The following blog is from a guest blogger that is the sister of a child with Adolescent Depression.
Even though it’s my sister that has depression, all of the family is affected. And, while medication and therapy helps, things are never that simple.
Since she was diagnosed, my sister has been on and off different medications until they found the right one. Some days were good and some days were awful. Then, once they finally found the right medication, it’s up to her to take it every day. And some days she forgets. In all honesty, she is a whole new person when she follows through with her treatments of therapy and medications. Depression is a disorder that affects emotions, therefore taking her prescribed medication helps her not only to control her feelings more, but to communicate them as well. While something as simple as taking a pill or talking to a therapist seems minimal in its effectiveness, the days without them are hardly bearable. She is mean, yells at everyone in our family, cries at everything, and can’t communicate calmly. Despite the physical dangers of going on and off of any medication, not taking them as prescribed only emphasizes my sister’s difficult mood swings and already unstable emotions.
My sister is a normal, happy teenager when she sticks to the routine, but something as small as forgetting to take her pills has a heavy impact on the entire family. One day without them is hard enough on her, and often diminishes any hope she has of being happy for the short term and coping with her AD. Continual neglect of her medication or therapy sessions leads to a downward spiral that is hard to recover from.
Treating depression is so important for helping anyone, especially kids, live normal, happy lives. As a sister to someone who suffers from such a difficult disease, I can vouch for the fact that depression takes its toll on everyone in the family.