Childhood Depression ~ What It Feels Like
It’s a big day for me and I have a very passionate “hope” for many more.
The snow was falling, nearly crashing down like crazy outside the window and as a bonus, school was closed. At 48, I can recall every crystal inside every single snow flake like it was a moment ago.
I laid there with my brother’s black and gold bedspread around me. If I buried myself enough, if I just pulled it up a little more, perhaps that would make the pain – the feelings that I could not articulate – it might make them go away.
- Life hurt.
- Every single breath I took, hurt.
- The light outside the window, hurt.
- The thoughts of yesterday, the present moment and the next day, hurt.
I simply could not escape it and that was all I wanted to do. I needed relief. I needed to be out of pain.
But at that age, I didn’t know that to be out of pain was “normal”.
My normal was the crushing oppression that is depression.
I was so young. Just 14 and I didn’t have the tools to deal much less the vocabulary to express or talk about it.
The 70’s were a very different time than we live in now and back then, parents didn’t spend half of their children’s lives asking “How does that make you feel?” or “do you want to talk about your feelings sweetie pie?” like we do now.
To further complicate matters, my poor Dad was flung into single parenting this rather unpredictable, moody, creative and spirited kid. I’m sure I gave him quite the run for his money!
What he did know was this:
He said into the kitchen phone in hushed tones “…and she’s despondent…”. That’s all I overheard. I had to look the word up.
The next day I was sitting in a Doctor’s office. And thus began my on again/off again lifetime love affair with various shrinks all over the country (Someone has to pay their mortgage).
All kidding aside, my amazing father quickly recognized a problem and immediately got me into treatment.
The National Institute of Mental Health has some helpful information for dealing with depression (and other conditions) in children and teens here.
Shake off the secrets or shame or embarrassment and Let’s Talk About It!
Hull, L. (2012). Childhood Depression ~ What It Feels Like. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 11, 2016, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/laughter/2012/10/childhood-depression-what-it-feels-like/