ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Parent a Depressed Child

Updated on July 25, 2012

There IS Help

Depression is a serious matter. No one is immune. If you believe you see signs of depression in your child, immediately seek assistance from your family physician.

Your doctor can provide you with information and resources available to you in your area that will help you learn about your options. Adolescent depression can be treated effectively. The earlier your child seeks treatment the better.

Signs & Symtoms of Depression*

Persistent Sad Feelings
Keeping to themself. Not participating in family events. Spending a lot of time alone.
# Getting into trouble at school and home. Starting fights. Arguing more.
Feels Misunderstood
You may hear them say,"You just don't get it" or "Forget it, you don't understand".
^ They become upset to the point of tears for unknown reasons. Or poorly perceived reasons.
Hopeless, Pessimism
They feel hopeless, worthlessness and/or guilt.
Their sleep pattern changes. They have difficulty sleeping. Riseing early in the morning. Causing them to be tired during the day.
They have difficulty making decisions, remembering details or concentrating.
Overeating or appetite loss
^Have you notice a change in their weight? Heavier or thinner?
Suicidal thoughts or attempts
#If your child mentions suicide or harming themself seek help immediately!
Aches, Pains, Fatigue
Pain that doesn't subside with treatment. Fatigue that isn't relieved with rest.
^ Prevalient with girls
# Prevalient in boys

Either male or females can show any of these signs and symptoms. When an adolescent is experiencing depression it does not present with the same symptoms as it does for an adult.

Signs & Symtoms as outlined by: *NIMH website:


Your adolescent may internalize their feelings resulting in angry outbursts, stealing, starting fights at home and at school, skipping school and isolating themselves.

Your family doctor can help. They will direct you to a counselor and they may suggest medication for your child. Generally, anti depressants are safe. However, you should be aware of a warning placed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. There is a “black box” warning label – the most serious type of warning, on all antidepressant medications. The warning reads:

  • There is an increased risk of suicidal thinking or attempts in youth taking antidepressants. Youth and young adults should be closely monitored especially during initial two weeks of treatment (NIMH – National Institute of Mental Health - Depression in children and adolescents fact sheet)


Parenting a Depressed Child

I am not a doctor or psychologist but I have raised four children, two boys and two girls, to adulthood with minimal problems.

Your child doesn't go through adolescents alone. You go through it together. With all the ups and downs and all the emotions that comes with it. The first boyfriend/girlfriend, when they have their first kiss, when they meet their “true love” and then when they break up with their “true love”. You will get through this. With some new information and skills to assist you, you can go forward, with confidence that you’ll both get through it and you may develop a closer relationship as a result.

Your teenager needs your help whether he/she says they do or not, just know they do. Don’t “cater” to the depression by acknowledging an outburst with an outburst of your own. Or, when your child storms off to their room and slams the door behind them, don’t leave them to “think about it” for too long. The rush of feelings that set off the episodes are new and confusing for them. Give your child about thirty minutes to sort out their feeling and try to collect themselves. If they haven’t emerged within a thirty minute period, then go to their door and knock gently (but not timidly or forcefully) and open the door. Sometimes they will have fallen asleep (emotional turmoil can be draining) or they may be upset still. You could ask if he/she would join you for lunch or what ever you know your child normally enjoys doing. Invite him/her to join you with in it. Tell them you want to hear what happened. Tell them you want to understand what went wrong and how you can help (you may not be able to help. Just being there to listen is so important). Sit together and let them do the talking.When they are finished, if theyask for your opinion, then and only then give it. If they don't ask for your opinion, you can ask them if you may offer it, keep in mind, they may not want your opinion, and that's OK.


Remember, your child is becoming an adult, right before your very eyes, treat them with the same respect you would any adult. That does not mean giving in to a request to go to a party until 2am. You are the parent. That means that you still need to make decisions about such activities, in a respectful way. If they still are upset and storm out of the room, the storm won’t be as coarse because you listened and respected them, and your child knows you did. Depression is real and waiting. At least that is what it felt like for me as a parent. When emotions become frazzled and overwhelming, and they will, you need to be supportive and respectful while keeping the boundaries well defined. If your child is prone to depression be on high alert for any signs . Especially during adolescence it can feel like depression is just waiting outside the door. All you have to do is open that door and it will come barging in and step right into your life whether you want it, or not.

This pamphlet, offered by the NIMH, talks about the changes an adolescent brain is going through, what to expect and information of where to get further help.

Helpful Books About Adolescent Depression


Submit a Comment
  • Msmillar profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Wilseyville

    Thank you Doctore Evile. :)

  • Doctore Evile profile image

    Doctore Evile 

    8 years ago from the Northeast of the U.S.A

    Really good advice. In today's world this is something many parents should know. Good hub!

  • Msmillar profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Wilseyville

    I wouldn't want to be a kid in this generation. So much competition and anger. Worries me were we are going as a society. Thanks for the comment TravelAbout!

  • TravelAbout profile image


    8 years ago from United States

    Great advice. It is frightening how many young kids are taking their own lives. I think that bullying, which can now be made public, along with increased peer pressure, is much harder on kids now then back when I was a child. Toddlers and Tierras is a good example of pressure put on little girls as young as 2. Very sad.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)