It’s more then just the blues
Hey mama! I know how you feel…… You find yourself hiding in the bathroom and crying. You feel like you’re all alone and no one understands. You feel hollow and empty inside and you go through your daily routine like a robot. You can’t let your kids suffer; they are dependent on you. So, somehow, you reach into your deep reserve of ‘mommyness’ and find enough energy to cook a meal of chicken nuggets and mac & cheese, and maybe even start a load of laundry. You know they need you.
Well, you are not alone! I understand! I am one of millions of women who suffers from the unrelenting feelings of loneliness and emptiness wrought of depression. I know how it feels wanting to hide under the bed as the world closes in. I know what it’s like to walk in the kitchen, see the sink full of dishes, turn, and walk out with a sigh of despair. I can relate to not having enough energy to do the laundry or vacuum the floor. I know the fog and confusion of trying to contemplate a simple dinner for the kids, made worse by the fact that you haven’t felt like eating for days. I know how it feels for it all to seem so pointless. I promise you I know! And I promise you aren’t alone!
Symptoms of Depression
These feelings are likely associated with depression, an illness which is, unfortunately, common among women. According to Mental Health America, approximately 12 million women experience the debilitating symptoms of depression every year. And, if left untreated, depression can be fatal!
Symptoms of depression:
- Feeling tired all the time
- Feeling sad for more than a few days
- Not having interest in things you used to enjoy
- Being short tempered, irritable, or restless
- Having difficulty sleeping
- Sleeping too much
- Feeling worthless, guilty, helpless, or hopeless
- Not being able to concentrate, losing focus, or feeling like you’re in a fog
Mama, if you have any of these symptoms, please see a doctor and let him or her know about your feelings. Depression is NOT anything to be ashamed of; depression IS an illness. Suffering from depression does NOT mean you’re a bad mother; it DOES mean you’ve had to try to be strong enough to tolerate excessive stress for too long. It means it’s time to reach out and seek help. A doctor can prescribe one of the many medications available for the treatment of depression that can help you get back on track with your life. Reaching out is NOT a sign of weakness, or inability to take care of your kids; it IS a sign that you want to take care of yourself so that you WILL be able to take care of your kids.
Connect or Reconnect
While medication is an essential component in the treatment of depression, medication alone is seldom adequate. Talking to someone else about your frustrations and stresses is also important. Seeking professional help from a counselor or therapist is one option. Another option is to find a support group, or at least another individual, who can relate to your condition. There are others out there just like you who feel life’s stresses and need someone to talk to. Relating to someone who has been in your shoes can relieve the stress and give you hope.
It is very helpful if you can discuss your feelings with your significant other, but some women find this difficult. They may fear their SO will look down on them, or they feel guilty about burdening their SO with their problems. Whether you confide in your SO, a therapist, a relative, a friend, or support group really doesn’t matter, though. What is important is that you find someone with whom you are comfortable confiding and sharing. Don’t be afraid! Reach out! It could save your life!
There are many resources, including online resources, that offer help and support for depression. Most importantly, IF YOU ARE HAVING THOUGHTS OF HURTING YOURSELF OR OTHERS:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) also offers 24/7 phone counseling for emotional distress related to natural or man-made disasters:
Disaster Distress Hotline
Text “TalkWithUs” to 66746
In addition to these critical resources, numerous sites, such as Depression Forums , are available online. Several Facebook groups, such as Fifty Shades of a Depressed & Anxious Mommy, Moms With Anxiety And Depression, and Mothers with Depression Support Group also offer help and support.
Suffering from depression sucks, to say the least. It’s a relentless condition of being unbearably sick and tired. You feel as if you have fallen down a bottomless well with no way out, when all you really want is to feel better and enjoy you kids and life again. You are not the first, though, and you are not alone! Reach out for help! Reclaim your life from this horrible illness! Mama, it’s going to be okay. There is a rainbow behind all that rain, I give you my word on that.