Depressed young mother


Depressed young mother


your avatar   Emily, 21-year-old woman

I'm 21 with 2 children. Robert is 3 and has autism and can't talk. Marcus is 10 months old with a complicated heart defect which has had him in hospital since his birth, but he is okay now. I also live with my very supportive fiancé, Kieron. I'm unemployed because my workplace would not allow part-time shifts. I have Marcus all day every day, and Robert from when he finishes daycare at 3PM until their dad comes in at 6:45PM.

I actually hate my life. I love my kids, but Robert's real dad doesn't deal with him like I do. It's like I'm just a lady who is there; like if I were to die, the kids wouldn't even know. I feel totally pointless. My family has a history of depression so I figured that was probably it. When I'm in the house on my own I don't eat much and I feel exhausted by 1pm. Not to mention the fact that my granddad died a month ago, and I have no one to talk to because I just feel like I'm being pathetic. I want to pack my bag and just leave. Help me, please. I think I'm breaking down.


    Bob Rich, Ph.D.

Dear Emily,

Where you live you have free access to care. Make use of it. A few sessions with a mental health professional may make all the difference in the world for you.

Second, just because you have a 10-month-old it doesn't mean you need to be a prisoner in your home. Most women have babies restricting their options for a time in their lives, but many still manage to have friends, do interesting things, and enjoy at least part of their day. If someone else can do it, so can you.

The problem is not so much your situation, but how you have reacted to it until now. So, let's look at it differently. By magic, I give you qualifications as a social worker. A young woman comes to you with the problems you have described, and your job is to lead her to a better life. How will you go about it? You will encourage her to join certain local groups and activities: hobbies, sports, short courses and the like. I don't know what's available, but as a social worker you do. There may be local services from government, council or charitable groups she can access. She has had her first child very young, so chances are her education was interrupted. You may be able to organize for her to do some study in a field she can work up an interest in, mostly using the internet.

You can be your own social worker, and find all this kind of information online.

Of course, all this takes work, and that's difficult when you feel depressed. I bet it was difficult to make yourself send out this cry for help too. But you did it. Just do one step at a time, and if you get help from a therapist, everything will be easier.

If you were to die, most certainly your kids would miss you. They would be devastated. Despite Robert's autism, he has feelings and is probably a very good observer. You have a place in the world, and a reason for living. Look on this period in your life as a challenge. When you get through it, you'll be a stronger, better person for having suffered.

Give your boys a hug from me,


This question was answered by Dr. Bob Rich. Dr. Rich has 30+ years of experience as a psychotherapist. Dr. Rich is also a writer and a "mudsmith". Bob is now retired from psychological practice, but still works with people as a counselor.For more information visit:


I must, "I should," or "I have to" are limiting and self-sabotaging words. Use "I would prefer to…"
"The most sacred place in the world is in your mind. Guard it ferociously."
Rick Beneteau
Realize that sometimes, certain tasks or decisions in life require a small leap of faith.