Yet we need to remember that while being depressed may be common, it is indeed not the norm and it is not to be confused with other side effects of motherhood.
Depression is an illness, a mental disorder with very specific traits that requires medical treatment.
Every so often I have mums coming to me concerned with how they feel and wondering if they are suffering from depression, and that thought alone scares them the most. “Is this what being depressed feels like?” they wonder.
They feel extremely tired, mainly because they haven’t had a proper night sleep in months. They feel overwhelmed by all the chores they have to do for others and usually are dealing with non-baby-related problems in the family or at work – because life out there goes on despite your baby ordeal. They feel sad, unmotivated, they feel guilty for not being happy when they believe they should and their self-esteem is 6 feet under.
No wonder. These women are physically and emotionally exhausted. It is really hard to be happy, smiling and positive about the future when you have no energy left. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have depression if you’re feeling this way. These are just the freebies that come with the motherhood package and can be resolved with a few changes to your routine, some healthy habits and support from your family or a professional service.
Having said that, you should never underestimate your feelings and if you are down and not behaving like your usual self, then it’s time to talk to someone. Book an appointment with your psychologist, counsellor or GP, tell them your story and they will be able to offer you help and support.
I also suggest that you visit their website as the quickest way to access some excellent information and resources, like this Anxiety and Depression Checklist that you can print and bring to your first appointment with the professional you’ve chosen to see.
Writer, Luciana De Michiel is a Sydney mother of three and the first private provider of online counselling for women in Australia. “A place where you can receive genuine care and professional help, anytime, anywhere”. Read more or visit her site: