It’s crushing to hear your child say they feel dead inside

We had a pretty rough evening with Elliott. I don’t talk about this a great deal but he’s seriously struggling and it’s absolutely breaking my heart.

He has very little control over his emotions and seems to cycle through the full gamut in a very short period of time.

I think at the very least, we’re looking at serious depression. He’s on antidepressants but they don’t seem to be helping much. He’s in individual therapy as well and he finally gets into Akron Children’s behavioral health clinic in a few days.

I want so desperately to help him and in order to do that, we need to get help.

During tonight’s episode, he told us that he feels dead inside. He’s also told that he doesn’t feel loved or taken seriously. If he is feeling those things, I need to step up my parenting game and do all I can to ensure he doesn’t feel that way.



There are significant issues with his perception and he misinterprets a great many of his interactions with others, especially in emotionally charged situations.

It absolutely kills me that he doesn’t feel loved or like he matters. The 3 most amazing moments in my life were when Elliott was born, Emmett was born and when I adopted Gavin.

The single scariest moments of my life where those days immediately following Elliott’s birth when both of his lungs collapsed and he developed pneumonia. The 10 days or so he was in the NICU, were the scariest moments of my life because I was truly powerless to help him.

No matter what we do or say, he doesn’t feel like he matters and that’s crushing for me as a parent to hear come out of my child, whom I love more than life itself.

There are lots of pieces and parts to this but we are doing everything possible to help him feel better.

I wish there was a way to know what I’m doing wrong. I wish there was a way to help him feel loved and accepted. Hopefully, Tuesday’s psych appointment at Akron Children’s Hospital will provide us with some insight and tools with which to help him.

I’m not super excited at all about the idea having to add medications but it’s a distinct possiblity that something will need changed or added.

So long as his life improves and he benefits, we’re open to medications.

Elliott is loved, cherished and respected by everyone in his life. It’s our job to make sure we guide him during this dark period of his life and see him through to the other side.

He needs and deserves to feel happy.

6 comments

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    • IM on June 28, 2019 at 5:45 pm
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    I read this blog everyday. I have recommended it to others as an exemplary parenting blog.

    • IM on June 28, 2019 at 5:42 pm
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    I love your blog! I read it everyday. You’re an example to all parents.

    • Kim gebhardt on October 7, 2018 at 4:15 pm
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    Jimmy has said most of what I intended to say (and better than I would have, I might add) but I do want to say this: Elliott’s depression is not about you. It is not about your parenting game. I understand the instinct to want to make it better or fix it, but ask yourself this- are your parents to blame for your depression? Do they need to step up their parenting game? The answer is undoubtedly ‘no’. Taking Elliott seriously and getting him the professional help that he needs is what needs to be done and it sounds like you are doing that. I’m also curious if Elliott’s therapy is with Dr. Pattie. Maybe it is time for him to have someone just for him? I don’t know the answer to that but maybe a fresh and objective eye could help Elliott wade through this a little easier.

    1. Thanks Kim. I think this is one of those irrational parenting moments for me personally. I know you’re right (go ahead and mark this day lol) but the first thought that comes to me when he says that we don’t love him or that he doesn’t matter to us, is “OMG, what did we either do or not do to make him feel that we don’t love him or that he doesn’t matter to us”.

      Elliott is now getting individual therapy with Dr. Pattie as well. He’s very resistant to it, so we are working slowly to begin with and are building up from there. He needs the one on one, in order to make him be the sole focus. We’ll see how it goes.

      We see Akron Children’s Hospital on Tuesday.

    • Jimmy Rock on October 7, 2018 at 3:18 pm
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    It’s awful to hear about Elliott’s struggle. I hope you can separate your emotions on how it makes you feel to have your child struggle in such a way versus how it makes you feel as far as your success as a parent. You know all too well that if someone is depressed it’s not about what others may or may not be doing, it’s about the internal struggle.

    In your post you alternately say that you’re doing everything possible, yet you also say you need to step up your parenting game, and wish you knew what you were doing wrong.

    It’s not your fault that he feels this way. You know that depression is no joke. Just continue to get him the help he needs.

    1. Thanks Jimmy. It’s one of those things where you feel/think/know that you’re doing everything possible but at the same time, you feel/think/know you must be missing something if things are the way they are..

      Thank you Jimmy.



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