Moms Who Are Depressed: Get Help
The news of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain last week made me think about all the moms who struggle with depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
There was one time in my early twenties when I had the fleeting thought, “I wish I wasn’t here.” I didn’t really want to die, and I didn’t actually contemplate suicide. I just didn’t want to keep experiencing the pain and emptiness that seemed like it would last forever.
While I didn’t know it at the time, I was clinically depressed. I slept a lot, cried a lot, and barely ate for months. I was living and volunteering in Israel the year after college graduation, and didn’t adjust well to the many transitions and new experiences there.
Eventually, when I moved back home, a friend referred me to a therapist she knew. The therapist helped me to feel so much better about myself and my future.
Many years later when I became a mother, my anxiety (a close cousin of depression) reached an all-time high. At one point, I even considered admitting myself to a hospital because the anxiety felt so out of control. I would wake up each morning in a panic, wondering how I would make it through the day, alone with a baby.
While hospitalization wasn’t necessary, I did get psychiatric help. I’ve been taking Zoloft every day for years and I feel great. I know some people are afraid that antidepressants will dull their senses and personality, but I find that it allows me to become more, not less, of who I am. It helps “take the edge off” by balancing the chemicals in my brain, so I can function at my very best.
I would be remiss not to mention how crucial it is to work with a doctor to manage your dosage, especially if you decide it’s not for you, because quitting “cold turkey” can cause withdrawal symptoms and potentially worsen your depression.
I’m telling you all of this because I know that when you feel overwhelmed, depressed, or anxious, it can seem as though there’s no way out — that life will never get any better. And I promise you that it can.
You aren’t weak for going to therapy, taking medicine, asking for help, or hiring help. You’re strong and brave because you know how to care for yourself and your family. Less Drama More Mama was founded on the principle that moms need to put on their own oxygen masks first, so they can be the best moms they can be.
Where to get help
If you’re feeling anxious, depressed, or are considering suicide, please get professional help. Remember — you are not alone. Others are here to help you get through this difficult time.
Below are some hotlines that are available 24/7:
The National Suicide Prevention Hotline 800-273-8255
Parental Stress Hotline – Help for Parents 800-632-8188
Alcohol & Drug Abuse Hotline 800-729-6686
National Domestic Violence Hotline 800-799-7233
Please share this post. You never know what others may be going through.
I suffered post partum depression with my first born. It was the darkest place I had ever known. I didn’t know what was happening, here I had my beautiful baby, but had no desire to take care of him. My husband thought I was trying to get away with my responsibility as a mom. If it wasn’t for my mom and midwife, who located a therapist for me, I don’t know what I would have done. The depression lasted until he was about three years old, but was manageable through my therapy and medication. My husband realized after education to him, that I was not making this up. My son is now eleven and I am still on my anxiety meds and to this day, relie on the wisdom my therapist gave to me. She was my Angel on earth.
Thank you for posting a comment and for sharing your experience. It just goes to show how common it is, and how much we need to educate ourselves and our families about depression. I’m so thankful that you sought help, and that you and your son are doing well. xoxo