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More than 19 million Americans suffer from depression yearly and women are twice as likely as men to experience a major depressive episode, according to the American Psychological Association. And, according to the National Women's Health Information Center (NWHIC), 10 percent of women suffer from postpartum depression. With so many women battling depression and the blues, how does it affect their parenting?
In the article "Parenting Through Depression," on Strollerderby, Jane Roper wrote about her experience as a depressive mother. "I've had to wrestle with the sadness and guilt of not being able to be the kind of mother I want to be -- engaged, energetic, patient," she wrote. "My depression makes me irritable, lethargic, and unable to take pleasure in anything -- symptoms that don't go particularly well with running around after a pair of toddlers." In order to cope with her depression and put on her parenting face, Roper reminds herself of five things:
1. Think of your depression the same way you would think of a cold or the flu: you're sick, and shouldn't expect to function (work, parent, cook, clean, etc.) at 100% capacity.
2. Try to get a little exercise, even if you really, really don't feel like it. It does help.
3. Resist the urge to drink. It's only a temporary fix, and not helpful in the long run.
4. Don't be a total hermit. Call on good friends who understand what's going on and are easy to be around.
5. Remember that letting the girls temporarily overdose on PBS Kids shows does not equal bad parenting.
Do you suffer from depression or the baby blues? How do you parent through it?