Depressed 13 Yr. Old With a Depressed Mom

Published: January 26, 2018
Dear TeenHealthFX,

Okay I am a depressed 13 year old girl.. Im scared I might lose my mom... I am pretty sure she is depressed too.. She said she wants to die during an argument and today she cried 3 times... I will probably want to kill myself even more if I lose her...

Signed: Depressed 13 Yr. Old With a Depressed Mom

Dear Depressed 13 Yr. Old With a Depressed Mom,

We can all feel sad and disappointed at times as a response to situations that come up in our lives. However, depression is more than this kind of typical reaction to a stressful event. According to KidsHealth: “Depression is a strong mood involving sadness, discouragement, despair, or hopeless that lasts for weeks, months, or even longer.” Depression can affect children, teens and adults. And it can be very difficult watching someone we love deal with depression, especially if gets to the point where that person has thoughts about wanting to die.

TeenHealthFX can appreciate how sad you must feel seeing your mother depressed and how scary it must have been for you to hear her say she wants to die. However, we want to you try and hold onto some hope about this situation. For one thing, depression is treatable. Whether people participate in therapy with a reputable mental health professional such as a clinical social worker or clinical psychologist, or they are in therapy and take medication under the direction of a reputable psychiatrist, there are definite treatment methods which can be very effective at addressing depression. As for your mother’s comments about wanting to die, keep in mind that people may say things like that in a moment of feeling very sad or very hopeless, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are going to act on it. There can be a big difference at times between what we think/feel and what we do. Your mother may have said that, but it doesn’t mean she will go through with harming herself in any way. What is most important if someone says something about wanting to die or wanting to hurt themselves, is to reach out for professional help as soon as possible so the person can begin to get treatment that will relieve some of the difficult thoughts and feelings they are experiencing and prevent things from getting worse.

However, if you are ever concerned that you or your mother are in a place to act on feelings of wanting to die, then it is important to immediately go to your nearest emergency room or to call 9-1-1.

FX thinks that it is very important for you and your mother to meet with a reputable therapist so you both can have the opportunity to get the support and help you need to deal with how each of you is feeling right now. If you feel comfortable, you can have a conversation with your mother about this and tell her you want both of you to meet with someone. If you are concerned about having this conversation with your mother for whatever reason, then enlist the help of a trusted adult who can intervene to ensure you both get the help you need. You can speak to a trusted adult family member, your family doctor, or a staff member at school such as a teacher, your school nurse or a school counselor.

Remember that there are caring, trustworthy people out there who will want to be helpful to you and your mother, and that there are effective methods of treatment for depression. So please reach out for help as soon as possible so you are not dealing with this alone and so that you and your mother get the help you need.    

If you live in northern New Jersey and need help finding a therapist you can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 888-247-1400. Outside of this area you can log onto the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website for referrals in your area. You can also contact your insurance company to get a list of in-network mental health providers or check with your school social worker or psychologist to get a list of referrals in your area.

If you get to the point that you are seriously considering suicide or are afraid of your impulses then you need to seek help immediately. You can call 911 or go to your nearest hospital emergency room. In northern New Jersey you can also call the crisis hotline from Morristown Medical Center at 973-540-0100. Outside this area call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, available toll-free 24/7. You can also use the Crisis Text Line by texting “connect” to 741741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor. This service is free and available nationwide 24/7.


Signed: TeenHealthFX