Post # 1
I saw a therapist during college for depression. I saw her for a solid year and then occasionally after that just to check in. Since moving away from that area I haven’t seen a therapist (outside of some couples therapy). So it’s been over a year and a half since my last visit. I thought maybe I had moved past the whole depression thing but I also knew at the back of my mind that I might never truly be over it.
I struggled on and off throughout the last year but it never lasted more than a week and was usually situational. Lately I’ve been in the same moods I was in when I was first diagnosed with depression. I’m having extreme mood changes. I’m angry and sad and just unhappy in general. I’ve already started seeking out a therapist in the area as I know I need to get this back under control but it got me thinking about the future and if I’ll ever feel comfortable having kids.
I have enough of a struggle right now handling myself and getting myself to work and maintaining a “normal” social when I’m feeling like this and I can’t imagine throwing kids into the mix. We’re still undecided about kids but I’ve been leaning towards no because I’m terrified about how my depression will affect them and if I can even “handle” kids when I’m at my worst. I’m hoping that seeing a therapist regularly (instead of taking such a large break) will make it so that I never get to this point again but I still worry.
Any bees who struggle with depression and have kids (or plan too)? Or any advice/insight in general? I suppose this is something I can discuss with my therapist and I know I need to discuss it further with DH but any insight or experiences would be helpful.
Post # 3
@MrsBeck: I think that if you’re willing to speak regularly with a therapist and possibly agree to medication if needed, there’s no reason for depression to rule your life, or rule your decision whether or not to have kids. It’s definitely treatable and it sounds like you have the right mindset in wanting to deal with it. My mother struggled with depression when we were younger, but therapy and medication helped a lot. She had a few darker periods here and there, but overall, it did not define her life as a wife and mother.
Post # 4
@Lana_Rose: thanks! I’m going that if I keep going regularly I will be able to keep the “dark” times to a minimum.
It’s interesting hearing your view point as someone who had a mother who had it. It made me realize that I gave two friends who had mothers who struggled with depression while they were growing up. Perhaps I’ll reach out to them as well.
Out of curiosity, how is your mother doing now? Does she pretty much have it under control?
Post # 5
@MrsBeck: I hear you. I’m in the same boat as far as suffering bouts of depression and mood swings, and wondering how I’d manage that while providing a stable emotional life for any potential children.
I’ve also just never been the nurturing type, and as I hit my mid-30s, I still haven’t felt any maternal urges. DH would love to have kids, and I know he’d be an amazing father, but it isn’t a deal breaker for him if we don’t.
Post # 6
@MrsBeck: I don’t really plan on having kids, my depression is one of the main reasons.
Post # 7
- Wedding: September 2008 - A tiny town just outside of Glacier National Park
Yes, I have struggle with depression and anxiety since I was 13. There are two things that I find really help me, that I can fall back on when I need them:
1) medication. When I am NOT taking medication, I always feel embarrassed about the thought that I might need to take it. When I get to a point where I need to be on an SSRI (for me, lexapro works well), it’s always a relief to be on it. Realistically, if you have persistent depression, this is an option you should consider. If you had a vitamin D deficiency, you’d take a vitamin, right? You’d treat high cholesterol, right? So why not depression?
Right now, I am off medication, mostly because option 2 worked so well for me. I am also pregnant, and I didn’t want to be on meds while pregnant or nursing. However, I have confidence in the fact that if I NEED IT, there is always a pharmeceutical treatment available to me.
2) meditation. I like to joke that it’s been cheaper and more effective than therapy, but really, mindfulness-awareness meditation is a form of CBT that you implement yourself. It’s more effective if you can learn and practice in a group, like a Shambhala Buddhist center or other place in your area (just google for classes). This type of meditation teaches you to be less attached to and controlled by emotions and more at peace with your life in ways that have a profound effect on anxiety and depression. Once I learned that the Buddhist concecept of “suffering” was akin to anxiety and depression, and that through a meditation practice, my mind didn’t have to rule my day, I was sold. This practice is non-thestic and can be adopted by anyone with any religious affiliation.
Post # 8
@MrsBeck: Yes, my mother is doing much better now. When I was younger, it was worse for her but I am 23 now and you’d probably never know that it’s something she deals with. She no longer sees a therapist, and her low dose meds are enough to keep things “normal.”
Post # 9
@MrsBeck: I have 2 kids and suffer from anxiety and depression. My depression didn’t rear its head until my oldest was about a year old and I was having chronic back pain (she was a 9 lb 10 oz baby!). My daughter is now 13 and I am still on meds. Some people ask why I don’t wean myself off, and my answer is usually that I just don’t want to. I hate that I depend on my meds, but I do. Accepting my depression has also helped. FI knows that sometimes I am just going to cry and be irritable – it doesn’t last long, but I just need to get it out.
I did not suffer any post-partum with my oldest, but I think I did with my second child. She was a cranky baby and I cried more than usual. The good news is that I have 2 beautiful daughters who tend to help my depression more than harm it. Having a good support system really helped me as well.
And believe it or not, some times the distraction of the kids doesn’t leave time for me to be down for too long.
Post # 10
@MrsBeck: I am a total 100% believer that depression is manageable. It does not have to control your life. It doesn’t even have to play a huge part.
I had a rough childhood and as a result, some kind of traumatic teenage years. I spent time in therapy, psych wards, on meds, off meds. I was a general mess. I thought I’d just ‘grow out of it’ one day but I didnt. So I worked throuugh it.
It takes a lot of years, and a lot of self training and a lot of will power. But you can come out on the other side, armed with tools and skills to manage those ugly rears. It gets better.
I never wanted kids, not even when I was a kid. But I do now. I know that myself and FI have enough love to give a child and we will get through everything else.
I do think it’s important to figure out yourself first too. Kids can come when you’re ready for it.