Episode #31 Foster Kids and Depression and What You NEED to Know
Have you ever felt down and depressed? Depression is a common thing in the lives of foster kids. There area few things that you should know when dealing with depression.
Have you seen Disney/Pixar’s movie Inside Out? I know that there are people who hate this movie, but I thought it was AWESOME! Especially for a foster kid who might be wondering if it is okay to feel down and depressed. I have talked to many kids, both our foster kids and my students, who feel that if they are not happy all of the time that something is wrong. Understand that there it is okay and normal to feel down, and even to feel confused about that.
So, here’s some things that you need to know about foster kids and depression.
- First off, it’s understandable and normal.
- Imagine having little to no stability in your home, or having all of your dreams for the future abruptly changed.
- Living outside of your comfort zone can lead to depression.
- It’s a part of growing up.
- Also, depression can come and go.
- Some days your foster kids might feel on top of the world. Other day’s they feel the weight of that world squarely on their shoulders.
- There are many triggers that can lead to feelings of depression, especially during the holidays.
- It’s okay to talk about it.
- Often times your foster kids will initially avoid talking about their feelings, only to open up the flood gates once they know you are interested.
- Often foster parents will ignore moody foster kids and avoid talking about the situation. Embrace the opportunity to listen and learn about their struggles.
- People suffering from depression need more than your help. They need your willingness to understand and care.
- Sometimes your foster kids will be down and depressed and there will be nothing you can do for them.
- Show that you are willing to understand.
- Show that you care.
- It’s okay to seek help.
- Sometimes a good therapist or counselor can do a lot.
- Other times medication is needed.
What should you do when your foster kid seems depressed?
- Be understanding. Also, help your foster kids understand that it is normal.
- Don’t walk on eggshells. Talk about it. Show that you care.
- Help identify triggers. Maybe hanging out with certain friends has a negative effect on their feelings.
- Document changes in mood. Documentation is important so that you can stand back and see the whole picture and any trends. This will also help caseworkers and possibly doctors who my need to be brought in to help.
Thanks so much for listening. Stay tuned next week for more awesome tips…
Comment below if you have any ideas to share about this subject to help anyone struggling with this issue in their homes.
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Until next time!
Ben & Deb Pugh
The Foster Parents