Google+ Authentic Parenting: Parenting with Depression

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Parenting with Depression

I have been depressed for quite some time now.

I didn't realize it was depression until Lauren from Hobo Mama pointed int out in a conversation on Facebook. She thought it was Post Partum depression, and even though the aftermath of our Buddha's birth was traumatic to say the least, in all honesty, this has been going on for way longer.
I began to research depression online and yes, I fit the bill. In every imaginable aspect.

Some of the signs:
- inability to cry
- unable to feel emotions
- thinking about or attempting suicide
- anger
- feeling like you might harm yourself, your kids or a family member

Image: Yuliya Libkina

Acknowledging this is what made me write the Overwhelm series. You can find lots of useful tips in the series to overcome depression, and to avoid it. But sometimes, self help just isn't enough to overcome your illness.
I have long known that I will not get out of this on my own. This long lasting depression goes deeper than birth trauma, or difficulties adapting to our new family unit, or even the different trauma's I went through the past couple of years. This depression taps into much deeper hurts? Things I have tucked away and repressed. Things I need to deal with in order to heal.
My aversion to myself and the sheer distance between me and any other human being - both physical and emotional - makes it impossible to have a healing conversation, to allow myself to have an emotional outpour.
So I started searching for a therapist or councilor, but it seems impossible in the situation I am in, so for me, I guess i have to drag this burden along a little further.

As a parent, depression takes a toll on the family is extra hard to bare, as you are responsible for your children. This knowledge can drag you down further and entail guilt.

  • am I hurting my children?
  • what kind of example am I setting
  • I'm stealing my children's youth
  • I'm bothering my children, they would be better off without me...
Depression is an illness that is frowned upon. Most people see it as a sign of weakness, or not even an illness at all. Something you can easily overcome if you just 'suck it up' and 'get it together'. It is a taboo and we tend not to want to talk about it. 

I wanted to write this post for others who might recognize themselves in these writings.

Image: Yuliya Libkina
  • If you feel stuck and all of the things I have suggested in the Overwhelm series aren't enough to get you out of this, please, find someone you can trust and confide in. This can be a coach, a councilor or a therapist, or even a friend or family member, if you are confident enough to confide all to someone you know. 
  • If you need instant, profound healing, you might want to jumpstart your healing with a retreat, there are many different retreats out there, in all budget ranges.
  • Start a journal, where you can let your feelings pour out. I will write another article on journalling later on. 
  • Make sure you have a support system in place where you can turn to whenever you need it. The most important thing is that you and your family are safe, so if you feel like it's too much, call on someone to take your kids. Don't worry about 'imposing' or being inconvenient. Your health and safety should always be the top priority


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7 comments:

  1. I am also a person with depression and a newish (17 months) mother. It's hard. It's hard to be with myself in my own mind, it's hard to find the right ways to reach out for help, and it's hard to have all the wonders and worries about the quality of my parenthood. I don't have anything profound to offer, except to tell you that you're not alone. It's helpful for me to remember that sometimes.

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  2. Sorry to hear about the depression! I think the battle is more than won if you recognise it and do something about it!

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  3. In hindsight, we have seen a distance on your blog, and now it makes sense!
    Hope you look after yourself!

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  4. Thank you so much for your comments, Karen. You don't know how timely they were and what good they do. ALong with my mental issues, I have had doubts about this blog. Being a fellow blogger, you might know how badly the Facebook changes have screwed up our stats, and it made me wonder if anyone is still out there.

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  5. Thank you for writing about this... Sending you love and understanding... <3 moya

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  6. Hi Laura. We're still here! I know how hard it is with depression. I've been there myself, and sometimes it seems like it's always lurking around the corner. I hope you find the help you need. It's not a matter of strength or weakness, sometimes we need an impartial 3rd party to help get us through this. And thanks so much for your mama overwhelm series. Really helped me centre myself and focus. Hugs

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