Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Good Time Johnny Sings the Blues

depression, sons
Both Jerry and I and Elizabeth have all taken antidepressants at one time or another. We see some depression in our extended families also. So it might not come as a huge surprise that my happy-go-lucky son is experiencing some down time.

Over the last two years I have seen it overtake him every so often. While we were in Brisbane he had some times when he was quite down. Well, I've noticed it happening again in the past two months or so, days when he's quite down, nights when his conversations are quite dark and deep. John and I have talked quite a bit about how to manage depressive moods, depressive thoughts, depressive periods, yet he felt like he needed some additional help.

Today we talked to his pediatrician who agreed that further help might help. John started taking antidepressants today, a very, very low dose and John is hopeful that the medication will take the edge off for long enough that he can get ahead of it.

In the meantime he has started doing some reading, guided reading of books that I recommended, and he's been writing as well. He is writing some poetry and some prose. When he does this writing he experiences such a rush of happiness, accomplishment, and relief from getting some of these thoughts out and onto paper and shared with me and others! It's exciting to see him making efforts to manage the internal struggles.

He has also been getting more active outdoors with the advent of beautiful spring weather, he has started some new projects that excite him, he has worked on getting better sleep, and he continues to share his feelings quite openly.

John is a very open kid and he talks with his friends a bit about his feelings too and that has been really helpful because so many of them can relate to the mood dips and the despondency that goes along with it. However he had one person who did not handle the information that John entrusted to them very well. This person threw it in his face and really injured him for his trusting and open nature as well as for his sensitivity. That unpleasant experience has become something that John considers a real life lesson; I'm impressed with his efforts to makes sense of the limitations of maturity or compassion that others may have for reasons of their own.

I think that some people might have a problem with the fact that we went to medication for the depression with a fourteen year old.  I did think and wait for quite some time before considering medication. How much of John's melancholia is kind of normal and how much of it is something to be concerned about? There was a point in several of our conversations where I believed that a line was crossed and that we had reached a point where we could use a hand.

John is happier and more hopeful this evening and that is so important to me. 

I remember several years ago when we came to this place with Elizabeth, when we started talking about medication and therapy for her moods. She was so relieved that I had actually heard her troubled self and that I had responded with real solutions. I think that John is reacting that way too:  relieved and grateful that we've taken this step to help him to manage his heavy-heartedness.

Have you had brushes with depression?
Have your kids ever been here?
What have you done to help them?

I'm John
And I approve of this message.

You might also enjoy these posts:
He's So Bright I Call him Son
Moving into the Light
Cuddling Cures the Meloncholy
I Trusted My Gut

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