Helping Your Child With Depression Have School Success

If you can t afford therapy I have a whole post about what to do when you re depressed but don t have money to pay for a therapist you can check out.

Girl working in chem lab at school

How to Slay School When You Are Depressed


I feel like I should have gotten an extra diploma for graduating while managing my depression.

Trust me, if you don’t figure out a way to study and end up letting your grades slide it will make you feel even worse.

You need to try and find tricks that will work for you, but here are some of the things that helped me study with depression. If you need a pep talk check out the episode of my podcast below.

Set a Goal

It could be to read a certain number of chapters or working on a draft of a paper.

When you sit down to study, you should be working on completing a specific task.

If you don’t have a task in mind then set a time goal (reading for 45 minutes, researching a paper for an hour etc).


You want to make sure you’re only using it on tasks that are important and need to get done.

I like to map everything out on a calendar so I can see what I have coming up.

Use your lists and calendar to figure out what’s the most important thing to work on right now.

Try to pull out the top three things are the most urgent and focus all of your energy on them.

Make a Plan

Figure out the most important things to get done each day the week and write it out.

Make sure you’re taking into account what you wrote on your priorities list for your assignments.

Try and figure out how long each task on your priority task will take to complete and schedule your study time.

If I put off homework, until the end of the day, there’ss a good chance I’ll end up watching TV with my dog instead.

If you don’t know what time works best for you try scheduling at various times on different days and see what works best.

Trying to get through school when you’re depressed is hard, take the time to make a clear game plan.

I have a free mental health planner you can use to plan your day that you can grab below.

Go to a Therapist

It is very unlikely you’ll be able to go to therapy for free after you graduate.

When I was doing my undergraduate degree, I went to therapy every week for free.

This would have cost me thousands of dollars to pay for out of my own pocket.

They’re trained to work specifically with students and can be a great resource for you.

If your school doesn’t have free therapy checkout Better Help. This is the service I use and I really like it. It lets you talk to a therapist via text throughout the day (you can call or skype too but I prefer texting). I like that I can text my therapist every day and it is still cheaper than going to one traditional therapy session per week.

If you can’t afford therapy I have a whole post about what to do when you’re depressed but don’t have money to pay for a therapist you can check out.

Move Your Butt

Exercise will give you more energy and you need all the energy you can get right now.

If you feel like you can’t focus take a ten-minute exercise break to recharge yourself.


Ask for help if you need it. Reach out to a friend or family member. Let them know you’re struggling and need support.

Make a list of things that make you feel relaxed and try to do at least one of them every day.

When you have a lot of work to do self-care can feel like a waste of time but trust me, it’s not.

If you don’t take care of yourself you’ll end up sick, stressed out and in an even worse mental state.

Take time to go for a walk, take a bath, or write in a journal. Try something like a game or puzzle. Solving puzzles diverts your attention away from the stress you face.

These things will help you stay charged. You will end up getting more done than if you skip over them and let your mental health deteriorate.

Get Out of Your House

If I tried to study at my house I would end up procrastinating or sleeping all day.

Going to study at the same place, at the same time, every day really helped me.

I used to post up at a local bakery by my house for a few hours on my way to school.

Try to Eliminate Distractions

If I needed to write a paper I would turn the WiFi off on my laptop or go to a cafe that I knew didn’t have internet access.

I also like to have the TV on when I would study but (surprise) I never got much done and my work wasn’t the best quality.

Organization and Daily Routines

Along with your child and with their permission let your child s teacher know that your child is struggling with depression and that you believe that they are not ready to catch up, or keep up, right now. One way to be productive despite depression is to see depression as a habit, says Joseph Luciani, PhD, a psychologist in New York City and the author of Self-Coaching The Powerful Program to Beat Anxiety and Depression.

Tweens and teens in middle and high school see multiple teachers throughout the school day. If your child does not have a specific homeroom or advisory teacher assigned to them, find a teacher to fill that role. This should be a teacher that your child feels comfortable talking to and that can be sure to be a regular point of contact throughout the day for other teachers and you.


How to Slay School When You Are Depressed