Depression on maternity leave is a common thing. What symptoms speak about her appearance? Why is the help of friends and relatives often ineffective? How do young mothers start treatment?
The world of mother and baby
The first months after the birth of the baby, the woman rejoices in her happiness – the child and the status of a young mother. After some time – a few months or a year – a new life can become everyday – a woman realizes that, apart from cooking, feeding, walking, cleaning and caring for a baby, there is nothing in her life. Responsibilities go in a circle, urgent matters are performed on the run, but there is no time left for yourself, your desires and needs.
How does depression develop?
While the baby is small, the attention of the young mother is focused only on him – she makes sure that he does not hurt himself, does not get a knife, does not swallow something extra. If dad works a lot, there are no grandmothers, or they are far away, then the young mother’s world narrows down to the size of a child’s perception: his desires become her dreams, the feelings and sensations he experiences are increasingly transmitted to the woman, in conversation, she no longer says “I’m “And” my child “, instead, more and more often we”: “We are one year old”, “We are very capricious”, “We love cauliflower more.” At first glance, in such words of the mother there is nothing strange, however, after a while, she does not notice that, increasingly closer to the child, dissolves in it and loses itself as a person. This is exactly the moment depression.
One day, mom suddenly realizes that girlfriends, movies, carefree walks, hobbies and even thoughts about them are in the distant past. And the spouse? Returns late, does not help, inattentive. Physical proximity? No, better sleep. Terrible fatigue, lack of interest in life, unwillingness to get up in the morning. A woman begins to realize that life ceases to like her. She may blame her husband, child, circumstances, or herself. “Who needs me like this?” Mom thinks over washing up. “I lost myself”, “I didn’t leave that man behind”, “Sooner (or later) gave birth”, “I am a bad mother” – these statements are mentally scrolled several times a day in the woman’s head, worsening her emotional state.
Consequences of depression in the mother
Irritation at the slightest provocation and quarrels become frequent phenomena in family life. The habitual “tangle” of fatigue and heavy thoughts gradually grows, depriving a woman of the last moral and physical strength. Often, close people – parents, husband, girlfriends – are unaware that thoughts of hopelessness, divorce, or even suicide are visited by a dear person.
Depression makes it impossible to enjoy, participate in family life, develop and objectively look at the events taking place. Mothers and babies suffer from this condition, and family relationships become strained.
How to start treatment?
- To understand that depression is a common problem that is not shameful. More often than not, women, instead of accepting a situation, try to avoid problems, or scold themselves for being too sensitive. At the same time, they may experience many feelings of guilt and shame, thinking that the problem lies in them and there is something wrong with them. Take yourself in depressed – it means to think about the psychological health and the ways of its treatment;
- believe that there is a way out, and many mothers have already used it. The more a woman on maternity leave is locked in herself, the harder it is to help her. If you do not want to share your problems with anyone, then you can help yourself through virtual communication. For this, it is not necessary to leave the house and confide with a stranger, for example, a psychotherapist. Social networks and interest groups contain many living stories and examples of women who have been depressed. After talking with them, you can get support and valuable advice;
- want to change your life. If a young mother does not want to help herself, then it is unlikely that someone else can do it from the side. To live better, to rest more, to please yourself and your husband, to enjoy not communicating with the baby – something you should strive for while on maternity leave, instead of experiencing gray everyday life; decide to make an effort to solve the problem. Thoughts of good are not enough to overcome depression. It is useful for a young woman to decide where she is ready to begin, how to act, so that depression will recede;
- consult a psychologist. Addressing a specialist in a timely manner is one of the best ways to not only overcome depression on maternity leave, but also to solve many other personal complexes that the young mother often does not suspect.
The effectiveness of psychotherapy
“Why is it necessary to go to a psychologist if you can read books and Internet resources?” Many people think. On the one hand, such a quick way simplifies the solution of the problem, and on the other hand, it creates the risk of wasting time. Unverified sources from the Internet can be completely confusing, and books in the “popular psychology” series are often intended for a wide range of readers and contain information that is unlikely to help a particular person.
Tips of relatives and friends are also not always effective, because, to get out of depression, you need to deeply understand its causes, and this requires special knowledge and information, some of which you would not want to put up for discussion. In addition, depression and the study of her character imply an analysis of the client’s personality, his childhood and relationships with other people, and this can only be done by a professional.
A psychologist, having the appropriate education and experience, will be able from the outside to look at the life problems of another person and understand what kind of help is needed. If a young mother turns to a specialist and trusts him, then she has a real opportunity to permanently leave the depression in the past and to rediscover herself, her interests, her family. It must be remembered that such work is individual and how long it will take is unknown in advance.
What is the process psychotherapy?
- the psychologist will listen to complaints and ask additional questions to the woman about her and her family, which will allow better understanding of the causes of depression;
- will help relieve emotional stress and set up further work;
- analyze information and determine a plan of action;
- talk about depression and explain what circumstances led to its development;
- if necessary, he will consult with his spouse and explain how he can support his wife;
- with the help of small consecutive tasks, he will direct him to work with the causes of depression to achieve a stable result.
What to do if a young mother does not have the time and money to regularly go to a psychologist’s appointment?
Many experts advise by phone and online services. Such consultations will be no worse than full-time ones, but they will be much cheaper due to the lack of rental space. There is also free psychological help – it can be obtained on special sites where psychologists of different directions publish their profiles.