Living With Depression as a Parent

As a parent these days it’s impossible to be present for every our children do. Then you throw in the unexpected wild card… depression. Then you like you can be there, but inside you couldn’t be further away.

So how do you explain to a child about depression when you barely explain it yourself?

I have no formal education on this besides my own research and life. What we have decided to do is controlled exposure to depression and expression of all feelings both good and bad. When I am down I am honest with them and tell them and always make a point to let them know that no matter what I love them. When I lose my cool, I always apologize and try to calmly explain to them why it happened and how it’s not their fault. Let me say it again IT IS NOT THEIR FAULT. At no point in my depression should they ever feel like they did something to cause it. This is a personal fight inside of me. If anything I want them to know that they are the best medicine for my depression.

Children are a lot more aware of things than they are given credit for, rather than letting them just see depression and come up with their own understanding of it. Be open, be honest, never be ashamed of any of your feelings, and do your best to explain to them why you are feeling this way. Using this method has brought me closer to my family than ever before and has to lead to countless hugs at the perfect time from the tiny humans with the biggest hearts.

— Aaron Rouselle


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The One Project is a community of passionate creatives, advocates and caring friends or family members working to support each other and change the conversation around mental health issues like depression, anxiety and more with therapeutic photography.

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