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Stay at Home Mom with Recurring Depression

P

pandamom38

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2021
Messages
12
Location
Northern California
I'm a stay-at-home mom in her late twenties who has been struggling with depression for eight years. I have been treated professionally and went to therapy for no more than a year, years ago. My loved ones have been dealing with my decisions and behaviors that result from my ups and downs for a really long time. I have genetic bipolar disorder (unmedicated), and I'm determined to break this cycle by trying to live a peaceful life. This is a list of things I struggle with that are in my way to becoming a better version of myself:

-Sleep anxiety - fear of falling asleep, chronic nightmares
-Mood swings from low blood sugar
-Post-partum depression - just recovered a year ago and now I'm 8 months pregnant and nervous about how I'm going to handle my next post-partum
-Depression - Overall feeling of being a failure from not having a successful career, hits me at least once a month, I barf my feelings about that all over my husband. Anxiety over my lack of a career has been going on for at least 6 years.
-Low energy/burnout cycle - I'm an intense person who is overly optimistic and intense when I take on something, then get depressed from failing, disappointments, and burnout. Been going on for 8 years. Maybe it's the root of my depression?

Things I've tried:
-Medication (a few months on Lithium)
-Therapy (a year)
-Journaling (since high school)

Any advice would be appreciated.
 
UpnDwn1978

UpnDwn1978

Well-known member
Forum Guide
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Jun 16, 2020
Messages
7,341
Location
Norway
Hi pandamom welcome to the forum :welcome:
 
C

celticlass

Well-known member
Joined
May 7, 2011
Messages
1,492
Location
Scotland
Hello. I am now 63 but have had problems with my mental health really since my mid teens, when anxiety was bad. I had my first child when I was 23 and I experienced post natal depression. I was isolated at home, there were some difficulties with my baby, and neither my mother or MIL were around for support. Oh I had a bad 'bout' of depression at 20/21. Thoughtfully the company I was working for sacked me for being off sick - now this was the late 70's and they had to pay me £1,000 in compensation.

So the problems started early and have not gone away. Major Depressive Disorder, I was told - you need to stay on anti-depressants. Bipolar disorder 2 later psychiatrists declared.

So I get where you are coming from. I've been on Lithium, then Depakote etc. I did manage to have a career after the birth of my 5th child but I had to retire nearly 8 years ago due to my poor health. So I would say to you there should be time enough to think about working in the future so best not beat yourself up on that count.

Now funnily enough my most stable years were those when I was at home caring for my children! Since we had a bigger family a routine was very important and I think that really helped keep me ticking over. I was always socially anxious though and was quite happy to stay at home in the evenings when all my kids were tucked up in bed. I just wanted to share that to give you hope. Once the children came along I was not really on any medication 😂 they seemed to be everything I needed. Hopefully you will be about on here letting us know how things are going.
 
D

Dispatch

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Messages
656
Location
USA
Welcome to the forum pandamom38 ... a lot of helpful folks on here , welcome 🙂
 
P

pandamom38

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2021
Messages
12
Location
Northern California
Hello. I am now 63 but have had problems with my mental health really since my mid teens, when anxiety was bad. I had my first child when I was 23 and I experienced post natal depression. I was isolated at home, there were some difficulties with my baby, and neither my mother or MIL were around for support. Oh I had a bad 'bout' of depression at 20/21. Thoughtfully the company I was working for sacked me for being off sick - now this was the late 70's and they had to pay me £1,000 in compensation.

So the problems started early and have not gone away. Major Depressive Disorder, I was told - you need to stay on anti-depressants. Bipolar disorder 2 later psychiatrists declared.

So I get where you are coming from. I've been on Lithium, then Depakote etc. I did manage to have a career after the birth of my 5th child but I had to retire nearly 8 years ago due to my poor health. So I would say to you there should be time enough to think about working in the future so best not beat yourself up on that count.

Now funnily enough my most stable years were those when I was at home caring for my children! Since we had a bigger family a routine was very important and I think that really helped keep me ticking over. I was always socially anxious though and was quite happy to stay at home in the evenings when all my kids were tucked up in bed. I just wanted to share that to give you hope. Once the children came along I was not really on any medication 😂 they seemed to be everything I needed. Hopefully you will be about on here letting us know how things are going.
Thank you for your positive words. I think I will do something for myself / with my live in regards to having a career in the future. I’m a young mom for my age, so I guess I’m beating myself up because all my friends are still in career mode and living it up. On the contrary to your experience, my MIL was actually around too much that it made me depressed / felt like my home was no longer mine. Now that she’s not living with us, my daily routine with my child is actually my biggest mood stabilizer.

I’ll try to stay in the forums to learn more about how to deal with my issues. See you around!
 
J

JeanPierre

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 4, 2021
Messages
2,159
Location
Southern USA
I'm a stay-at-home mom in her late twenties who has been struggling with depression for eight years. I have been treated professionally and went to therapy for no more than a year, years ago. My loved ones have been dealing with my decisions and behaviors that result from my ups and downs for a really long time. I have genetic bipolar disorder (unmedicated), and I'm determined to break this cycle by trying to live a peaceful life. This is a list of things I struggle with that are in my way to becoming a better version of myself:

-Sleep anxiety - fear of falling asleep, chronic nightmares
-Mood swings from low blood sugar
-Post-partum depression - just recovered a year ago and now I'm 8 months pregnant and nervous about how I'm going to handle my next post-partum
-Depression - Overall feeling of being a failure from not having a successful career, hits me at least once a month, I barf my feelings about that all over my husband. Anxiety over my lack of a career has been going on for at least 6 years.
-Low energy/burnout cycle - I'm an intense person who is overly optimistic and intense when I take on something, then get depressed from failing, disappointments, and burnout. Been going on for 8 years. Maybe it's the root of my depression?

Things I've tried:
-Medication (a few months on Lithium)
-Therapy (a year)
-Journaling (since high school)

Any advice would be appreciated.
Welcome here!
I have come to realize there is no greater job than raising happy, well - adjusted, educated children.
I hope you come to value that. Otherwise the regret is heavy.
Yes, you can have a career later. ✌
 
C

celticlass

Well-known member
Joined
May 7, 2011
Messages
1,492
Location
Scotland
Thank you for your positive words. I think I will do something for myself / with my live in regards to having a career in the future. I’m a young mom for my age, so I guess I’m beating myself up because all my friends are still in career mode and living it up. On the contrary to your experience, my MIL was actually around too much that it made me depressed / felt like my home was no longer mine. Now that she’s not living with us, my daily routine with my child is actually my biggest mood stabilizer.

I’ll try to stay in the forums to learn more about how to deal with my issues. See you around!
Good luck. I do hope I will here how you are getting on x
 
J

JeanPierre

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 4, 2021
Messages
2,159
Location
Southern USA
I meant to say congratulations on your new baby!
Stay here for support.
We want to know how you are getting along.
Check out the forums for better advice than me;
I hope you have told your doctor.
 
C

celticlass

Well-known member
Joined
May 7, 2011
Messages
1,492
Location
Scotland
Welcome here!
I have come to realize there is no greater job than raising happy, well - adjusted, educated children.
I hope you come to value that. Otherwise the regret is heavy.
Yes, you can have a career later. ✌
I 100% second this. My difficulties clearly stem from my childhood. I am very happy to report that I have raised very able and fully functioning adults.
 
T

toucan

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 26, 2021
Messages
56
Location
Chicago, IL
I'm in a similar boat so it's nice to hear from other moms/mums who have made it through and turned out ok. One of my biggest fears is that I'll deteriorate so badly that someone will take away my child.
 
T

toucan

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 26, 2021
Messages
56
Location
Chicago, IL
I don't know, actually. I guess because that's what they're supposed to do? If you're deemed an "unfit mother" you get your kids taken. I think I'm doing a pretty good job but I don't think other people would agree if whatever mental illness I have keeps getting worse and my moods are unstable. I'd never dream of hurting her so that's not a problem, unless I black out maybe? But I still don't think I would.

I'm gender non-conforming and wear a lot of black and I'm worried that makes me look worse. It would just take one disapproving mother to call CPS and have them scrutinize me. One of my friends in Michigan had CPS called on her because the nurse at the doctor's office didn't like how her baby was dressed. I read an article once about how a mom got her kids taken from her because she let them play at a playground next to her apartment building while watching them from her window. If she's so poor that she's living in an apartment with 3 kids was there some kind of prejudice at play? I used to play with other kids by myself all the time when I was little and there was never a problem with it back then.

Sorry, didn't mean to hijack the thread.
 
P

pandamom38

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2021
Messages
12
Location
Northern California
I don't know, actually. I guess because that's what they're supposed to do? If you're deemed an "unfit mother" you get your kids taken. I think I'm doing a pretty good job but I don't think other people would agree if whatever mental illness I have keeps getting worse and my moods are unstable. I'd never dream of hurting her so that's not a problem, unless I black out maybe? But I still don't think I would.

I'm gender non-conforming and wear a lot of black and I'm worried that makes me look worse. It would just take one disapproving mother to call CPS and have them scrutinize me. One of my friends in Michigan had CPS called on her because the nurse at the doctor's office didn't like how her baby was dressed. I read an article once about how a mom got her kids taken from her because she let them play at a playground next to her apartment building while watching them from her window. If she's so poor that she's living in an apartment with 3 kids was there some kind of prejudice at play? I used to play with other kids by myself all the time when I was little and there was never a problem with it back then.

Sorry, didn't mean to hijack the thread.
Hi! It's okay, I also deal with a lot of mental health issues while mothering. I used to volunteer at my daughter's daycare, and I would hear administrators talk about mothers behind their backs all the time about how their children are dressed, how clean their lunchboxes are, etc. In reality, I think people who judge other people's business are trying to make up for something missing in their own lives. Also, everyone just goes directly to the "worse case scenario" nowadays because that's what the news is all about. There are plenty of practices I do that deem me an "unfit" mother such as not helping my child when she trips unless she comes to me for comfort etc. I think before agencies remove a child from the parent, they need to get the perspective of the parent.
 
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