Discussing Depression With My Daughters

If suffering from depression and the severity such that you are restricted from normal daily functions because of it, should you discuss with your children your condition?

If yes, at what age and what is considered an age-appropriate discussion? 

Myself, personally never sat and had a discussion with my daughters, ages nine and ten, until this last month.  I was shocked with their initial response. Shortly after sitting down, I found they knew much more than I thought they did. My youngest took the liberty over reading how service dogs help with depression and thought I should get one ( they’ve wanted a furry friend for some time now). But to hear them at such young ages actually say the word “depression” and to be able to carry a dialogue so fluidly, I was entirely caught off guard by how matter of fact they spoke.  My life isn’t normal and I have and continue to live with much guilt. I resent that depression affects not only my life, but my family’s as well.  Yet, as abnormal I may think our lives are, this is the norm for my daughters and they’re OK.  I want better for them as their mother, but I now realize that “better” describes my need and want, not theirs. 

They are happy, well-adjusted, kind, helpful, amazing kids..and they’re also very empathetic and caring when it comes to others. 

This school year is the first year that they are able to participate in after school clubs and activities. This is the first year since both started elementary school that I am able to pick up and drop off without being stricken with anxiety so severe Im unable to leave the house.  This year is also the happiest I have seen my daughters and I don’t want to bring them any disappointment ever again.

Start of a new school year, new friends, great weather and we have our Mom!
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About Me

A NY native now residing in AZ, Alyson was diagnosed over 20 years ago with Depression & Anxiety. Through her passion for writing, she’s now sharing her personal stories and struggles with Mental Illness while parenting, working and relationships.
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