Being a Happy Mom When You Have Depression


If you are affected by any form of mental illness when you have children, it makes the whole experience much worse, because you don’t want the way you feel to be affecting your kids as well. It can be hard enough to cope with depression without children, but the work, stress, and responsibility involved can add to the weight on your mind. On the other hand, having children can give you a reason to get up in the mornings, when if you were alone you’d just roll over and pull the comforter over your head.

[ photo: reachoutrecovery.com ]


Getting help

The most important step you can take if you start to slip into a period of depression is to seek professional help. It’s not impossible to recover on your own, but it is a whole lot harder, and you do run the risk of your condition getting worse. The lower you are when your treatment starts, the longer it is likely to take for you to get better. There are many different kinds of therapies available, and a wide range of anti-depressant treatments that your doctor can prescribe for you if they’re appropriate. 

Remember that it can take a few goes to find the right drug and dosage for you, so if you aren’t feeling better straight away don’t be surprised, it’s all part of the process. Some drugs, like fluoxetine, can take three to four weeks to begin to work, so the sooner you get a professional diagnosis the sooner you will start to recover. You also need to be able to turn to friends and family for help. They can assist you in practical ways like taking the kids to school, and also be there for you to talk to.

Don’t shut your kids out

You don’t have to tell your kids exactly what’s wrong with you if you don’t want to, but you should at least tell them that Mommy feels poorly, and that might be why she gets tired and grumpy sometimes. It’s much better to be as honest as possible, so they can understand why you aren’t quite yourself. If you say nothing, kids tend to turn their worries onto themselves, and assume they are the cause of your sadness. You should still try and spend as much time with them as you can, and find fun things to do that you don’t find too taxing. 

If you’re struggling with your feelings outside the home, don’t feel you have to force yourself to do what is too much for you. Be creative and find ways to keep the kids entertained at home instead. For example, you could get a rebounder trampoline for not too much money, and these mini trampolines can provide hours of enjoyment, as well as good exercise. Joining in with the kids when they play will help you too, and it’s well known that exercise is beneficial in cases of mild depression.

Depression is a serious illness that needs expert attention, so get the help you need and be good to yourself, then you can get back to being the happy mom your kids would want you to be.

1 comment:

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