There are many people suffering from depression,but what happens if its one of your parents and what are the effects on children?
My Mom’s Life
My mum is an amazing person who i looked up to my whole life and really valued her as a person.At the age of 28 she moved to England with my dad,with no knowledge of the culture or language.As a result they had to start over and rebuild their lives there.However,that’s where it all turns very opposite to the dream life she thought she would have had.
My mum used to be a hairdresser;she used to manage her own salon in her native country and was very popular with frequent clients. Unfortunately, when she moved to England she had to re-evaluate her career choices,so she trained in a profession that she thought would pay her well,which was a support worker.What she didn’t realize was the amount of stressful events she will have to experience.There was one time where my mum was talking about her old job and an unfortunate event that had happened; “One of the girls fell to the floor and stopped breathing and her heart wasn't beating.But, i still performed CPR because i had hope but it didn’t work” stated my mum.This made me realize how traumatic my mom’s life was.
The day i found out my mom was depressed
Very recently,i was talking with my mom about mental health as i had just learnt about depression in my psychology class.When suddenly my mum pronounced with a joking manner“I have depression.”At first i laughed,not because i found it funny but more like a defense mechanism to stop myself from crying because i knew she wasn’t lying.I asked her how long she had been diagnosed with it and she said for 5 years.
I continued to ask her all these questions about her symptoms and when she started to feel that way.She replied “since i came to England.”Honestly,it was not that surprising as my mom, her entire life, had complained about living in England,and the second me and my sister graduate from university she will pack her bags and move back to her home country.
That night i felt extremely guilty, as the only thing holding my mum back from her happiness was her children.I went to bed and cried myself to sleep with my throat burning and my eyes trembling with tears because i never thought of my own mom being depressed.My own selfish state of mind could not comprehend how my mom could be depressed,i never realized her symptoms or asked her why she acted like that,but i should have.
Depressed mom with children
Now looking back on my childhood,my mom did not act like other mom’s.Her agitated mood one day could turn into a saint-like personality the next day,leaving me and my sister confused, but we brushed it off because we thought it was normal.I also vividly remember all the comments she screamed at me and my sister saying shes going to kill herself or shes going to pack her bags and abandon us and leave us with our dad and never see us again.All these comments i have heard since i was 4 years old,i learnt to ignore them instead of questioning why she said such hurtful things.
These such comments increased as i got older and so did my mom’s symptoms for depression now that i look back.One day my sister got in an argument with my mom while driving,so my mom decided to swerve to the side of the road and scream at my sister to get out and walk home.This could seem like a normal thing a parent might do,however the argument was about a small thing which turned my mum into a raging person who i was afraid of.
I can’t state the overall effect of growing up with a depressed mom,but i can say it did impact me.I felt like i was a horrible person because of the way my mom acted,like it was my fault my mom was angry all the time and lost interest in everything around her.I always used to do small things when i was little like cleaning the dishes to just make her happy but it didn’t really change anything.However,i realized sometimes people cant simply change and they need help.
What you can do if you have a depressed parent/relative/friend etc
1.You need to realize that you don’t need to take the blame for their depression.They might have depression for diverse number of reasons,so stop feeling guilty!!!
2.Make sure you’re there for them. Even though you might not be a therapist or a psychologist that doesn’t mean you cant care for them,sometimes a simple conversation with that person can make their day more brighter.
3.Try to check up on them often.Sometimes people might feel like they’re a nuisance or bother towards other people and feel like they cant reach out to them first.So talk to them first,try to make them feel like they are cared for and express your true emotions.
4.Try to get them help.You can always encourage them to go to therapy and remind them to take their pills if they are prescribed.