Lessons Learned From Living With A Depressed Teenager 

Depression takes no prisoners, and for teenagers who are struggling with changing hormones and intense life changes, it is a major battle that is crippling an entire generation.

With an estimated 20 percent of teens struggling with depression, and some even taking their own lives – depression is something that must be taken seriously.

And for many adults who struggle with depression, they’re often surprised at how much they can learn from living with a depressed teen.

From seeing depression through a new set of eyes to having a deepened sense of compassion, here are some of the key lessons moms can learn from helping their teen battle depression. 

Understanding Depression Is A Mental Illness

When someone has a broken leg and has to wear a cast – everyone can see how they are physically suffering.

But for those with depression, they have an “invisible illness.”

Those who are depressed are often misunderstood, and they blame themselves for feeling sad wanting to simply snap out of it.

But seeing a once happy teen suddenly struggle with depression is a sobering reminder that depression truly is a mental illness that needs to be treated.

One mom shared her story how she was able to help her struggling teen not blame herself.

Scary Mommy reported:

“Doing everything to convince my depressed teen that she was not to blame helped shine a light on the guilt and shame I felt from my own depression and anxiety.”

A Deeper Compassion

If you’ve personally suffered with depression, you know how even the smallest things in life like getting up and fixing your hair or cooking dinner can seem monumental. 

Watching a teen suffering through depression can almost be like a mirror – you know the pain they are experiencing and how helpless they feel. 

By seeing someone you love suffer through depression, it helps you to develop a deep sense of empathy.

And as their mother, you can identify the warning signs and help them get the help they need without judgement. 

It’s Okay To Not Be Okay

You can help teach your teen that they don’t need to pretend to always have it together.  Let them know it is okay if they feel sad or emotional at times. 

In addition, make sure your teens know the line of communication is always open.  So many teens think you’ll feel ashamed of them if they come to you and admit they are struggling. 

By letting your teens know they can be authentic and honest with you if they are feeling down, they’ll learn to trust you.

One of the most important things you can learn from your depressed teen is to take your own advice!

How many times do you always feel the need to “have it all together” and “put on makeup and go to work” hiding all the pain you are feeling?

If you’re like many moms – probably pretty often!

By seeing your depressed teen and teaching them to have compassion with themselves, perhaps you can learn to give yourself the same grace. 

Have you ever raised a depressed teenager?

If so, what are some of the most important lessons you learned?

Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

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