44-year-old mom, probably depressed

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44-year-old mom, probably depressed

Postby DebraN » September 14th, 2012, 6:35 am

Hello,
I'm a 44-year-old married mother of 3 (8, 4, and 1) and I feel like the shell of the person I once was. It feels like life has done a slow decline over the past 15 years or so and sometimes I seem unrecognizable to myself. I love my kids with all my heart (in fact they are the only things I love) but I am starting to realize just how sad and unhappy I am with the rest of my life. I am sure that I could benefit from some therapy but I don't have the time or money for it. We are on a tight budget but even if I could somehow pay for it, I wouldn't have childcare for my kids so that I could go to the appointments. I know this sounds like a bunch of excuses but these roadblocks seem very real and high to me.

The fact that I may be somewhat depressed is always right on the tip of my tongue but I just can't bring myself to talk about it with anyone, not even my husband or mother. Communication about personal issues has always been extremely hard for me and continues to be. It's kind of like I'm waiting for my husband to say "Hey, I've noticed you seem like you could be depressed. Why don't we figure out a way for you to get some help?", like I'm somehow testing him to see how in tune with me he is (or isn't) and testing how proactive he can be to help me out. I know, it's bullshit. I need to take responsibility for my own needs, but something is blocking me.

Being a mother is my sole identity now, and my biggest fear is around what will happen to me when my kids get older and start to need me much less. I will have nothing interesting going on in my life at that point--no job, no hobbies, not enough money to go out and enjoy classes or spa treatments or a gym membership.

I don't think I have postpartum depression, because I've seen myself slide towards this current state starting long before I had kids, probably in my early 30s. I feel very bitter when I think that I'm finally starting to aknowledge that I could be depressed, yet can't do anything about it. I suppose when my youngest child starts preschool in 2 years then I will at least have the time to get some therapy, if not the money.

Anyway, thanks to Paul for starting this thread, and I'm really glad I was able to vent a bit.
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Re: 44-year-old mom, probably depressed

Postby meh » September 14th, 2012, 9:22 am

Hi Debra - first of all You Are Not Alone!

I'm not a mother but I did have (at one point) three kids all under the age of three and I know how rough it can get for parents.

Have you looked into support groups or a community mental health clinic? There are options out there - don't be afraid to ask. And good luck!! We're all rooting for you.
"Of course you have an active inner life, you're bipolar"
my therapist.
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Re: 44-year-old mom, probably depressed

Postby thegreen » September 18th, 2012, 10:57 am

Hi Debra,
I can relate to your feelings a lot. I have 3 little kids too and don't really have much extra money for therapy or "fun things" or babysitting options so I could engage in these activities anyway.
I see you're sort of waffling about whether or not you're depressed. In my experience, when you are not depressed, you don't sit around thinking about whether or not you're depressed. So I think you're depressed.
I find having kids really confusing because I love them SO much yet I still long for some other sort of love that they can't give me. For me, it's some sort of nurturing that I probably didn't get enough of as a kid I think. Your kids can't fill all of your needs. And the problem is we are told that as mothers, we are really supposed to be fulfilled by our kids' love. Plus, when you look around, older women seem to long for the days when they were like us and had little ones. So we feel like we are at the best place in our life yet we aren't fully appreciating it.
In case you haven't noticed, I'm not really being helpful here.. Just commiserating. Hugs to you!
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Re: 44-year-old mom, probably depressed

Postby daisy » September 21st, 2012, 9:36 pm

You are not alone. I am a mother of 4 under the age of 7, including twins, with a husband who is deployed (military) and no family or financial means to take much "me time." I just want to encourage you to seek therapy. I hope you can find resources in your area. Do you have insurance? If you so might want to see what they have to offer. Take your little ones with you to therapy if need be! That's what I ended up doing, and yes, I might watch what a say to an extent, but that was okay, it was still SO helpful. It made a HUGE difference for me. I also ended up on Zoloft, which also was a blessing. Again, you are not alone.
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Re: 44-year-old mom, probably depressed

Postby Pro Trucker » September 22nd, 2012, 12:24 am

My mom has been depressed my entire life. Looking back, 30 ys. If I knew then what I know now I would say...mom, why didn't you get some help. All those years of depression made mine and my siblings lives fucking miserable. We cant turn back the clock and now I am paying for your pain. Do what you have to do to get help. If not for you, which should be the main reason, then for your children. There are places that will care for your children while your seeing a therapist. I know I probably sound like an ass, but I'm ok with that. People say your not alone, but until you get real help you will be alone. Good luck mom, I love you.
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Re: 44-year-old mom, probably depressed

Postby marathonbar » September 25th, 2012, 4:34 pm

Like everyone else said, you are definitely not alone. I think it's way too easy in this culture to lose your identity once you have kids. As much as you love them (and I love my son more than anything), they have a way of draining your soul. I know it's not easy to reach out to others. I fought that for years until I finally hit the bottom. Once I let my ego go and I asked my friends and husband for help, I realized that I didn't have to suffer in silence. Everyone struggles, and those that have come through the other side are there to help you out. Good luck on your journey and remember, you're not alone.
I'm ready to live a life of joy.
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Re: 44-year-old mom, probably depressed

Postby ballewbird » October 11th, 2012, 5:08 pm

It sounds like you are a SAHM. Please try to find some groups to join! I was in the MOMS Club for years and they saved my life (google them - they are every where!). Many activities all month long. The kids were busy and we moms developed strong friendships that I still have today - my kids are in school and I've gone back to work. I would have DIED without MOMS Club. I'm depressed anyway - before and after kids, but the supportive network was crucial to me. Search your community pages for "Parents Night Out" programs. Our city offers them once or twice a month for a low fee. You can do a date night with hubby or just the two of you go home and watch TV in peace! There are options. If these seem overwhelming, maybe start with a good anti-depressant and some therapy. When you're feeling better, these will seem doable. Prayers to you - I've been there. Sometimes I find myself back there again and have to keep starting over. Good luck :)
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Re: 44-year-old mom, probably depressed

Postby broken850 » November 13th, 2012, 10:55 pm

Currently half drunk and eating chocolate cake. As a mom, these things just freak me out, but the fact that it was RIGHT FUCKING HERE is killing me! Asking for all your prayers, please.
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Re: 44-year-old mom, probably depressed

Postby sandy,like the beach » November 14th, 2012, 10:28 am

Hi.
I'm in a parralel part of your universe! I had my kids young and didn't finish college. Because of my childhood, the panick attacks started when I was 7 mos pregnant about who I could leave my son with, I was petrified - I never went back.
Its 24 years later now, and while I'm grateful to have had that time with my sons and get through some of my own demons - I've got no future. I feel old, and because we've lived on one income there's no extra money to go back to school. I'm also hesitant to go to class with people my kids' ages...it just seems odd.
I don't feel depressed, I feel a bit defeated.
Because I had 23 years to think (while doing dishes, laundry, chores, errands, etc) and weed through some of my stuff as it came up with how I parented. I have worked a lot of my crap while trying to keep from f'ing up my kids. Early on, I did take meds for depression. But as I thought through my childhood, and put responsinbility where it belonged -that voice that was trying to convince me how horrible I was quieted by the one who said, "there are not them, you can do it differently." However, when you have no frame of referrence of what to to do, it becomes a maze of just knowing what you DON'T want to do.
Note: I think new parents are surprised at how the words coming out of their mouths sounds a lot like their moms' or dads' rather than the parent they thought they'd be and how the voices in their heads sound like voices of their parents.
Please know, there are ways to help yourself. You must be honest with yourself, but you DO have control of what you allow yourself to think. Be mindfull of what you are thinking; telling yourself...sift through the negative thoughts. If you find one that has validity, write it down and think of a first step on how to change or do something to remedy the issue. Otherwise, you tell yourself what you have done today that you are happy, content or glad that you did or got done. Everyday, try to add one thing.
I know it sounds gimmicky, but a list of 5 things you are grateful for can help. At least once a day, it's time spent not dwelling in the negative or beating yourself up. When you can add to the list, contemplate why you are grateful for them.
A support group can be helpful when feel like you would be burdening family or friends - or can't talk to them because they are part of the problem. You may have to seek out help through your community, but please do something. You're worth the effort. You have an opportunity to show by example, that you think enough of yourself to take care of yourself. That you are important enough to do what's best for you even if it takes a little more effort. Besides helping yourself one step at a time, those are remarkable lessons for your kids.
Note: from someone who didn't - do anything you can to stay in the loop work wise. If you were careeer oriented, stay in touch with those people. If not, consider careers that coincide with the kids' schedules, or even a class per semester...stay engaged.
Sorry I've rambled on. Stay strong, those babies need you. It is okay to be wrapped in their lives, I'd even say it's important - just as long as you aren't neglecting your wellness.
Best wishes, Sandy
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Re: 44-year-old mom, probably depressed

Postby Amalthist » January 23rd, 2014, 1:04 pm

You are not alone. I've struggled with depression all my life and didn't get help until I was 35. I wish I would have gotten some help sooner, but I'm glad I started now than never. Never give up...your babies love you and you are a valuable part of humanity.
I hope you were able to find the help you needed.
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The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.
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