Gospel Perspectives For Parents: Teenagers and Depression

Now that the “most wonderful time of the year” is behind us and the sparklers of New Year celebrations have long faded, you might find yourself or your children in a season of malaise. To make matters worse, the days are short, the weather is cold, and we are still. dealing. with. Covid. Some of us are back to online school. Lord, have mercy.

For some, you might be loving a child with more than malaise— possibly depression. While we at Rooted cannot heal your child’s depression, we want to point them to the only one who can – their faithful Heavenly Father who loves and cares for them immensely. We hope and pray that these articles and podcasts might offer comfort, guidance, and an assurance that you are not suffering alone.

Ask Alice: A Conversation with Dr. Stacey Gilbert on Teens and Depression 

Is your child or student struggling with anxiety and/or depression? In this informative episode of Ask Alice, licensed professional counselor Alice Churnock sits down with Birmingham pediatrician Dr. Stacey Gilbert to discuss the manifestation of anxiety and depression amongst children and teenagers. They talk counseling, medication, the gospel, and how to go about caring for your struggling child.

Loving Our Students With Depression- Liz Edrington

Written for youth pastors, these articles will also offer helpful guidance for parents.

We remind them explicitly through our words and prayers, and implicitly through our continued pursuit of them, that they are not alone. We are all in this together.

Parenting a Child with Major Depressive Disorder- Ingram Link

We are called to trust a Holy God. That often means the picture of life that we have envisioned (and are hard at work to create) is destroyed. We have to trust that what God has is better. We have to trust that what He is taking us through, what He is taking our child through, and what He is taking the rest of our family through is better than our Facebook, Instagram, Christmas card picture-perfect image. And we have to trust that all of it is for our good and His glory.

The Question Teenagers With Suicidal Ideation Need You to Ask- Liz Edrington 

When I find myself in situations with students that (appropriately) overwhelm and burden me, I often come back to Romans 8. In these moments especially, I am aware of my need for a God whose love isn’t dependent on me. His love has been secured through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ – for us, and for our students.

Dealing With the Shame of Depression- Clark Fobes

On this side of the Cross, we can now look back at Christ’s death and resurrection as a promise of God’s covenant to His people that He will eventually bring life out of death. Depression may feel like death; but there is future life for those who hope in Christ. We may feel shameful that things are not the way they should be, or the way we hope they should be; but Jesus covers our shame and reminds us that one day things will be the way they should be.

Discerning Depression in Our Teenagers 

 This article by Rhett Smith does an excellent job of providing some helpful steps for navigating what may be depression in a teen.  He begins with the question, “How do I know if he’s depressed or if this is just normal teenage behavior?”

Prayers for the Worried Parent- Anna Meade Harris

Fear corrodes relationship, but prayer is a demonstration of that perfect love which casts out fear. Praying Scripture arms us with truth to fight off doubt and worry, and has the double effect of blessing our child and of renewing our trust in our heavenly Father. He is the only one who can really make an eternal change in your child’s life anyway.

Our resources page on mental health will offer some additional support.

Advancing Grace-Driven Youth Ministry

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