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Week of Mental Health: What I wish I had known about my mother's depression

(Photo: Ella Byworth)

Like many, many people, my family also had a good deal of mental illness [19659004] And Like the vast majority of people, I grew up with little or no idea of ​​how to handle it.

The way I dealt with various crises was to dismiss behavior as selfish and cruel ̵

1; without realizing that it was actually a call for help or a symptom of a real illness.

I was embarrassed to have friends because their parents had not locked themselves in their rooms for eight hours. I was ashamed that other families were able to get through dinner without anyone going out or crying.

I was the victim of a miserable condition.

In fact, it was only years later that I realized that it actually … had nothing to do with me. I was not the one who had the hard time (well, I was, but to the same degree) and actually, I had done little to make the situation better.

At age 13 or 14, if you do not know about depression, you think it's all your fault. You caused the collapse; If only you had cleaned up your room, nobody would cry.

That's not the case, of course. And if you think that way, it can lead to a feeling of regret. If all you do is make adults chronically unhappy, then why bother them?

(Photo: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

It took me a decade that my mother's depression was not caused by me and that it was not my fault that I did not know how to handle it. However, I blame my school and society in general for having no idea what depression was. In the end, all I did was scream for attention, abusive moods as borderline. Obviously, there is a difference between actual abuse and depression; refusing to talk or shout at someone is not a crime. If you are a child who strives to get a coherent sentence from a parent without it flying off the handle, it can feel like a personal attack – they no longer love you or do not want to be around you.

Emotional abuse is mostly about manipulation and explosive behavior towards victims while depression is inward. And of course, abuse can become physical.

There must have been many girls in the school who either go through depression themselves or live with someone who has a mental health problem (one in four people does) and yet I have not heard from anyone else until I am University gone.

While there is still work to do, today's teens only have to log in to social media to find out that others are going through the same fights.

I wish I knew how to be more empathetic at this time. My mother recently told me that she went to therapy for a year, during which time she just sat there crying. It breaks my heart to think that someone is going through this alone and has no one home to trust.

The pressure on parents to hold it together for their children must be tremendous; Nobody wants to see that their mother or father does not have all the answers. Nobody wants to acknowledge that our parents can not always cope with the times and that they can be vulnerable.

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Anyone Who Has Ever Read or Looked About A Boy knows how hard it can be for a child to understand exactly what our parents go through when they have an episode. Marcus was right – two people are not enough … and in my case a family of four was not enough either. I went through the school and felt like Marcus – too scared to go home in case people did not feel well and wished we had more human buffers to clarify the situation.

Today we have just that. My mother has a network of friends who have all been through difficult times. She lives in the gym – chases these endorphins. I have many colleagues and colleagues who either have mental health issues or are dealing with them. None of us is alone.

I wish I had known all those years ago that depression is not a voluntary thing – it's not someone you want to vote for because you do not want to deal with trauma. Injured behavior is a symptom of a disease and not a choice (which is hard to remember).

But I also wish I had not internalized so much guilt and I wish we had been educated about various states of mental health earlier. Too many people have to go through these kinds of things on their own, and in my case it's really been about my emotional intelligence in adulthood.

I do not know if people ever really recover from depression. To hit the low point is changing people – how could it not be? The trigger could be over (for now), but who knows when something similar could release it. Next time, I hope to be more compassionate and knowledgeable about how to help, support, and reduce the trauma.

So, when you're tired of reading about mental health, tired of depression and anxiety stories, be happy that everything in your world is cool and that you never have to cry to your parents as they sleep.

Because for all of us, we first begin to process our experiences.

What to do if you have depressed parents

There is a whole lot of advice and support out there, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week:


It offers free, 1 -2-1 confidential advice. Whether you are coping with your parents' depression or you think you are the victim of actual abuse, call them.

Telephone: 0800 1111

The Mix

Information, support and listening for persons under 25

Telephone: 0808 808 4994

Youth Access

connects you to the right one Support services and organizations in your area. For everyone from 11 to 25 years.


If you worry about your parents, the Samaritans provide confident listening and support for all ages.

Phone: 116 123

MORE: For anyone who has ever been depressed, anxious or suicidal: they will heal

MORE: How Social Media Affects Young People's Mental Health

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