When people ask me what my blog is about, I tell them, “It’s about parenting a teenager who has depression,” but what I really want to say is that it’s about helping parents survive their teenager’s depression.
Depression is a beast of an illness. It’s not your fault. Nor is it your child’s. But knowing that doesn’t make it any easier to manage.
If you’ve lost your confidence in your parenting abilities, your patience, or your hope, you’re not alone. That’s the good news.
The bad news is that parenting a teenager who has depression, I’ve learned, is a bit like a game of Survivor with much higher stakes: you have to outwit, outlast, and outplay the illness. Some days that means keeping a low profile and waiting it out. Other days it means taking a stand, trying new tactics or recruiting more support.
What you’ll find here
At ParentingDepression.com, you’ll find tips and resources to help you build your arsenal, your strength and your confidence so you can better help your child, including
- posts designed to help strengthen your mindset and believe that you’re an awesome parent who’s got this–whatever “this” is, regardless of what it might look like;
- posts on treatment options and innovations in technology and healthcare that may help you and your child; and
- posts about what’s happening in our schools and communities, in an attempt to get clear on what it is us parents need from others to raise healthy teens and families.
Who am I?
My name is Lindsey. I am a wife and mother of two teenagers, one of whom was diagnosed with clinical depression at age 13.
I work full-time in Toronto at The Globe and Mail, where I get an above-average exposure to the latest in mental health news, thought leaders in mental health and wellness, and, thankfully, private insurance.
My husband’s family has deep ties to Toronto’s mental health community. As a boy, he literally thought people grew up to be psychiatrists or psychoanalysts. They were the only adults he knew.
I’m telling you this because all these things have shaped my personal experience with depression and Ontario’s mental health services.
My core beliefs
Having nearly lost my daughter, I believe deeply in three things:
- I’m incredibly lucky. My daughter’s alive and doing really well these days. For that reason alone, I feel I have a duty to share what I’ve learned over the last four years in the off chance it might help someone else;
- The brain is malleable and mental health is fleeting if you’re not careful. I don’t know if depression can be cured or prevented, but I do know the brain changes;
- There will never be enough money to treat teenage depression in Canada. We need to focus on mental wellness at home, in our schools and our communities before illness sets in.
If any of this resonates with you, I hope you’ll stick around. Or better, send me an email at lindsey at parentingdepression dot com. Let me know how I can be of service to you or how I can help you be of service to others.
If you need immediate support or just an outlet to chat with other parents, ask to join Parenting Mental Health, a private group on Facebook. There you’ll find the most amazing group of supportive people who collectively have dealt with just about anything you could imagine.
Whatever you do, don’t try to go it alone. There’s strength in numbers, and no one should face depression alone.