Motherhood is a wonderful experience. Children are a joy, and great happiness and fulfillment can come from motherhood. A mother doesn’t always feel content and express optimism in her life. A mother may experience sadness, irritability, and lack of motivation. How do you know when these symptoms are simply temporary sadness or depression? What can a mother do when she is depressed?
Depression is a mood disorder characterized by long periods of sadness, pessimism, and lack of interest in life. Women are more likely to suffer from depression than men. A mom suffering from depression may draw away from her children, stop finding pleasure in activities she once enjoyed, and experience low self-esteem. Depression, besides emotional and mental disturbances, can also cause physical symptoms including headaches, fatigue, digestive problems, appetite changes, and back pain. Although motherhood often involves sleeping disturbances in itself, depression can also affect sleep. Depression can cause insomnia or excessive amounts of time spent sleeping.
A common type of depression in motherhood is post-partum depression. Post-partum depression is a type of depression moms experience within the first year of a child’s life. Post-partum depression can be caused by physical changes in a new mother’s body following the birth of a child. Hormones are greatly affected by childbirth and cause drastic differences in a mother’s body which may contribute to post-partum depression. Childbirth also causes some big lifestyle changes and emotional upheavals, and although these can be welcomed and anticipated, these factors can also contribute to a mom developing post-partum depression.
Motherhood imposes unique pressures and strain on women, and these challenges can contribute to developing depression. Working mothers may be overwhelmed with their work and mom responsibilities. Mothers staying at home with their children may feel isolated and lonely. Moms may have difficulty with unique challenges their individual children present. For some mothers, changes instigated by their monthly menstrual cycle can contribute to depression. Hormonal changes brought on the release of an egg can cause the some of the same hormone changes brought upon mothers after childbirth. Stresses in every day life, such as financial issues and employment, can also lead to depression in moms.
For moms experiencing depression, it is exceedingly important to seek treatment. According to Science Daily, studies have shown that children can suffer emotionally and physically when their mothers are experiencing depression. Another study, also discussed by Science Daily, links antisocial behavior by children to chronic depression in their mothers. When a mother receives treatment for depression, her children benefit too. Treatment for depression can include supportive counseling, therapy, and medication. Support groups for mother’s suffering from depression to share their emotions and help each other can also be very beneficial.
Depression is a common mental health disorder affecting millions of mothers every year. Moms experiencing symptoms should seek treatment to recover and remain well. A mother should not feel ashamed or embarrassed about depression; it can affect anyone. Depression in mothers can be overcome, and moms can return to enjoying life with their children.
Depression: Recognizing the Physical Symptoms http://www.webmd.com/depression/recognizing-depression-symptoms/physical-symptoms
Port-Partum Depression http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/postpartum-depression/DS00546/DSECTION=causes
Science Daily Successful Treatment Of Mothers With Depression Helps Their Children, Too
Science Daily Mother’s Depression Associated With Increased Risk Of Child’s Antisocial Behavior
Women and Depression http://psychcentral.com/lib/2007/women-and-depression/