Birth moms can experience depression related to placing your baby for adoption. While a year-round struggle, the holidays can cause depression symptoms and feelings to worsen.
The first step is to be aware. If you’re struggling with grief, loss and depression, know that the holidays might be a more difficult time for you, and be gentle with yourself.
What does that mean? If you have a physical injury, a sprained ankle let’s say, you would acknowledge it, determine the best way to treat it, care for your ankle, allow time for it to heal and set healthy limits on your activity to prevent greater injury.
With depression, it’s the same. Mental health is as equally important as physical health. So acknowledge you have depression, determine healthy tools for treating and coping with it, provide yourself with self-care, allow and make time for healing and set healthy boundaries.
Depression symptoms can be overwhelming. You’re not meant to face them alone. And you don’t have to. A treatment plan can include medication prescribed and supervised by a doctor, pre- and post-adoption counseling and birth parent support groups.
Birth mom Dana said, “I use the support group as my counseling. It helps me to talk about my adoption. I regret that I didn’t reach out for help right away. The last three years would have been a lot easier.”
Why are the holidays more difficult?
The reasons are different and individual, but commons causes are:
- Feelings of isolation, disconnectedness and loneliness
- Grieving and increased awareness of loss
- Holiday pressures and unrealistic expectations
- Holiday-related stress and worry
- Financial strain
- Comparing yourself to others during the holidays
- Seasonal depression influences in fall and winter
- Being fatigued and over tired
- Skipping self-care
According to Psychology Today and the National Institute of Health, “psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health professionals report a significant increase in patients complaining about depression during the holidays. One North American survey reported that 45% of respondents dread the season.”
Know it’s normal. Take action to break free from depression. The best project you’ll ever work on is you. And you’re worth it.
Who can help?
Contact Destiny Adoption so we can refer you to resources for depression, anxiety and counseling. Destiny believes in you. Your best destiny is yet to come.
Are your feelings of sadness and depression accompanied by suicidal thoughts?
If so, immediately do one of these:
- Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or at their Lifeline Crisis Chat service
- Call 911
- Go to a hospital emergency room
Author: Destiny Adoption Services
Destiny Adoption Services is proud to support and guide birth parents and adoptive families on the journey of adoption. We’re a state licensed nonprofit adoption agency with four decades of adoption experience, and our professional team of experts includes moms, adoptive moms and birth mothers who provide compassion combined with trusted resources and skills.