A Note To Depressed Parents Everywhere
Whether you are a parent with depression struggling to raise children or a new mom suffering from postpartum depression, know that you are not alone.
I am a Mom and I have chronic depression. While I haven't suffered from a major depressive episode for two years, I have frequent (and I mean frequent) ups and downs. I've been a Mom for 26 years and while I was only diagnosed with depression just over a decade ago, I can remember some really black times as my kids were growing up. Still, I loved them with all my heart and the pain of not being able to show them how much I loved them tore me up. I tried really hard. I tried and I failed and I sometimes succeeded. Regardless, I always tried.
[caption id="attachment_2591" align="alignright" width="213" caption="By David Castillo Dominici, courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net"][/caption]
As Depressed Parents, We Keep Trying
That's what parents do - we keep trying. And though sometimes we are under the covers, hiding from the light of day and from life, we are trying to get out of bed. Though we sometimes forget to pack your lunch or we burn the toast at breakfast, the fact that we did any of that means we are trying. When we yelled at you because you peed in your diaper rather than the potty or we forgot to pick you up from art class, know that the guilt we felt afterwards made us want to end it all. But we tried harder and pushed through. Sometimes you to showed us the A+ on your homework assignment or told us all about the little girl you liked with the blue eyes, and we really, really wanted to know about all of that stuff, and while we just didn't have the ability to concentrate or give it all the enthusiasm you deserved, we tried our best - and hoped you didn't notice our pain - though inside we know you did.
These are just a few of the horrors (they are horrors in my mind, not theirs) that I inflicted on my children. They were (and still are) first and foremost in my mind. In fact, when I was six-lethal-pills-in-the-palm-of-my-hand close to committing suicide, I tried really hard to think of just one thing to look forward to in my life and it was the thought of my daughter's marriage that pulled me through.
There are millions of moms and dads around the world just like you. You try and you try and you keep trying. For some of you, your kids (like mine) will (try to) understand your depression and will support and love you through it. For some, your kids may have suffered too much pain or feel neglected - they may be unable (right now) to understand your depression. Just know that you are not alone. You are just like me. A parent with depression - just trying to do my best.
Being depressed is terrible. Being a depressed parent, responsible for the lives of your children, is brutal.
To depressed parents everywhere, this blog is for you.
Scott, L. (2014, May 11). A Note To Depressed Parents Everywhere, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, June 6 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/copingwithdepression/2014/05/to-depressed-parents-everywhere
Author: Liana M. Scott
Very well said. I commented on another but this one fits to a tee. I cannot get out of bed most days. Life in general is hard for me. It shouldnt be. I am so blessed but it is. I feel I cannot do anything right. I hold myself to very high standards I guess. I could do it in the past (take care of everything and everyone) but I am struggling now. I hate it and want so bad to be better. For my kids most of all.
Hi Hayley. So - we cannot be the Mom's we want to be. That is a very hard "pill" to swallow - - so, swallowing the depression meds we take can be a constant reminder of our perceived failures. The truth is, however, that we must take care of ourselves, just as we would our children and our partners - or we will be unable to care for them at all. When I was in my 30's, before my official diagnosis, I was as you've described yourself (take care of everything and everyone). Working a full time job as well. If I'm honest with myself and look back on my life (I am 49 now), I can see that I was depressed far before my actual diagnosis. I later described myself as a robot - a smiling robot - just going through all the motions and tasks I had to do - - convincing myself that I felt normal - - assuming that the way I felt was how all young mothers feel. If, perhaps, I had found out about my depression in my twenties, like you, maybe I would be in a different place now, having sought treatment earlier on. In any case, you're doing the right things. Seek treatment and STAY on your meds! Try not to hate it! I wrote another blog about that a few weeks ago. In that I wrote, Depression doesn’t define me. The symptoms don’t own me. Keep trying. Use positivity wherever you can. Be well. Hugs.
Thanks heaps for this post, gosh Ive been feeling like this for a wee while now. I try my hardest I have a gorgeous 5 year old son. Somedays I just dont wanna get out of bed, some days I don't...some days my boy has had to get up and get his own food if he's hungry, I make sure the fridge and pantry are full and let him know he can help himself whenever he gets hungry. I wish I could be the mum who always gets up at 7am to make a cooked breakfast and get him off ready to school on time every day, but that is just not the case for me..I have just seperated from his dad and we have made a big move to no job, a first school for him and moving into a new house and he has been getting so angry lately and has outbursts and I just get to the point where I want to scream and hide. But, good to know that yes we all try our best.
Hi Rachael. I'm glad this blog post spoke to you, at least a bit. It's so hard sometimes, I know. I hope you're getting some form of treatment to help manage your depression. You sound like a good mom and I wish the very best for you. Hugs.
My son hates me and blames everything bad in his life on is childhood. He claims my depression ruined his life and cheated him. He has broken off communication with me now and I'm afraid that he has gotten to the point where he remember nothing good. I never used physical punishment or abuse in any manner as I felt guilty that he had to deal with my mental illness. Maybe I enabled him, I don't know. He is 31 and has mental health issues of his own starting from his teens. I'm worried about him, but his anger is too hard for me to handle and sets my depression plummeting.
Hi Nadine. Brave of you to comment, and I thank you. There's no easy answer to the impact our depression has on our kids (and loved ones). It sound like his anger is a depression trigger for you so as sad as it is, you definitely need to do what you must to take care of yourself. Be well. Hugs.
Dear mam i'm depressed,im hopeless,i have no interest,i went to some Psychiatric, and im not getting well. im feeling depression and anxiety since last 10 years....i do nothing. im single im 37 year poor man.im jobless .i have no life....i feel to much scare because i have taken 2 many pills and dua to sideeffects now im feeling 2 much anxiety and fear...doctor suggest me some pills.. im taking paroxetine 12;5 .Epival 250,kempro procyclidine at day time.... and rivotril 2 mg and evokalm quetiapine 25 mg at night, i have gigh bp problem as well. im taking concor 5mg bisoprolol hemifumarate..and indearl 40 mg ....i have stomach problems as well.. im taking omeprozole 20 mg Zantac (ranitidine)...and im not getting well. infcat im getting sick day by day. im fed up of my life.....please help me.... and tell me what can i do....i dont go anywhere. i stay at my room...i only go for jogging .bez i gained to much weight due to pills..... kindly help me... im poor man i swear.... plz plzzzzzzzzz help me...even i cant afford tablets now...i lost 50% memory....kindly help me and produce me free tablets, plzz i request you...plz help me..im sick of my self as well. my family is also sick of me... no 1 want help me... plz reply back. i will b ever greatful to all of you.......best regards.