A place to learn
At Families for Depression Awareness (FFDA), we focus on the families of people living with depression or bipolar disorder ("mood disorders"), equipping family caregivers with education and training so they can provide effective, constructive support to their loved ones.
Mood disorders affect everyone in a family, not only those with the diagnosis. Each family member should be able to have their needs identified and addressed.
In addition to passing along a higher likelihood of having a mood disorder, parents living with a mood disorder can find it hard to engage with their children, take care of household chores, do their work, and sometimes even to get out of bed.
Family caregivers risk wearing themselves out as they help their loved one seek treatment, manage the household and the family, and try to keep a roof over their heads.
Since our beginning, we have shared family stories to help caregivers feel like they are not alone, show that families can address mood disorders together, inspire hope, and dispel stigma. Each year, we add to our library of honest and inspiring accounts of families facing the challenges of mood disorders and suicide.
It’s a frustrating fact: there is no one-size-fits-all treatment for depression. As a caregiver, you want to confidently point your loved ones toward treatment options you know will help them get well. Unfortunately, finding the right treatment takes time and is almost always a trial and error process.
The teen years can be challenging. When pressures from school, peers, work, family, and society build, it can be hard to know how to let off steam. Bingeing Netflix and sleeping through tough days might feel helpful at the moment, but that doesn’t address the underlying stressors. Too often, teens feel alone, overwhelmed, anxious, depressed, and without hope. Sometimes this can lead to a mental health crisis situation. What happens then?
With suicide as the third-leading cause of death among youth age 15 to 24, suicide prevention is a topic that parents and guardians of teens can’t ignore. Although it may feel overwhelming, when you have knowledge and resources, you can play an essential role in preventing teen suicides.
One thing about depression and families: we don’t always have depressive episodes one person at a time. For caregivers, this means that we need to be able to take care of others even as we deal with our own depression. It can be done – and Families for Depression Awareness has strategies and examples to share!