Depression and Parenting
May 25, 2009 3:08 PM Subscribe
I'm going through a severe period of depression, and I'm having a hard time being a good parent. Can anyone give me advice on how to get through this without traumatizing my children?
posted by anonymous to health & fitness (16 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I've suffered with depression and severe mood swings for years. I'm currently on bipolar medication, which has been working well for me. But for the past week, a perfect storm of work anxiety, rainy weather, and what I suppose is some brain chemistry wonkiness has put in the worst depression I've experienced for years, long before I had my two young children. While before, I would have just stayed in bed for a week or two, now I need to be a productive adult. But I'm having a hard time cooking, cleaning, and not bursting into tears, to say nothing of trying to play with my kids or show interest in anything around me. I can't sleep, I can't muster up anything beyond a flat affect, and everything makes me cry.
My husband is being amazingly supportive and helping where he can, but I feel like all the order I'm supposed to keep up at home is falling into chaos, and I'm afraid my kids will grow up to complain about their crazy mom to their therapist. With milder depressions, I've been able to just fake normalcy and keep everything going as it should, but I just don't have the energy right now.
When I was younger, I was hospitalized a few times for suicide attempts, but now that I have children, I no longer think about hurting myself because I can't imagine sending a message more horrible to your kids than mommy didn't want to stick around to see you grow up. But my experience in psych wards has taught me that being locked up with genuinely crazy people is not the solution I'm looking for. For the record, I have no desire to hurt anyone else either. The damage to my family that I'm worried about comes strictly from my inability to do or react to anything. Obviously if I don't get better soon, I will call my doctor and see if he can adjust my medication, but I won't be able to see him for a week or so. Has anyone else ever been in this situation? What did you do to get by until the depression lifted?