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My wife died. I have two young kids, things are bad ..... Help!

answered 11:36 AM EST, Sun October 23, 2011
My wife passed away last year and I am a single dad to 2 preteen kids. I have had episodes of depression earlier in my life and I am concerned that I am sliding back into another depressive state. It would be very difficult for my children were I to become seriously depressed, after they lost their mother just last year. Are there any preemptive steps I can take to stop this slide into depression before it is too late?

William Anderson Says...

I am so sorry for your loss. It is all of our worst fears.

This answer to your question is a resounding yes, there are very definite and effective measures you can take to ward off a serious episode of depression and the negative effects it would have on you and your kids. It's wonderful that you have this insight and the determination to do something about it.

The first thing to do, if you haven't already done it, is to get all three of you into grief counseling with a therapist who specializes in it. Your situation is known as a "Complicated Grieving", and someone who specializes in it will know exactly what's needed. They can save you a lot of time and heartache. Find a licensed therapist who specializes in grief counseling. You might call your local Hospice to get some names, or they might ask you in themselves. You can also look up listings for counselors and therapists and look for one that specializes in grief work.

The counselor you work with will also be able to point you in the right direction regarding your struggle with depression. You don't say how you treated it in the past, whether or not you got professional help, but if you didn't, now's the time. If you did, it's time to get back together with a professional that treats depression, and that's usually an office that has both counselors and psychiatrists, in case a medication is in order.

I hope this helps, and you get on the phone as soon as you read this to make appointments. I'm sure everyone who reads this will be pulling for you. God bless you. Best wishes.

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Page last updated Oct 29, 2011

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