There are times in our lives when we are more prone to anxiety and depression. For women, one of those times can be after the birth of a child and the early years of parenting. Life changes is such substantial ways.
Even when the changes are positive, change is change and the adjustments can bring on stress. The family has to reorganize with every addition of a child. Mom is tired, the physical demands are intense and toddlers can leave you feeling exhausted! You have little time to yourself and sometimes, you just want to talk to a grown-up!
Most women manage the transition with a new child well, but some get stuck in depression. In fact, one out of eight women will develop depression at some time in their lives. One of those risk times s is during the childbearing years. And when mom is depressed, it impacts the kids. In fact, when a child has a depressed mother, he or she is three times more likely to develop depression too.
But if a mom gets treatment for depression, her children get better too. The earlier the better. So pay attention to your emotional state when you begin the childrearing stage. Look for these signs of depression:
Depressed mood, sadness beyond what is normal
Low energy level
Loss of interest in things that use to keep your interest
Thoughts of suicide or homicide
Too much or too little sleep–not related to the disruption in the cycle from the baby, but because of racing thoughts and inability to rest
Feelings of worthlessness and guilt
Changes in appetite
Problems with concentration
Psychomotor agitation or retardation
If these symptoms persist and do not go away over time, you could be depressed. Yes, some of them come with all the changes, but it is the intensity of these symptoms to pay attention to–if they are causing you great distress or impairing you from taking care of your family.
If you are struggling to make this a Happy Mother’s Day, get help. Depression is very treatable.