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Depression: Please Help Me :(

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Firstly, I'm not sure if this is the right section to post in, so feel free to move it to the appropriate place.
I'd like to also say that I am finding it really hard to think clearly at the moment, so I may ramble quite a bit.

History:
My DS was born in april 07 at 29 weeks by emergency c-section, he spent 9 weeks in Nicu but now is a healthy three and half year old. However, for us as our first baby his birth and early arrival was a huge shock and shook us both up. I was very nervous when we brought him home, after seeing him stop breathing several times in Nicu, and he was still only 4lbs when he came home from nicu.

My DD was born a year later in april 08 at 32 weeks by VBAC, shortly after her birth, we were told she had Down Syndrome. However, we were both on top of the world, her birth was a breeze compared to my son's and she was a fighter, breathing for herself by the end of her first day. We were told to expect her home in 3-4 weeks, she just had to grow a bit and get breastfeeding.
Sadly, that bubble burst, as she slowly started to deteriorate. Nicu became a rollercoaster of good days, and heartbreakingly bad days.
She ended up with a tracheostomy, and ventilated, the drs did endless tests, but couldn't find out what was actually wrong. A rare lung condition was all we were told, they couldn't do anything for her. At 22 weeks we agreed to withdraw intensive care and she passed away in her daddy's arms. We were understandably heartbroken. By now our son was 17 months old, and we still had to be parents to him, we still had to be strong for him.
That was 2 years ago.
Since then, I've already had one bout of depression and had counselling and anti-depressants. I wanted to prove to myself I could 'cope' without meds, so came of the anti-d's after just a few months.
A few months ago, DH was also diagnosed with depression, had two weeks off work, but has now gone back. He is still depressed, as am I.
We can't help each other, as we go round in circles, both of us feeling down, and not knowing what to do to help each other.

I try so hard to be a good mother to my son, but I feel terrible that I am failing him, by not being happy and not having the energy to do things with him.
We want to homeschool!
But I feel that I don't want to let him down, or let his education suffer through my own problems.
We take him to parks, but I have so little energy when I'm out that I'm in a trance like daze.
At home, I try to do arts/crafts with him, but the energy I use to get everything set up and then put away leaves me with very little enthusiasm for the actual activity.
My DS is in a good routine, eats well, sleeps well at night and is healthy. But i'm worried that HE is going to become depressed, living with two parents who are so down all the time.
We've recently taken on two new dogs, a rescue dog and a puppy. I'm now worried that they were a mistake, as I have so little energy for myself, my son, and now for the dogs aswell. They do get walked every day. They are loved and cared for, but I feel that I have no time for me.
Family and friends don't know the extent of the way we feel, I think we try to portray a 'strong' image to others.

I feel anxious as well as depressed, I can be quite irritable at times.
I'm not sleeping well, but partly that is due to the dogs.
I either lose my appetite completely and don't want to eat, or I go the total opposite and comfort eat.

I KNOW I have a problem, but I can no longer think clearly enough to know what to do to help myself or how to help my husband.

There are probably a hundred other things I could write about here, but just needed to get some of this off my chest.
post #2 of 9
So sorry you and your DH have been through so much momma!!! It's a really great sign that you are aware you don't feel good, and aware that it affects your parenting. Your son is lucky to have parents who love him so much that they want to do their best for him and by him!

What did you think of the counselor you went to when you had counselling? Is it time to go back? If it didn't feel like it helped you can you try a different counselor?

Also as I read your post, one thing jumped out at me: I understand you want to homeschool, but one thing this message board proves is we ALL as parents want to do everything the best way possible... but it simply isn't possible. Maybe homeschooling is just not right for your family, right now?

If you put your son in daycare/preschool, you would have some time to yourself during the day and he'd have the company of many kids his age and adults paid to keep him safe and help him develop. It may not be your ideal, but if it allows you to work on your own health and wellbeing, you'll have a LOT more to give him when he is home.

There are many things I swore I'd do because I really do believe in them. But everyday reality just does not make them all possible, and accepting that and not feeling bad about it is sooo hard but so important.

Good luck momma!
post #3 of 9
I have not dealt with losing a child, but I have parented during pretty bad bouts of depression. It is so hard to have a picture in your head of what you would love to do with your child, as a great mother, with activities, and day trips and arts and crafts, but when in reality, getting the kid fed, dressed, and bathed is a big enough chore. When you are depressed, it is so hard to have enough energy to do more than just the basics. Know that this is temporary and you will get through it, but you will need to be strong and MAKE yourself get help.

Can anyone help you with your son during this time? Family, friends, babysitters, even daycare? Getting some time to yourself, to think, to grieve, to just rest is key.

You also need to get yourself into therapy. Medication is not failure--sometimes depression starts because of a major event, such as a loss, but then your brain gets accustomed to it, and it's not just something you are going to kick on your own, you need the meds to get your mind back in the right place. Call now and make an appointment to see someone, and then make a plan for what you will do in the meantime.

Are there any groups in your area for grief/loss support? Have you checked at your local hospital or hospice?
post #4 of 9
I'm truly sorry for your loss. I cannot truly understand that as I have not lost a child. But I have dealt in the past with severe depression to the point of being suicidal twice.
The hard thing about depression is that nobody can really do anything for you to make it better. It has to come from an inner strength within you. But that black pit is deep and dark and it's so hard to find a way out of it.

Some things that I remember from those times in my life, are to take it one day, or sometimes one minute at a time. Just try to accomplish what needs to happen at that moment or that day so as not to feel like there is too much and therefore impossible. Focus on what is right in front of you. If that's just to get up and take a shower then so be it. It's a blessing you have your son because he requires you to focus on getting up everyday and function. Within that, I encourage you to see the joy through his eyes. If you can't find it for yourself, look through his eyes. What makes him smile and laugh? It's probably the most simple things. Find your own smile with his. Begin to remember what it is like to feel that life is wonderful, even through all the crud. Watch your son as he experiences each moment and relearn how to experience each moment as well. He will offer you more healing than probably anything or anybody else. You cannot depend on him forever of course, but he can help you recognize once again, why you are here, and what you are fighting for.
Then as your own smile starts to pervade and your own laughter comes naturally, you can begin to share the love and joy along with him and your husband, not just seeing it through them.

I wish you much healing in your heart and Spirit. I hope you can open to inspiration and Joy again very soon.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
I just wanted to say that I have read these replies and appreciate the time that you have taken to reply.
I do have my good days and my bad days, and then I have my up-and-down days which I think is what today has been. I will go to the doctor and will most likely start the anti-depressants again, as I want to balance out my mood more, and get back on an even keel. Then I'll feel in a better position to make decisions.

I have managed to get out of the house with ds today, just to the library. And we've been playing outside with the dogs, he is on the whole a happy little boy. I just want to do everything I can to keep him that way!

I think my other problem, is that I am a perfectionist. So when i'm feeling off, I then feel guilty for not being a perfect mother, I can't seem to accept being a 'good enough' mother.

The grieving is so exhausting. Just as I start feeling a little better, along comes another anniversary, or her birthday or some other day that stands out from the rest and sends me right back into that dark place again. The first year after losing her was by far easier than this second year has been, because then I was so 'numb' with shock, denial, disbelief. But now, that numbness is gone, and I have to actually feel the pain and my goodness it hurts so bad. In a way thats why I didn't really want to go back on the anti-depressants because I don't want them to 'block' the pain, only for it to come back when I come off them again. I kind of want to face the pain now, no matter how awful it is making me feel if that makes sense.
post #6 of 9
I just had a loss myself in the last couple of months, a 2nd trimester miscarriage that resulted in me having to go to Labor & Delivery, induce labor, and birth my sweet baby who'd passed the week before we went to the hospital. And the problems the fetus had - we were looking at exactly the kind of situatioon you had if he'd made it to birth (which we were aware he might well not).

It's not the same as going through the whole pregnancy and thinking everything is ok then going through what you went through, but it was devastating to us and very awful, so I want you to know that I DO relate to the whole "How to parent well the child you have when you lose another" issue.

And what I learned is what I already said: the "Perfect Parent" drive will kill you. You are even being unfair to yourself when you say "Good enough" is hard to accept. The fact is, NO parent is perfect, so the only standard any of us can hold ourselves to is "Are we doing the best job we can as a parent to this child?" That is the most any of us can ask of ourselves.

A huge part of being the best parents we can be is acknowledging when we've hit a wall, a barrier, and there's something we just cannot do. Those walls are real, and when we hit them we have to do what we hope our kids will learn to do: deal with them and move on somehow, as opposed to getting totally stopped in front of the wall and absorbed in it, to the detriment of everything else. Walls and challenges are a real, pervasive fact of life. The need to be perfect is one of those walls.

And yes, often we want and strive to be a certain way/do certain things, and we just can't, and it's so difficult. But the idea of having to do it all because others seem to be able to... that is a major myth, no one does it all, not even the richest people on earth.

Unless you came to Earth from another planet , you are human and you are like the rest of us: you'll never be perfect. But you sound like you already do so many things well for your child, that is something to focus on for awhile and realize how lucky you are that you can do all you already do for him.

ANd hopefully you'll figure out a way to have some real time to yourself. That is best for you AND him. Good luck!
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'm sorry for your loss too ((hugs))
Its very sad for any parent that goes through losing their baby, because you lose your dreams you had for that baby too, and for me, I had dreams for my babies from the moment I knew I was expecting them. You are absolutely right in that nobody is perfect, and overall I do think i'm doing a pretty good job of parenting, I just need to learn to be less self critical, and take some of the pressure off of myself, I am definitely my own enemy in that respect.
I am taking baby steps, trying to come to terms with what has happened, and trying to accept the way I am whilst improving those things I can. I've been saying the serenity prayer a lot lately! I just need to start believing in myself more. Thank you for listening and understanding x
post #8 of 9
I'm so, so sorry for your loss.

Are you currently in talk therapy? I think that for intense depression such as you are experiencing, the combination of medication and talk therapy is ideal. That's what has worked for me.

Are there any support groups where you live for parents who've lost a child? I know there is in the city we live in, but I'm not sure how common that is.

What feeds your soul? Do you have any religious beliefs to pull on? I really love yoga, and find that practicing yoga helps me find that quiet place inside my self, which is so difficult to feel when I am depressed. I know that VERY different things can meet this same need in different people.

Also, if you haven't already, have a physical. If something is off in our body, it can effect out energy levels. Have your thyroid, iron levels, etc. tested. I believe there is a mind/body connection, and that it can spiral. Things going wrong in our life can cause our body to become out of whack, which then makes things harder in our life, which causes our body to become more out of whack.

One thing that helps me when I'm depressed is keeping a gratitude journal. You and your DH could even work on it together. At the end of the day, write down 5 things that you are grateful for. They don't have to be new things every day -- there's no pressure. They can be little things (like having a roof over your head) or huge things, like the smile on your sons face when he is playing. Doing this helps me keep a look out during the day for little things that I can be grateful for.

Put the homeschooling issue on the back burner. It's not something that you need to figure out right now. We've homeschooled in the past and my kids are in school now (and thriving). Some kids start out in school and then homeschool later. It really isn't the kind of solid decision that it seems like it would be. It's fluid. Just do what works for now.
post #9 of 9
Couldn't read and not

The other posters have good advice.
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