In over 1,100 posts on this blog, I have covered a lot of topics that lead to happiness. Today, I want to talk a little bit about the flipside of happiness – depression, because depression is a big issue for many families these days.
There are many depressed couples, depressed parents and more and more depressed kids. The most concerning of these are parents who suffer from depression, because they often raise kids that cannot handle life very well.
Some say depression runs in families. That is not surprising because I think if you take a perfectly normal and healthy child and raise them in a house where one or both parents are depressed, they will definitely grow up to be troubled.
Depression is something people do not like to talk about. I know many families in which the depressed parent is dragging the whole family down but no one says anything. It is very much like having a parent who is alcoholic or terminally ill. Everyone walks around on eggshells but tries not to say anything. Not always because they are afraid, but often because they have given up trying to speak up.
People who suffer from depression do not like being told about it by others. It makes them try to look strong and solid, which can come across as aggressive and short tempered. The solution is to let them find out for themselves.
If you are a parent, be brave, do the right thing and asses yourself in the privacy of your own mind. You do not have to share it with anyone. Take note. If you have 9 or more of the symptoms for a period over 6 month, go seek help! If you do not want to do it for yourself, do it for the sake of your kids. Seek help!
Depression self assessment
Here is a self assessment for you. At the end of this assessment, there is a very good video on depression. Watch it to the end and share it with other parents you know. Hopefully, it can make a difference in someone’s life. If we help just one person seek help and save one family from suffering, it will be worth the effort.
- Do you feel hopeless or helpless?
- Do you feel that most of the time you are tired and have low energy?
- Do you struggle to accomplish everything on your to do list?
- Do you feel worried and anxious about life?
- Are you critical towards yourself and others?
- Do you feel distant from other people?
- Do you challenge your self-worth?
- Do you have lots of negative thoughts?
- Do you have lots of feelings of angers?
- Do you feel irritable and lash out at people?
- Do you find it hard to motivate yourself?
- Do you have difficulties sleeping (e.g. falling asleep, staying asleep, waking up)?
- Do you find it hard to concentrate?
- Do you think your mind is so busy you forget things?
- Do you have problems managing your weight?
- Do you feel guilty about not completing things?
- Do you avoid social interaction?
- Do you feel particularly sensitive towards the reactions of others that represent anger, disappointment and disrespect?
- Do you think about things in terms of black and white?
- Do you have backaches, headaches or joint pain that drags on for a long time?
- Do you have a lot of regrets?
- Do people tell you are perfectionist?
- Have you been told by others that you are hard to communicate with?
- Do you feel lonely, even if there are many people around?
- Do you tend to focus on things are not working well in your life?
- Have you lost interest in things you enjoyed in the past?
- Do you feel that people do not understand you?
- Do you overanalyze problems?
- Do you feel overwhelmed?
- Have you felt a decrease in libido?
- Do you get up in the morning and feel that there is nothing to look forward to?
- Do you see insult where other see none?
If you answered “yes” to 9 or more of the symptoms above, you may be suffering from depression, so seek help! It is best to do it as soon as possible to save you and your family a lot of problems in the future.
Watch this video, it gives a very good description of what depression is like.
Be brave! Seek help if you need it, even if you are not sure that you have depression, and send this video to other parents.