Talking About Depression Scares Me

The other day I almost slipped and said ‘depression’ in front of my two-year-old son. ‘Depression’ is far from a curse word in my mind; it’s tagged in almost every post on this blog.

Nonetheless I stopped myself from saying it, and my son is not even old enough to ask me what the meaning of it is. The most he would do would be to repeat it.

Why would I take pause at using the word ‘depression’ in front of my own child?

I think that I’m afraid that if I write and talk about it too much, my kids will start to think that they might have it at some point. Or, wonder why they don’t.

I have good reason to be afraid, not wanting my children to experience something terrible which I already have.

I am going to talk about it around the house with them, when they are ready. At some point (probably before I’m ready) they’ll find out that I blog about it.

I’ll be brutally honest with you: the thought that my blog, or my past, might somehow contribute to my children getting depression terrifies me.

Except I know that is my brain playing tricks on me, and that those are not the things that cause depression in anyone.

If I write and talk about it in a healthy way, it should have the opposite effect. If I pretend it never happened, then I will have failed them.

 

2 thoughts

  1. I have finally arrived at the point where when someone I am acquainted with says “you look depressed” I say “I am glad it shows because that’s how I feel”. Sometimes the person who spoke to me backs up as if I just vomited in public, but not as much anymore.It seems to me that coming out as a person with severe and permanent mental illness is the same as coming out as a homosexual.
    “oh I didn’t know that mentally ill people looked like you..”

    1. The ‘coming out’ comparison is definitely one which I have been thinking about and had in mind while writing this post.
      It is my hope that one day, we can re-frame the idea a little differently.

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