Life with Teenage Depression

**Extremely Vulnerable Post Ahead** Thank you for your prayers, but please hold off from commenting if you have ‘christianese’ answers. I’m not trying to be offensive. I just know the christian cliche stuff. I am holding onto the truth of scripture. That being said…

My heart breaks for teenagers who struggle with depression and anxiety and it breaks for their parents. As I spend time with parents who are trying to help their teens navigate depression and as I have walked through this myself for more than 2 years now, we all want the same thing…

We just want their smiles back. We just want the weight to be off their shoulders. We just want them to not miss these years. We just want to help them climb out and see the light. We just want the jovial free spirits to come back. We just want the sadness to be gone. We just want the life to return to their bodies.

Teenage depression puts a hold on the entire family. Marriages are stretched. Finances are rocked. Emotions are whipped around. Worry becomes the best friend you never wanted. It becomes all consuming. Things that used to be important are no longer important. You don’t have time to be consumed by the silly drama in life. You have no patience for people who make tiny drama their life.

Depression is just a piece of shit and it doesn’t care who it hurts and who it harms.

And, here’s what I’ve learned: there is no rhyme or reason to who depression picks. And, there’s no magic bullet or formula to keep it away. I spent enormous amounts of time with my kids when they were little and I do now as teens. I prayed over them. I have done thousands of miles of prayer walks. Our family sought God. We served Him and still do. Christ is the head of our household. We did things ‘right’. Our teen was raised in Church and went on every youth group trip. There is no rhyme or reason to it.

As someone whose life has been consumed by this, I know the toll it takes on you. I know how it sucks out the life. I know the times you want to give up or lose your patience or get angry.

My agenda used to seem so important. Its just not anymore. My life was consumed with ME. Writing books. Being someone important. Speaking to just be someone. Leading a moving and shaking and growing church. Speaking at conferences. Taking big gigantic faith steps for God.

It’s funny how, as a dad, your life goals just don’t seem all that important when you would literally do anything to take the pain away that your kid is immersed in. I would do anything and give anything to take this away from my teen.

Just remember that God is big enough and he can take it. He and I have had many screaming matches about this. Many tears have been shed. Much begging and pleading have been done. And, lot’s of prayer will still happen!

If your family is struggling. Know you’re not alone. Grab hold of Jesus’ words. Pray scripture. Pray together. Ask others to pray. Do everything you possibly can and then some.

Just don’t give up.

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