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Common Signs and Symptoms of Depression in Parents

Common Signs and Symptoms of Depression in Parents

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    No matter your age, parenthood is one of the most challenging parts of life you can go through – from a physical, emotional, mental, and even financial point of view. There is the pressure of being a good parent to deal with, not to mention the ever-present lack of sleep and alone time, plus the constant demands for your attention and money, bodily changes for many mothers to adjust to, as well as the potential for post-natal depression.

    All in all, it’s no wonder that many parents start to suffer from depression due to the variety of pressures they’re under. Some parents also struggle with additional mental health issues, such as personality disorders or addictions (variously known as having a co-occurring mental health disorder, or being dually disordered), which makes life even more difficult.

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    As a result, it is important for everyone to understand some of the most common symptoms of depression so that you can be aware of your own low mood, or notice that of your partner, loved one, or friend. Read on for some of the top signs of depression that you should be on the lookout for.

    Decreased/Enhanced Appetite or Changes in Weight

    A very common symptom that many people who are depressed experience is a change in their appetite and a corresponding weight gain or loss. If you notice that a family member or friend seems to be eating a lot more or a lot less than normal over an extended period of time, they may be suffering from depression. While of course everyone tends to have times when they don’t feel hungry or end up overindulging, a prolonged change in appetite (that lasts for a couple of weeks or more, and that potentially also leads to a rapid weight gain or loss), can be cause for concern.

    In particular, many moms tend to suffer from a loss of self-esteem after they gain weight during pregnancy and typically have less time to prepare nutritious meals or exercise once their baby has been born. They are more likely to suffer from depressive feelings and even develop eating disorders.

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    Insomnia or Fatigue

    Another very common sign of depression is a change in sleeping patterns. While obviously parents, particularly new ones, often struggle with less sleep because they are woken up by little ones, sleep disturbances can also be caused by anxiety, stress, and deeper psychological issues. Indeed, people who are suffering from depression regularly note that they are trying to deal with insomnia or that they have frequent nightmares that keep them from enjoying a proper night’s sleep.

    In addition, often when people are depressed, they end up feeling fatigued all the time, even if they get enough sleep. Depression may be to blame for lack of energy, disturbed sleeping patterns for lengthy periods of time, low moods, and other depressive signs.

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      Loss of Interest in Normal Activities

      For many people who are coping with depression, social withdrawal is a common sign that they’re suffering, as is a general loss of interest in the normal activities they enjoyed in the past. When people have been feeling down for a sustained amount of time, they often wish to steer clear of company and will avoid many of their usual activities as a result.

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      If, then, you notice that a friend or family member no longer wants to go out, attend their usual sporting events, meet contacts for regular catch-ups, or are otherwise retreating into their shell, this may be a sure sign that they are depressed. Where possible, try to encourage them to get out of the house or away from the office more, even if it is just for short periods of time. Opening the lines of communication, and providing people with a safe place to chat and otherwise feel supported can do wonders for mental health.

      Feelings of Despair

      Lastly, many parents who are struggling with depression suffer from feelings of despair, guilt, hopelessness, and worthlessness. This can be triggered by the dramatic life change that occurs when people become parents or because they may be worried about being a good parent, about the family’s finances, about their body image, their career, health, or familial relationships – just to name a few things. Post-natal depression can also often cause new mothers to start exhibiting negative self-talk and a marked loss of self-esteem.

      If you hear one of your friends or family members speaking negatively about themselves on a regular basis, take note. While everyone has times of self-doubt or worry, people who are depressed often tend to focus solely on thoughts that are harmful to their self-esteem. Keep an eye out for repeated phrases such as “It’s all my fault,” “People would be better off without me,” “I’m a failure,” “I’m a terrible parent,” or “I’m worthless.”

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      Featured photo credit: shutterstock.com via shutterstock.com

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      Last Updated on December 13, 2018

      12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

      12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

      Christmas is approaching fast, and lots of people not only tend to ruin their usual diets, but they also gain a few extra pounds. Based on studies, the majority of people tend to gain additional weight during the holiday season that starts at the Thanksgiving Day and ends with the New Year celebrations. Excessive eating is claimed to be the main cause for the additional weight gain, but it is also due to lack of physical activity and exercise.

      A lot of individuals out there tend to set aside their fitness routines during the holidays since they believe that they do not have enough time to perform their workouts. And because they feel guilty after the holiday season, most of the gyms and fitness centers are packed with fresh members. Always bear in mind that you can still enjoy the holidays and stay fit at the same time. If you want to stay fit during the holiday season, especially during Christmas and the New Year’s Eve, here are some useful tips that might help you:

      1. Eat Before Heading Out

      First, it is best that you eat something before heading out to visits, trips or family dinners. By doing so, you will no longer be tempted to eat a lot or overindulge yourself since you have already eaten. Skipping on meals is not a good idea either, because you will only be forced to eat more later.

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      2. Select The Treats

      Make sure to select the treats that you eat in a wise manner. You should choose something that you can only enjoy during the holiday season and not something that is readily available all the time.

      3. Avoid Skipping Meals

      Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast! Even though it can be tempting to skip on certain meals, believing that it will make up for the treats you consumed in the previous day, don’t do it because it will only lead to counterproductive results.

      4. Drink With Moderation

      It is best to regulate your drinking since alcohol, coke or other juices will only add more calories to the ones you already eaten!

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      5. Be Active

      You should still perform your fitness routine whenever possible and if you can’t do that, simply walk more, park your car some distance away from the store or just use the stairs!

      6. Get Out Of The House

      Make the holidays a family affair and plan outdoor activities where everyone is involved. Even a snowball fight in the backyard will burn a lot of calories and will keep the children entertained.

      7. Don’t Skip Your Strength Workouts

      Always remember to perform your strength training in order to maintain that muscle mass you worked hard to get. You might be tempted to use lightweights and just do some cardio, but you can burn just as many calories by lifting weights. And with all of those extra stakes you had on the holiday meals, you might even gain some extra muscle. And this is much better than gaining some extra fat.

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      8. Set Realistic Goals

      You should set realistic exercise objectives. Aim for at least half an hour per day and you will be very happy when you will achieve that. If you plan one hour or more and not achieve it, you will only end up disappointed.

      9. Enjoy Yourself

      Also make sure to set realistic diet plans! Trying to restrain yourself totally from some foods will only make you eat more. Feel free to enjoy the treats that you really love, but in small portions.

      10. Drink A Lot Of Water

      This can satiate your appetite as well as keep you hydrated at all times. And it will also prevent a possible hangover if you overdo it with alcohol.

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      11. Eat Less And More Often

      Distribute your meals evenly throughout the day, and do not eat everything at once.  Instead of having 2 enormous meals, have 5 small ones.  Eat your dinner earlier and have a nice walk before going to bed.

      12. Prioritize Your Workouts

      Try to do them early in the morning while everyone else is still sleeping. This way you will also avoid remarks like “Oh, come on! It’s Christmas…”

      So there you go! Twelve simple tips that will help you avoid gaining weight during the winter holidays, but will also allow you to enjoy yourself and have a great time with your loved ones.

      Happy Holidays everyone!

      Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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