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One of the hardest things to explain to a child is a mental illness. We are taught at a young age that when we hurt ourselves, like a broken bone or a cut, we fix it with a band aid or cast. But what about when a parent is suffering from depression and the child experiences a change but doesn't see the “boo boo?”
Support groups have information to help a child understand about mental illness and how the change in the parent is never the child's fault.
If you are in a situation where your spouse is suffering from depression and your children are noticing a change, teaching and educating your children is the best thing you can do. The sooner a child understands about their parent's sickness, the less they blame themselves.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|