Depression in Mothers: How It Can Affect Your Family
Mothers are said to be the very heart of every home, and a mother’s love is what keeps the family together. Mothers put their lives on the line so we can all come into being. They are our first love, our best friend, our mentor, and our refuge.
But what happens when a mother succumbs to the nasty monster called depression?
Depression in mothers is common, especially among new moms. When left untreated, it can take a heavy toll not just on the mother but on the whole family, too. We have heard stories about families who hit rock bottom because one of the members of the family is inflicted with depression.
If you want to know how depression in mothers affects her family, read on.
The children’s social, emotional, and cognitive development can be derailed
Children, especially the little ones, need constant and daily interactions with their parents in a loving way. A mother is their main caregiver—someone that nurtures and guides them every step of their way. However, when a mother is depressed, she may not be able to give optimum care to her children. The negative thoughts and emotions that a mother feels can consume her time and energy and can show in her behavior and expressions. When children see their used-to-be vibrant mother in a poor state and without warmth and affection, they can be upset and anxious, too. When their mother does not take care of them adequately, they can be agitated and frustrated as well. As a result, the children’s physical, emotional, and mental health will also suffer.
Other family members may blame themselves
For husbands, watching their lifetime partners gradually becoming strangers in front of their eyes can create feelings of guilt. They may blame themselves for what their wives have become. Children, too, may conclude that they are at fault for their mother’s condition, especially if they have misbehaved in the past. They will think that they are ones causing problems to their mother. In this situation, it is important that someone, such as a doctor, educate the family about depression and tell them that it is not their fault. Instead of blaming themselves, they can offer support to their mother instead.
The role of fathers become even more critical
Depression can take a toll on the relationship of a woman with her husband. In fact, if the husband himself is not strong enough to take on all the responsibilities of taking care of their kids while his wife is sick, then this could create even more problems for the family. Now that the core of the family is not in the position to take her role, it is now the job of the father to assume responsibility. This is why it is extremely important for a father to have all the support and help that he can get while his family is doing its best to stay together.
It’s like there are dark clouds that are constantly shrouding the family
From the moment that family members become aware of the condition of their mother, every day would seem like a constant battle of shaking off “dark clouds” in their home. A depressed mother cannot seem to be happy in whatever she does, and the passion she once had for something gradually fades away. Families of depressed mothers would also feel like it is becoming harder to feel happy in their household, and the longer this stays, the higher the possibility of the entire family falling apart. A depressed mother, even in her current state, can still sense the changes in her family, and when she realizes that she’s the reason behind these, it can potentially make her condition even worse.
The home environment becomes unstable
A depressed parent can create an unstable home environment, causing members to become strained and uneasy. The regular and everyday small talks between them will likely be absent, disrupting the routine that they have come to love. Sometimes, if the burden becomes too heavy, other members can get sick, too. Additionally, severe depression can lead to suicidal thoughts. As a result, family members will have to live in constant fear of their mother committing suicide. Again, this could lead to more complications in the emotional stability of the children, especially the young ones.
Depression in mothers can, indeed, significantly affect her family. However, fighting this mental condition as a family unit can also make a huge positive difference. Family support is crucial in conditions like depression, but it is always better to have another strong support in the form of counseling, such as those offered by Endeavour Wellness. Mothers suffering from symptoms of depression can benefit a lot from counseling to keep their mental condition from worsening and, possibly, ruining the lives of their loved ones. Depression is a cruel disease, but there’s a way out.