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A Mother Struggles With Depression


I have an 8 mo old daughter and have been feeling very hopeless and like life has nothing to offer me. Being a mother has been very overwhelming for me and my husband does not understand. He thinks I’m exaggerating when I say I hate my life and wish I could leave. But I can’t tell you how often I think about my before parenthood days and how simple things where. If only I realized that then. I have gone to counseling once shortly after my daughter was born but did not like the counselor, she looked younger than me and like I was from another planet since I couldn’t stop crying. I felt very silly and never went back. I seem to be getting worse instead of better. I thought I’d get use to this by now, but I haven’t. I don’t know what to do. Our HMO limits where we can go for mental health care. Any suggestions would be helpful. I feel like an island all alone because I don’t want to tell anyone exactly how I’m feeling because I’m afraid they will think I don’t love my daughter. Which is not true. I love her very much, but this is the hardest job I’ve ever had.

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It is not uncommon for depression or depressive feelings to follow pregnancy and birth. My suggestion is for you to get yourself evaluated for depression. If you can’t do this with a proper psychiatrist or psychologist (someone really trained and qualified to diagnose depression) then at least get yourself seen by your regular family doctor (which your HMO may be more willing to pay for). She or he can prescribe medication capable of bringing you some relief. It is also critical that you find some social support. From what you describe you feel all alone in your situation. You might really benefit from having a person or persons you can trust to share your burdens with. Don’t give up on therapy just because you’ve had one bad experience. The world is filled with therapists – many of whom offer fee payments on a sliding scale so as to make their services affordable for persons in your (all too common) situation. Another way to find effective support might be for you to seek out a new parent support group in your community – a group therapy situation – an internet chat room for this purpose – or even friends you can confide in. It will be important for your own health and for the health of your child that you seek professional assistance as well as find some people you can confide in.

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