I write this blog because my daughter is depressed. Actually she is a 15-year-old diagnosed with high anxiety, and depression and is also on the low part of the autism scale. She is a 15-year-old teen that who is scared of Covid-19, scared to learn to drive, scared of having friends, scared of messing up, scared of being scared…..I think you get the point.
I myself have depression too. Growing up ADHD I usually just pushed through anything in my way. The day that put pushed me to the other side was the middle of my freshman year in college. As we all know that can be a “weed out” year for many. I flunked English and did not do much better in anything else. I was in a fraternity that voted me President of the Pledges which meant anytime someone messed up I was involved in being hazed. (p.s. — frats are really pretty dumb in general…I wished I would have taken a different path). I had no idea how to properly study etc. I cracked, was put on Prozac back in the early nineties and proceeded to sleep my life away because that is basically what Prozac did back then. Load you up, make you sleep and guess what….you can’t be depressed because you are asleep at two in the afternoon. What I am basically saying is I know how my daughter feels and it’s almost like I am experiencing her depression.
Now that I am in my late 40’s I also know how to handle my depression. I have the correct meds that keep me even and stable. I also know how to keep my depression at bay by running, biking, walking. Exercise for me is a big key to keeping my spirits and body on the positive. I also can feel when things could be a little overwhelming and communicate that to my girlfriend so that she understands that the next day or two my motivation will be way lower. And last I understand sometimes simple things can keep my depression from descending like eating a roll of cookie dough! Yep….cookie dough, I prefer Pillsbury, that sweet sugary “Prozac in a package!” Basically, over the years I have figured out how to deal with these symptoms and live life.
So how does that all relate to my daughter? First as stated earlier, when she has pain I have pain. I try to talk to her about the issues and I continue to give her ideas about how to deal with depression over and over. For her music, meditation and writing seem to be something that works for her. As I was talking to her last night before bed she stated that she “feels heavy like a weight is on top of her.” “I know that feeling”, I said! I then jump into all these things about making yourself feel better and then I expect her to do them. Guess what? She is a teen, a stubborn depressive teen that does not really want to hear advice from her father. I actually understand this from her viewpoint because I was the exact same way. “You don’t know how I feel” “My depression is not like yours”, she tells me over and over. And believe it or not last night it kind of hit me. She is going to have to figure this out a little bit on her own. That does not mean I am going to ignore her or anything……hell no! But I will keep suggesting things that can work for her because it works for lots of others. My hope is that over time something or anything will catch on for her to do on her own.
So do you have a daughter dealing with depression? I honestly write for myself with hopes that maybe someone can take one little thing from my blogs. We love our kids and will do anything for them. I use to hear people say that but once you have a child, you really really mean it. You don’t want them to suffer….I mean sure they do something dumb they need to deal with the consequences. But with depression, it is an uncontrollable deep hole that can suck you down quickly. Its a weight on your back making you not want to get up or move. Its a feeling of despair and helplessness that you CANNOT just snap out of as most people think. And yes, at times, you consider if it’s really worth living with it. Because one thing people with depression feel is they do not want to be a burden to anyone else. And when you feel like a burden, no matter how people say your not, you feel like your the anchor in everyone else’s sail.
The thing that as to be learned though is it will get better. Weather the storm, do what works and you will come out the other side.