How Do I Handle My Daughter’s Friends Using Anti-Depressants?

My daughter’s friends are starting to take anti-depressants. I think my daughter might be interested too. What should I do?

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Give her your undivided attention. Have her share with you what she thinks anti-depressants would do for her and how they have helped her friends. It may be that she is struggling with depression and has seen her friends get some relief and benefits through anti-depressant medications. It may also be that it is a way to fit in or be more interesting to her friends. Regardless, take this conversation seriously and plan plenty of time to explore patiently and calmly what is happening in her world of thoughts and emotions.

Talk about what it means to be depressed. Then, discuss current options for help if she is struggling with depression. Also, ask her if she has ever had any thoughts of harming herself or of ending her own life. If she expresses concern about being depressed and/or anxious, make an appointment with a Christian counselor, clinical social worker, psychologist, or pediatrician to explore this further and get and evaluation and appropriate treatment for her and/or the family.

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Let your daughter know you are there for her and that you want her to get the help she needs. Take time to know her friends, challenges, activities, interests, disappointments, and worries. Don’t ignore or trivialize any questions or concerns she may have. Emphasize that it is dangerous – and illegal – to take other people’s medications. And that it takes careful understanding of her unique situation to get her the right medication, if needed. Be aware of the signs and symptoms of depression and when you should seek emergency help.

Conversations with your daughter about topics like substance abuse, anti-depressants, and depression are important. Also, these conversations offer opportunities to get to know your daughter better and to help in guiding them with boundaries and decision-making.  For more help in guiding your daughter through these situations, explore our resources.

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