“Mum, I think I’m depressed….”

Although he doesn't always look this sad, Phineus and Ferb's platypus is always unsettled about something, and rarely "holds" a smile...

Aaaaawww… Those are words I never wanted to hear coming from my 9-year-old Luka. He’s sitting in the back seat, holding his brother’s PSP game-thing, looking out the window.

“What do you mean, ‘depressed’? Like you feel sad about something?”

“No, not really sad. Down. I feel down all the time.”

“Like all day long?”

“Like every day. I just feel down all the time.”

Mental Health Awareness Week was last week, no, two weeks ago, or was it a month? I was all set to post lots of links to mental health sites and my good intentions disappeared in a tidal wave of work, here and at work, you name it. I had an instant pang of, Dang! I’ve not been paying attention to the littlest one!

“But you had a great time playing with your cousin on the weekend,” I urge.

“Sure, when I’m playing nonstop sometimes I’m too busy, but if I get not busy, it just all comes back.”

“What?”

“The down feeling. It comes back feeling bigger.”

“But honey, you have fun at school. In the field, the snow pit, with your friends? Right?”

“Yeah. But I can’t keep a smile.”

“How so?”

“You know Cory (the names have been changed to protect the happy) in my class? He’s not depressed. He grins and smiles all the time. I can only smile a little. I can’t smile for more than 10 seconds. It just breaks.”

Aaawww. No. Not my littlest guy.

“Who else do you know who is maybe depressed or down, like you feel? Anybody?”

“Graydon. And Tessa sometimes.”

OK. We did all attend family therapy, and we talk for an hour. He’s bound to hear them talk about depression in our sessions. He could be:

  • modelling their behaviour to be the same as them
  • needing more attention, and sees this as a way to that
  • letting his “learned helplessness” from school carry over to home
  • actually, finally showing some signs of the stress the family has been under.

I pick Option 4.

“Luka, you know how we all talked to Lincoln on Mondays about how everybody was doing? Well, maybe we could talk about you specially. Maybe you could talk to him with Tessa, Graydon and me out of the room for a while?”

No answer, just nodding. But actions speak louder than words. So I’ll be making a call or two next week.

It’s Friday. I am so out of practice with blogging that I can’t even remember what I used to do on Fridays…Foto Fridays rings a bell (snaps a shutter). I’ll have to look into it.

Have a fab weekend!

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