Online support groups for parents of ... - Anxiety and Depre...

Anxiety and Depression Support
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Online support groups for parents of children with anxiety and depression.

DoctorDonna10
DoctorDonna10

I’m not sure this is the right place to be. I am looking for an online community for support for parents of children with anxiety and depression. Can someone please lead me in the right direction?

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I just joined today, so I might not be the best one to offer advice just yet, but I think this site is a good step. I am 26 and I deal with a lot of generalize anxiety as well as severe depression. One of the hardest things I had to do, was tell my mom that I had thoughts of not being around and even ideas on how I would do it. At first, they weren't the best people to talk to, because as a parent, I think you put a lot of blame on yourself and are just so hurt that your children can't see themselves how you see them. I do not have any kids yet, but I can tell you, what experiences I went through and things I wish my parents would have did differently. It isn't like anyone wants to openly admit that they no longer wish to be around, so I wish my parents didn't give off such a judging type vibe to begin with. I also came to learn, that the emotions will come and go, faster than a roller coaster ride. Try to be as open and patient with them as you possibly can. Avoid using the phrases "things will get better" and "you need to be stronger" or "you will be okay." They all might sound like great things, but when you're already so down and dealing with those horrible demons, those words kind of cut like a knife. The only thing we want to feel, is that safe corner, where we can say whatever and know that we won't be judged and still loved at the end.

Also, don't forget that it is okay for you to be hurting too. I think there is this stigma, that once you become parents, you're not suppose to be hurting or dealing with things. Make sure to give yourself grace and love as well. This whole illness, is something that is very difficult to work your way. It doesn't come with an instructional manual and man, do I wish it did. I just hope coming from someone who deals with daily pain, this might be helpful in talking with your child.

Do you think showing my kids that sometimes I am sad about what they are going through would make them feel worse?

I think it would all depend on your kids and their personalities. I know I am a very sensitive person, but there are times I wish my parents would have been more open about feelings. I sometimes think, if they would have shown me that it is okay to talk openly about it, then maybe I would have before I let it get so bad. I personally think something really positive, can come out of a relationship with your children, where you let them know that it is okay, to not be okay. I would just say tackle it in a very careful manner and just be open.

I think we are pretty open but I know I did say some of the things you said not to say. It makes sense why I shouldn’t and I will be more aware of what I am saying. My oldest doesn’t talk about her feelings until she cannot hold them in. Any advice on how to get her to open up.

Honestly, I am the same way as your oldest. I tend to bottle things up, because I don't want to burden others, but all it ends up doing is sending me into a panic attack or blowing up in anger towards someone. I can only imagine, how you must be feeling as a parent and handling this. I sometimes get very upset with mine, because they are saying all the wrong things, but later on, I also realize that this isn't an easy or comfortable situation for any of us. I can only really suggest stuff, that I know makes me feel worse, when my parents do it. My mom has a tendency of asking a ton of questions. I think it is her way of trying to start the conversation, but it makes me feel like I don't want to talk, even more than I already didn't.

I would start causally talking to your oldest. Maybe ask he/she, how their day was, or maybe say something completely random that happened today. It gives the space that kind of relaxed environment, rather than a we are about to have a talk about our feelings one. If you're feeling up to it, maybe start the conversation with how you're feeling. Break that ice and show them that, even parents are humans and they need support, just as badly as we do. You're giving your oldest that sense, of seeing them as an adult and wanting them to be apart of everything, so everyone can grow stronger.

Hi DoctorDonna,

I'm so sorry, I know how hard it is! Big hugs to you!

This is a pretty good place to find support for parents! I haven't found anything specifically for parents online, but I have gone to support groups (in person) with my daughter and they were fantastic.

The other thing I'll say is that having a child going through this can bring on anxiety/depression in some parents-- so you may personally get some very helpful support here. Also- there are lots of people here with huge pearls of wisdom. As your child's parent, you are sure to glean some very helpful tips here. How old is your child?

My oldest is 20 and has anxiety and my youngest is almost 15 & was recently diagnosed with depression.

I looked and looked for support for parents online and didn’t find any.

My son had depression and anxiety that he hid from us (he maybe didn’t know himself) until he got to crisis point.

I was desperate to learn more to be able to support my son and to be honest I really needed support myself at times.

I found nothing specifically aimed at parents that fit the bill.

This community has been a lifeline to me.

I thank each and everyone who shares their experiences. Reading the posts here has really helped to grow my understanding and signpost the way to other resources to read about treatments.

Please feel free to drop me a private message if you’d like.

How do I private message you?

Press on her name and that will take you to a page that has a message button.

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