Aedan is Kristen’s 11-year-old son. He has known that his mom has depression for the past three years – ever since a particularly bad episode almost ended her in the hospital. Since then, he has had multiple discussions with both his mom and his dad about mental illness. His dad interviewed him recently about his thoughts on mental illness for this video.
My Mom Has Depression
Kristen has written about her relationship with Aedan before and how mental illness plays a role. Read Kristen’s letter to Aedan about her depression.
Resources for talking to kids about mental illness
Aedan is one kick-ass kid. Seriously, not only does he understand mental illness and depression, he loves Harry Potter, Minecraft, and riding his Y-Fliker around the neighborhood. He also doesn’t like haircuts, just finished fifth grade, and would want you to know that he’s working on having his own awesome YouTube channel – as soon as he figures out all the technical stuff. He is loved dearly by both his mom and dad, and he’s just a good human being.
It’s been just over a year since your father and I tried to explain my depression to you. I still remember you stepping tentatively into our bedroom after Daddy talked to you and saying, “Mommy, I’m sorry you’re sick.” You hugged me as I did my best to hold back my tears…again. You told me it was okay if I cried, you understood if I needed to do that.
Have you ever had a conversation with a parent that left you shaking your head? I have had plenty, and for a long time the ones that really got me were the ones where parents would tell me, “I think they really need to stay at (insert your college name here) to be successful.” I, as the college administrator, had phoned them in the hopes that they would drop everything and get to campus as quickly as they could, because their student was disintegrating in front of my eyes. I don’t make these calls whimsically. But. They. Didn’t. But. They. Wouldn’t. I now know it was because they couldn’t. Continue reading →