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February 19, 2018 - Welcome Guest!

Advice » Mental Health

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Young, married & depressed mom

Question:

My parents divorced when I was 8, I went to live with my mom and my brother lived with my dad. The reason for their divorce was that my mom had an affair with an 18 year old whom her and my dad had once taught in Sunday school.

I feel that after their divorce she decided to stop being a mom. I became severely depressed at about 10 years old and have been that way ever since, often contemplating suicide. At 16 I got pregnant by a jerk I was dating- I immediately told him to get lost because I knew I would be better off without him. I moved away from home and raised my baby by myself until I was 19 and got pregnant again. I then married the father of my second baby, it will be three years soon. I recently have tried to stop smoking pot but my husband keeps bringing it home. He has a good job and is advancing quickly but I am still upset about our money situation. I love my husband very much but I have a real problem showing him any affection and he has a problem understanding how tiring it is to raise kids.

I am very jealous of other moms who drive nice cars, live in nice houses and always seem to be happy. Last year I checked into the hospital for my depression but left after one night and now I feel even worse because I have this huge hospital bill to pay. I was prescribed Zoloft but quit taking it because it made me jumpy. I cannot afford counseling. Last night my husband got very upset with me and told me he would start treating me the way I treat him. He told me to make a list of all the things he does that make me mad but instead I made a list of "100 reasons that I hate myself". I feel like a failure.

I try so hard to be a good mom and wife. My house is always clean and supper is always ready when my husband gets off work. I just can't seem to be good enough for myself. I hate myself for not ending my life sooner- now it is too late because I have these babies whom I love so very much it hurts. I am afraid my husband will leave me and I will be lost without an education to support my kids. I feel like I cheated myself out of all of my dreams.

What steps can I take to lose this depression without the help of a counselor? How can I learn to be more affectionate to my spouse? What can I do to make myself happy?

Lou Ann (22 year-old woman)

Answer:

From your email it is really apparent that during your early childhood there was a lot of emotional pain and abandonment that you've suffered. It sounds as if your mother was very young either emotionally or chronologically and was not ready for a mature love relationship. Usually people choose partners that are on the same maturity level so I am assuming that your father also was very young. Whenever a child comes from immature parents they have to grow up exceedingly quickly. This usually results in a difficulty to achieve closeness and intimacy in later relationships.

When someone grows up with this kind of difficulty it is almost impossible to feel love for themselves. A child, no matter how intelligent and mature they are, will assume that they are to blame for their parent's lack of love and nurturing. The result has to be a certain amount of self-hate and depression. It certainly sounds as if part of how you are feeling is the result of the abandonment you have experienced. The jealousy and envy you are feeling seems more related to the lack of love you experienced as a child and now feel for yourself.

On the surface everything you are saying about your life in the present seems good. Your husband is making a decent living and you love him. It sounds as if you have three kids that you love and that love you. The only thing that makes sense about feeling depressed is either the past, you're feelings about yourself, or possibly that at least some of the depression comes from a chemical origin.

Often with old pain we have a tendency to re-create that pain in the present and in our current relationships. Subconsciously, it is quite possible that because of your lack of self- love you are pushing your husband and children into rejecting you. The past is meant to stay in the past. However, to achieve this we often have to get in touch with that past pain and fully grieve in order put it to rest.

This however is a very difficult thing to do even with competent help in the form of a good mental health therapist. The financial cost of this can be difficult. Most cities however have community services that run on a sliding scale. You might want to investigate the possibility. If not there are several good books on the subject. You might care to read The Family by John Bradshaw or Is It Love or Addiction? by Brenda Schaeffer.

In terms of medication whenever anyone is feeling depressed for as long as you have and are feeling suicidal then medication is probably required. Appropriate anti-depressant medication simply allows your own body to increase its neurotransmitters, which are the brains' chemicals, that allow your feelings and thoughts to run smoothly and regularly. All medication has at least a few side effects. These are usually mild to moderate and only for a short time. Each body however is different and therefore a doctor might have to try several different medications in order to find the appropriate one for the person. There are several general medical practitioners who are willing to prescribe for depression even without seeing a counselor, although I do not recommend this. Often a general physician is cheaper than a psychiatrist.

I want to wish you luck and certainly hope that you seek out appropriate help. Take care.

Jef Gazley

This question was answered by Jef Gazley M.S. Jef has practiced psychotherapy for twenty-five years, specializing in Love Addiction, Hypnotherapy, Relationship Management, Dysfunctional Families, Co-Dependency, Professional Coaching, and Trauma Issues. He is a trained counselor in EMDR, NET, TFT, and Applied Kinesiology. He is dedicated to guiding individuals to achieving a life long commitment to mental health and relationship mastery. His private practice locations are Scottsdale and Tempe, Arizona. You can also visit Jef at the internettherapist, the first audiovisual mental health online counseling center on the net.

For more information visit the site or contact information page on QueenDom.

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