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How Depression Affects the Family

depression and family

Depression, specifically major depressive disorder (MDD), is one of the most widely diagnosed mental disorders, with causes ranging from environmental to genetic, and cases have been climbing in recent years. Estimates are that around 280 million people worldwide battle with the effects of depression. For most individuals with MDD, there exists a family that experiences the challenge of mental wellness alongside them.

Being a parent of a child or teen experiencing depression may not be uncommon, but childhood depression can certainly upset the family dynamic. It can be concerning to a parent who only wants to see their child thrive and succeed. It’s important to know that options for treatment extend beyond a family’s primary resources. Support and resources are available through the depression treatment program at HillsidesCares. Reach out to our expert staff, who can ensure that your child receives top-of-the-line care from childhood depression professionals in a comfortable environment.

Talking About Depression With Your Child or Adolescent

When parents are raising a child or teen with depression, it can be difficult to address for several reasons, no matter their age. At a young age, depression can be a difficult concept to grasp. In contrast, adolescents tend to be mature enough to understand but face inhibitions about opening up to their parents at the age of expected independence.

Depression manifests itself differently in everyone, but MDD in people younger than 17 shows itself in many different ways. Those in their teenage years and below don’t just struggle with depression. They also have difficulty describing, admitting, or otherwise conveying to their friends or family that they’re struggling. Consequently, many telltale depressive symptoms can come out of the left-field at a young age, despite the buildup potentially being present for longer than adults might be aware of. Some signs and patterns for childhood to teenage depression may include:

  • Behavioral changes
  • Decreased appetite
  • Low energy
  • Erratic or poor sleeping habits
  • Serious anxiety or sadness
  • Low motivation or interest in hobbies
  • Decreased social interaction

The Positive and Negative Impacts Family Can Have on Depression

Parents play an integral role in how their child or adolescent handles their depression. First, parents have to decide which actions are helping and which are interfering with their child’s autonomy and personal space. This is especially true for teenagers, who start to develop in a more independent direction by reaching puberty. Essentially, talking to a child about their depression relies on empathy and tact. The most important thing a parent can do consistently in managing the child’s depression is to support them and show respect, which can involve stepping back and allowing for space to self-assess.

Experiencing the process of childhood/adolescent depression can be challenging for each member of the family. Parents should not have to bear the entirety of their child’s condition; this can seriously impair the quality of their parenting and, consequently, worsen many of depression’s symptoms. HillsidesCares offers a comprehensive depression treatment program designed specifically to help ease the workload on parents of children or teens dealing with MDD or other mental health issues.

Getting the Help Your Family Needs at HillsidesCares

A depression treatment program may be what your child needs, and HillsidesCares offer the highest quality residential treatment. Our team of therapists, nurses, and caregivers provides a specially-curated program for each client, treating them with respect, individuality, and a level of understanding ideal for those dealing with depression. Learn more about how our team can help by calling us at 323.641.4842 or contacting us through our online form.

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