughter. husband and lastly yourself, 3 things you like about them and 3 things you love about them? please be kind to yourself,  you are not alone!


Another thing that may help is have you looked at the family diet, certain foods can bring our bodies down and lead to depression.  I'm not a dietision so I can not advise, just a thought though!


Super frequent scribe

Re: Depressed parents with depressed kids

Message contains a hyperlink

Welcome @Tulips!


Thanks for reaching out to us here. Feeling like you have no support and like your family is falling apart must be very overwhelming. It's clear you are dedicated to your family and supporting their needs, but it is important to focus on your wellbeing, too. I am so sorry you are shouldering such a big weight and feeling so unsupported while doing so. Please know we are here for you. I am also going to say it is ok to be selfish – again, it is ok to put yourself and your wellbeing first. Sometimes modelling behaviour can be the best way to help our loved ones.


@mumlittlehelper Thanks for sharing your tip about changing the way you parented. By putting attention on the positive do you mean that you would focus on the positive things your son did or that you would always be positive with him? I also edited your post to remove diet comments that could be harmful, in line with our community guidelines. I hope you don't mind. We can't provide medical or diet advice but I think you were trying to say that a healthy diet can help support our mental health and wellbeing, and that is definitely the case. In fact, there's some great articles here about that and supporting your teen's mental wellbeing.

Active scribe

Re: Depressed parents with depressed kids

@Kalis hi there I appreciate your observations yes i am certainly not suggesting dietary advice mearly as you said mentioning that a helathy diet is important,  and yes when I talked about the positive, it means focusing on his positive behaviour and not getting to hung up on the negative behaviour, to to this i found that I had to not become emotionally involved in his behaviour :-)

Super frequent scribe

Re: Depressed parents with depressed kids

That is a great line for reflection @mumlittlehelper:


"not become emotionally involved in his behaviour"


It's not done to hurt us, it's about how they are hurting, right? Thank you for this reflection moment. Smiley Happy

Community Manager

Re: Depressed parents with depressed kids

Hi @Tulips, just wanted to check in and see how you're doing. I understand you see a counsellor regularly, but how are you coping between sessions?


I'm so sorry to hear about the birthday blowout. I always feel anxious about organising parties for this reason. Do you have friends that you think could be a source of support? It's so easy to get wrapped up in your own world and miss the signs that someone is struggling, but good mates will be there for a cuppa and a chat when you tell them you need them.

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