Stay at Home Moms and Depression: Symptoms, Causes, Getting Help

Depression is a common mental condition experienced by millions around the world every day. Mothers and stay at home moms in particular, are at an increased risk for depression and it’s easy to see why. Moms are responsible for a ton of responsibilities each and every day, and the stress of being home can take its toll on people from all backgrounds. For everything you need to know about stay at home moms and depression, read our guide below; to help you get back to feeling like the real you.

What Is Depression and What Are the Symptoms?

stay at home moms and depression

Depression effects millions of people around the world, though many go undiagnosed and untreated. Many people disregard the symptoms of depression, often associating it with stress and responsibility. But depression is different from feeling sad, stressed, or depressed at certain times. Feeling sad or distressed is a person’s natural reaction to stressful events, so it is essential to know when your feelings are having a serious effect on your life.

Depression is an illness that affects how you feel and the way you think or act. It can cause feelings of sadness, a serious loss-of-interest in activities, and when left untreated, it can cause both emotional and physical issues that affect your everyday life.

Mental and Physical Symptoms

It is important to understand that a doctor will not diagnose depression unless you have been experiencing at least 5 or more of these symptoms for at least two weeks. The most common signs of stay at home moms and depression include:

  • Feeling tired or experiencing lack of energy, no matter the time of day.
  • Feeling as though you are in a depressed mood most of the day.
  • Lacking the ability to concentrate, remember details, or make daily decisions.
  • Experiencing restlessness or anxiety.
  • An increase or decrease in weight-gain. You may overeat or stop feeling hungry all together.
  • Feeling worthless, guilty, or insignificant almost every day.
  • The loss of interest or pleasure in most/common activities.
  • The inability to sleep or feeling like you get too much sleep.
  • Having thoughts about death or suicide.

You can also experience physical symptoms associated with depression. Many people experience aches, pains, headaches and cramps, or even digestive problems that are caused by untreated depression symptoms. Joint pain, digestive irregularities, sleep problems, back pain, slowed speech/movements, and other physical problems can be caused by untreated depression. Heart, nervous, and immune systems are all at an increased-risk for developing issues when depression is untreated and severe.

Stay at Home Moms and Depression: What Causes Your Depression?

sad woman on the verge of crying

If you’re wondering about stay at home moms and the risk of depression, you are also probably wondering how a mother could be so lonely when by definition, they are never alone? Many people cannot understand how stay at home moms are among the most-commonly diagnosed depression patients in the world. But if you’re a stay at home mom yourself, you probably understand.

Stay at home moms experience a ton of stress on a daily basis, and their responsibilities never cease. It is one of the most stressful jobs, though you’ll never get paid for it. Stay at home moms are actually more likely to experience feelings of anger, sadness, and depression than working moms, and it’s easy to see why.

If you’re a stay at home mom, you live a life every day that is not your own. You don’t have much time to yourself, you often feel less important than other family members, your needs are not often met, you are fatigued, you may feel isolated and lonely, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Stay at home moms are underappreciated and undervalued, so it’s easy to see why stay at home moms and depression go hand-in-hand.

What Can You Do at Home to Help?

Many stay at home moms find it difficult to speak to their doctor about their depression. You can feel ashamed and maybe full of pride, but depression is nothing to feel ashamed about. Aside from medical treatment or medication, there are a few things you can try to ease your depression symptoms.

  • Exercise: Staying active is a natural way to fight-off anxiety and depression symptoms. Even walking for a few minutes each day helps your brain produce chemicals which balance out your mood. You can try walking, working out, or participating in classes like yoga or Pilates.
  • Watch what you eat: Your diet can play a large part in your emotions. Be sure to eat three square meals a day and try to include healthy foods into your diet. Eating more fruits, vegetables, and protein instead of carbs and fatty-foods can help balance out your body’s functions.
  • Prep for your day: Stay at home moms and depression associated with them can be attributed to the amount of stress a mom deals with on a daily basis. Your day can become hectic and cause un-due stress. You can try creating lists or calendars for your day, which helps you prioritize your responsibilities and stay disciplined on what really matters.
  • Get out of the house: Being cooped up in the house isn’t good for anyone, but especially stay at home moms who spend their days taking care of everyone else. Try getting out of the house whenever you can, whether it’s with or without kids. A change of scenery and some fresh air can help fight off those feelings of loneliness.
  • Seek out support: Everyone needs support; whether it’s friends, family, or coworkers. Do not feel ashamed to reach out for advice, a listening-ear, or someone to get some fresh air with. It is important to have people you can turn to.

When Should You Go to the Doctor?

Sometimes you simply cannot ward off those nasty depression feelings, but you’re not the only one. Many people turn to their doctors when their depression symptoms do not go away, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. If you experience the symptoms above for more than a few weeks after trying some home-treatments, you should consult your physician.

Doctors can prescribe certain medications which alter the brain chemistry that could be affecting your depression. Antidepressants are a long-term option for people who cannot find relief through natural methods. A doctor may also recommend various types of therapy, which can be used in conjunction with medications or other treatment methods.

Final Thoughts

Depression is one of the most commonly-reported issues among stay at home moms, and it’s easy to see why with all of the responsibilities a stay at home mom has to deal with. If you are a stay at home mom or know one who is at risk for depression, remember you are not alone and you should always consult your physician for all your medical needs. How do you cope with depression?

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