Not being in control of your feelings and moods when you have young children to bring up can be quite daunting. When you have a family and you are the victim of depression, it can sometimes seem like there is no way out. Being in this situation myself, I can tell you that there might not be an immediate step to take back to pure happiness but what I do know is that there is hope.
I know that we do not always feel like following the rules or complying with everything we read because the chemical imbalance in our brain does not always allow us to do so, but recognising the mood changes they draw near us can ultimately change the way we react to certain situations. There was a time when I simply did not know how to control my anger and emotions in the slightest and now by recognising these emotions before they are completely upon me, I can now decide how to deal with them.
For example:- if my child is in the room and I do not see the mood swing subsiding anytime soon, then I will ask my child to leave the room so that she/he misses most of my ill tempered nature. This gives me time to get my head back on track.
Realising that my way of thinking is sometimes erratic has made me understand that depression is in fact an illness. I know we are told this, and it is a scientific fact but that doesn’t excuse the behaviour in our own minds when we are thinking straight. We still feel the guilt of the nasty things we say and do and we also have to live with this, which can if thought of a lot bring on more feelings of depression.
To us life is a vicious circle of too many ups and downs and the outcome of this unfortunately, is not thinking straight. This makes us feel unworthy, not in control and as if life is pointless. It’s a bit like having a split personality, you are this confident person who strives for life and you know deep down that you are somebody, then all of a sudden the other you overshadows you making you question your every move.
These feelings can be controlled. I decided that depression has made It’s way through too many parts of my life but one things for sure, I will not let it run through my relationship with my daughter.
Of course there is work to be done, It’s not like I have a magic wand, which I wave around every time I feel myself spiralling out of control. Things are still far from perfect, but this is the first step. Believe me.
Tell your partner how you are feeling and let him know your plans. Invite him to help you out.
The first thing I did when I decided that it was time to change was talk openly with my partner. I asked him to try to understand how I was feeling and told him that my depression was something I simply couldn’t control. Luckily my partner does understand. I asked him to be and act in certain ways when I overreact or cry etc… This way if I get out of hand, the situation is not made worse by me feeling misunderstood. This is a lot to ask of someone, as some situations can get ridiculous. I explained to my partner that once I have calmed down, I would be able to see the situation for what it really is.
If you are finding it difficult getting your partner to understand your depression, then perhaps you could buy a book on the subject and have him read it so that he has a better understanding of what you are going through. Hopefully this way you would feel like he is supporting you.
Asking your partner to help you out in certain ways is allowing him to see that you do realise that you do have a problem, and that you do not intend to be cranky. It’s merely something you just can’t help. This may also enable him to be a bit more tolerant with you when you do lose it, making the overall situation less stressful and easier to cope with.
When you are feeling really low, try to remember some of the times when you did feel on top of things, you trusted yourself at those times, then ask yourself what’s changed? Deep down under all the negative thoughts, the real answer will always be, not much has changed. Tell yourself that the way you are feeling at that present moment in time will pass and that you will be able to think clear enough again soon.
What is Self Esteem? Self – acceptance
Self – image
Self – confidence
Self – contentness
Self – Self approval
Self – worth
Why is it good to have Self – Esteem? When a person has good self – esteem, they are more content with there surroundings, this generates happiness, creativity and the ability to take risks. These people are generally more confident, flexible and adaptable and have the correct attitude to give and commit to others. These people value themselves and although they are aware of their faults, they accept themselves for who they are.
How do we get Good Self – Esteem?
When others value us, we feel a sense of belonging, like we are worth something. We also get self -esteem through people trusting us, spending time with us, respecting us, committing to us, being on our side and approving of us and our choices in life.How to deal with our children when depression is upon us
Children receive messages from us all the time. Unfortunately people who suffer from depression have to live with the fact that our kids will take most of our distressing traits with them on their own lives path when they mature. This is why good self -esteem is essential to your well being. If you feel good about yourself and in control of you life then the chances are, these are the qualities that should rub off on to your children; instead offering them a better start in life.
Understanding our children
Being a complete stress head myself, I fully understand the term:- ‘kids getting under our feet.’ Try this… Step 1 :- write down what you think your child’s personality is (good or bad) for example:- Adapts easily
Cares deeply about others
Cries a lot
Is very resilient
Likes quiet time
Quick to make choices
Can be assertive
Step 2 :-
See if you can find a connection between the characteristics, they may be two of the same coin! For example:- you may like the way they are quick to make choices take decisions and seem to know their own minds but not the way they constantly argue about doing things their own way, but isn’t this part of the same thing? You might give your child credit for standing up for themselves when playing with their friends but not like it when they are assertive with you. Again this is the same strength coming out in a different place.
Step 3 :-
Write down your child’s Likes, dislikes, favourite food, clothes,
programs etc… For example…
Favourite Food :-
Food they don’t like :-
Salt n vinegar crisps
Favourite programs :- Tracy Beaker
Dick and Dom and so on…
This will create a whole new level of getting to know who your child is. If you find that there appears to be more things they don’t like next to the things they do like, it’s time to take improving their self – esteem very seriously. Kids will get a clearer picture of who they are if they feel like they are understood. Tell them from time to time what it is you like about them, help them to feel proud of themselves.
When we understand our children, life can feel 10 times easier to cope with. Making depression seem not half as bad an ordeal. Being a parent is, for most people, there greatest chalenge in life. Children can give us our best moments but they can also bring us head on with our worst moments too. Controlling the emotional storms which are often unleashed, from their side as well as our own takes patience, skill but above all a great deal of understanding.