Regardless of their gender identity, anyone can be a single parent and suffer from depression.
For the purpose of this article, the phrase "single mom depression" refers to depression experienced by any single parent, regardless of their gender identity.
Parenting is both a rewarding and challenging endeavor.
And yet, being a single parent often comes with its own unique challenges.
Single mom depression may affect all aspects of your mental and emotional life, including the life of your child.
If left untreated by a professional, single mom depression can be a debilitating condition.
Single mom depression can lead to other psychological issues and even affect your physical health.
If you or someone you know suffers from single mom depression, seek help from a licensed professional counselor.
Let's examine some causes and symptoms of single mom depression.
Everybody needs a reliable support system in their life.
A partner, friends, and/or family often provide much-needed encouragement, advice, and sometimes just somebody to talk to.
Being a parent, and especially a single parent can be a blessing and sometimes a burden.
Bearing that burden alone can make you feel disconnected, abandoned, and socially alienated from others.
Feeling alone is a common symptom of single mom depression.
Many single parents struggle with loneliness.
And it's not always about having a partner or significant other.
It's true, that many single parents desire the companionship and love a significant other provides.
But the loneliness a single parent often experiences has more to do with feeling overwhelmed.
Single parents may feel they have a task of great importance they must complete, and they must do it alone.
Loneliness experienced by those suffering from single mom depression often breeds negative emotions like anger, bitterness, jealousy and guilt.
These negative emotions may inhibit your ability to make the best choices for your child.
Seek treatment from a licensed professional counselor if you have experienced any of these emotions for a prolonged period of time.
As a single parent, it's crucial to build and cultivate a strong support system.
Making time to spend with friends or family can be an investment in your own psychological health.
Coping with Single Mom Depression: Lack of Resources
It takes a lot to provide for yourself and your child.
Rent, utilities, groceries, doctor's visits, clothes, etc. The list goes on…
And for many, being a single parent means living on a single income.
Many who suffer from single mom depression struggle with a lack of resources.
Necessary resources may include job security, reliable paycheck, health insurance, dependable transportation, childcare, etc.
When you're a single parent, you have lots of daily boxes to check.
Single mom depression often makes you feel extreme anxiety and stress.
It's one thing to be single and care for yourself, and be willing to sacrifice and do without.
It's another thing to force your child to do without, especially when they are too young to understand.
As a single parent, amidst the stressful hustle and bustle of everyday life, it can be difficult to find time to seek out resources.
Single mom depression often makes single parents simply give up hope that there are resources available.
Single parents suffering from single mom depression may not even know where to begin looking for help.
That's why you should seek help and advice from a licensed professional counselor.
Coping with Single Mom Depression: Lack of Quality Time
Spending quality time with your child is vital for building a healthy relationship with your child.
Quality time allows you to bond with your child, build trust and teach them values.
Unfortunately, single parents often struggle to make quality time with their children.
All of the responsibilities and commitments of single parenting often make time management a serious issue.
Single mom depression can rob a single parent of the motivation to make time with their child.
Single mom depression is a vicious cycle.
Limited time to spend with your child can make you feel depressed.
And feeling depressed can make you not want to do anything productive, including spending time with your child.
As a single parent, time management is key to avoiding depression and depressive habits.
Coping with Single Mom Depression: Guilt
As we've observed, suffering from single mom depression often makes you feel alone, alienated from friends or loved ones, anxious about lack of resources, and missing time with your child.
All of these feelings often make a single parent feel extreme and overwhelming guilt.
Guilt over not providing enough or making your child do without.
Guilt over not spending enough time with them.
Guilt over not providing opportunities to spend time with friends or family.
Single mom depression may cause severe feelings of guilt that lead to other debilitating mental, emotional, and even physical issues.
Mental and emotional issues related to single mom depression include stress, anxiety, loneliness, bitterness, anger, and resentment.
Physical issues related to single mom depression include appetite changes, insomnia, frequent and persistent headaches or body aches, and fatigue.
When a single parent experiences prolonged, untreated guilt, it often has destructive long-term effects.
Severe feelings of guilt often lead to extreme, unhealthy forms of pessimism.
As a parent, you want the best for your child.
You work hard hoping to provide safety, security, and happiness for your family.
And yet, feelings of guilt due to single mom depression may lead single parents to lose hope.
Pessimism means focusing on the negative and giving up on the possibility of a bright future.
Extreme pessimism due to single mom depression may in some cases lead to thoughts of harming oneself or others and even suicide.
Needless to say, when a single parent embraces pessimism about life, it can have devastating effects on the mental and emotional health of the child.
That's what makes single mom depression so dangerous, and why it should be taken so seriously.
As a single parent, you know that it's not just about you.
What negatively influences you negatively influences your child's psychological health, and thus their future.
If you or someone you know suffers from single mom depression, seek professional treatment.
Being a single parent doesn't mean you have to go it solo.
Seek immediate treatment for depression from a licensed professional counselor, somebody who can listen, give advice, and let you know somebody cares.
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