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Parents and Depression

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Perhaps this is the first time you have experienced the feelings of hopelessness, sadness and despair of depression. Or, you've been there before, and you recognize the signs that you're heading for a depressive episode. Maybe you are even now deep in the grip of this debilitating condition. If you are a parent, one of your biggest concerns is how to cope with your depression in a way that allows you to be a healthy model for your children.

You know that the dilemma of depression is finding the strength to do what it takes to heal yourself. Perhaps the place to start is just to acknowledge that you are feeling depressed (angry, guilty, ashamed, hopeless, helpless). Then, you must take action to seek treatment. Effective treatment for depression is readily available. Recovering from depression is a learning experience. A professional therapist is your best ally in learning to resolve depression in a healthy way.

During depression, you can begin to explore your inner life and reflect on what the depression is telling you. A good book to read is Thomas Moore's Care of the Soul, particularly the chapter on "Gifts of Depression". Depression gives us the opportunity to go below the surface of our lives to find our true essence. Though a depressive episode is painful, you can be assured that it will pass. It may be a necessary time of withdrawal between what seems like two separate lives. We feel different when it's over, renewed in a way, ready to begin the challenge of living life in a more mature and grounded way. As Moore says, "Melancholy thoughts carve out an interior space where wisdom can take up residence."

These resources will help you in your inner journey through depression.

What are your dreams?

Literally, what are you dreaming? What do you think your dreams mean? Don't have a clue? Maybe you can find insight by visiting these links:

Explore Your Thoughts and Feelings

What are you grateful for in your life?. . .
What do you feel is missing in your life?. . .
What do you want?

Write it down. Buy an inexpensive spiral notebook or a beautiful blank book and make a list of everything you can think of that you want in your life. Follow these steps from Peter McWilliams' practical and inspiring self-help books.

Take action

As you identify the obstacles to having what you want in your life (so easy to do when you are depressed!), begin to focus on some small, achievable steps you can do this week to move forward toward the accomplishment of those dreams and desires. You are not neglecting your child when you take this time for yourself. On the contrary, you are modeling how to be a healthy adult!

Psychological research has suggested several practical remedies for depression. Find information and inspiration for coping with your depression at these Internet help sites. Depression is highly curable, so take hope and take action.

Reduce Stress

Exercise

Visit your doctor or counselor

Find support, inspiration, and ideas

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