How We Can Help Children Who Are Depressed

Are you the parent of a child who is often depressed? Are you a child who often feels down in the dumps and depressed? This heartfelt post offers advice for parents, other family members and children about how to deal with, reduce and even eradicate this depression. Many thanks to one of our readers who kindly volunteered to share her experiences with us. These are her words:

“I remember from my own childhood having many periods when I was very unhappy and sad. I was the type of person who would let aspects from my life get on top of me, which would at times affect my sleep patterns. I found growing up through childhood, into a teenager and ultimately into my adulthood as one big choir and struggle. I was forever comparing my own life to that of my brother, sister and friends. Their lives seemed so much easier than what mine was and this made me feel quite jealous of them.


Looking back, one of my faults was that I was not willing to discuss my worries and fears with my parents and kept them bottled up inside of me. This meant of course that I had to deal with each and every issue (problem) on my own without any outside help or advice. I wish that I had been more open with my family as I think my life would have been that much happier if I had.

I am now a parent of two children myself and am always looking out for them. I always try and gauge how they are coping with life and if I feel that they are in an unhappy period or mood. I then attempt to find out what is causing this by trying to talk to them. They are not always happy to discuss these issues but I then make sure that they understand that I will be here for them when they are ready to open up. I talk to them about my own childhood and about the mistakes I feel that I made by keeping my own worries to myself.

I want my children to realise that they can talk to me about any aspect of their life and that I will be here to help and not judge them. Life in general, with school as an example, can at times be quite tough, with things such as bullying affecting many children. There is the added pressure of examinations and trying to establish one’s self within a group of friends. Moving schools and going through all of the bodily changes can also be quite uncomfortable for many children.


As a family, we try to make our children’s home life as enjoyable and relaxed as possible. This includes many family days out and where financially possible, a family holiday abroad in the summer. My advice to any parent who has an unhappy or often depressed child would be to be very patient with them through these periods. I, as I have already stated would try and get them to talk about what is making them feel in this way and if they do not want to talk, would let them know that I am there for them if they do ever want a chat etc.

My advice for a child who is feeling depressed would be to talk to your family, a friend or a teacher. They say that a problem shared is a problem halved and I really believe in this statement. You do not have to be alone in this world and the advice that you are given could be of huge benefit to you. Despite what you might think all children have problems and worry about many different aspects of their own life.

Your parents were of course children many moons ago and may have experience in the issues, which you are not happy about. Do not make the same mistakes that I did by keeping these problems to yourself as it does not help to reduce your fears or depression.”

Wow, pretty strong and heartfelt, wasn’t it? We have to clarify that this reader’s call to speak up by no means reduces depression and anxiety to a condition that people can just snap out of. Rather, talking about it is a great starting point. With depression being more commonly diagnosed these days, we also have some resources that are worth checking out. So, if you, or someone you know might have it, give these a go:


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