View Full Version : Help for young people living with a depressed parent?

01-26-06, 11:24 PM
I have a 15 year old friend who's mother is a single parent suffering from Chronic Depression with Manic Symptoms. She is her main carer and gets little to no help from her family.
She lives in the UK, is there any help she can get to help her cope with looking after her mum, even just advice on how to cope with the demands it places on her from people with experience?

01-27-06, 01:14 PM
First I would tell your friend that in order to help they should educate themselves about depression, its symptoms, treatments, etc. There are countless sites available and there is the option of coming here. We are always here to support in whatever way we can.

It is always helpful to take the perspective of the depressed person without losing self. Try to understand what they are going through and help them through this time by offering help in whatever form the parent is willing to accept. Your friend can be encouraging by being there for their mom and offering help and support, may it be through chores or being the cheerleader.

Depending on the relationship, a shoulder to cry on could also be offered. I know that some may think that since it's a parent/child relationship this is difficult, but it is possible if the lines of communication are open to discuss general feelings and situations. Mom may not share everything but knowing that her child cares is worth a million. Understand that this recommendation is based on the type of relationship that they share and If it's not an open relationship, then this could backfire. Only your friend will know how to proceed with this situation.

Let your friend know that it's ok to be frustrated and angry and to be careful that they don't allow the feelings of depression to consume them. Hopefully they have someone in their corner in order to vent and support them.

I hope this helps :)

01-28-06, 12:06 AM
Take a look at the social services. They get a bad rap sometimes but they often can do good things. If there is any worry about contacting them, start the conversation by asking about a hypothetical situation and what sort of help can be offered hypothetically.

02-01-06, 02:55 PM
Bipolar is hard to deal with, espeicially if the Mother gets into trouble when she is cycling High. (eg. awake for days, spends LOTS of money, seems like she is "high" on something, domineering, hallucinations, delusions.) The symptoms of Mania in Bipolar Depression can be terrifying for any loved one, let alone a child, to deal with.

Maybe try the BiPolar forums?

This Mania component is really different than what people go thru with Unipolar Depression.

If the counselling services at the teenager's school are adequate, she rtry to find support there.

Depression's effects on children is grossly underestimated.

When my SO did his studies in psychiatry, he learned that a child having a 'Mother with Untreated Depression' can be as harmful as having a 'Mother with Untreated Schizophrenia'.

I recall being a Student on the maternity ward, and their was this one teen Mom who kept ignoring her newborn baby. The baby kept getting too cold (babys can't heat-regulate very well), and kept getting too hungry. The Mom's depression was making her reject the baby, by way of Neglect. (All unintentional, ofcourse.)

When Mother's have flat expressions, or won't hold their babies, the babies and toddlers cannot "bond". This has lifelong implications for mental illness in the child. (REFERENCE Book: "High Risk" by Dr. Ken Majid.)

It is terribly tragic.


02-05-06, 08:31 PM
Wow, thanks, i'll pass this on to her. Thankyou guys :)