A Letter to Parents of a Child With Depression

Dear Parents,

I know how hard it is for you to have a child with depression. I know how hard it is for you to watch me in pain and not know how to help. I know how hectic your lives get. I know neither of you are perfect, and you have your own struggles to face every day. I know you try to understand what I am going through, but I have to let you know there is no way you ever will, but I will try my best to explain it to you.

Every morning I fight a battle within myself to get out of bed. Some days I easily prevail, and other days the depression wins and I cannot will my numbing limbs to move. The day continues and constantly I can feel the pull within me to go back to bed. My love of school has vanished and has become another area where I let myself down. My mind doesn’t work like it once did, and I can’t keep everything straight. I make bad choices in my never-ending search to find moments of happiness. You may think I am actively throwing my life away when really I am just trying to keep my head above water. When I call you spiraling out of control, it’s because I don’t know who else to call and I am scared that depression is going to win. I know those calls are scary to get, but I need you to remind me I am still alive and breathing and I can win the next day. Remind of the times I’ve done great, and put things in perspective because in those moments I cannot see anything except for darkness and I need you to shine a light. Once I can breathe again I would love to work on building foundations and structures to help me swim back to shore, but in that moment of struggle, the thought of all the work it will take to get back to shore is terrifying. When I am scared and underwater I say and do things I regret, I have a hard time communicating and am sensitive beyond belief. I know it is not easy, and sometimes I don’t deserve it but sometimes all I need is a bright light to guide me to the surface — a light of hope that I am still me, that I am not a failure, and that it’s OK to not be perfect.

You are the brightest lights in my life, and everything you do for me never goes unnoticed. You have loved me at my best and at my worst, and I will always be grateful for everything you do.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 741-741.

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