Should We Reveal Vulnerability and Depression to Our Children and Grandchildren?



I’d like to talk about a difficult topic, depression – and what we may be teaching our children and grandchildren about revealing vulnerability. Or not teaching them.

Lots of people don’t like talking about troubling things. You might rather read a post that’s more light-hearted, more upbeat. Unless you’re one of the ones struggling with difficult feelings – maybe even depression.

The Rise of Depression

There are many current studies highlighting an international rise of depression and suicide. It’s becoming a rampant issue. It is one that is more and more likely to affect your life or the lives of those you love. Wherever you live. At whatever age.

The rise of depression with increased social media involvement in younger people is well documented. Symptoms are being recognized as what they really are. Depression should be grabbing our attention as a culture, and as a world.

I’ve been writing for a few years about a different version of depression, one that won’t likely be included in these studies. This is one where people wouldn’t admit to experiencing symptoms such as depressed mood, not enjoying things that you’ve previously enjoyed, foggy thinking, a tendency to isolate.

It might include sleep and appetite changes, maybe even a sense of hopelessness or helplessness. The symptoms of classic depression might not be present. Or if they are, they aren’t revealed. Ever.

Perfectly Hidden Depression (PHD)

Actually, people with PHD look engaged, happy, productive. They’re often the people others look up to, “I want to be like them. They’ve got a great marriage, a wonderful career.”

As we age, these folks are the people who appear to have exciting lives, whether they’re retiring or staying in the work world. They’re busy, busy, busy.

One could even write a midlife blog, touting how stimulating and empowering it is to age gracefully. They’ll give tips for staying active and upbeat, while secretly stumbling down a rabbit hole of despair and emptiness when alone at night.

Obviously, there are some people who are truly doing well….