Kids Can Have Depression and Another Children’s Book List

Think the stigma is bad for adults? What about kids? I imagine people whispering behind my son and I at the psychologist office, “WTF did she do to that child? Poor parenting, millennials, it’s no wonder with her out at appointments in those sweatpants.” (I went too hard on myself. I can wear sweatpants anytime; fuck what anyone says.)  Honestly though, getting help for my son was one of the hardest things I ever had to do.

First, I had to admit that my baby wasn’t perfect.  That maybe I didn’t form his brain right and now he hurts because of it.  Or, worse, that I allowed him to be exposed to some trauma that rewired his neurocircuits to replay a defensive track.

Then, I had to figure out where to turn.  Not everyone has a child therapist’s card on hand.  I decided to talk to his school. Holy unhelpful hell. I’ve never been met with so many, he’s-just-like-other-kids, and oh-that’s-normals in my whole life.  No, it’s not normal for him to worry about if asking for juice is too much trouble. No, it’s not normal for him to blame himself for things completely out of his control.  No, it’s not normal for him to constantly have a feeling that “something is missing” in his heart. That’s depression. That’s heavy stuff for a 7 year old.

Next, I decided to ask our pediatrician for a recommendation.  She was equally as helpful and much more judgmental. She thought I was “helicoptering” and that I shouldn’t worry so much, that he would be just fine.

Guys, I’m not making this up that my seven year old sometimes cries more than I do during a depressive episode for no particular reason. I don’t want my kid to be depressed or to have depression.  He just does. I know the signs like my parents didn’t. Had they known that I was depressed at 7-10 I probably wouldn’t have destroyed my life in a series of epic manic episodes in my teens. I pray to all the gods that he isn’t bipolar.  I know the statistics and the likelihood that I could pass it down. If he is, I’m not going to miss it. I’m not going to turn my head and pretend like everything is ok. I’m going to help him better than my parents could. Can someone please hear me?

Finally I looked up my own child psychologists and found all of 2 in my entire state. We trek the hour and forty-five twice a month so that he can have someone to talk to that has been trained on how much being a kid hurts.

The other thing I did was, you guessed it, bought every book I could find about kids and depression.  This topic has some surprisingly bad advice disguised as cutesy children’s characters. The stigma was stronger in some books than in real life.  There is a book that features a sad rock and all the other rocks tell him to smile. GTFO of here with that. Where are the books that tell you it’s okay to be sad and fuck your friends if they tell you to smile through it?  Well, I found those books. And here they are:

My Many Colored Days by Dr Seuss

Meh by Deborah Malcolm

Grumpy Monkey by Suzanne and Max Lang

Sticks by Diane Alber

This post contains affiliate links.



18 thoughts on “Kids Can Have Depression and Another Children’s Book List”

  1. You’re indeed a very responsible and attentive mother and the fact that you’re supporting your child with all your heart, and not shutting him up and telling him that “it’ll go away” or “stop over-reacting” truly makes me feel so happy. If there is a problem, there is a problem, you can’t deny its existence or pretend everything is fine, which most of the people do when it comes to mental health and children and teens. Bless you and your family, hope your child finds the “piece missing from his heart” soon❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  2. for kids throwing tantrums, i see parents giving “gadgets” to get them diverted because of their inability/patience to handle it since they only want to be preoccupied with their own “things”…this only aggravates the situation…


  3. I’m sorry you and your family are going through this. It’s hard to believe people still treat mental illnesses like that. I’m sure it is infuriating and frustrating.

    Have you heard of the enneagram? I recently discovered it, and it’s been incredibly helpful for understanding myself more thoroughly. I also know it has helped parents understand their children better. There are a lot of books about it, and some are geared towards parents and being able to help their kids through challenges they face.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so grateful that my parents took me to see a counsellor when I needed it as a child – kids can’t advocate for themselves, and we need more parents like you who can do that hard work for them of finding the help they need. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I also got no help from schools or pediatricians with my son’s autism. I was told, “he’s just developing in his own way,” or “he’s just a weird kid.” Thanks so much! I wonder how much valuable help he missed out on because professionals were ill-informed?

    I really commend you on your honesty and ability to recognize the issue, in the first place, and secondly, on your persistence. You are so wise and doing such a loving thing for your son.

    My sister’s son was also deeply depressed by around age 9, and it was hard for people to admit it for a long time. Therapy has been helping, thankfully. I hope it also helps your son find some relief.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so sorry schools and doctors are failing at this. In my experience, the schools are filled with young teachers who are poorly prepared to handle their own mental health and the doctors are old school of the “kids being kids” and now we’re raising pansy’s line of thinking. It’s not acceptable. We need everyone to redo sensitivity training and start listening to the kids.


      1. I so agree! Also, in these days of information overload and constant connectivity, the mental health of children and youth is a bigger concern than ever, and professionals who work with them need to update their knowledge about anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. I’m very glad you are writing about this.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.