It doesn't matter how old your child gets. You can still tell when something is wrong, and you often notice before anyone else. While adult children move back home for many different reasons, your child may have moved in with you to better cope with a new life stressor such as divorce or the loss of a job. When this happens, it is common for a person to develop depression as they struggle with learning how to handle the changes in their life. Your child may also feel stuck or depressed if they are having trouble moving forward. Addressing depression in your adult child requires compassion and tact, and you can use these tips to encourage your child to seek depression treatment that gets them back on the right track.
Take Note of the Signs You Witness
The first thing you need to do is look for signs of depression. Keep in mind, however, that some signs are subtle and can look like your child simply adjusting to their new lifestyle. For instance, staying out late with their friends drinking alcohol may look like your adult child is being social when they are really trying to avoid their emotions and mask their symptoms with substance use. An adult child who prefers to stay home could also have depression, especially if they are not taking steps to improve their life. For example, an adult who seems to laugh and play video games all day could also be depressed if they are choosing this activity rather than going out for job interviews. In this type of situation, the video games are a distraction from their negative thoughts.
Sit Them Down for an Honest Talk
When you talk to your adult child, you might mention the signs that you have witnessed. However, you want to avoid making the conversation feel like an accusation. Instead, mention your concern and ask if they are feeling depressed. In some cases, your adult child may open up about their emotional well-being, especially if they haven't been able to put a name to how they feel until now.
Explore Their Options for Treatment
You need to be prepared to offer support to your child once they choose to get help. Start by talking about the different depression treatment services that are available. This strategy is especially helpful if your child is apprehensive about taking medications since it shows them that they have more than one option to help them feel better. Finally, help your child arrange for an assessment to find out for sure if they are dealing with depression and to develop a treatment plan that restores their mental health.