Being diagnosed with depression at the age of 11 is something that is mind baffling to me... I am sure it was to my family as well, however, I can only speak from the view I had when I was diagnosed.
Depression was something that was a secret in our house. We never talked about "it" (depression = silence in my world), everyday life was normal: going to a therapist, being hospitalized, taking medication every morning, checking for cuts...
Somehow "it" became so normal that "it" was something that was abstract and broad in my mind. I am diagnosed with depression, I had an IEP from being depressed, however, it was never discussed in my family. I am not sure why. That is why when I used to look in the mirror growing up, I would see a girl who I didn't know. I didn't really understand my depression and I never really understood how it came about.
I never thought that my depression was real. Somehow in my mind it was a phase I was going through. It was something that was normal, since my parents treated my depression as if it was nothing. I wanted to believe it was something I could control. I really thought that everyone was overreacting and it was something everyoe experienced.
Not going to school because you're too depressed is not healthy. Wanting to hurt yourself is also not healthy. However, in my mind I validated these things as things that were "everyday experiences"
Although I am slowly coming to terms with my depression, to this day, 14 years later, it is still a secret in my family. Every once in awhile my parents will ask me "Do you need that medication? you should get off it" And that is about the extent of our conversation about my depression.
This post-I don't really know what I am trying to say. It is just that to me depression is something that is hard to comprehend to all- from a child to an adult. I can't say I am at terms with my depression now. But I know it is a life long challenge.
Client education is tremendously important. Education on what it means to have depression and how it effects ADLs/everyday routines/life and also family education on what depression is.
This type of treatment is important to be a part of the team with therapists/psychiatrists to really make sure that everyone is getting the help that they need to understand this diagnosis.