Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Motherhood and Depression

I’ve said this in prior posts, but hopefully writing it over and over again will help me to know better how to tackle it.
I hate that my depression affects my kids.
Because I know it does.
According to Mark Gold, M.D., author of “The Good News About Depression” (say what?), studies suggest a 40 to 45 percent rate of psychiatric disorders, mostly depression, among children of parents with mood disorders.
I wish I could ignore those stats and not believe that my tears trigger anxiety in my little guys.
But I can’t.
Which is why one of the most touching moments of my weekend with my guardian angel–and there were many–was when I heard her explain depression to David and Katherine.
“I used to be sad and cry like your mom did,” she said, “but now I have a doctor and medicine just like your mom.”
“Don’t worry when your mom cries,” she continued, “because she will call me, and I will help her feel better.”


I can’t even write that without tearing up.
It makes me think of moments like the afternoon David earned his last yellow stripe to get his yellow belt.
Five four-year-old boys were sitting in “level eight” karate pose on the olive green and red padded mat of Evolutions Gym in Annapolis.
“Who knows the rules?” asked Mr. Joe, a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and a Master Tactical Instructor.
“No pushing,” yelled one Karate midget.
“No talking,” said another.
“We control what?” asked Mr. Joe.
“Our bodies,” said the kid with an orange belt.
“Our mouths,” said everyone, cued by Mr. Joe holding his index finger over his mouth.
“And . . .” Mr. Joe pointed to his head.
“Our minds!” the five screamed.
If it were only that easy, I thought. I was fighting the usual war inside my head. Even though I had relegated 20 minutes in the evening to list in my journal all the negative messages I told myself (an exercise my therapist recommended), insults still sneaked into my head about once every half-second.
The boys hadn’t even stood up before I began my battle against the voices.
You’re stupid. You’re lazy. You’re weak.
I reached inside my jean pocket, clutched my medal of St. Therese, and fought back.
Shut up! Shut up! Jesus, be with me, I said as I concentrated on my breathing.
Inhale, one, two, three, four. Exhale, one, two, three, four.
Meanwhile, Katherine wouldn’t leave the water cooler alone. A typical two-year-old, she was filling up paper pixie cups with water and dumping them in the trash.
“Stop it!” I scolded her, picking her up. She threw a tantrum, of course, head and legs thrust backward. Two moms shot me the “you have no control over your kid–you need Super Nanny” look.
Stressed out, I headed to the playroom, or the “pink-eye pit,” designed for difficult siblings of disciplined karate kids.
You’re a horrible mother. You suck at it. You’re not cut out for it. You’re not cut out for anything.
Stop it! I’m a good mom. Jesus, be with me, I fought back again. Concentrate on your thoughts. Appreciation. Appreciation. Think of everything you have to be grateful for.
According to Dan Baker, author of “What Happy People Know,” appreciation is the antidote to fear, and fear (of not having enough or not being enough) causes depression and anxiety.
I tried to do what Baker calls the Appreciate Audit. I thought about all the things I was thankful for. I didn’t know where to start. I had money to pay for this karate class. I had two healthy kids, one so healthy he could kick the hell out of the sheet of plastic Mr. Joe held up for him, and the other so healthy I could barely restrain her during a tantrum. I had all my limbs, legs to walk to the water cooler to get Katherine and arms to tie David’s white belt with nine yellow stripes. I had all my senses, eyes to see Katherine throwing the pixie cups filled with water into the trashcan, eyes to see the stares from the other moms who apparently have their kids under better control.
I was only three items into my gratitude list when I caught sight of a mom plugging away at her laptop computer. Her son was seated at the while kids’ table reading quietly to himself.
Now there’s a mom who can multitask. You could never do that. You’ll never write again. You couldn’t hold a job if you wanted to. You’ll never amount to anything.
I started to fight back again but felt defeated. My eyes were wet, ready to burst into Niagara Falls at any minute.
Come on. Don’t give in. Control your thoughts. Jesus, be with me!
My stomach began to shake, then my legs. Before I knew it, I was trembling and on the verge of a bona fide panic attack.
Look at you. You are pathetic. You can’t control your thoughts. How are you going to drive home like this?
Visibly shaking with tears now running down my face, I picked up Katherine and headed to the bathroom.
On the way I read all the inspirational framed prints that lined the wall outside the main gym.
The first one was about determination. On the bottom of an image of runners crossing the finish line was a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt: “Believe in yourself. You must do that which you think you cannot do.”
We arrived back to the karate class in time to hear Mr. Joe tell the five kids to use their “black belt spirit.” I felt like I had just flushed mine down the toilet, never to be retrieved. I couldn’t hide my red eyes, but I was able to restrain further tears.
David bowed on his way to the front of the class to be awarded the yellow stripe. And then, upon directions from Mr. Joe, ran to give me a hug.

  • Wendi

    ‘”…because she will call me, and I will help her feel better.”‘ That almost made me cry. :-) You’re lucky to have someone you can rely on like that.

  • Jennifer

    Oh how I wish we could sit down w/a cup of coffee and chat for hours! Lately my kids have been seeing more of my anxiety come out, as I cry openly over our cluttered home. How do I explain it to them? I also worry about my children, since there is such a strong family history of mental illness (both sides of my family).
    I worry most about my 5yo dd. She has such a hard time with her emotions. On the one hand I hope that the hard work I do to learn to handle my emotions will be a model for her. I also work *very hard* with her every single day (because we still have at least one tantrum/meltdown/outburst a day) on this. It hurts so much that she struggles with it so, but I do think that she’s miles ahead of where I was at this age.
    I too wonder if my anxiety and depression should have prevented me from having children. Like you, I often say- you are not made for this! This is overwhelming, I can’t do it right! I’m messing them up and I feel miserable too! And then I recall my own childhood, with imperfect parents (as we all are!) and think of how much I love my mother, despite the things she did (her idea of anxiety management was yelling lol). And I know that my kids will look back and feel the same about me- I show them my love, I apologize when I make mistakes, and I am doing my best to do better on every level.
    Sorry for this marathon comment Therese. We can do this. We are doing this. Hang in there.

  • Cindy

    Dear Therese,
    Easier said than done, but please don’t beat yourself up over your meltdown. The fact that you’re aware of your anxiety/depression and how it affects your children is a sign that you are a GOOD mother!
    Even though my son is 19, I can still recall times that I fell apart in front of him. I think our children need to see us at our best and worst.
    Tomorrow is a new day, a new slate to be written on……this is a slogan that I repeat to myself.
    God Bless,

  • Margaret

    In hindsight ( my only son is now ywernty-nine) I can now se– with that amazing 20/20 vision which the passing of time grants to us– that my meltdowns” which my son witnessed have actually HELPED him to become the maryre, caring man he now is. His fiance has acrually THANKED me for nothiding my pain from him; she thinks it has made himmore open to accepting her emotions thanan he might have otherwise beenwithout fearing that she’s truly out of her mind! He puts it another way, which is music to my ears. according to him, I taught him how to love by letting him see how the actions of our family members effect us, and thinks it’s made him a netter human-being! I’m not sure about that, but I DO know that I am extremely proud of who he is in terms of the way he treats his friends and fiance. And for the record, even though my mother was a depressive like I am, to date my son has not shown any sogns of joining the “Abyss club” (Thank God. Oh, he experiences hisdowb times like all people do, but they’re nearly always ( at least so far) what I can “reactional” and can be easily identified as to the source. He doesn’t live as I do never knowing from morning to morning what his mental state will be on awakening(Thank you, Jesus!)and hasn’t (yet, at least,) felt the terror of a panic attack or the loss of control of his emotions at inappropriate momenrs! God is good! He’s also expressed that if either of those things DO occur, he won’t hesitate to seek help since he’s witnessed how that has benefited me. I guess it’s possible as parents to let the pendulum swing too far either way by allowing our kids to see too much or covering up (or trying to) to the point where their imaginations create even worse scenarios than the reality. Cindy is right. Our kids do need to see us at both our best and worst. The amazing thing is that what they take away from it might not be at all what we fear! Kids have built-in “phoniness detectors” and we fool them much less often than we think we do! Genetics may play a role, but so does the nurturing we provide for them. Hang in there, Therese, Cindy and all you others who are frightened for your children. God has a way of turning our childrens’ experiences into growth opportunities when we least suspect it!Being real with your children is more valuable than attempting to shield them from life’s ugly side, especially since that’s an impossible task anyway! When your children are older, you too may be surprised to discover the wisdom they gleaned from watching you deal wiith your own demons!

  • Dorothy

    I don’t remember if I told you that I had an eating disorder for a lot of years. Yes, also part of my fast track to the psyche ward. Something I learned during my recovery (which I did without treatment, don’t ask me why) was to imagine an old-school chalkboard eraser erasing those mean thoughts I was directing at myself. As I got better at it, I could erase them as they were coming out. The goal: never to let them materialize fully.
    Depression is chemical as well as cognitive, as you know. It’s not totally something you can totally overcome through willpower. But erasing those thoughts yourself feels very empowering. I hope it works for you. I’ll pray for you tonight.

  • Babs

    Hey Therese, Here is a bit of wisdom from one of my former music teachers. I was a child prodigy (though I didn’t realize it until many, many years later). When I had to play at a recital, I was always last, being the most accomplished student. I would be a nervous wreck, worried about making an utter fool of myself, my family, and my teacher. His words were something like this: “The most accomplished people usually worry the most about not being good enough.”
    I am not a perfectionist — knowing I would never be *good enough* purged me of that. But I still hear the inner critic. I used to ask myself where I had learned such negative thoughts because they were never verbalized to me. As I have grown to better know myself, I realized that such things don’t have to be verbalized. My critic made himself clear in other ways that communicated the same ideas; I have been criticizing myself ever since. I have started listening to other people who appreciate what I do (even when I don’t) and accepting their praise. I’ll bet there are times that you think that you suck as a writer, there are so many people who are really good at it, blah, blah, blah, blah. It seem to go with the territory, unfortunately.
    BTW — what is so great about multitasking when it takes you away from the child sitting right next to you? Hurray for you, taking your slithering-arch-backed daughter in your arms and sitting in the studio watching your son in class.

  • Nancy

    I have so much that I want to address and share; however, for now I want to piggyback on what Babs posted in her last paragraph. Absolutely, ditto, Amen! on the multitasking bit. I think that it’s sad for any parent (mother or father) to be with their children at an event for any achievement or demonstration and immersed in their laptop, cellphone etc. There may be those emergencies that require such a circumstance, but as a Mom of 2 boys – now 19 and 22 years old, I remember taking only 1 cell phone call from my Office Manager who was having a meltdown from dealing with my brother (our lovely family business – a whole book’s worth of comments on that!) to help her in getting through the true emotional crisis and prevent her sons from beating the crap out of my brother. It was at my younger son’s baseball game. I remember the field and the passing I did up and down along the sidelines, with my brain engaged in the call, but my eyes trying not to miss a moment of my son’s playing. My point is NOT to lift up that woman as an idea of what you “should” be doing. Stop “shoulding” on yourself. When my kids were little and people would tell me how fast this period of time would go by, I would think (in shame) – NOT fast enough for me. Oh there were those wonderful moments (usually when they were sleeping) that they were adorably breathtaking, but usually day-to-day at their young, back flinging days – I actually had fleeting thoughts that they were just out to make me miserable. I can laugh at that now; not so funny back then. So, stay engaged in the moment; everyone is struggling – that is why when other Moms look at you (even if appears to be disdain), they are silently breathing a sigh of relief and thinking “Thank God that doesn’t just happen to me”. Raising kids can bring out our best and our worst – it’s trying to minimize the worse, not being the child ourself and the best piece of advice someone gave me was a saying I had above my desk 15 years ago and still use, “What other people think of me is none of my business”. And you know what, surprisingly, I really wasn’t the focus of their mental usage. Mainly they were consumed with their own stuff anyway. I have sooo many stories about my mothering and my children. I’ll save it for another “comment” and give someone else a little chance to get a “word” in edgewise with their thoughts. A Day At A Time – or even better – Be In The Moment – (easier said than practiced) – Nancy

  • Blondie

    Oh trust me, the things you THINK will mess up your kids are the totally opposite of what really messes them up. Ma tells me stories all the times of moment she was horrified, but I don’t remember them. I remember really odd totally different times that had nothing to do with “karate class.”
    Your kids a.) know you love them b.) feel that love and give it back. That is really, truly, all that matters. But I feel your pain and I too have attacks of rambling Evil Brain Doom Monster coming into my head. In fact, I had one today that I had to work hard to fight off. It’s all a process. One day at a time!

  • Stephanie

    I would like to share with you what was once told to me Therese. When people have breakdowns if you will, either from depression, addictions, etc… it is God who raises our children. Now I’m wondering about my dog, does he raise those too because since I’ve been in this darkness continuously for over 6 months now, she seems depressed too, it saddens me even more.

  • bea

    Oh my gosh – I have been struggling with the same issues – terrible mother, terrible girl friend, terrible employee, poor housekeeper, not artistic or orignal, not smart, no degree, not interesting, no ambition and the voice in my head just keeps going. I don’t ask Jesus for help, i curse him for not being there. The things I can’t seem to do could fill an ocean……
    I am not happy to know someone else feels this way-but i feel so much better knowing i am not alone.
    Thanks for your words –

  • Mindy Montanez

    You know something? I have been having the same thing. There is not a single day that goes by that I don’t tell myself the same thing. But sometimes my thoughts go beyond that and consequently I wind up in the psych ward because of suicidal attempts. I want to get to where you’re at, nobody can help me except me, somedays, I just wish I hadn’t woken up. Hugs, Mindy

  • Robin

    We all have those moments where we are sure everyone around us is critisising how we handle things. I have two friends that each have autistic children and public meltdowns are more often then not. I feel blessed to have such strong compassionate friends in my life that I know would be by my side no matter what happens or where. I bet the people watching you with your daughtor were actually thankfull that it was not their child this time (as I am sure someones sibling does something anti-social at every class) and secretly taking notes for when their little angel has a meltdown eather there or the grocery store, the mall etc… Your strength to overcome your disease to make sure that your children can participate in these extra activities in spite of your uncomfortable feelings. Keep praying!!

  • Mindy Montanez

    I know my depression affects my kids. My depression has gotten way out of hand that I have sought professional help, and even then, I still have suicidal thoughts. Today, I didn’t wake up feeling like that, but there are days when I wish I hadn’t woken up. My husband feels heart-broken when I tell him that, and my daughters get up set with me, because they feel that nothing can be so bad to bring me to that point. That’s because they don’t understand depression or they are in denial.

  • Anonymous

    Take it from someone who had a father who was constantly depressed during her childhood: get help now so your kids won’t be so affected. I am a product of all of that. He eventually drank himself to his death, and I am now trying to get help so I don’t affect my baby boy. He’s such a gift, and luckily his father doesn’t struggle with the same issues. I am able to hide things pretty well, and am very conscious of what I put out there for my son to see. I want him to be well-balanced, and most of all, to feel safe. I never, EVER felt safe growing up because my parents fought constantly and my father was always in a bad, depressed mood. Please think of your children and seek help–keep up the good work. It’s worth it for your loved ones.

  • Charlotte

    I want to quote someone we all know… I have it posted on my computer screen… chin up & know you are not alone.
    “One of the great things I learned the hard way was that it does not pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself.” -Lucille Ball

  • shenova

    You just summarized Reason #1 why I don’t have kids. Please don’t read this as a criticism of your choice and situation – that is not my intent. My intent ~IS~ to prod anyone reading this to carefully scrutinize their choice to bring a child into the world if they fight depression or any other debilitating condition. Not only is the child going to be subjected to YOUR issues, are you sure that there isn’t a genetic component that will cause your child to equally suffer the same maladies?
    I am in a slightly different situation because almost all of my depression is linked to a chronic, debilitating health issue (including the food allergies that I posted about previously). I consider it intolerably cruel to willingly and knowingly subject any other human being(s) to an unhealthy body/unhealthy mind/unhealthy parent cycle.

  • Jeanne

    No one can stop the negative, downward cycle but you. I used to be on that rollercoaster until I decided that enough was enough. I took a weekend off and went to a SuperCheap motel for a night alone. Yes, I had young children, but my husband was (and is) their father and I left him with them. I walked on the beach and spent time in silent meditation and prayer. By Sunday afternoon this is the course of action I dedicated myself to.
    Write 3 pages longhand every MORNING before everyone else is up. It’s a great place to dump all the garbage from the day before. (There is now 15 years of these journals.) Make a list of all my good points and accomplishments. Every time a negative comes to mind, I stop and look at the list and add one more good thing. Look at the negatives. Most of the time they are big fat LIES. Tear the half of the list with the negatives on it and burn it. Smoke and ashes is the only place for negativity. Stay true to myself. I am not accountable for what anyone else thinks, only for my own actions and thoughts. If people think I’m nuts then that’s their problem! Develop an attitude of self-protection. When the children get on what’s left of your one frayed nerve, send them somewhere else. Anywhere else, the playroom, a neighbor, to play with Dad! They always come home, so don’t give it another thought. Save at least 15 minutes a day for JUST YOU.
    St. Theresa (The Little Flower) never lets a prayer go unanswered.

  • Tonya

    It’s good to know I’m not alone!!! I checked my email today and opened this message by mistake!! Funny how God works I’ve been feeling so discouraged lately!! I have so much to be Thankful for but yet I find myself thinking that I’m nothing and that I can’t do anything!! The truth is I’m scared of failier!!! I’m the mother of 2 beautiful children and everyday I pray for God to make me a better mother!!! I’m 30 years old and I hope soon I’ll find my way and have the confidence to be the best person, wife, and mother that I can!!! God please bless us all and keep are mind, body, and souls on the right path always!!!

  • Diane

    Are you sure you’re on the right medication? When my kids were young, I had a whole week of horrible PMS every month for years. Many times I retreated to my bedroom and had to be alone and just cried for no reason. In those days they didn’t know much about PMS or anxiety so my whole family suffered. Luckily, my loving husband was available to care for our boys at those times. In later years my depressions and anxiety reached a point where I had to be hospitalized. It scared the heck out of my kids (and me). I was diagnosed as Bipolar to my surprise. I was put on a variety of medicines to my dismay, but eventually I was a calm, non anxious person. Since then two doctors have diagnosed me as non bipolar, but suseptible to depression and anxiety. Getting to the point, my moods deeply affected my children and their own stability and happiness. Get a second and third opinion until the meds you are on work. And, don’t be so hard on yourself! Your kids are probably reflecting the moods they see in you. Relax, love yourself, and even act as if you are happy. Hey, it’s something I still have to fight at times and it’s not easy. I’m 60 now and looking back, I would not let my kids see me in such a depressed state and do anything I could to let go of my fears and tears. It’s all hormones and biochemistry. Find the right meds. Good luck. love you

  • Lindy

    Hi Therese,
    Don’t be so hard on yourself! I had 5 kids in 6 and a half years and suffered horrendous depression constantly for many, many years. Fortunately my husband stayed and held the fort. Now that my kids are grown up I see in them a more compassionate attitude to a lot of issues in the community than normal and I think that their attitudes might not exist if they didn’t see the example of a mother and father getting through each second, each minute, each day and each year facing their problems and NOT giving in, or running away from them.
    I know that in the future your children, thanks to you and your husband will also be far more compassionate than normal, and you will be proud of them, and also yourself for having hung in there!
    God bless! Lindy.

  • Lynne

    Oh Lordy, give me strength!!!I could tell you to stop beating yourself up but that is the nature of the beast now isn’t it? I myself never had children or married for that matter..Probably because I’m too screwed-up to want to subject anyone else to me. On the other hand I used to do a lot of teaching( I’m a former riding instructor)mostly kids.They are the best students and are amazingly resilient. Children sense when you in pain but they don’t play the blame game as well as adults do. It takes a good long time to develope those skills. I really think yours will recover in spike of your anxiety and because of your concern, because children also sense LOVE and you obviously have plenty of that to go around!

  • sandy

    I’m having a bad day too. We are not alone but being a single mother of 3 and 2 of the 3 ADHD,I feel very alone. So talk about so wild boy’s. Depression for me, It’s been going on for a while been on meds and have worked. I recently moved and got off but now that I’m back in Wisconsin where I will get help. I’m going back on. It definely helped.
    Women, I don’t think ask for enough help…I am in a situation where I have family but no support it really sucks. That’s why I feel alone..So I will pray for help, and keep on moving. Thanks for letting me vent

  • Yolanda

    Thank God for “sending” this to my email this afternoon! I’m in the midst of another bout of depression…you know the whole routine: feelings of worthlessness, ugliness, teariness, anxiety, low-self esteem..feeling of not being in control of ANYTHING…when I started reading this, of course my tears started rolling down my face!! to realize and remember that I am NOT alone in this…
    And yes, it helps when we MAKE ourselves remember all the BLESSINGS in our lives, all the wonderful things we DO have instead of what we DON’T…
    Here I am, 48, entering menopause, a single mom now for 5 years of 3 boys (now ages 9, 14 and 16). In the last 3 years, I lost my house, I lost my car, I struggle every month to make ends meet, and in June I lost my job and I’m now working temp assignments…the man of my dreams (hm, maybe that was part of the problem, seeing him as such) after 7 months of romantic emails and phone calls, disappeared…literally. He went to France and I have heard nothing since Aug 3 (it’s now Aug 20)….and a lot of times it seems that the more I try, the more I suck at being a mom…I try to hide my feelings of hopelessnes so my boys don’t see them…but it’s hard when all I want to do is sleep…and forget about the world.
    I have family, but they don’t really understand what I’m going thru…so I don’t have much support there…I’m basically alone in this…with my boys…sheez…thanks for letting me vent…it helps somehow…

  • yuzizaz m. jacinto

    I’ve been through it! God made me look how He works for me. He used people for me to show that im not one in this journey. Im grateful that i have a boss who is a Phsychologist, a faithful friends, a friendly Priest, a kind sranger, an understanding children and a devoted husband.
    God just take a pat on my shoulder to get back on my faith to Him. Now im beginning to read my Bible again, i prayed again and reunite with my Lord Jesus CHRIST again. Sometimes my depression get in a way again but with Jesus on my side, how can i go lonely again.

  • Kathy

    Hey, give yourself a break,with the help of God my 5 fantastic kids survived my depression, yours will,too. You’ll be surprised how resilient they are,just remember to let them know you love them-NO MATTER WHAT YOU ARE GOING THRU.My 5 are grown now (23-34) and they are my reasons for fighting to get better. My prayers are with you and remember-Prayer goes a long way.May things only get better. Been There

  • Cindy S.

    You should be proud of yourself. You fought against those negative thoughts and managed to return to your son’s karate event. I’m proud of you. Let me share with you what works for me in ANY given situation… claiming what the Bible says about me and how God sees me. For example, when I feel fearful I turn Scripture into a confession as such: Thank you, Lord, that you didn’t give me a spirit of fear but of power, love and of a sound mind. When I feel alone I declare: Thank you, Father, that you will never leave me nor forsake me. Get the picture? It really works for me and it can work for you, too, because God tells us that we should repeat His word back to Him; not that He needs to be reminded but that His word will NEVER return to us void, it will do exactly what He says it will do.
    Good luck and email me anytime. Remember those negative thoughts are from the enemy and a little bit of rebuking the devil and saying “The devil IS a lie” doesn’t hurt either. :) God bless you and keep you. You will make it through, this too shall pass. “Thank you Father that the fruit of my womb is my children, they are a reward and thank You, Lord, that they rise and call me blessed” helps me also, as I am a mother of five. They sure know how to push our buttons and they can be exhausting. I understand. God bless you and yours….
    PS: If you would like more Scriptures to turn into personal confessions, I would be glad to help. I can get you the ones I quoted if you’d like. Just let me know…

  • Jan

    I can really identify with those feelings of hopelessness and feeling alone and unsupported.It’s those desperate feelings that led me on a search to find the core issue of my despair. I learned to meditate, I take Yoga, go to a Reiki Master, Shaman, Energy Kineseologist, church and read whatever appears in front of me to aid in my healing. As I was searching I was peeling off layers that I had built up that covered up my neediness and shame.I had shut down as a child and was attracting abusive situations into my life. “People Pleasing” by Joyce Myers was the story of my life, alone with “Co-dependence No More” by Melody Beattie. I just finished reading “Excuse me your Life is Waiting” by Lynn Grabbhorn that talks about how we can attract joy into our lives and finally , what I believe is the core issue with many people with anxiety and depression (at least it was for me) , I found in the book “Healing the Shame That Binds You” by John Bradshaw.That book was difficult for me to get through because it brought up the pain I was trying to avoid. Yet, I didn’t feel so alone because someone was describing the pain that I couldn’t talk about and it created a great deal of healing for me. (If you read it make sure you are also reading a light hearted book so you don’t get too bummed.) I know I have a long way to go, but I feel a shift and I’m holding on to every glimmer of hope, appreciate it and focus on gratitude to further expand those moments and meditate, meditate, meditate.


    YOU Hoo, Yolanda?
    You living my life? LOL, Single single mother, loosing my home (not quite yet), no job, lost my son to my mother and sister who obviously are NO help in my life, still have my 12 year old daughter (thank god), filing bankruptcy, no credit cards, can’t even pay my electric and to think….I was throwing hundreds of dollars at my whole family one short year ago. NO strings attached. The market goes sour and everyone ditches me. For once, the first time in my life I need help and they are gone!
    I tried helping every single nephew, niece, sister and her husband, my mother and her husband, took them on vacations, paid for it and when the going gets tough you CANT FIND A SOUL!!!
    I feel for you girl! I am there too, worse off at 46 then I was at 22! Oh, my son is 23 and I gave my life up for my kids and worked out of my home to compensate for the lack of a husband. Now, my son has nothing to do with me since my sister moves back to the city and pollutes his mind. I have NO family other than my daughter and am hanging on with the last breathe I take so I don’t loose her. My family sends nasty emails and I just leave them alone, they hacked my computer, they try to get my daughter to go over there and PUT MY FOOT down. Enough is enough. I will get back on my feet, I will exceed all expectations is my motto. Watch them come knocking on my door once I am back in action. My son had two siezures and they didn’t even call me, unforgiveable! They also took over when he was hospitalized (that I planned, the testing, got medical records since birth, filed disablity for him) then knowing full well l didn’t want to even look at my sister for turning my life upside down, (oh, IRS audit and all kinds of nasty stuff) they stayed at the hospital so I couldn’t see my son. My son didn’t even call me after I arranged the whole ordeal.
    One thing I have learned, you know who your friends are, you know WHY people like you and you also know/learn what “not” to do in the future. I hope I never forget any bit of this because the hurt took me out for a year. I feel as if I have lived a life of a lie, a bad nightmare. I am coming out of it slowly but surely, no meds, just strength I didn’t know I had. It is as if I lost my family in a plane crash yet they weren’t my family, they are alive, they are the matrix ? Eeeeeeeeek!
    Hang in there everyone!

  • lady of light

    Theresa – I see that you do alot of cognitive work and prayer and you are a real fighter when the negative comes. Keep up the good work! You need to give yourself a bit more credit as motherhood is not a snap for anyone. I love the story about the guardian angel – don’t we all need someone like that in our life.
    When my kids were small, I had a friend who I met in the parking lot at the school the first day we said good-bye to our sons and left them in kindgergarten! We realized that we would survive and so would they! This dear woman had four children like I did and somehow managed to get up and go to 5:30 Mass every day and by 8:00AM, she would be on the phone with me, cheering me up and keeping me calm with cheerful and kind words. It gave me a clue that, never being a real “morning” person, I would not be at church until 11:00 on Sunday, but certainly could at least try to spend some quiet time with God before I started my day. Sure, our kids are affected by our moods, but they also get to see the example of how we cope. And that it’s okay to cry or to show emotion. Try to see the pluses in all this and don’t dwell on statistics for miracles are statistics too! God bless you!
    Lady of Light

  • Vanessa

    This is the first time I’ve actually read this email. I get them every day, but I have never taken the time to read it. Thank God I did! I have bipolar disorder and I lost my sons to my exhusband behind my illness. For years, I was ashamed of myself for being sick and having to take medications for it every day. It took me years to accept the fact that I have an illness that I will have forever;even longer to accept the fact that I will probably be on meds for the rest of my life. But I have two sons, ages 15 and 9, and a nine month old daughter that need me. So I recently made the decision to start on a new med for my disorder and depression. It’s going to take a while for me to get the levels right,but I’m very proud of myself for making that decision alone. My sons now want to come and live with me, and that scares my exhusband because he knows that I will win in court. I have plenty of doctors to back me when he starts to call me crazy and unstable. I still have days when I feel like I can’t handle my life as a mother. But my sons are old enough to understand the situation now, and do. They are very helpful with the baby when I have a bad day. But I try to make sure they have a regular childhood. It’s not their job to take care of me, and I know this. I tell myself everyday that I am a good mother, that my children love me, and that I’m raising two very good young men. Thank you for letting me vent and for letting me know that I’m not alone in my suffering!

  • Sharon

    I don’t understand people who think only healthy, “perfect” people should have kids. Hello? None of us know what conditions we could come down with in the future. We can’t anticipate every eventuality. Even those of us with mental illness (and physical illnesses) deserve a chance to be happy. Maybe we even deserve it more. It’s useless to imply to someone that they made a mistake in having kids. How is that constructive?

  • dene

    hi everbody I know how you all feel I just got laid off my job I have a year old son and one on the way, I am a single mother in a relationship with the father of my son. I am haging on to faith and by the grace of God right now. I never imagined in my life that it would be tough, I know should be happy that i have someone in my life who is willing to pay the rent, take me to dinner etc. Yet admist of it all I feel so helpless, useless,frustrated that I cant support my self nor my son as I want to,but rather depend on someone it hurts me so deeply that this is like a standard that is beneath me. I am known to look out for everybody else but I dont know how to accept help it does not come naturally to me at all. I dont regret my son nor my unborn child but at times depression comes over me in waves of anger or sadness and sometimes I wonder if i could have my life back as it was but then think of the joy has brought to my life. I guess I need to get back in touch with my spirit and faith. I know prayer has helped me with so much and i know it will help me through this.

  • Christine Van Ells

    Hi Theresa,
    i can so identify with you and thank you so much for being so vulnerable to share your truth. Please know you are not alone and you truly are doing an awesome job. Struggling with anxiety and depression is no easy task but I believe if we can all be there for each other with love, compassion and understanding we can move mountains…I also find prayer very helpful and know I would be in the nut house if it were not for the power of God in my life, he carries me through the hard times and gives me wisdom to do what I need to do to take care of myself and my children…he keeps my priorites on track which is more about having a relationship with God than about having a relationship with all my friends and family…I need like minded spiritual people in my life today to support me through the hard times and unfortunatly it is not any of my family members that can do that for me…they are not compassionate and gentle with me and that is what I need. I also do a daily Gratitude practice with a few friends, we email our list of gratitudes to each other every day, we have an outline of how we do our practice, and it has helped so much..I have even put peolple I am angry and resentful at on my gratitude list and that has been very powerful…don’t be surprised by strong emotions coming up if you try it…but it is important to let the pain , hurt, anger…all the emotions out, feel them and release them in ways that are not destructive to others but healing for you…and last I find affirmations very helpful and it sounds like you are using them too. I often try to hear what the negative voices are telling me thncapture them and write a counter/positive statement, ie..if my mind is spinning on the fact that I am a mean mother I will start a mantra, I am a kind, caring, compassionate mother and I will say it over and over, day after day and often throughout the day…I have even set my cell phone alarm to go off a few times during the day and that is my reminder to start repeating my affirmations for atleast the next 5 minutes…I would love to hear more from other people in terms of what helps them when the dark whole tries to swallow them up….Please feel free to email me if you would like to get on my gratitude chain list or just to talk…consider yourself hugged and held, cradles in my arms with nothing but love and compassion flowing to you…keep up the good work, you ae doing so well, be gentle kind and loving please..Your understanding, compassionate friend, Christine

  • Samantha

    It is so hard to be a mom and a wife, no wonder there’s so much more anxiety, depression and addiction among us mothers and wives than men and singles, at least I am assuming so. I am a struggling addict in recovery and using my dbt skills everyday has helped me get through these past couple of months. My husband and I are no longer together because of my parenting skills and my addiction. I am grateful for the few things I do have.. my sobriety, my health and what’s left of my mind. I read your stuff everyday, that’s what gets me through the day.
    Thank you.

  • Diane

    Thank you, for allowing yourself to be vulnerable, so people like me know we’re not alone. You are very brave.

  • Kay

    Hi Therese. This mail has nothing to do with todays subject but i am just writing to tell you that you have made my day!!! Thank you so much for the msg i found in my inbox this morning. The fact that you have acknowledged my mail has made my day. Thank you for your prayers..they are much needed and appreciated.
    You have made me so happy. Wish i could give you a big warm hug!



  • mary

    I wish I knew about the guardian angel program. One practice that did help me is: Repeating “I’ll handle it” at least 10 times. It gets easier as your children get older, and who would want to be on their laptop while they could be watching their child? I think our expectations are too high. Relax, breathe, and watch.
    Those days of having young children go by so quickly.

  • Charlene


  • Jennifer

    Thanks so much for this! It truly helps.. People just don’t understand sometimes & thats what tends to bring on the depression. I am a first time mom with a 6 month old. I had dreamed of this day as all I wanted was to be a stay at home mom. I had it all worked out, selling Avon and Tupperware and being able to make money and stay @ home with my daughter- perfect ! Unfortunately, it has worked until now but we are truly in need of more income as the 2 jobs I am doing have not provided us with much income at this point, now I am looking for a job to go to! All I want to do is talk to my friends about it to get it off my chest how disheartening and saddened I am at the thought of not being able to be with my child all day. No one seems to understand & all they can do is make me feel like an idiot for even wanting to do it, silly for thinking I could and a real failure that now I can’t! If that isnt enough to depress a mom what is ya know?! But this really helped me out and I thank you for it.

  • Kirstin

    Wow! This is the first time I’ve read your blog, but I was amazed that there is someone else out there who feels like I do. I have four children, ages 9 to 18 months. I also have a husband who thinks depression is “all in my head”. We live in an area where depression still carries a huge stigma. But, thankfully, I have a wonderful mom who is there for me, even two states away, whenever I need her. Thank you for sharing your struggles and letting me know I’m not alone.

  • christina

    It’s good to know I’m not the only one feeling like I’m just not good enough at this mom thing. I have a wonderful 4 yr old son, but I feel defeated by the fact I can’t control him at times. I get those looks at church, at restaurants, and even by my in-laws at times.(on Mother’s Day, but I’m not going out to eat on Mother’s Day anymore!) Luckily, I too have a great mom who continues to reassure me that I’m doing a great job. I think as mothers we’re too hard on ourselves and strive for perfection. It’s just so comforting to know I’m not the only one struggling. I think prayer helps tremendously, and being on medication helps as well. I just hope I don’t have to be on medicine forever! This is a great topic and I appreciate you for starting it! It truly helps to know I’m not alone in this feeling of being inadequate.

  • Amber

    Thank you very much for this, I occasionally read your blog an find it very interesting and uplifting. My daughter is 13 months old and is the most beautiful thing in the world to me. However, sometimes being a mother with no outside life other than my family gets very overwhelming. I try to think positive and be thankful, but sometimes it is just to much. I stay at home and I am extremely thankful that I have this opportunity, I just feel like I need some time away from her and her father, me time, grown up time, mommy time. I hold it against him because he works and that is “his time away” which isn’t fair and I shouldn’t do but he does the same by saying all I do is sit at home all day and don’t do anything. Do they really think that it is that simple, one day I would like to switch, I think it would give us both an appreciation for each other. I think it would give us all a different out look. I heard a story once; Jesus took a very depressed, broke down man an said, “I see that you are having troubles so I will give you a second chance, in the next room you can exchange your cross(burdens) for another but once you have done so you can’t change them back.” The man agreed, carried is cross into the next room, set it by the door and continued to look for one to exchange his with, inside were thousands of crosses, many different shapes and sizes, after a while the man couldn’t believe how large most the crosses were, some of them he couldn’t even lift, let alone carry. Finally, he found a cross that was tiny compared to the rest, it was sitting by the door he came through, he picked it up, light compared to the rest, and walked out the door. Jesus waited for him outside, with a smile and said, “I see that your burdens are not as large as you thought, you have come out with the same cross you went in with.” Thanks again and I wish everyone well. Remember, smiles are just as contagious as yawns.

  • Rebbecca

    Thank you so much, I have 3 children and I thought I was the only one in the store raising my voice at my 8 year old {ADHA, ODD} for knocking things off the displays, 5 year old yelling she has to go to the bathroom and my 18 month old trying to excape the cart. While people in the store thinking I’m crazy and given us all dirty looks. And all I can think is thank god I took my med today.

  • Norma

    It is good to know I am not alone. I loved the quote “Believe in yourself. You must do that which you think you cannot do.”
    I know we all can do it if we keep praying and count our blessings. God bless you all.

  • Carole M.

    Hello- I can relate to these types of feelings, I have bi-polar disorder and have traveled frequently in rages of anxiety and low step depression for the last 7 years.My sons are currently 17 & 23,I am so frightened they, too, will become inflicted with depression or bi-polar traits-look at the statistics.My youngest has been right with me since i was diagnosed 6 years ago when he was just 11.Today, he still doesn’t understand but sees me “so down” it makes him say “you’re really killing me mom!” He doesn’t know what to do and still doesn’t quite understand that these feelings and moods are NOT aimed at him. I explain to him and tell him they are not, but he thinks he can “do something” to get rid of them. He (several years ago) took the mattress off my bed, threw the covers and pillows all over the room, tried to make me physically get out of bed and even yelled at me. Currently he doesn’t yell but tries to “do something” For the last 3 months I have become less depressed and somewhat more manic, but that is better than laying around all day. We do alot together and that helps, he and his older brother are always there for me, although I try to tell then that I am okay and it’ll pass. I also have been trying to educate them because I see signs of major depression in my eldest he is doing better now, but the possibiltiy of the depression returning is almost 70% (due to relationship, job stress. financial problems). I worked with him for over a week when he was the most down (he is not even around to see my ups and downs and here he is developing characteristics). Whatreally scares me is the 17 year old, who doesn’t show any signs, he is keeping pent up. I am afraid he too, may blow someday and I pray that I will be around to help him through it. He is extremely sensitive, very supporting, but doesn”t want to talk about it.I believe the best way to help children who are old enough to talk about it is just that. PRovide them with all the tools you can to help them be able to understand, if not cope with what is happening in their lives.The more you know, the less frightening it becomes.I am uncertain how to deal with younger children because they are too young to grasp it, esp when a 17 year old hasn’t yet grasped it. I guess I will just keep trying to explain and educate them as much as possible. I wish each and everyone of you God’s grace throughout your affliction. cmc

  • karen

    I thought I was alone with this racing thoughts situation, but having read your article it feels good that someone else can identify. I use to have the same self-defeating thoughts after a recent break up, after the guy humiliated me time and again, and insulted me verbally. I plunged into depression after I found a woman by the same name too, in his house. I cried my self into a state of depression. When i started having suicidal thoughts and couldn’t stop crying, a shrink told me i had chronic depression. I recently broke off an engagement with another abusive guy, but I must be getting stronger now, cause I didn’t crash as bad as the last time, but my doctor tells me I can stop my racing thoughts by telling myself to stop when I find myself doing it, just as you do. Guess what, that doesn’t work. It’s not as easy as it sounds.I find it difficult to control it, even while I’m reading or watching tv, i’m thinking about other things. It’s like my mind has non-stop chatter. I guess it has become a habit, so I don’t even realise it. But I figure that the best way to beat this thing is to try and fill my mind with positive stuf, which is how I come to be signed up to beliefnet where I get daily meditational writings in my inbox.I clip insightful bible texts, inspirational stories and gems of wisdom that relate to me. I read Iyanla Vanzant whose insight I love, and motivational bestsellers that relate to my experience. Time is the best healer, and I find that as the pain recedes so does the negative thoughts and the depression. Of course the scars are still there, but i plan to fill my life with volunteer work, so i can spend more energy on doing good, and hopefully find more joy and fulfillment that way. I figure I’ll start to feel better about myself in the process too. Which is where I think my problems originate.

  • Mikalynne

    Motherhood – you never imagine it will be so hard, do you? And as a depressed person who always thought a child would give her something to live for…well, it doesn’t exactly translate into that for me, although I doubt I would still be alive if it weren’t for him. I feel such pressure sometimes because the suicide option is simply off the table – I cannot would not do that to him (he just turned 12). And he bears the brunt of my moods and worries about me and tries to make me happy – and I can figure out just exactly what that’s doing to him psychologically. My mother was depressed and wouldn’t admit it or try to deal with it; I know I’m at least more enlightened about my problem…but sometimes I feel so guilty, so bad, so stupid for daring to bring a child into the world and pretending I could be a good mother. I love him so much, so so much…I cry and want to cut myself whenever I think what a miraculous blessing was given to me (at the age of 42, after two miscarriages) – and how I have failed. But, like you, I have the great joy of seeing him not being me – of him succeeding, winning, feeling proud, confident, and happy.

  • Cathy

    Wow, I read all of your comments and I can see a lot of the differenet characters of myself in your stories. First of all I went into deep depression in 1981 after my father died, but I was confused and really thought it was just gried I was going through. In 1993, I had a break down at work after my boss came in and blasted me in front of co-workers. After he walked out the door, I started crying, got up from desk, told the girls I was leaving/I could not take any more of his harrasement. I drove around until I realized I was completly lost and did not know where I was. I finally wound up in a parking lot of a pshyc hospital of all things.. By then I was histerical, crying and thinking I wanted to end it all.
    My daughter was 18 years old and one month from graduating hospital. She never could understand my depression, and I think she was ashamed of me because I have a mental problem. Our relationship was a roller coaster rid from that day forward and now she only wants to see me on the holidays when I can go baring “gifts” to my grandchildren for holidays and birthdays. She cut me off getting to spend quality time w/my grandchildren, over night and long weekend visits with them. They don’t understand why they can’t come over and stay @ my house any more. I have their own rooms decorated and toys that have not been touched for over three years.
    This has taken a hard toil on my life and my health. To have them jerked from my life and not being a part of theirs any more has left me lonely and hopeless.
    I see a phys dr and counselor and do well on my medications, but the fact I don’t have them in my life is very painful/it’s almost like a death to me.
    Your thoughts are welcomed! Thanks for reading.
    God give us all strength to fight this horrible disease. They can find cures for some cancers, when will they ever find one for depression?? It runs in my family, and my niece has bi-polar/personality disorders. We both understand each other and what we go through, and it sure would help if we had the support of other family members. They treat us like we are “outcast”. To be a Mother and treated like my daughter treats me is a horrible thing to have to know about your own child. God Bless those of you that have understanding children and family who support you!!
    It’s a darn shame after all these years of study, people don’t want to accept us because we are “different”. They can accept cancer, heart problems, but not a “mental illness”. This world is very cold and cruel.

  • de

    Ok now…There are many of us out there who suffer from depression, not always bi-polar. Often, we as women, forget the daily stresses; responsibilities, lack of help as well as real life situations like lack of financial resources, problems with a partner or ex-partner or just too darn much on our plate! If that doesn’t cause one to be depressed, i give up. Which reminds me..i do want to give up, throw in the towel, raise the white flag very often. Then I look at those faces of the angels God entrusted me with, my children and I feel guilty. Guilt brings on even more depression Why aren’t I more grateful..I’m not Paris Hilton with all her money, but I have so much more.
    Unfortunately, I do have bi-polar and most of the meds do not do their job without severe difficulty for me and other meds I am on for health reasons. So, I pray alot…A LOT! I ask God to give me the strength to get thru one more day. I ask God to quiet my soul and therefore my raging emotions. I ask God to help me to see all the beauty around me and all my blessings, too! My children are challenges, as well as my finances and my various life situations, but it’s all for a reason. I really can’t do this alone and I know this..God is the only one who can get us through this..Take the prescribed meds, the therapy, even the yoga and green tea with cammomile…but don’t leave out God. He’s the one factor that will truly get you through all this. Explaining to the children what you are going through on their level is the best solution. Let them know that mommy gets sad and overwhelmed at times..mommy needs some quiet time with God.Then get it! Your children will thank you!

  • Freida

    I can so relate to the episode at the Karate Class. I’ve been walking through the grocery store at times and find myself almost in tears and groaning because of the heavy weight and pain in my chest. My depression is very physical. Sometimes it hits me like a ton of bricks and I’ll feel so sad, for no apparent reason. Even when I do feel better, depression is lurking in the background; just waiting to hit me again. I hate to be around people when I feel that way; I don’t have the energy to try to be uplifting. But somehow I get through each day. I, too, try to concentrate on all the things I have to be thankful for – and they are many; but mostly I feel guilt combined with depression. Guilt because I’m not grateful enough.

  • Sandra

    I know the feelings all too well. I was diagnosed with depression 10 years ago after my second child was born. My grandmother (we were very close) had passed away during my pregnancy and I never really had a chance to grieve because I went into pre-term labor and needed to stay calm for the sake of the baby. I have been on meds ever since.
    Last year, after a sudden break up with the man I feel is the one that I am supposed to be with for the rest of my life, I really sunk deeper into depression. I cried for no reason most of the time. Meanwhile, the ex man-of-my-dreams married the girl he left me for. He knew her for less than a year. He was never interested in religion, but became catholic in order to marry her. He rarely even went to mass with us (usually weddings and Christmas). He was still sleeping with me for at least the first 3 months of there relationship until he finally told me he was leaving me. I found comfort in attending mass frequently and often cried there. To make it worse, they started attending my church and joined our parish. Now, I see them every Sunday and she is also pregnant. Talk about pushing me closer to the edge!!!
    I have been through counseling and several med adjustments since. I am tired of people telling me to “get over it”, etc. They do not understand depression. My father told me I was too dramatic and a “pill popper”. I have always said that if I didn’t have my children I would have been dead along time ago. I would at least be happy with my grandmother. Now I have been informed by other family members that depression runs in our family. My great-grandfather committed suicide. I have 2 sisters who are also on meds and now my father is also showing signs of depression and is starting on the same meds that I take. It has always been such a big secret and I was made to feel like I was just crazy.
    By the way, in church one Sunday, I started to cry, again for no apparent reason, and a very wonderful man approached me to see if I was okay. We went to high school together and he is very active in our parish. We are seeing each other exclusively now. They say that the Lord works in mysterious ways.

  • Cynthia

    WOW!! Twice as I was reading all of the diffrent ways of depression, well I’m fit right in with this conversation of depression in my case. I loss both of my parents and my husband 18 months right my mother, now just when you grive for mama death, then shortly after my husband death. With two teeangers son 16 & dauther 14, and when you reach out to the ones that was their for you, and in a matter of time life throw an curve ball. So I ask myself, how do I handle this!! with trying to allow my children see and feel my emtions on how to handel this, Well little that I know I, was so wrong on trying not to let me down.
    So, my children call for an family meeting, with just the three of us and they just put it all on the table, my children was just as depression as I was. So know how do we try to over come this?!! Well with the three of us going to church helps us all so much. Trusting God! and stepting out on faith to keep a float and asking for strenght and Guide me thru everday life. So I’ll, pray for all of us with this issues so we will get stronger when we fall week… God! Bless us all…

  • Sandra

    After reading the post by another person named Sandra, I just fell into more depression. Like her, I thought I met the man I was going to spend my life with. He was perfect for me in every way. I am the one who screwed up the relationship by believing he would just always be there for me no matter what. The pain of knowing if I would had changed my attitude in the relationship just a little and forgave him instead of holding grudges over stupid things, makes me crazy at times. I don’t know how to handle it. I have a 2 year old who is suffering because of it. I adopted her thinking that he was going to be the father. Now he is off with another woman who he says is perfect. I love him more now then I ever did and I spent years waiting for him. I am 42 this year and never been married and totally relied on God to bring me the right person. He bought me the right person and I did not handle it correctly. I have dated several others and no one even compares to him. I have no hope for a future anymore and I truly just want to die.

  • Jodi

    Wow ~ just yesterday I went to my family practice Doctor because of ‘anxiety’ and ‘depression’ .. MENTAL NOTE= I still need to pick up the zoloft @ Walgreens.
    I don’t want to start taking it. I don’t want to be a statistic. I don’t want to be that 45% on medication.
    I also don’t want to be so checked out from my daily routine anymore because I simply have the urge to ‘let go’.
    I can so relate to the Karate class story. Some days after the grocery I just want to cry. I walk the isle’s thinking.. ‘am I the only parent who opens 4 different items of food of which I really didn’t want to buy just to get through the dang grocery!!??’ Surely Im the worst parent in here!??
    Every day I’m thankful we afford such a great life and it’s a luxury for me to be able to stay home. I often hear people say ‘ I wasn’t so lucky’
    And yet when I’m in public every person I see in any business I come across I think .. lucky you.. you have a reason to put on all your make-up and talk to adults today.
    Law of Attraction, The Secret, Power of Positive Thinking, Living Your Best Life, Journaling…
    All great stuff… but tomorrow its the same routine.

  • Diane

    I know that I am not alone on how I feel, I am just so tired. I wish that I could just get a break. I wish that I could stop feeling so lost and feeling like such a kids put up with a lot of my emotions and they aren’t supposed to do that, I hate myself when I get that just comes , and then the tears..the excuse of “I’m just tired” doesn’t work anymore because my kids see right through that. They are so wonderful, my kids…healthy, smart, funny…I am a good preacher, tell them to love who they are, aim high in life and do what makes them happy….but yet I don’t do that for myself……it’s like a constant damn battle. I am overworked, over burdened with respondsibilities, don’t get enough sleep nonsense, no man in her life (because she thinks she’s not good enough)….I am so tired of feeling this way at the age of 37. Anyway…I just had to vent.

  • Diane

    ***To Jodi****Best blog line I ever read ” All great stuff…but tomorrow it’s the same routine”……all my best to you too.

  • Shala

    Always remember God is able and he is willing to do what he said he would do.
    Always remember Jesus Love YOUUUU!!!
    When you feel stressed or depressed or when any type of hurt may come along, go to God in prayer. He may not come when you want him to, but he’s always on time.

  • Purple

    Don’t be afraid of telling the little ones that something is going on. Children are very sensitive and they will react, especially if they sense something and the adults don’t tell them anything… that’s when they think the worst and it will stay with them. Tell them that there are things in the adult world that upset mommy (specifics aren’t necessary) and there will be times that they will see mommy cry or get upset, but that does not mean that mommy loves them less. Let them know that the most important thing they can do to help is to love their parents, pray for them, and know that their parents love them. They need assurances and inclusion. Children are far wiser than most will admit.
    I speak from experience. I was once the 4 year old who was kept in the dark about a major family illness that lasted years. Had I been brought into the circle of knowledge and told that “grandpa is very sick, we are worried and things will be busy as we care for him, know that we love you very much and the best thing you can do is love and pray for the family,” it would have had a much different result in my life than the feelings of abandonment and distrust that I felt growing up.

  • Kate

    I am a senior citizen, a widow & I suffered for many years with depression. I still do. but wht helped me most was instead od complaining & condemning myself, to kneel down every night at my bed & count my blessings which were many but they were overshadowed by my fears & doubts. Every morning I thanked God for the beautiful day He was going to send me & I asked Him to help me get out of His way so His will would be done. I read sonmething today that suggested we put ourselves into the time warp, i.e. pretend it’s this time next year & we’re looking back at today. How serious would our situation look to us then. Try it & remember nothing lasts forever. Cherish the time you have with your children & thank God for the honor of entrusting them to you. I lost my daughter 8 years ago. Do you think the time we spent arguing mean anything today, no….just the beautiful memories we shared. May God bless you.

  • Dee

    Thank you for writing this. It’s the story of my life on a daily basis. It is a daily struggle. Thanks from the bottom of my heart.

  • Alicia

    I can completely relate. My two children are 7 and 8. When asked what their mother does they will reply lie in bed and sleep all day. It breaks my heart for my children to see me this way. The guilt that comes along with it is overwhelming. I can hear them playing in the next room and desperetely want to play too. I am too tired to even get out of bed. I sometimes wonder why God would give me such great kids and give them such a horrible mother. They will plead with me when I bring them home from school. Mom, please don’t go to bed, please play with us, you never play with us. This is so true. I go lie down and cry.
    I am a third generation clinically depressed person. My grandmother attempted suicide three times. She always took pills and called someone after she did it. I know she didn’t want to die, it was a cry for help. My mother ended up in the psych ward for three weeks when I tweleve. She and my father had just divorced. I was diagnosed in my early twenties when I could no longer get out of bed. I called my job and just quit. My mother happened to call that day and I told her through the sobs that I couldn’t go on anymore. She made me go to the doctor immediately. She knew that feeling all too well.
    Having grown up in and around depression all of my life, I am terrified for my 8 year old daughter. She is already showing signs of it. I have her in therapy just to try and keep ahead of it with her. It was almost to late for me.
    I am sorry to ramble like this but I feel this connection and understanding of how other mothers feel. Can you share some advice with me for how you cope? I don’t want my children to look back at their childhood and just remember a mom who stayed in bed, cried, and did nothing with them. I want them to remember a happy, healthy mom. I am currently on meds and am in therapy. I have been for years and nothing really seems to work.
    Thanks for listening!

  • Linda

    My situation is a little different, I to have suffered from depression my children are grown but feels a though I never do enough for them. My youngest is 22 years old and she has two children and has not done anything to improve her life. I must admit it is partly my fault but when is enough just enough. I get depressed when I come home from schol or work and she has been home all day and the house is a starking mess. I am trying to set the example to do something wioth her life. I have gone as far as watching her enroll in college, fill out her financial aid paper, speak to persons concerning day care and turn around and let all the effort go down the drain. I finally realized that I need my own place and she needs her own place because I feel like I never have space to myself. I go to school full time, I work part time, and when I come home my head feels like the house looks when I awalk in the door. It feels a though there is no space for my brain to expand because there is a bunch of clutter inside it feels like my head is going to explode from to much thinking and to much stress. Maybe my daughter is depressed and she doesn’t know that she is….

  • Patti I.

    I hear what you are saying. I feel for you, I have been and still occassionally go through what you are describing. As much as we call on Jesus, sometimes you feel like nothing is changing. I have been listening to self help and positive talk CD’s and believe me they are helping. It is a gradual change, our negitivity has built up so many years, that it is going to take time to knock down those walls. Start by telling your mind positive things. Start with something simple. Look at yourself in the mirror and feed yourself a positive comment. One self help CD I listened to is teaching me to tell myself, “I am Powerful and Loving, I am Powerful and Loved, I am Powerful and Loving it!” It said to repeat this to myself 10 times in the AM, Afternoon, and at night! I am starting to beleive this about myself.
    Like the woman above stated Drugs and Therapy are not going to take those voices we all have in our heads. It is what you feed yourself that is going to make a difference. If you keep thinking negitive, negitive results are going to happen. And believe me, our children are the first to pick up on it! That is why they seem to be out of control for you! My boys are out of control when I am feeling my worst! It is a pattern that I have picked up!
    Just food for thought! I pray that you gain something from this!

  • Irma

    I’ve read all the postings above and said to myself, wow! I just tucked my 4 year old and 2 year old into bed about 1 1/2 hours ago. I’ve had such a hectic few months. My daughter seems like she’s taking steps backwards. She’s so smart. She’s going to be five in september, and when she turned four, she was at a 6 year old mentality level, according to her homecare worker for headstart.
    We go to church and we are very involved with God. My husband and I teach the kids alot about faith and the bible. My daughter preached to the kids and teachers when she was in headstart. she’s a good helper and has so much love. I don’t understand why she can’t obey me more. I set simple rules for her, but the minute I turn around she defies them all. She’s never still, she hardly follows the instructions I give her. When we go to church, she doesn’t stay still and when anyone disciplines her or just tells her to stay still, she quickly gets hyper and starts crying uncontrollably. She’s always commenting on things I do with her brother because he’s a certain age and gets jealous. she loves him and protects him and plays with him, that’s one of the reasons I don’t understand she may act a certain way. I give her as much love but sometimes I feel it’s just not enough for her. She has adapted all of my nephew’s negative characteristics and negative behavior.
    It just seems like a never have a moment to myself when she’s around. I love her and I know that she’s a prayer answered because I always wanted to have a best friend who will never leave me unconditionally. But her character keeps getting stronger and stronger. I know that I have a strong character too. I’ve tried not to pass it on, but when she says or does things that she’s learned from other kids, it gets to a point that I try to teach her the right thing but the negative is imprinted in her mind.
    I’m only expressing myself right now. I know where the answer lies. I have never been and pray to God I will never be in therapy, under medication for depression, or even tied down long enough to my bed for my children to feel like I don’t do anything with them. But I am human and feel a certain way that I feel I’m long away from relief. But I hang on to God’s word. I hold onto it for dear life and know that God will grant me the serenity and peace I need in my life to cope with motherhood. I will pray for all you mothers out there as well, so that God may help you stay focused and believe in his peace, a peace that no one else can give here on earth. God bless you. And thank you for sharing a little bit of yourselves. It helps to know that I’m not alone.

  • Kay

    Dear Therese…..I wish none of us had to suffer these mental problems. They effect our lives so much. I can think of so many lost opportunities all because i was afraid to take them because of my panic and anxiety. Sometimes i would wish to go to comfort a friend but i dont as the way to drive there is difficult and i will be afraid of getting panicky and anxious half way through my journey. I read so many books hoping that i will find an answer to all this…..I have spent money on books and therapy but i am still anxious. Does this ever end or go away? I long to be “normal” and enjoy myself and let go like other people.
    Kay x

  • Anonymous

    I read each of the comments with such empathy & sympathy, I, too, have been where many of you have. First and foremost you must take care of yourself. I know that may be hard to do,however, if you do not care for you first, you cannot care for others. At least not fully. We, as mothers, need to realize we are not perfect as well as any other mother fyou may come across. They,too, have their shortcomings but they just know how to hide it better than you. Sounds like most of you moms are wearing your heart on your sleeves. I heard so much of myself in some of every letter here. I did not want to be hospitalized either but I knew if I didn’t the cycle would continue. I kept saying to family who knew what was going on with me that “I couldn’t leave the kids”!!!! Which made sense to me until one day when my sister said to me, I know you don’t believe it, but, you left them a long time ago”, they need you back” !! WOW ! What an awakening!!! I talked to my children and realized they “hated” the way things were and was willing to give mom up for a few days to get “their mom back” I signed myself into a Hospital the next day, my family promised me they would care for my children with the help of their Dad..Everyone pitched in and I was discharged 4days later. “A different perosn and more importantly “feeling better than I had in many, many years. My meds were stabilized, and I felt better than I had in so many years I had lost count. Today I love life and feel great to be alive and I get the most out of every day. Please, Please, Please call your family together, talk to your Doc and get yourselves some professional help and if that mean going into a psych hosp, ASAP. That is what they do best – they know what they are dong and are so understanding, they take care of your needs and you just have to let them.God Bless you! I will pray for you. All of you!

  • Sara

    I am the mother of a very willfull 2 yr. old. As many of you know it’s a difficult and crucial point in developing behavior, and can be very stressful as a parent. I have found that using possitive language when asking her to do a certain thing helps achieve the desired result with less friction. For example i let her know ahead of time that I want the blanket to stay clean when we go to the beach rather than trying to disipline her when she kicks or throws sand on it. That way she has a mental picture of what I want, rather than focusing her mind on what I don’t whant her to do. Another good time to practice this technique is when she goes through hitting phases. I do remind her that it’s not ok to hit but I focus the message on being kind, sweet and gentle to others. This gets her thinking and almost always ends with her kissing and hugging instead of hitting.Since i started practicing this technique our interaction has been more peaceful. I feel empowered as a mother, able to softly guide my child with possitive interaction, and she feels empowered by behaving in a manner that receives possitive attention.

  • Kay

    Please do use my blog post in any future post. I would like that. I feel a bit out of place here since you are all mothers and i dont have any children. Also i have to try to get through my fears and anxiety and panic alone as my husband has left me. I feel desolate and its such a lonely life.
    Thanks for you mail and attention Therese but most of all for your prayers as i feel very much alone.
    Kay X

  • Teresa

    I am a mother of two and a “soon to be” mother of two more that are twins. My two are are ten and two and the twins are 7 yrs. old. I am bi-bolar and very much going through depression constantly. I used to struggle with it and I used to let it really get to me but at some very UNimportant time in my life, I grabbed a hold of everything I love and just knew I HAD TO HOLD ON TIGHT. At any moment I thought I would just lose it, I mean in a terrible way, and at some point I knew my kids were being affected in an unfair way. I went to my doctor and agreed to start therapy or counseling and attend bible study. It’s a work in progress and it’s one day at a time. Stay strong and find support within your family, your children and most of all in yourself. I beleive every instance is unique and should be treated that way.

  • Chandra Damele

    O does this situation sound familiar…I only have one son, but truly know how my depression can affect him. The hardest times seem to be those where I wish I could just be proud of him, and flow with the moment, yet my inner demons try to take that moment away. Each of the posts that I have read strike a chord reflecting the various ways that our anxieties rob us of a full life. In a way, my husband leaving us was a good thing, because it made me face my problems, depression being only one of them, and get help. I know that my son is affected by my actions, and emotions: it’s obvious that his concern for me has taken a bit away from his childhood. Yet at the same time, it’s also given him a way to see that all people are not perfect, and helped him deal with some of his own problems, because I’ve tried to be open and listen more. It’s a tradeoff, I suppose.

  • Nanette Grant

    Thank you for sharing your story with me. It was very inspirational. I too am a mother and I struggle with my emotions. It is nice to see that I am not alone in this fight. I am currently trying to get stronger and it is taking time but it is worth the effort. I know that I am not alone because I have Christ in my life and he is helping me to change and I with his help I will become a better mother and person.

  • Nia

    i am a single mom of a 15-year-old boy…i have bipolar disorder which mostly is at the depressive end. My son doesn’t really believe i have a disability, even though i receive SSD for it (and i’ve told him more than once that the government isn’t in the habit of just giving money away to people like me). Lately we’ve been having arguments about this; his view is that i’m “lazy” and just need to get a job. He thinks i spend too much energy making excuses, and that my meds aren’t helping me. i recently was hospitalized for 26 days for suicidal depression and am trying to stabilize my meds. Anyone else out there with a teenager have any thoughts to share? Thanks.

  • Michelle Geiger

    I know how hard life can be.I am a widow of two and a half years now and I have a son that is seven his father died in a car accident when he was 5.I was so heartbroken for so long not only for me but mostly for him.We’ve had to adjust he has problems like adhd and fear that something is going to happen to me.I have figured out downn this long road that everything in life does happen for a reason.I am now engaged and have a baby due in december so even though we’ve lost part of our lives we do have alot to look forward to and many blessings ahead.One of the things that has always helped me is to think there is always someone outthere that has had a harder life than me and I start feeling bad for that person.

  • Chessie Berna

    Oh man, i thought i was the only one! I have 3 kids, i am going through a divorce, i live with my mom, sometimes i think that im just going to die!!! I have severe anxiety, i always have panic attacks, I need some help! My kids also do Tae Kwon Doe…I just feel like i am a failure as a mother….I have a job, but i was never able to finish college, i have anxiety about that…..Thank you everyone for your story’s, it helps to know im not the only one…..Well, i would write more but it is too hard for me to stay in one place for too long, i get panicky, I have to go get the kids off to school as well…..If anyone can offer me any more advice, please write to me…..Thanks…Chessie…..

  • Anonymous

    Just read the stories here and I too suffer from depression. In my case it was the result of 4 foster “moms” none of whom wanted me or my sister. She too suffers from an anxiety disorder and depression, has not been able to hold down a job or a relationship —
    I guess reading the main story all I could think was where’s the compassion!! In the sense that yes, current psychology pushes postive cognitive re-programing and that’s fine as far as it goes. But sometimes you can’t change your brain that completely and maybe having compassion for the negative thinking is as important as “fighting back”. Is it alright just to feel bad? I mean, I know I was trained to hate myself and one of the ways I love myself is not to feel terrible for not always being able to “overcome” that with positive thinking. Sometimes you can, other times you can’t. Maybe acceptance is more loving than always insisting that against all odds we’re going to feel better. Acceptance and compassion when we don’t “succeed” at “fighting back”. I think it is interesting that this story started in a martial arts class. The martial approach, which is so much a part of our society is fight! succeed! win! Is it ok to lose sometimes? Fail? Not get that belt? Not win against that interior voice? The Christ I follow failed, lost, didn’t win or succeed, nor fight. Or rather, he “fought” by suffering with us — not by might, but by weakness. We are consumed by words and images of strength and power in our culture but often those methods cause as much harm as they alleviate.

  • Larry Parker

    From a “parenthood” rather than “motherhood” perspective:
    This is why I am absolutely terrified of having kids. TERRIFIED. Beyond belief.
    In fact, I lost the woman who was probably the love of my life — we still care about each other deeply, if platonically — because I couldn’t overcome my fears (she badly wants children, and will make a wonderful mom one day; she is a faithful Catholic like you, Therese).
    But, in fairness to me, those fears make “off-the-charts” seem like an understatement.
    I already had “daddy issues” (alcoholic, verbally abusive) even before my diagnosis. But my illness didn’t just add to my anxieties, it multiplied them — that my children might have bipolar disorder themselves; that I would be absent from much of their lives as an invalid; that they would resent me for said absences (as I resented my own father); that their mother would divorce me and cause them to have to live a life of split loyalties; that the stress of those 2 a.m. feedings and diaper changes would cause me a male version of a postpartum breakdown from which I could not recover, etc., etc.
    I literally cannot describe the morbid fear these thoughts create in me. These visions are crystalline in their awful clarity when I contemplate them. In fact, I can’t even “let go” and fully enjoy the gifts of my adorable niece and nephew, because being “Uncle Larry” calls to mind too much of such nightmares.
    None of this, BTW, is a criticism at all of you, Therese (if I remember your chronology correctly, your kids became before the first depressive episode anyway). Quite the contrary.
    Even if you had no choice in the matter, IMHO, given the terror I live with NOT being a parent (and not even dating for awhile, for that matter), you’re still a saint.
    And then some.

  • Sandra

    Hi there, I feel for you as I’ve been there and still fight dep. althought I haven’t been diagnosed as bipolar. I have a 14 yr. old boy and a 4 yr. old one. My advice to you, without going into all my story is 1) a job would help a lot, even if only for a few hours a day as you’d keep your mind busy, feel useful, be involved with other people and your 15 would feel better about you and make YOU feel better about yourself. 2) You’re 15 yr. old needs you to be as healthy as possible as her/his life depends on you and your emotions NOW and this will also affect her/his future. 3) Keep busy, try to do fun things or go for a walk, get ice cream, dollar movie with your kid, friends, help someone out who needs it… 4) Remember God created ONE of you, you are very unique and special to Him, so talk to Him and tell him you’re sorry for sometines thinking less of His beautiful creation: YOU. Read His Word (Holy Bible) get into a relationship with Him, read Philipians 4:6 till the end and if you can and are not doing so already, get involved in a non denominational Christian church, make friends, your child could also attend their youth group…
    Ok, thats enough for now. God bless you!! Be strong and look ahead! Take one day at a time as everyday has enough in itself to deal with.

  • Tiffany

    I have been dealing with anxiety and agoraphobia for almost 7 years. It has been very difficult with no signs of a fast recovery. I have to fight my head too, all the time. It feels like someone else has taken control of my brain and says all the irrational and negative thoughts. It seems like the rational part of my brain can’t take control of these runaway thoughts. I have a heart condition and ended up in ICU when I was 20. I was in an out of ICU/ER for 3-4 months. Then I received a head injury that causes me to get dizzy several times a day to the point of blacking out. I never had the anxiety until I experienced all of these medical issues. I feel so horrible that my kids are missing out on the mom I used to be. The mom I could have been. I often wonder what I did to deserve this. I was house bound for 3 years, When I say house bound, I mean I didnt leave the house for 3 years. I couldnt even get my mail without a panic attack. I can now take showers alone, get the mail, go outside and play, without panic but there are times when I feel dizzy or have heart symptoms and I feel anxious doing these things. Until a doctor can cure my illnesses or help me get better control of them, I do not see a resolution to my mental illness.

  • Vicky Kassar

    I have a college degree and had a successful career in Human Resources
    in banking for almost 11 yrs. until I had my daughter and became a stay
    at home mom. When she was 9, I took a part-time job as a secretary in a real estate office. I stayed there for 4 1/2 yrs. and left on my own accord. I have suffered from depression and anxiety for most of my life. I take medication and try to stay positive. I now help my husband with computer and office work from home several hours per week.
    My daughter will go to college next yr. and I’m in the pre-grieving stage, prompted by the college tour we took 4 weeks ago at a college about 3 hrs. away. I know I will need to “re-invent” myself when my
    daugher goes away to college in an effort to stay sane. Though I have past professional accomplishments under my belt, I often find myself second-guessing my abilities. There are days I feel like a TOTAL failure and completely lack confidence in my abilities. I think this partially stems from my upbringing as well as my own depression. When the time comes for me to go back to work I know I will have to focus on my past accomplishments and make the concentrated effort to think positively. Teresa, it helps to know I’m not the only one in this boat!

  • ann

    I have come to realize that all you can do is take one day at a time. I enjoy every minute I can with my family and know there are alot of things I cannot control. I treasure each moment with my daughter and am a stay at home mom now. I would not trade it for anything in this world. I was forced to leave my employer for my own health reasons.

  • Tarah

    Wow, it’s like reading my own thoughts when my 1 1/2 year old has a tantrum, minus the St. Therese, since I’m Lutheran. It gives me such comfort, knowing someone else goes through the exact same thought processes. Thank you.

  • Cindy

    I read your blog almost every day and have only posted a couple of times, but each time I have posted it was because I related to what you had written and wanted to thank you for making me feel like I’m not alone. Everything you’ve written has been a comfort in some way. However, I’ve wondered over and over how you manage to keep going and keep taking your kids to their events, etc… I spent nearly 4 years living like a zombie. I had been the epitome of strength, reliability and determination for 20 years. I was well respected at work. My family could depend on me. Then, shortly after my second son was born I started having these strange symptoms. I spiraled into oblivion. I struggled to go to work. I even struggled to get dressed. I just finally found rock bottom. I wasn’t good enough anymore. I finally quit my job and am at least trying to spend more time with my kids. Sadly, my marriage has suffered and I am now separated from my husband. All the negative self talk continues to haunt me. I still keep trying every day. That’s all I can do. Everything you’ve written in this blog has been the exact same things I’ve gone over in my head a thousand times. While all this sounds sad and I know how tortured you feel, I find myself having to write to say thank you for Beyond Blue. This time more than ever. As I read it, I felt like I was there and experiencing the whole thing myself. I keep hoping that things will magically improve for all us with such souls that every emotion is felt with dramatic intensity. I pray for relief from the guilt I feel for always letting down the people that mean the most to me. There is no doubt that my children have paid a price for my depression. The one thing that keeps me going is believing that this must all be part of God’s great plan.

  • Mike

    I went through a period of severe depression about 25 years ago and received professional help. My recovery was quick, about two months and that was the last time. Was this a mid-life crisis?
    My brother was diagnosed with bipolar disease and I think my father had the same problem.
    All of my children, six, have or have had some degree of depression and four of them are on medication. If this is a family thing, I feel it came from my side of the family. We are all in this together and continue to support and love each other through each episode of depression.
    I use exercise, run 5 miles 6 days a week, centering prayer, and a short prayer, Jesus Christ,son of the living God have mercy on me.
    Therese, you are so gifted as a professional and mother, but most of all you were loved before these special gifts were known. We are good and worthwhile because we are sons and daughters of the living God, not because of who or what we do.

  • gee

    dont give up

  • Jane

    I just want to say God Bless You, take baby step towards making yourself feel better is what everyone tells me. I have had all the same problems, negative self talk, feelings of unworthiness, feeling alone and scared even though I know I have the Lord, my husband, and 2 wonderful children. I have started using positive self affirmations and hope and pray that they will be instilled in my mind. I suffer with severe depression in the fall and winter months and right now is the coming of it all. I am trying my best to fight it. I just pray and pray. I always say if I can just get through the winter I will be ok. I know it effects my children and I cant stand that. I am going to do my best to fight this depression.
    All my Love and Prayers,


    where do you get the spirit to keep going? my issues are once someone gets to me it sticks with me and i never let it go. i am very happy with an awesome family. i let things get to me and my kids have seen that and i hate it. at night i can not even sleep cuz everything that bothers me runs through my head a million times over and over. i feel sorry for my husband. it is not that i want more in life. i am truly happy. i wonder and worry alotttttttttttttttttttttttttttt. does it ever go away and how? i try to kick it out of my system but, can’t. anything that people say that is negative, bothers me. sometimes i feel better if i say it is me. then i get mad at myself for taking blame with things that go wrong. any help?

  • avatar8

    I worry about my kids having depression as well. My eleven year old has walked through some pretty intense things with me, and I can see that he is starting to exhibit some behaviors that show we all need a little more self control in our lives. He is old enough now to discuss things with, like hormonal imbalance and what PMS is, but I feel sorry that he has to live with me during those times. I was reading a book last night called 12 Simple Secrets that Real Moms Know, and I decided to post the three things that matter most to me as values for our family. Self control is the first one, and I explained to my eleven year old this morning that it’s the thing I need to work on the most. His is responsibility. My little one needs to work on kindness, because he talks to me like I’m his maid and it thoroughly unnerves me. But he’s five and I need to model the behavior I want, not flip out and then expect them to know what the right way looks like. I went through severe post partum depression without knowing that’s what it was at the time. It wasn’t until I went off Paxil and spent three weeks in bed crying at my mother’s house that I began to do research and figure out what had happened to me. My family, most of whom are mentally ill, do not believe in therapy. It’s been a long road, through the hills and valleys, but if it weren’t for my kids, I’d just lay there and cry. I get up and try to do better everyday. That’s all you really can do is try. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with those of us who are trying to find the right combination of meds, therapy, and spirituality.

  • Struggling in CO

    I too worry about what will happen to my kids because of my depression. My biological father had a nervous breakdown at 30, institutionalized himself, practiced some self-destructive behavior and now at the verge of 50 has a great family, happy healthy daughters and an awesome wife.
    But my husband is angry and abusive and may be bi-polar himself, as he has terrible mood swings. My 5-year-old daughter is so emotional that I get frustrated with her very easily. My 10-month-old daughter is the happiest, smiliest baby I have ever seen. But she is starting to be less and less smiley.
    What am I going to do? How can I not cry in front of my kids? Better yet, how can I not be so disconnected and short with them? I just want to love them. But how? I am on the verge of a breakdown.
    I am proud of you for your progress and your committment to be better. Keep on keepin’ on.

  • de

    There are few words to say after reading that piece..did I write that? I, too, am a writer, and attempting to get a novel published. I have bipolar and ever since I was 13yrs old I knew there was something wrong…very wrong! I didn’t get help till I was a freshman in college when they noticed I had ADD.Anyway, my children are my lifeline, but they can also be the opposite for me. I have a 14 from hell a 9yr old with ADHD and I really think they both are bipolar…and a 4yr old who has Down Syndrome…she is the only NORMAL person in my house. My ex was abusive , mentally, psychologically, physically and financially. After 15 yrs (I am a slow learner)I finally threw him out with the garbage, but all the risidual effects are left. My children are exactly like he was and my depression is worse than ever. (By the way..I am a professional, a nurse and also a counselor, it gets everyone!)We are in therapy but there are days when I want a one way ticket to anywhere and I swear I will never come back. Then there’s the days where I want to give all my kids away to relatives and dissapear. Thank god, this is usally when my littlest one will come over and give me a hug that chases away all the bad thoughts..till next time. I know this is an ongoing thing, but I really do need to remember that I am not all those horrible things my ex would call me, that I have accomplished so very much( a BA from a huge university while pregnant, diabetic and then continued my last semester with my infant attached to my breast)and I am a great nurse a great counselor and a human mother…yes, I make mistakes and I am cross with these kids alot, but I still pray, pray for strength, pray for patience and pray to get through one more day. Life is a 12 step program..get on board.

  • Christi Lynn Hughes

    This is the first time I am posting. I was inspired by many of the writers on here, and as well as you, I have depression in my household. I am so tired of going to councelors for each member of our family, but I keep hoping one day something will click with each of us that will make us stand up and take notice.
    My youngest is almost 12 and my oldest is almost 20. The last three years we have all felt felt depression, anxiety and lack of control.
    Sadly, I have to admit that I noticed my lil guy having the same symtoms as I do and it was then that I realized how important it was for me to be a role model for my boys, whether my husband was on board as a good role model or not! I am amazed at the mirroring effect I have on them, especially because they are BOYS!!
    I have given up huge parts of my life and career trying to keep everyone ‘in order’ and make sure that I am here for my family. Once I saw that my kids have become mini me’s, picking up my bad habits, low self-esteem and low self-worth, I knew I had to make some changes.
    One day at a time is my new philosophy! Each day I TRY to do one simple but powerful alteration to/for myself in a postive way knowing it will help my kids for their future as they silently watch my behavior. I have found that it has been two-fold and I am on my way, day by day, to helping myself grow and showing my children I can be a great mentor!
    I guess the idea is that helping yourself will undoubtably help your children, and wanting to help your children is what will make you want to help yourself!

  • Anonymous

    Theresa, you are an inspiration. Thank you for this site and sharing your experiences.
    This is my first post to this site….although I have not been “clinically” diagnosed with depression, I know that I am depressed. Several situations have caused my fall into the “black hole”as you say. The first is the absence of family support or relationship with my mother, (she has stated that she does not “bother” with me). Over the last 8 years, she, my sister and brother have chosen to support my abusive ex-husband (Ex: my sister allowed him to moved next door to her in her 1/2 double and said that I was being selfish when I protested – my mother and brother state that I was acting like a child as they continued to invite him to all their faimly functions….I chose to withdraw from them as the situation became to painful for me to handle).
    My loving father passed away years ago and I do get minimal support from a younger sister, and a brother who lives out of state. However,I consider myself the “black sheep” and have tried to gleen support from myself and a few friends. I fear I am often considered a burden to them.
    This year has been extremely painful as I have exerienced many losses in my life throughout the year.
    My wealthy neighbors took me to court stating my beloved dog, (who liked to escape and run free) was a menace and threat to the neighborhood. I had to give him away to a cousin in order to avoid paying fines totaling $1,200.
    The man that I had a four year relationship with ended our union via email telling me that I am the most negative person he has ever met and that I am old, worn and torn. I believe he is bitter because I said that I chose not to move in or marry him until my kids were older (in two years). My youngest is 11 and very attached since I have been her main support since the divorce 8 years ago. She did not take well to him being with us 24/7. He began livig with a woman one month after we parted. At this writing I think they may be engaged. He lives 100 yards from me so I see them together all the time which is quite painful.
    My 14 yr. old daughter is failing school and appears to be suffering from her own bout with depression. I am trying to focus on getting her help, but to top things off, I lost my job in October and no longer have health insurance to pay for her counseling…..or mine. The loss of my job has sent me into the black abyss and I am trying to regain some functionality to my life.
    Today is Christmas and I am writing this in hope of finding a friend, and hopefully support from others.
    To Christine: “Please feel free to email me if you would like to get on my gratitude chain list or just to talk…”
    Posted by: Christine Van Ells | August 21, 2007 12:03 AM
    I would very much like to be a part of your gratitde chain list as I am sure that in my current state I can find some
    things to be grateful for. Thank you for the offer. Please feel free to contact me at the email address below.
    Thank you and God bless.
    Joy (

  • Melissa

    Wow, I’m so glad that I decided to read this. I have been struggling with myself since my first daughter was born. I am now pregnant with my second child, and I am having such a hard time. I feel like I am a terrible parent. I am constantly argueing with myself it feels like. Even my family has noticed that I am not the person I once was. At times I feel as though I’ve lost my faith, and that I don’t know how to get it back. I really thought I was crazy until reading that I am not the only mother who struggles with inner deamons. Any prayers for my family and I would be greatly appreciated as I try and reestablish my relationship with God. Thank you all for opening up so that there truly is a support group. It’s good to not be alone once in a while.

  • Maria

    you guys are all a role model and inspiration to others. all of you guys just don’t get to hear what a great job all of you have done and still accomplishing. I give you all credit. in the bible there’s no place that said that live will be full of roses. no we could place the roses the way we want just keep a repition on the kids to keep them still where they can here you from the heart. even when they get out on their own they will remember that is was only you that did the teaching and the reaching in their heart. I have 5 wonderful kids and 2 adhd and the drug and the yelling and the rush and the anxiety and 3 are married and they are young one 26 male 28 female 23 male and 16 female 9 female and it all paid off. they work they have their own house except the 23 yr old he’s trying to out smart the oldest. i have my 16 yr old that wants to be amodel which i have her enrolled when i don’t even have money to affort my bills. she is very pretty and has big dream. has learning disablity. enrolled in aschool for high school drop out it a second chance program they get to finish quicker they get the help they need .. i come from ahard cord family alcoholic abandonment, sexual abuse, no food for days . high school dropped out because i did’nt have the clothes and had to work to support me and my youngest and only brother at age 14 from brooklyn lost him 7 mons ago and i thank my god so much every day even when i hear the voices try to take over me. i keep firm. keep busy. i have been blessed over and over and over. i had falls over and over and over. i just don’t know how he has put up with me .. but i know he loves me and forgives me and he know that i am not perfect. so guys think think very stronge and highly of yourself you are very loved and cared he won’t give you no more than you can’t handle. is your in it’s because he wants you in if your take out don’t have what you had was for the best. something better will be given to you specially if you are straight foward from the heart to him . I love you guys god bless you and take it easy . if you want to talk email me i am hear to listen

  • Shontell

    I thank God for all the comments that have been posted and those of you who shared the comments. I feel like all of you in one way or another. I have a 15-year old daughter and a 13-year old son. My son has pulled so far away from me emotionally that it scares me and is tearing me up internally. He says that he doesn’t know if he loves me. I know this may sound trivial or immature, but the reason I’m so concerned with his statement, is because I secretly understand. For the last year and a-half I have been living in an abundant amount of fear. I’ve made some poor financial decisions in the past, due to my impulsivity and God knows what else, and now they have come back to haunt me. I fear homelessness, not being able to send my kids to school, to clothe them, feed them…you name it, I fear it. I’m discovering, that when this fear overcomes me, I become a maniac and I’ve been a maniac at home. I’m extremely controlling and condemning. I don’t want to be this way, Lord knows. Those demons have taken residence in my thoughts too, and I want them out! Sometimes I feel like the demon is me. I struggle with my faith constantly…but refuse to let go!

  • Carolyn

    I can relate to feeling or being like a maniac, my anger at times is terrible I too can be very maybe not condeming but very critical of my 11 year old, and when in the maniac mode it’s far from constructive he’s at an age where he’s still loving and if I don’t work on me I will ruin him, I also have a 4 year old who still loves me unconditonally if I don’t stop my nasty mood swings my kids might hate me or worse ended up like I did suicidal at 12. Right now I hate myself for the nasty moods I get in. My husband is back in his denial of my bi-polar which is a joke and I should take his thoughts with a grain of salt because he’s clueless when it comes to feelings anyway.
    HE’LL NEVER UNDERSTAND! Oh well, back to you there are no demons in you
    just emotional pain and turmoil. Don’t blame yourself your in a terrible place right now the last thing you need is to beat your self up. Thank-you for sharing, you opened my eyes wider now I don’t want my

  • Dee

    I just came across your blog, and this post. It immediately caught my eye because I have been struggling since my daughter was born, nearly 3 years ago (she’ll be 3 in March). I had gotten it under control just before she turned 2 with the right medication, feeling well enough even to get pregnant again!! Imagine that. So I weaned off my medication because I was told not to be on it while pregnant…got pregnant and the all-too-familiar anxiety, depression, and insomnia reared their ugly heads once more. I am due in June and 2 weeks ago, I thankfully found a reproductive psychiatrist (what a rare specialty I have found!!) who treats these very illnesses in pregnant and post-partum women. She assured me it was better for me, my unborn child, my wonderfully supportive husband, and my daughter, for me to be on medication. So I’m on a different med than I was on prior to getting pregnant, it’s been just over 2 weeks. Not feeling relief quite yet, but hopeful that I will (as is my psychiatrist). I am going to start pre-natal yoga and
    It certainly does not help that my daughter has been up several times a night and out of her bed, refusing to sleep on her own, for 5+ weeks now. This situation stresses my husband and me out to no end and re-triggered my anxiety and depression (although they had started to set in again from the moment I got my positive pregnancy test and the fears of PPD and those dark weeks and months after having my daughter came flooding back to me as if they happened yesterday).
    I HATE that I suffer from this illness. I HATE that having my daughter (whom I love dearly) triggered this emotional illness. How horrible and guilty I feel that motherhood, which I desperately craved prior to getting pregnant with my first, turned me into this person who struggles to get through each and everyday, placing a heavy cross to bear on my husband.
    I’m beginning to think I will never be free of this, and I’ll never free my family of these shackles.

  • Dee

    Sorry- realized I didn’t finish my sentence about starting prenatal yoga…so I’m going to try that, I’m going back to therapy, but trying a new place my psych reccommended that specifically deals with post-partum and pre-natal depression. I’ve tried biofeedback with someone who also owns an earth foods store (he was really against any medication and wanted me to try more B6 and cod liver oil), I’ve contacted a Tibetan spiritual healer…I’m working my tail off to try and get better but I am resentful that I have to work so hard and who knows if anything will even help?? I am resentful I have to take medication while pregnant.
    My diet could definitely stand to improve. I always say I will exercise too, and I don’t. It’s like I don’t even have the energy or motivation to perform daily tasks, being the insomniac that I am (and now compounded with my daughter’s sleep issues, which I am convinced are my fault and I’ve given them to her), let alone exercise and plan out healthy meals.
    I am a mess.

  • Dee

    Sorry for the double post on my first reply!!
    I had a question for you Therese- I think you mentioned hiring help after having your kids(although I could have read that somewhere else too- my memory is so bad lately)- what kind of help did you get? I have been looking into the possibility of a post-partum doula because my mom lives out of state and will only be able to stay for a little while and my mother-in-law is a teacher so will be off in the summer when I am due, but she lives over an hour away so we probably won’t get as much help as we’ll need.


    well im 22 yrs old and have a beautiful healthy 11 month old boy. ever since i had my son my world seems to have come to a dead stop. i feel lonely, sad, and just so many awful emotions that i hate not being able to control. i have had to do the whole parent thing all by myself because my husband got put in jail 3 days before i had our son. ever since the day i got home from the hospital i have so many awful thoughts that run through my head day and night. i guess what im really afraid of is saying to myself that i do suffer from a mental illness. i dont know where to start to look for help. i just pray to GOD that it stops soon. iv been put under so much stress having to deal with my son, my husband, work, family and so many other problems that i just feel like i have lost my mind. if anyone has any answers please help me understand what is going inside of me??

  • Gen

    This is for Joana and Dee
    I really beleive if you are turning to God he will bring good from this terrible suffering you are going through. Sometimes he allows things to happen to us that are a complete mystery but God desires our turning back to him more than we could ever imagine. He wants you to run to him for help. He wants you back completely. Do not be afraid or get discouraged as all things are passing and if you turn to God he will heal you and help you because he loves you more than you could ever understand. He is there with you standing at your side and you have your guardian angel as well. Talk to them both ask them for help and they will comfort you. Never stop beleiving and never give up hope. In Gods time all will be well and you will be made whole again but only if you turn to him completely. Have faith you are not alone and I will pray for you Joana and Dee.

  • kate

    just wanted to say that my heart goes out to you. I know how you feel, i have the same constant stream of criticism and negativity and i feel different from most other ‘perfect’ mothers out there. I’m learning and growing and doing ok, so i wish you strength and peace and contentment and acceptance, wherever and however you can find it! thank you for your words, i’m new to your blog but i like it :-) Katexx

  • Nancy Modarelli

    I didn’t even have to read the whole article – Children and Depression – to add my comment to the article. Having gone through a terrible bout of depression, after a cerebral aneurysm at age 50, having only one daughter, age 21, and seeing what I was doing to her and my husband with my depression go do something about it RIGHT now. Regardless of who you have to see, your financial situation or anything else that is in your way, go seek the help you need. As anyone with common sense will tell you, if you have the problem you have to solve it yourself as an adult. I, thank goodness, pulled myself out of my depression alone. My point, you know you have a problem that you need help with. Don’t walk, RUN to start the process. Believe me,when I tell you, I unfortunetely know what I am talking about.

  • April

    When I read your words, they touched me because I have had the same kind of problem. It is your inner monologue that is eating away at you and what you need to do is erase your tape(the words you’ve been telling yourself your whole life) and make a new one. There is a saying ” Fake it until you make it”, and that saying applies here. After writing at LEAST 10 gratitude affirmations, you could re-write your tape and when you realize the old tape is playing just erase it in your mind and play your new tape. We have all inner monologue and we ALL have the power to change it. The key is to recognize this and be aware that WE DO HAVE CONTROL OVER OUR THOUGHTS AND OUR THOUGHT DICTATE HOW WE FEEL ABOUT OURSELVES! Good luck to you and my prayers will be with you.

  • April

    My spirtual advisor advises to only write down what we are thankful for. Thought. Word. Deed. If you write down all the negative things that you have told yourself during the day, then that is what you are putting out to the universe, and that is what is focused on, instead of all of the things you are grateful for. AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE WILL KEEP THE BLUES AT BAY!

  • Jackie

    I can understand where you are at and how difficult it can be. I had a
    very abusive childhood, teen years and then carried into my adult years with some naive and too trusting choices in men. My ex-husband hid his abusive ways and alcoholism well until after we were married then it was like day and night within a month of our wedding. At first it was just drinking all the time, and I mean every day. Then after some months the physical and verbal abuse started. Well I left him when my daughter was 1 and my son 6 years old. There have been a few really bad ones since that I thankfully got out of alive, doubting sometimes if I would. I am 50 now and my kids are grown, 26 and 31, and I have a beautiful granddaughter. My kids both have good careers, I was their cheerleader to reach for their dreams and not settle for less. I love them all very much and wish I could take the bad memories away from them with just prayer but unfortunately I can’t do that. All my life I have beat myself up as you do and I am struggling to get out of that habit, it”s kinda hard when you have guilt issues, but I am learning to let go of that too. I am reading two wonderful books that make me feel better about myself and they are ” Journey to the Heart ” Daily Meditations On the Path to Freeing Your Soul by Melody Beattie and the other one is ” The Courage To Be Yourself ” A Woman’s Guide to
    Emotional Strength and Self-Esteem by Sue Patton Thoele and both books also talk about God, or the Divine, in them as being part of the journey so that made me feel even better reading them. Just thought I’d throw that out there in case someone else likes to read and needs some encouragement. I hope I am not breaking any rules of the site by mentioning these books and if I am just let me know and I won’t do so again. I am simply trying to be helpful to other people suffering such as myself or similar circumstances. I know how much of a struggle it can be and I sometimes go through some pretty bad bouts of depression. But I’d like to think I’m getting on the right track this time and can still do something productive and useful with the rest of my life. As well as get into volunteering to get out and also because I enjoy doing things for others. I wasn’t like this the whole time all through the years and enjoyed my life the most when I was volunteering and working. So this is where I am at myself just finished climbing out of another depression rut and self-abuse (inner dialogue) track. I pray that this will be my final uphill climb and I am also very thankful to Beliefnet and all the contributors of self-help material for without all this I would still be stuck. So Thank you God for all these wonderful people and all the ones who share their stories of pain that make a person realize they are not so alone in pain as they thought. There are far too many of us by my viewpoint and I pray daily that you all can find some help, some solace, some relief, some comfort and some support. I think we already have on this site it is truly amazing and a real gift from heaven. Thank you Therese for starting this Beyond Blue and my prayers are with you. God Bless.

  • Cyndi Pierce

    Hi, Therese;
    A very poignant episode. My heart goes out to you. As someone who has had similar struggles (although mostly less severe bouts of depression), I know how exhausting your struggle is. And to fight the good fight with two little ones! Hurrah for you. Continue the good work. Glad to see you have help from a “Guardian Angel”. At one particular bad time in my life, I used the mantra; “This too will end” in order to get from one moment to the next. Thankfully, it has been many years since I’ve needed to use that chant to block out all the negative thoughts bombarding my peace of mind. At 55, I love all there is in my life – the good and the bad. Somewhere along the way, I decided not to feel guilty about anything I could not change. I’m not sure how, when, or where – but at sometime I decided; “I choose happiness”. And now I have it. God Bless You, Cyndi

  • Sharon Smith

    Hi! I don’t have alot to say just be grateful you have kids.
    My little girl died 5 ysr ago at age 5. The sad part is she did’nt
    have to die. There is currently a malpractise suit going on with
    5 differnt doctors in two different hospitals. I was’nt the perfect
    mom I had depression from incest and abuse as a child. I know one
    thing for certain that I loved her and she loved me and that’s all
    that matters in the end. My suggestion is to just embrace the time you have with them.Life is too short to worry about things you can’t change. Be grateful for what you have your children, some have none!
    Due to the fact that I went thru cancer 2 yrs ago, I can’t have anymore. Our problems are minor when compared with all the great
    things you receive from your children. I’m sorry if I sound a little
    perturbed but you have GOD’s greatest gifts (your children)be grateful
    for just that. Take care and God Bless! Sharon

  • Lisa

    I am struggling so right now. I have Depression and GAD. The negative comments in my head have gotten me into a lot of trouble at work. In fact the Hospital is consulting with their attorney to see if they can terminate me.
    I evidently offended my suprvisor. I am being charged with insubordination and negatively influencing my peers.
    I find it a surreal situation since I am an Occupational Therapist that specializes in treating people with Mental Health disorders.
    Anyway I just wanted to thank you for your support. What you do for yourself and all of us is commendable.
    If you have any suggestions on how to save your career, let me know.

  • Clayton Norris

    You’re a wonderful person. Kids require a different mindset. When the kid was playing with the water cooler she was exploring…I know you know this. Help her explore. make it a learning experience. This will grab her attention & you will have control. Corest Clayton Norris, CFP

  • Caroline

    Thank you again for coming right out and saying what many of us want to but don’t. Sometimes I get tired of hearing my own voice when I am seeking support from others and they just don’t know how to relate to what I am saying. I try to be grateful for my children and remember how much of a blessing they are, but that is difficult when they also have challenges like mine do. Parenting kids is difficult at best. When you struggle with depression and have a daughter with ADD and a son who is autistic parenting is nearly impossible at times. I can totally relate to just feeling totally helpless and exhausted when your kids are acting out and you just don’t have the wherewithall to intervene yet again. The judgemental attitudes and looks are just about enough to push you over the edge. I keep trying to tell myself what an awesome job I am doing given the fact that I have more than my share of obstacles to hurdle. It is just that much harder, so we have to be that much stronger than others.
    I also wanted to add something for Lisa, who is having problems at work. It seems to me that often people are aware of your “differences”, even if you have never disclosed anything about them. For me as well, this has been problematic at work. The moment I gather the nerve to assert myself, I am a troublemaker, an instigator, an infidel. The problem may not be with you, but may also involve management. It is always a good idea to get another opinion from someone at work who you feel comfortable about asking how they view you professionally. Make sure, however, that they will respect your confidentiality. I have had similar problems with higher level personnel management who treated me entirely unethically and unprofessionally. Unfortunately, I can’t change jobs right now, but I am working on it. Be aware of your rights as an employee and make sure you keep documentation (e-mails, journaling, etc.) in the event you might ever need defense. No employer should ever be able to blackball an employee without reasonable and just cause. Don’t let it happen to you. Today’s workplace is not always a very pleasant or fair place. Good luck to you.

  • Jennifer

    Just a quick post in response to Sharon’s comment, first of all sorry for your loss, I empathize completely. 7 years ago almost to date my 2-1/2 year old son died from a medical mistake. I had suffered with depression on and off for years before my son passed(childhood abuse both emotionally and sexually, depressed through all of my teenage years & early adulthood) then reprive after my kids were born then again during a divorce about a year before my son died, then of course when he died depression like I have never experienced in my life. After he died I would walk into a store and a checker would ask and how are we today to which I would SCREAM my son just died how do you think I am(as tho everyone should know), I wanted to make a sign to hang around my neck. However having a 4 year old at home – a complete breakdown was not an option. I have found depression to me is like almost any other subject including numerous grief groups which I went to after my son died (my loss is greater than yours because your child was only * and mine had kids of their own or my didn’t even have a chance to have a life etc.) and isnt it funny how most people feel compeled to put a value on someone else’s experience? You should just be greatful for, you should just value X or be happy because. Just like after my son died everyone said either I dont know how I could have done it they would have had to lock me up or I would be much sadder than you… until you live the experience you dont know what you are able to do or how you would handle it… so please bear in mind that it is easy to be hipper critical of other people however until you walk a mile in their shoes you don’t know what they are going through. It took me a long time to function again, and since then my husband (who found him deceased) and I have overcome depression together, had another 2 children and have a mostly fantastic life, and there are times that the depression comes flooding back in, actually just 5 days ago when we had the anniversary of his death, but for the most part life continues. I am glad to hear Sharon has faith in her life, it took me until the last several months to even acknowledge god again, that was a true struggle for me… so in my new faith may I say my prayers are with Sharon & Therese and all the people here struggling with this monster and as we all know there is always hope it’s just holding on to it.

  • Tiffany

    Wow! I can totally understand where you are coming from when you think other parents are giving you the “someone needs to call CPS” look. I think alot of mothers of small children feel this way and feel pretty inadequate most of the time. I am on antidepressant medication now and it has changed my life. I held out for years trying to fix myself. I have 3 kids. Michael 15, Alec 11, Zoey 4. I spent atleast 14 years suffering from post partum depression. I thought the reason I couldnt be the “perfect, got it all together mother” was that I was not smart enough or some other negative false,internal thought. I also had an awful childhood and young adult life. My self esteem was less than adequate when I started having kids and was challenged even more as I tried to be the perfect mom. My guess is that you are a super sensitive person. The message Sharon left you made me cry and feel crappy that I even dare feel depressed…so I know you felt it too. Sharon’s message IS the type of gratitude wake up call most of us need however,my point is that alot of super sensitive people feel and internalize more than others. I now view this super sensitivity as an asset and as a gift. I am so close to my kids and they are very lovey dovey, kissy huggy all the time. Even my 15 year old. He and I talk about anything and everything! It seems to me that your son is also in tune with his mommy. I would never have had the chance to have such a wonderful,open,honest and emotional relationship with my sons and daughter if I had “had it all together”. My family never showed emotions of feelings unless it was anger. I would spill my milk atleast once a week as a child and would cry like my cat died. I needed a parent that did not shame or scold me but one that held me and told me its ok. Your son just like my kids are doing what thier sweet,untainted nature is telling them that you need.Unconditional love. You do not need to expain your adult problems nor should you but you should embrace your emotional sensitivity and let your children learn that its ok to express all your feelings. Do not feel guilty. I bet your son and daughter know you are the best mommy in the world and who else really matters??? I would also reccomend trying antidepressants because they have helped me not cry over spilled milk and have helped quite down the negative thoughts. I also see a therapist and have read the self help books mentioned. I liked 10 days to self esteem. Its a workbook by David D Burns MD
    Thanks for sharing EVERYONE and thanks for letting me share.
    Zoey says “sharing is caring,Mommy”.
    Moms Rock!! Tiffany

  • Bonnie

    I have never wrote before, but reading that post on depression and motherhood, I cried. And i am at work! I have a beautiful, active, demanding 3 year old boy, who will look at me and and say “mommy, no cry, I love you”…gut wrentching and painful. i don’t want to hurt him, or damage him later in life. and i know he sees me cry that daddy is gone, or money is tight, or mommy is just sad. and it hurts him too! he has been expelled from pre-school, he has anger issues(he did see his dad hit me once)and gets very frustrated very easily. i know it is my fault. how do i not? it is his dad’s fault too, but i allowed him to hit me. and i allowed our baby boy to be in the same room at the time. it is really hard not to think that i am a horrible mom. i have strayed from my faith, and i believe that is a huge part of my unhappiness. i need help, advice, strength! pray for me.

  • Amanda

    Thank God I am not alone when I feel like I can’t measure up to the myth of a perfect mom. There are just not enough hours in a day to be who we think we need to be. Depression SUCKS! I hate the anxiety attacks, the countless tears, pills swallowed and prescriptions I need to take to feel somewhat normal.
    Thank you for everyone who reads this blog. Thank you, Therese for posting your struggles. Thank you all for posting your own struggles. I don’t feel alone, isolated, stuck in the wet wool blanket branded by depression.
    Therese, tempertantrums come and go. The looks from other “perfect” parents, is just a look. You did the right thing by removing you child from the situation and yourself. You are a good mother, even when you hate yourself.

  • Mariana

    I have never written, and this has inspired me. I too suffer from Depression, unfortunately it runs in the family. I was always angry, I couldn’t understand why I didn’t have it in me to love my kids. It was hard for me to show any kind of good emotions, the only one I knew was anger. 5 years ago I went to a new doctor. I went in with a complaint of neck and back pain, I was always in some kind of physical pain, so when I changed medical insurance I had to find a new doctor and I think that’s what saved me. Instead of just writing a list of pills for me to take and be on my way, he actually sat down and asked me questions about myself that I never bothered to look at. He explained to me that I had depression, and that it is not because I am weak, in fact I am strong because I managed to have a marriage, a family and a job. My way of depression was pain. He prayed with me that day, he asked Jesus to help me help myself and to find the strength I needed to heal myself. I see a big change in myself and the relationship I have with my kids. They understand me, that’s the best thing I can ask for. If I say, “mommy is having a bad day”, They know. They don’t feel sorry for me, they are not afraid of me anymore, because I no longer feel angry. I feel love and hope especially when they come to me with hugs. I don’t just have Depression I have fibromylagia. So when I have the pain, it makes the depression worse. But I have faith and I have love that gets me through. My husband left me 2 years ago. I have 4 kids, 11, 8, 7 and 5. But you know, I didn’t fall apart. I prayed, I found peace and I don’t have any anger towards my ex-husband. In fact I think, if it wasn’t for my doctor and the love I have for my kids to become a better person, and my faith in Jesus I wouldn’t be the strong woman that I am today.

  • Anonymous


  • Cynthia

    YOU are a great MOM! You are the MOM that your kids need and love! Please read the book ‘The Four Agreements’ by Don Miguel Ruiz. He has ancient wisdom and gives you steps on how to deal with those emotional poisons and fears that cause chaotic thoughts and feelings of inadequacy. We all have those thoughts- that is all they are-thoughts. Remember, we are not our thoughts. But we must learn to change the channel and learn to honor ourselves. Refocus your attention- like you were saying- by appreciating and noting those beautiful life details to yourself. Then maybe take it a step further. At home before practice, ask your son to show you and your daughter a karate move or two. During his practice next time, you two can go back in the room and practice together- it might be fun and wear her out a bit before returning. You get to bond with both your son and daughter..Just an idea.
    Best of luck…God Bless You!

  • becca_k

    Therese, first of all, blow up those negative thoughts with an oozy and don’t ever let them come back. You need to talk to yourself like a best friend would. Just focus on the tasks at hand, don’t allow negative thoughts to put yourself down. You need to stroke yourself for heavens sake. All children act up it is about how we handle it, and you handled it well. Walk with pride and confidence. Don’t let the negative chatter in. Tell yourself you are your own best friend and stroke your thoughts and actions. Every day you should write down all the good things you did and all the good thoughts that you had. All you have to do here is be more gentle and kind to yourself. Life is life enjoy as much as possible so that when hard times come along you can remember the highs and good times they will come back. I have been so low before from lack of meds working/plateau/ineffective ect…. I have gone through so much you have no idea the highs and lows I have experienced. But the thing that helps is when a negative thought from Satan comes along, I flick it out of my mind (like a burger-ha) blow it up stomp on it. Pray-think about the best way to handle the situation at hand and then just put your thoughts towards carrying that out.It works especially if you have faith in God. The lord of the universe is so powerful, if you find time to pray, meditate, do yoga, listen to good music, spa like, take a bath, pamper yourself more when you need to you will notice a difference. You have to read quotes and scriptures and BELIEVE IN GOD -HE WILL HELP YOU GET THROUGH EVERYTHING- then think about how he wants you to handle the situation(s). you always do right. I think you are very talented and you Definitely need to make lists at the end of each day about the good you did and thought. You just think and focus to much on the negative. Stop that you are to beautiful to torture yourself. Love yourself and take care of you first then everyone else. I will pray and I know you will follow my advice.

  • mindy

    I too just recieved this email and normally i dont open things like this. I am soooo glad i did. Feeling like everyone else here… I feel so angry and helpless. I feel like i am in a tunnel. I have 4 kids and i feel like the worst mother alive. I dread waking up in the morning… i dont want to face another day feeling like this…. so i count the hours until i can go to bed again. i am 38 and i do not know if i have ever really felt true happiness or joy. Im not sure i have ever enjoyed a day that i have been alive. Not looking for sympathy because i am use to it but wish i was not here. Thanks to theresa for the email because i too felt like i was the only one…. it helps to know that i am not.

  • burge

    I have suffered from depression my entire adult life (and much of my childhood as well). I have three boys, ages 23, 19 and 12 and believe me when I say, they have been with me through the worst you can imagine. I am now doing better, since I’ve found my recent therapist and on new meds, but these kids have been through hell with me. Do you know what, Therese? They are kind, understanding, compassionate kids who are truly good people, and the only ill-effects I can see is that they’re TOO good to me. That’s right, hon. The one thing you have to worry about is how much they WILL love you, not how much they’ll hate you. I’m not minimumizing what my kids went through at all. It was awful, the days and days of crying, feeling like hell; but I always did what I had to do as a mother. I fed them, changed them, took them to school and the docs, did everything THEY needed even if I was totally down. And I loved them–I was never supposed to be able to have kids and God smiled on me–so I loved them fiercely!! Even when my husband and I looked like we were getting a divorce, my kids didn’t go without my love–so love them, hon. Just love them every day and they’ll be fine, even with your depression as bad as it is. I know, because I’ve been there. Some days I still am–but love them and pray because God will never turn His face from you, ever. You are in my thoughts.

  • Dave

    Great commentary. I will also add that dads go through depression, too. We are supposed to be silent and tough, though. We pour all our love into our wives and children, as we should. The kids grow up. Our wives are loving, but they can sometimes turn to the kids and we subtly move down the attention ladder. That’s okay. Dads are used to it. But sometimes it takes an extreme. And there’s no one to talk to. And marriage suddenly shifts from what it was before. That’s okay. But not when it shifts completely. Then there’s the pressures at work. There’s the pressure of carrying the family. There is often no one to charge our battery. Maybe a little fun on a Saturday night. We make the money to pay the bills. We fix things. We are largely ignored and don’t get the respect our dads or grandfathers got. Television portrays us as idiots and women want neo-traditional treatment, so we’re confused. So we watch game highlights on SportsCenter because for a few minutes a day, it’s okay not to think, not to have to be “on” and working all the time. Then, on our time off, were asked to do “honey dos.” And were treated like gorillas because we like to make love three times a day. This should not come as a surprise. You knew that when you married us. Anyway, depression hits dads, too. But we’re supposed to not say anything.

  • Lisa

    Many ‘normals’ are as hard on themselves as you. When my beautiful child was born, 28 years ago, I was hospitialized for post-partum depression, then several years later, divorce, and my son was witness to tearful days and maligning words from family -vs- family. He continues to hold his spirit and sense of ‘self'; even as a toddler, seeing me cry, would say, “Mommy, come sit in my lap”. Love your children through your imperfections ~ for they have a tremendous capacity to understand the struggle ~ without all the words. A simple ‘sit in my lap’ can speak volumes.

  • Paula

    Nice article. i hope i can find some inspiration. Jesus know i need it.


    I had a discussion yesterday 2/25/08 with a sister in Christ about this very subject. We were talking about her depression and how I’d suffered from it. An extremely brief conversation but out of it birthed this reality!
    As I am lead by the loving, gracious, ever-present Holy Spirit:
    Depression is a trick of the enemy! Before I knew the truth of who I am in Christ, I suffered needlessly (all of my life from childhood through teen years until seven years ago at 30) and my hope is to use my testimony to assist in the deliverance of anyone and everyone who may be loved enough to read the following:
    Depression is a lie from the pit of hell. It is an attempt to Deprive us of the Essential Power Restored for Eternity in the Sacrifice our Savor Instituted Omni-potently to the Nations! I heard this for the first time as I typed it 2/25/08 at 2:45 pm!
    When we recognize and accept that GOD is on the Throne and in total control of Everything! Once we walk in the power HE has given us, we will know our trials are just an opportunity to praise HIM. To give HIM all the glory knowing HE is going to work everything out. Our troubles are what refine us and help us ascend to the people GOD intends us to be. Our testimonies are our gift to the world to help others overcome what we have triumphed in hopes of them not having to take as long as we took. Or even give up when victory is just around the corner. Nowadays, if I think negative thoughts, I tell myself I am the head not the tail! I am the righteousness in Christ JESUS. I set myself aside and pray for someone else or do something nice for someone to get my focus off of me. One thing we should be forever mindful of is that depression is a feeling. We know feelings change however our GOD is constant. HE told us HE will never leave us nor forsake us. We must cleave to this truth. I know with all that I have been through GOD has kept me and any current situation is no different, it too shall pass. I will not waste a moment in sadness and pity. There is too much beauty in this world to include the four beautiful children I’ve been blessed to shepherd through this life’s journey. We have to remember it is not about us once we become parents and we do not want to bombard our children or grandchildren with a generational curse like depression. Another thing I do when I feel low emotionally or physically (as I’d been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia 2003) which is often, I think of what JESUS endured. The sacrifice HE made for me/us. The beating, ridicule, lies and betrayal he suffered. HE was the only perfect being, I will never experience what HE did and this is not to diminish my experience but it is to put things into perspective. It can’t always be about us, we are not in this world alone. Our moods, behavior and actions affect the people who love us and those we love so we must think of them most times first. As I close I would like you to come into agreement with me in prayer. Read it silently first and as you are in agreement read it aloud and profess it into the Universe. This will be our petition before the Throne of Grace. One more note, this is a process, things will change but your mindset has to change first. GOD is the only psychologist, doctor or medicine we need once we yield, submit and surrender whole heartedly to HIM! Just as we are, where we are on the way to where we are going. HE has dominion over everything and if we feel we are in the pit of hell, HE will bust hell wide up for us. Where we are weak HIS ultimate strength is shown greater! In love with peace Your Sister in Christ Annissa
    “In the matchless Name of JESUS Christ, FATHER we ask that YOU deliver your child from the spirit of depression. We know it is not of YOU and even if YOU had them experience it for a while that season has past. JESUS came that we may enjoy this life and have in abundance all the riches stored in Heaven as they manifest in this life on earth. We choose to operate in YOUR truth of who we are knowing to whom we belong. We trust that YOU have heard our petition and it is done! We thank YOU for all YOU have done, are doing and will do. We will praise YOU with the whole of who we are as YOUR light unto this world for we are in the world not of the world. Hallelujah AMEN!”

  • Lynne

    You know I am the product of a manic depressive mother and an emotionally unavailable father, a violent household, and alcoholism that runs in the family.(uncles and most recently brother) However I am probably more sensitive and aware of other people’s difficulties for it. I am an optimist and I try to be encouraging and supportive of people’s efforts to improve their life situation. Outbursts and meltdowns don’t shock me and if anything it has given me an inner strength I might not otherwise possess. Bottom line is most children are resilient and forgiving. Forgiveness being the most precious gift you can give yourself. The best you can do is find the good within the bad…it’s there if you look within.

  • Rhonda

    wow.. I feel the exact same way most of the time. I must confess that my children are the reason I am here. I am still trying to figure out my “purpose”. With God’s help I know that I can find it. Thank you for speaking to me today. I pray that we each find love in all that we do and think!

  • marylyn

    The great part after all the times you cry while thinking or saying “I never, ever thought I would be a bad mother!” is…. when you do get through it, and are gaining wins, you see that your kids realize something. That whatever happens in life (and they will have tough times too),you will get to the other side. And stronger. You can, and will get through anything, if you take one step at a time and do what is good for you.
    Then your kids see it can be done, you can overcome, it makes it easier for them to realize they will be okay too. They get there faster, knowing that. They learn better than we did…
    This too shall pass.
    Keep the faith.

  • Tammy

    Everyone reading please remember the scriptures and read them daily. The Lord loves spending time with us and we should love spending time with Him. He will give you what you need to overcome any obsticle’s in your life. And yes if you are going through a rough time, it to shall pass, so “SAY” it to yourself until you believe it, “It to shall pass”. Play Christian music in your home everyday, tell your children about the Lord!!!Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid;just believe (LUKE 8:50)(speaking to Jairus) but let me tell you this, He is speaking to you as well. Read it for yourself today in Luke 8:40 and find encouragement in the healing power of our wonderful Lord and Savior. I once heard a Pastor say that if they had to make the choice of being either sick in the body(physically)or sick in their mind, that they would much rather be sick in their body. I know from experience, this to be true. I have a wonderful fulfilling life and I see the beauty in things. But we have a enemy who wants to hurt us and he does it through our minds, he comes to rob, steal, and destroy. It is so comforting to know WE have the power over the enemy and over our own minds. We can take the ground back that the enemy has stollen from us!!I didn’t mean to make this message so long , but when it comes to talking about the LORD I get excited. God Bless all who are reading…

  • Christine

    To be a parent is an awesome responsibility. No doubt about that. I will say this, children can bounce right back when they feel they are loved. My dear, you must love yourself and that includes loving your dark side. It is a part of you. Try this, when the negative thoughts begin to bombard your peace of mind. Honor those feelings. If you push them away, the thoughts will get defensive and really attack. Take a deep breath, accept the negative thought(you don’t have to agree or like it). Then take a deep breath and as you exhale, push the thought down through your body and out through the floor. Next, silently call your energy back to you. Say, I don’t want to put anymore energy in these thoughts so call them back. Take care of yourself and soon all will fall into place. You can also command your body to create hope if you don’t feel you have enough. Just sit quietly and count backwards from 21 to 1. Then,tell yourself to make some hope. You should feel something in your gut.In the meantime, I will send good thoughts your way. I love you all who come to this sight. Peace for all!

  • Kenyatta Robertson

    If depression is indeed the result of not feeling as though you have enough, or that you are enough, then I now know why I am depressed. I feel as though I am always giving to someone else, and putting myself last. I feel as though I’ll never be able to make it up the career ladder because although I now hold a full-time job that I enjoy, I don’t know if I will be able to return next year due to my husband’s schedule and demands for his job (he is in the Army). He’s always saying that he’s the breadwinner, and he has to do this to pay the bills. He’s right, but it’s not like I don’t want to be able to pay the bills, but my obstacles are that everytime the children are sick, I am the person to leave work, and I am the person to stay home with the kids because he can’t due to his hectic schedule. With that, how can I rise on the career ladder out of the entry level positions so that I can assist in paying the bills, and so that I can get to where he is in his career. I feel as though his success is at the expense of mine. I have so much potential, a Bachelors of Science Degree with honors, working on a dual Masters, all while balancing a full-time job, the hectic schedule of an Army Serviceman, and 4 boys, all 10 yrs and below, with the youngest being 11 mos. How can I get to a place of being happy and content as a stay-at-home mom, because that is obviously needed right now, due to his hectic schedule? Although I know that I have a lot to be thankful for, how do I get to that place? I feel like I am in this alone, no help from my family because they are distant, no acknowledgement or help from my mother because she doesn’t know how to give it to me, and probably doesn’t care because she is too wrapped up in her own issues. I am not as Blessed as others to have a fulfilling and enriching relationship with my mother, and I don’t know why my sister adores me so much, with these four kids, despite my degrees, I don’t feel as though I’ll never go far because by the time I am able to start a career, my husband’s will be done, and he will be retired, so why even bother if I spend my entire life staying at home with children. I’ll never be able to climb the career ladder, and feel as though I am in a worthy position despite my credentials and abilities. They mean absolutely nothing if you can’t show them off.

  • amy McBride

    i am a single parent of 2, now one, both of my kids were diagnoised with depression when they were 5 years old,my son who has passed Jan18,07 (He was only 15 years old). It should of never happened,in nov.he did’nt care about nothing except eat and sleep he gained 100 pounds,i talked to his physcologist and counseler and they did’nt do anything,so i felt really bad cuz he was crying for help and nobody would help us so i went to the schoolon Jan. 4,07 to see if they could help me and it was about 10 people and i said please help us my son needs help, put him in the hospital to be evaluated so they put him in the hosp. first hosp. and then six days later released on celexa (Jan.10,07),it was good i thought until jan.18,07 when i found him gone and he left me a note saying he loved me and he was sorry he had to go so soon it was the voices in his head telling him to do it. i’m sorry but it should of never happened,i wish people would take deprssion and bipolar more seriously and people don’t realize how bad it is until it’s to late. iwould like to do more reach and tell the people with these deseases andhelp them as much as i could to try to prevent stuff as much as possible.

  • carol bowness

    This message is a response to Kenyatta Robertson’s message posted on 3/7/08
    I got tired just reading about your schedule. No wonder your depressed, when do you have time to enjoy your life? You are definitely a strong, determined mom. It’s just that I think if you slow down a bit and make your life more simple, you can actually have the quiet mind and time to teach yourself to be with yourself and your kids. I’m not the stay at home mom type so I work just under full time. Money is tight, but we’re just living without certain things. Yu may have heard this before, but your kids need you to enjoy them, and the best way is to “be” with them. That means thinking of nothing else besides them when your with them. Not dinner, not school not anything. You don’t have time to appreciate now because you probably lost yourself between dating and now. I stopped at my associates and am still waiting to go back, and your at full speed ahead.A duel Masters?? Good for you, your smart and restless. But you dont need to show off your credentials but what’s your rush, now could be the time to show off your cutties. I never enjoyed my kids (ever) until I realized why they were so irritating. I was stressed and they just added to it, but once I saw that, I realized they were being just what the are, kids, with all the whining, fighting and silly jokes. I depend on my kids now because it’s the truly best time when they are young. You should be able to pick up with your career when the littlest is in full day school. Try and not rush what you think will be happiness. For all you know, this is the good times. You may look back at any time and be in a sad, scary life. Then you would say that you wish you appreciated the good times when I had the.
    Sorry if I offended you, I’m not sure you’ll see this, but your posting just struck me because I used to feel like you and years of therapy realize there was other ways to live my life besides the one and only one I strived for. Remember, no matter what train your riding, God’s the conductor!

  • DJ

    I applaud you for sharing your experience with managing depression. I was diagnosed when I was 16, and learned at an early age depression can not be cured, only managed. My father was bipolar and was not properly diagnosed until he was in his 50’s. Once he started taking meds for his illness, he was completely different person, one I wish had been around when I was growing up. I went to counseling for over 10 years and finally realized that my depression is indeed physical, and finally agreed to take something for it. My acceptance of what is and my willingness to do what I needed to to feel better made all the difference in the world.
    I think it’s easier for those who have never had to deal with depression or any other type of mental illness to simply say “think better thoughts” or “just pray more” or “read the Bible” and you’ll feel better. While those things certainly help, it’s not the cure. Would you deny a diabetic insulin? Of course not, and there’s no reason to deny someone with a mental illness the resources they need to feel “normal”.

  • Monique

    I am a single mother of 2, just recently separated from my ex I am a at home mom and I homeschool my oldest daughter. My ex cheated on me for a 3rd time, I was naive enough to take him back thinking I am doing it for the girls, come to realize I was wrong, he kept doing it, now I have a feeling of depression for my girls, I can’t sleep, I fainted this weekend of being overwhelmed with my daughters, I never have a break and now I am looking for work, we are barely making it, he has left us high and dry and now wants to give up our house that we worked so hard to have, he is just going to let it go into foreclosure, what do you do, my doctor put me on Lexapro and it made me feel horrible sick, headaches, trembles, shaking couldn’t sleep eat, it made me alot worse then I was. So when I fainted this weekend I said thats it no more Lexapro, I know it takes a while to kick in, but I can’t handle the way I was feeling horrible. Now I am just numb thinking that I and my girls are going to loose everything and my ex doesn’t care. He tells me to let him move back in and then he will pay for things, then he says that I am to blame for all of this, for his cheating behavior. I am constantly busy with the girls homeschooling dance 11 hours a week going to competitions for my older daughters dancing. I am exhausted inside and barely have energy to cook clean my house, is this depression? I don’t have any suicidal thoughts, I just feel empty inside after 10 yrs with someone and then this happens. To top it off my best friend (my cousin) killed himself and I found out on my birthday 2 months ago, and a week before that is when I found out about my ex leaving. Anyways thanks for letting me vent and thanks for reading, I am just seriously sad and feel empty and depressed, how could this be happening.. It is so extremely hard.

  • margie

    Thanks for all the advice.Its good to know Im not the only one with these thoughts and feelings.GOD BLESS us ALL!

  • Felicia

    This message is more for Monique. I know what its like when things just go so terribly wrong. I am so overwhelmed lately that I feel like taking what little I have, getting in my car, and driving to the end of the earth. I have deep anxiety, and depression. Im on meds but I dont take them because they make me sleep literally all day. I can’t wake up. I have older kids’ ages 15, and 11. They are boys’ and they are driving me up a wall. I have so much to do and its just me. To top it all off, I took their sister in (not mine biologically but I raised her) and she is a mess. 19 and has no direction and Im trying to teach her not to waste the young years of her life. Im just tired. Im sick of being sick and tired. I want to be alone. I want to be all alone. I want the world to just go away. I want to feel peace. Just peace and quiet. I have no one to talk to. No family, No friends so alot of this stuff just builds up. My kids’ are out of control. They dont listen and they act like they just dont care about me.

  • Monique

    This is for Felicia, Felicia that is exactly how I feel and we wonder why it happens to us, I pray every day for god to give me the strength to not let my anxiety over come me with fear and everything else associated with it. I know how you feel my two girls listen when they want to, until I get so moody I scream at them and don’t mean to, thats not right and fair to them, but with their father gone now all of a sudden money tight everyting else, I just get overly stressed and overwhelmed, I to just want the world to go away be alone and not have to worry about anything except some happiness in my life, so you are not alone at all, believe me. I have gotten to the point of taking half of zoloft at night and its like 5mg half of the smallest dose only because I can’t handle most meds at all, that might be something for you I don’t know it just takes for ever to kick in, at any rate Felicia you are not alone at all, there are thousands of us going through this, alot of us just hide it better then others I guess I don’t know.

  • Amy J.

    Just started my blog related to this and dealing with life in general.
    Trying to stay on the lighter side and “function” (as if it is possible) is my blog Fresh Picked Crazines
    The deep down emotional aspects which are fairly personal are located here:
    Addicted & Controlled .
    I hope you will visit and I am linking you up to both of my blogs because like everyone has mentioned, you are not alone – you write very well about it. Thanks!

  • Samantha

    I have just found out that my husband has been having late night calls with his ex girlfriend, and seeing her. He says he hasn’t done this recently. This was back in September, a week after we got married, in went on for almost 2 months. I have just found this out on Saturday.
    We also have just had our first child. He is 4 months old. He is a jr. I am so depressed aboutu this, I feel like I can’t gve my new son the attention he need. He smiles at me and I force myself to smile back at him. I’m scared to lose my job because Ivan’t stop crying at work, or staring off. I’m bombarded by images, and thoughts. I feel like I am so so so stupid to never question what was going on. I keep thinking, i’m just so weak, to afraid to stand up and ask what is going on. for fear of him leaving. I feel weak, dumb, and stupid. My son is starting to turn his attention away from me and to his dad, because his dad isn’t moping around being sad. I just want to be alone. I have suicidal thoughts. I just want to be gone forever and not feel anymore hurt, and disbelief and anger. But I think I’m so selfish how can I think that . My son needs me. Who is gonna teach what he needs to know if I’m gone. How can I get through this so I can be abeter mother for my sone. This time is so important for him. He has to know that he can come to me, that I love him. He just wants to smile and play all the time, and I can’t even do that. I won’t get on medication. I’ve seen what it can do to people. I just cry all the time. I beg the lord to deliver me from this, I feel so sad i feel like I can’t even pray and surrender myself to him. How do I get through this? I don’t want to go crazy.

  • Melissa

    Medication has been a God-send. I found out after a nasty divorce that I was bipolar as were both of my children. (Ex cheated on me three times in 12 years, and I wasn’t about to stay with that loser another second so I divorced him.) I’m taking a mood stabilizer, two atypical antipsychotics and Cymbalta for the depression and without the meds I wouldn’t be able to function. I’m still not 100% but so much better. I still have days when I can’t get out of bed, but not like before. I have two teens, ages 13 and 15 on pretty much similar meds, but my son is bp1 so is much worse than me or my daughter. It’s tough to parent when everyone is cycling! I thought that we were just more dyfunctional than most families. I was right.. Now when someone’s acting badly, the first thing someone says, is “did you remember to take your meds???”

  • ruthann

    Ladies,unfortunately almost all men think with the wrong head.We as women go through alote of test as Mosses did, just these day,s even more pressures more makeup, boobjobs,tighter clothes, skinny bods, all fake.when your a mom you are the real thing. you have LOVE, COMPASSION, THINKING OF OTHER’S, this ladies we will always have unfortunately. I have been there and i have had the same thought’s.My kid’s all know now what my 2 ex husband’s did and none of the blame was on I. The other woman in your mans life wasn’t told the trueth,just as you where lied to . don’t take out on child ,because as long as you are faithful they will find out which parent is the better one.they think they buy love but, the older they get they will love the one who gives the most love and attention.All seven of my kid’s 33yr’s to 9yr’s old,one is step and other is step’s half sister. I a’m on third marriage and 54 y’rs old. I pray to God everyday for stength.All I’m saying is please don’t give up. Yes it all hurt’s now, but the pain does go away.The longer you let it eat you out the more it hurt’s and the more friend’s you lose even your best friend that say’s different.I never used any kind of drug’s or alcohol. I just kept all my love for my kid.s.When they where babies i read every story book i could find to keep my mind busy acting it out if i had to and looking at they’re tiny faces laughing it made me a happier person,and to this day still my kid’s love me even more for what i did it’s made them better parent’s and husband’s and wives.LOVES, PEACES AND PRAYERS ALWAY’S,BE STRONGER.

  • Anonymous

    Reading all of this makes me cry I thought that I was the only one with a husband that is so selfish and about to lose their job to all of the depression that I feel. I also have a baby and found out that my husband was talking to girls on his phone late at night, (but this was months ago) I believe that onece a man does it he will never be able to compleatly stop. He says he did but its so hard to believe. I leave my 11 month old baby for 11 hours a day and then I get to come home cook, clean, Feed my baby as well as my husband. Then I get to make lunch. THen I put the baby to sleep and by the time its all done with its about 11 or 12:00 at night. And its all because my husband wont help me out at all. We just argue all the time and I feel so sad and depressed and overwhelmed, some times i just want to give up on everyhing. I don get alot of time wth my daughter and now when I do I can even enjoy it like I would like to. so please just pray for me. I was told this morning that if I dont pick up the pace I am going to be replaced at my work. I can seem to concertrait on working. I feel so stupid and lonely all the time. Sometimes I wish I never married my husband..but that seems so bad becasue the only thing good that he has ever given me is my beauitful daughter…Thank you for letting me read this is has made me feel so much better about somethings.

  • GINA


  • Laura

    Forgive your husband his infidelity and move on to healthier situations, such as individual or marital counseling, and the very extreme possibility that you do not need him to complete you as a person. He is weak for sneaking and you can move on, even if it means leaving him, and taking your son with you. Pray for strength; find a counselor; search inside for all the good you do. My prayers are with you.

  • Janea

    I just had a baby 3 months ago and my husband passed away before the baby was born. I love my baby so much but I just get so over whelmed sometimes because I don’t have anyone to help me when he is upset. I know that raising a baby is not easy (all though well worth it) but I just need my husband here to help me and I know I can’t have that. I just really don’t know what to do sometimes.

  • Kristen

    Janea, My husband died 5 years ago. My children were 5 and 8 at the time. None of this is easy, but there are still many joyful moments to come. When it gets really bad, I recite “and this too shall pass”. I realize I am entitled to bad moments-tears, anger, heartbreak. I give myself a time out-soak in the bath, take to the bed and nap, or just chill. Usually this is at night, than I vow when I wake up things will be better, a new day will come. Yes it sucks and it is not fair. I write down all the positive things that happen so I can remember there is still goodness in my life. May goodness surround you.

  • michelle

    Thank you for being so honest about your struggle. I often feel too ashamed to reach out and share anything with anyone. I fear that I might be judged about what I struggle with. I have regretably seen how my depression has affected my children and my husband. I can’t say that I have relied on prayer or the saints like you have, although I should more often. I dont know how God heard me, but he has. I am grateful for my 8 children and my husband who works so hard to keep it all together. My poor husband, he doesnt always understand what I go through but he tries. I remember about four years ago, I was feeling like my tears were all dried up. I was feeling bad, but I was really tired of crying and feeling depressed. So from that moment on I have had my ups and downs but I dont ever want to go back to feeling so hopeless. I work really hard at it and I hope that my kids wont say, “Mom was always crying” I want them to say, “mom was always trying” I want them to see that I wont let it beat me, I will pick up my head everyday, because I love them. My little prayer is “God, help me.” I call this the mother’s prayer :)
    Again, that you for sharing this. Have a blessed day!

  • jenine

    you are inspirational. LIFE is easier said than done. i think even the most perfect looking mom has her moments, but just hides her struggles well. we all go through those days of hardship, and feeling like we aren’t good enough, we aren’t as good as “supermom”. but we are. we can control our own minds, it’s just HARDER work for some of us than others. keep doing what you are doing, you are truly a beautiful person! thank you!

  • Samantha

    Thank You everyone for all of your support.
    It helps to know that even strangers have some care for my situation.
    I’ve taken in what all of you have written and the advice you’ve given me.
    I hope that things get better. sometimes they are and then they come crashing down on me. My husband gets frustrated at my mood. And then comes around and apologizes for getting frustrated. He aplogizes all the time. He puts his arms around and says he needs his family. That he loves me. That he’s so so sorry. I don’t know whether to believe him or not. I think that he is, but i thought he was so wonderful before too. I want to trust him, I want to stay married I want it to work. I just don’t know how to go about doing it. I don’t know the steps. I want so bad for things to be happy, and hear laughter in the house. And feel light hearted again. But how do I do it? How do I let go? how do i forgive? I think i have to give myself time. And be patients with my self and how i’m feeling. I’m just so miserable feeling this way. I’m tired of it. How do I learn to trust and believe him again. And should i even begin to again? I think i know what you are going to say. Thats it’s up to me if I believe him or not. I just don’t know anymore. I don’t trust my instincts anymore. Mybe i just need to be paitient with myself, and let time take th hurt away. Mybe I feel some pressure from my husbadn. My mother in law says i’m going to push him away with my moods. And I get so angry when she says that. Like he is the one who was betrayed. I get so angry that i should have to watch how i am for fear of losing him. I feel he should be the one trying to make sure I don’t leave no the other way around. Witch he does. He is constatly trying to show his love for me. I just feel like he should feel the same sorrow I feel. Of course I would never do that to him. I just sometimes want him to feel it. just so he can understand and know how to be there for me the way i need him to be. Is that terrible? I know it is. I don’t want to wish him to feel the way i do. I just want him to understand the depth of how much he hurt me. I don’t think he ever will. What can I do to make our marriage work? What should I expect from him to make the marraige work? To bring the trust back and love back. Everyone has been wonderful. Thankyou for all your support. I think that we have a chance, my husband and I, but where do we go from here?

  • Samantha

    Also. He has made an appointment with our pastor for maritial counseling Tues 5/20 at 7pm. I and excited to have some help from someone I belive really can help. I hope he is too.

  • monica

    It comes from the drumming of the day to day menial tasks going unappreciated or even recognized. It beats me down and takes over my entire body and mind, shutting everyone and everything into a place away from me. I have come to understand this as a way of coping when all communication has had no results. I literraly shut down. Now when I would want to accomplish something it goes into that place where everyone and everything is, away from me. I am overwhelmed by the least task. Burned out. I know it will pass, it still frightens me and leaves it’s mark. The people around me don’t understand, which increases the recovery. I push people away so I can shut them out.

  • Carolyn

    It’s nice to know I’m not the only one. Here’s something that helped me: for Lent, rather than giving something up, I decided I would live life more joyfully. You are right–there are a lot of things to be joyful about.
    BTW–when my kids have a tantrum in public, I take them out and let them lie on the sidewalk and scream. I’ll usually try to read a magazine so they think they’re not getting to me (although I want to cry/scream, too!) If strangers give me the hairy eyeball, I just shrug and say “Oh, well!” And that usually prompts the (seemingly perfect) parent to say “You know, my son/daughter used to do the same thing!” and laugh with me.
    And sometimes, I’ll say to my kids, “Wow, you’re doing a GREAT job crying. But whatever you do, DON’T LAUGH–that will ruin the whole thing!” And sure enough–they start laughing. It’s really weird–and a child psychologist would probably say I’m messing with their emotional wiring–but it works!

  • trista

    i have suffered from depression for years! and with the way things are going lateley it’s been getting worse, i do however have an appointment on july 2nd !

  • Samantha

    Well I came here and wrote about my husbands affair a while back. How it was affecting my relationship with my son.
    I had a break down abot 3 1/2 weeks ago. I tried to commit suicide and had to stay a week in a mental hospital. I am not on an anti depessant and scheduled to get counsling next week and every week after that.
    To everyone out there suffereing from depression. Hang in there. Go see a counselor it helps. Make sure it’s the right one for you. and find someone that will support you no matter what and stick to them as close as you can. For the people making you feel worse about yourself that you already do. ignore them. It took me all this to realize that I can’t ( not that I shouldn’t, I can’t phyically or emotionanally do it anymore) try to impress people by being the perfect mother, wife, daughter in law daughter whatever. If they ae not offereing you only the support that you NEED and WANT. Then distance yourself from them for as long as you need to. evern forever if you have to. some you can’t, ( inlaws) complelety get rid of but you can distance yourslef from them. Be careful of how much you confide in them.
    Good luck
    Thnks for you all istening to my story.

  • Angela

    I’m tired of being the ‘ responsible ‘ parent. I have no other choice though. On the days I feel like I can’t do anymore, my young daughters remind me that ” you’re the only one we can count on ” and I’m thinking ” Oh, you poor kids, if I’m all you’ve got then you ARE in trouble. ” I feel guilt and shame. I should be stronger. They need me. What kind of role model am I ? I read self-help books, I self-analyze, I medititate, I pray, I say affirmations…still I feel inadequate. I probaby need therapy or even medication but I’m afraid to do anything about how I’m feeling right now. I’m afraid my husband will use it against me in our divorce– say I’m unfit or something along those lines. It’s okay that he’s the one that gets drunk and wrecks the car, loses multiple jobs,won’t pay his bills, but Me– AHA –suffering from depression and anxiety, ‘ watch out ! ‘ UGH !!!

  • Margo

    Thank you for this… I am SO burned out and I needed to read about others who are feeling like this. I also feel so guilty sucking my kids into my mood and despair lately… they have no idea what’s going on and I just keep wondering what damage I’m doing to them! My worst nightmare is that they will end up seeing me as I see my mother – narcissistic, harsh and not nurturing. I hope I can pull myself out of this and be what they need me to be. I hear that same critic in my head as Therese – why aren’t the self-help books, prayer and affirmations working for me either?!

  • ali

    I am literally in tears writing this. Sitting here alone, after putting my 2 1/2 old son and 5 month old daughter to bed, I’m mentally rehashing all the mean things I said to them today. My son is always asking: “mommy, are you mad.” And even him asking me that makes me angry. I’m angry at a 5 month old for crying. How the heck are these kids ever going to be normal? Will they hate my guts? I feel overwhelmed all the time with impatience. Happy one second, then in an instant I’ll blow up for the littlest thing. I’m tired of getting up at 3 in the morning every night. Exausted. I think the exhaustion is making everything ten times worse.

  • Heather Link

    I finally have a moment of peace as my husband is up picking up Thai food and I am alone with my two year old sleeping. I cried so hard when I read the blogs above-because I feel that awful wave of depression washing over me again. The one I fought off after six sleepless months, when I felt I would go crazy. Now, I feel immobile, when I felt pretty good a week ago. It seems like it hits harder and faster and as soon as I figure out it is Depression knocking on the door again, I am already consumed with the barrage of negative comments that race through my head. My husband says, “call your counselor”, so I do, but it is like admitting defeat. I am so afraid my son will grow up thinking mommy is always sad.

  • Torri

    I’m loosing it. I am sitting here crying so hard that I can’t even read what I am typing. The above post say so much of what I feel. I feel so defeated and I am so afraid I am going to loose everything. The only answer I have to my situation is to get out. My son deserves so much better than me. I’ve suffered from depression most of my life and I grew up in a caotic environment and I refuse for my son to have to go thru that. I look at him and see how great he is, but still I feel so dead inside. My husband deserves so much better as well. I checked myself into a hospital that is in the next county and my regular psychiatrist does not practice there, but he was not the reason I chose another hospital. However, he got angry and added charges to my bill from several years back and I begged my husband to call to try to straighten it out and he didn’t. If I call, I will lose it and make the situation worse. So now here I sit with no doctor and no support-alone. I see no light.

  • Principessa

    I needed to see if there were other moms feeling as lost and distraught as me and I found the above comments…we are not alone. We are doing the best we can, and I honestly believe, as long as we keep focused on the ultimate goal, we will raise healthy, happy children. BUT JEEZ LOUISE – ! It is not easy and I didn’t read the fine print before signing up for Motherhood, and now, I kinda wish I had…

  • mmc

    I read that information about the Motherhood and Depression. so attractive and give an inspiration. It is very useful information. Many many thanks for your kind and nice comments.

  • Jess

    I am feeling so depress recently. I cant work for few weeks but nobody know about that. I shout at my kids even the 2 year old… I chase away my 4yo girl when she ask me question and I just never feel happy with my other kids. I might be having depression after birth. But my husband never know about this. I start to suspicious about my hubby having affair with my friends… who was his colleague. I really dont want this to affect my kids..

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