Recently, a mother asked me what she can say to her adult son that is experiencing depression. Her son had approached her asking for her prayers. And this is my response to her.
Take your son by his hands and say to him, “of course I will pray for you. You always have my prayers.” Reassuring a child at the time of need can alleviate their suffering and it shows you are not there to judge them.
Look at your son in his eyes and tell him, “you have been such a great son to me, a great husband to your wife and a caring father to your children. You are a great brother to your siblings and a great man for the community. Of course I will pray for you, and know that you will get through this difficult time. I know you have the strength within you to face this difficult period.” By acknowledging the difficult situation he is facing, you are connecting with him at a deep level of understand and also reminding him of the strength within him.
Sit down with your son and ask him, “is there anything else I can do for you my son? You have my prayers, how else can I support you in this experience you are going through?”
And if your son turns to you with tears in his eyes, put his head on your lap and let him cry. You do not have to change or do anything. Just give him your lap to cry.
If your adult child came to you with a mental health situation, what would you say to them? If you have gone to your parent with a mental health experience, what has been your experience? Let me know, email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Musarat Yusufali LCSW
Holistic Healer, Relationship Mender