October 17, 2019

4 Ways Parents Can Overcome the Challenges of Depression

min read

As any parent knows, raising a child is hard work. However, things can be even more difficult if you're a parent with depression.

In this article, we'll review some common effects of parenting with depression. We'll also offer some tips to help you overcome your symptoms and be present for your child.

How Depression Can Affect Parenting

Depression Affects Your View of Your Parenting Skills

When you're depressed, you may think you're a worse parent than you really are. You might feel guilty and criticize yourself.

However, a study by the Vanderbilt Medical Center showed that if an individual feels they are being an effective parent, depression symptoms seem to subside. Try to go easy on yourself. It might help break the cycle.

Depression Might Lead to Overbearing Parenting

A depressed parent might feel they are the cause of their child's problems. This distortion can cause parents to set strict limits on their children and become overbearing. When this happens, the child's development and their relationship with the parent can both be affected.

Depression Can Make It Hard to Stay Present

When a parent is depressed, it might be difficult for them to remain attentive to the needs of their child. This can lead to children feeling they need to fend for themselves. Eventually, they might distance themselves from the depressed parent.

How Depressed Parents Can Overcome Challenges and Be There for Their Children

If you're experiencing depression as a parent, you're not alone. Science Daily reported that 45% of parents experience anxiety, stress, and depression when they take their newborns home from the hospital.

With the right strategies, you can conquer your fears and be an effective parent.

Seek Social Support

Depression can be isolating. However, being separated from the rest of society is bad for both the parent and the child.

Try to find a supportive group of people who can lift you up and help with your symptoms. Whether it's a religious group, a sports team, or family, make sure to connect with others.

Spend Your Best Time With Your Children

Depression symptoms often come in waves and cycles. When you're feeling bright and positive, spend that time with your children. If certain situations cause a spike in symptoms, do your best to avoid them.

Practice Self-Care

Just because you're a parent doesn't mean you should neglect yourself. Make time to exercise, relax, and practice your passions. Try your best to stay balanced. You can't be there for your child if you're not there for yourself.

related resources

Connect with a licensed therapist for online video or in-person therapy sessions.