Depression and Anxiety Treatment: 
Explaining This to Children, Tweens, and Teens

Many parents are hesitant about discussing a depression and anxiety treatment or any kind of mental illness with their kids. They are at a loss on what to say, how they should say it and how much they should reveal. Part of the problem is that kids don’t understand depression, anxiety and mental health issues as adults do. Therefore, most adults feel that it’s better not to bring up this conversation to avoid burdening kids with unnecessary stress.

However, if you or someone else in your home or family is struggling with depression and anxiety, it is better to have an honest, open conversation about a depression and anxiety treatment with your kids. Mental illness affects not only the ill person but also those around them. Discussing it as a family helps kids to understand that the changes they may have noticed in their loved ones are the result of an illness, thereby freeing them from any uncertainty or guilty they might harbor.

Here are some tips on how to talk to a child about mental illness:

1. Look inwards first.

Before talking with your child, ensure that you properly understand the situation first. This means understanding the particular mental illness, the symptoms, how it affects individuals, etc. This way, you’ll feel more confident talking and fielding questions from your child.

2. Timing is important.

Timing has a huge impact on how the conversation turns out. Some kids prefer having a face-to-face conversation while others prefer to play or be active as they talk. Work with your kid’s personality and remain flexible about how and when the conversation takes place.

3. Help them to express their feelings.

It’s not uncommon for kids whose parents have a mental illness to feel angry, frustrated or guilty. They might worry that their actions or behavior caused the illness or they may feel angry that their parent is receiving so much attention. Encourage them to air out these feelings, listen attentively as they talk and then emphasize that they’re not in any way responsible for the illness.

4. Be as open and as honest as you can.

Being honest with your child helps them trust you and encourages them to open up to you. So talk about your feelings and also share any healthy coping strategies that help you deal with the situation. If your child asks you a question that you don’t know the answer to, admit that you don’t but that you’ll find out. It’s even better if you go searching for answers together.

5. Ask for help with the depression and anxiety treatment.

Most parents often aren’t prepared to talk to kids about mental illness. If you’re unsure how to begin, reach out for help from other relatives, grandparents, a support group or even mental health specialists.

Discussing mental illness with kids is definitely challenging. You might not get it right the first time, but that shouldn’t keep you from getting the conversation started. Your child needs to hear it and it will help foster trust and improve your relationship.

Guest Post by Cindy Price
Liahona Academy

Learn more about Teen Depression at Liahona Academy.

Back to Home from Depression and Anxiety Treatment Explanation for Kids

One Woman's Cure Depression Story and Research Findings That Is Changing Lives in Over 120 Countries To Date.

What people are saying about the cure your depression research... 

“Your web site is absolutely fantastic! We will refer all of our clients to your web site.” –Anthony, Director of Mental Imaging Clinic, Las Vegas

"Hello Merri Ellen I am a therapist who runs out patient programs for people with mental health issues. One of my clients alerted me to your depression site today and I am impressed by both your energy and your generous contribution to others suffering with illness. Thank you. I have just completed reading through your info. Found it to be a wonderfully informative resource and will not have any problem in passing on your website address to some of my clients. The greatest value is in the fact that you have been a consumer and have a very different understanding than others may have. This allows you to be heard a little more readily sometimes. I thank you for your courage and wish you good health always. Regards" - Sue 

"I was on Wellbutrin and Prozac until using your techniques… I haven’t felt so good for so many consecutive days in 20 years... Thank you for your website and your incredible tips!!!" - Robyn, former depression sufferer

"Thank you so much for all the articles I receive in my e-mails. They have helped me alot. I have suffered with depression several years, and right now I am not taking any medication at all." - Mary, former depression sufferer

"I was telling [my husband] that last year at this time I was having anxiety and depression and was wanting to die, and now (one year later) I literally have waves of excitement and happiness. It's hard to describe, but I am really happy right now… Life is good. I cannot complain. I am healed!!!!! - Gloria, former depression sufferer

"I can only explain my gratitude by saying God must have brought you my way. I was just on the verge of requesting anti-depressants from my Dr. the day that I found your website. In the most natural, helpful fashion your research, the way you've set up the e-course, all of it just fed me with the step by step solutions I had been longing for for months. I will always read your work, updates you provide, your service is priceless. Thank you, your work is such a blessing!" - Alysha, on the journey

"I am 63 years old. Went through severe depression about 5 years ago. If I had ended it all, I wouldn’t have the joy in knowing my new grandchild. I followed the steps on this web sight and I’m certainly glad I did. I feel your pain, I hope you can find your way out. No one can do it for you. I’m off all medication and still experience sadness and disparities but those times do not last. I am cheering you on my peaceful home in Tulsa. Don’t forget to do your light therapy. Journaling helped me, Keep moving forward, you may find joy in your life next year." - Anonymous post in our Forum :)

"As a licensed clinical social worker and a woman with a life-time history of depression, I really commend you on the work you have done on this site." - Robyn, Social Worker

"I have been depressed for most of my life, have read many books and articles have taught others about depression, have taken various antidepressant medications. I have begun taking your advice on how to overcome depression for just over a week now.

I am encouraged at what i have read and i have put into practice what has been suggested. I have found that the research of Merri Ellen is very good, it is practical and makes common and medical sense. I fully agree that the medication is only part of the cure for depression, in that it takes away some of the worst symptoms of one's depression. The time to do something about one's depression is when the bad edge has been taken off. I have started the process you recommend and i am encouraged at my progress so far.

The big difference is that i have taken a decision to carefully put into practice what i have been told. So far so good and thank you for your advice. It has been a blessing to me." - Tony

Repost on your social media and share the hope. :)

twitter depression button