Mental Health and Motherhood
When you think of someone suffering from mental health issues, what thoughts come to mind? Do you think “they need to toughen up” or “pull it together” or “it’s all in their head”? The truth is, we are all human. We all deal with difficult circumstances in life, and we are all susceptible to mental health issues. Moms are no exception.
Mental Health and Motherhood
When it came to parenting, Kathrin felt completely inadequate.
“I need to call my family and apologize for being out of control; for all the crying, the feelings of numbness and wanting to die. I’m here to make an adoption plan, because I know I can’t care for this beautiful baby the way she needs. I’m not good enough.”
These are the words that poured from Kathrin during her first therapy session at LFCS. She was experiencing Post-Partum Depression (PPD), diagnosed shortly after her daughter, Rose, was born. The physician felt extended treatment would be beneficial for Kathrin, so she entered a short-term program. She was discharged from the psychiatric center the day before coming to LFCS. Rose was just two weeks old.
As Kathrin shared her struggles, she spoke honestly about exploring adoption. Not because she didn’t love Rose, but because she did not believe she could be a good mom. Her LFCS counselor introduced her to an LFCS adoption caseworker to answer her many questions and provided objective guidance. Over several months, Kathrin was supported by both her adoption caseworker and counselor while receiving education, information, and additional community resources.
This wrap-around approach offered Kathrin the level of support she needed to get better.
In counseling, Kathrin learned to replace her negative, unproductive, and intrusive feelings with productive and positive thoughts. She was education about PPD – a very real and debilitating condition not to be embarrassed about or sorry for. This knowledge helped Kathrin understand her symptoms and empowered her to educate her family and friends about PPD.
With time and effort, Kathrin’s symptoms and their impact on her daily life lessened. Her confidence as a parent grew. She still struggled with the idea of being the perfect mom, but she knew she loved her daughter unconditionally and her mistakes did not equal failure or an inability to parent.
Ultimately, Kathrin chose not to make an adoption plan. She is choosing to raise her daughter to be kind beyond measure, to live without judgment of others, and to be fierce and free. But most importantly, she wants Rose to be herself, whoever that may be. Because as Kathrin has learned, being yourself is enough.
Kathrin continues to attend weekly therapy sessions at LFCS where she is focusing on building effective communication to improve her relationships. Finding joy in life has given her a great outlook on all that is to come. She appreciates the crazy journey called Motherhood. “It’s not always perfect,” Kathrin says, “but hey, we are all human.”
Kathrin’s story is a great example of how LFCS gives young mothers the support and tools they need to work through an all-too-common mental health challenge. A recent study found that 1 in 7 women may experience PPD in the year after giving birth. With approximately 4 million live births occurring each year in the United States, this equates to almost 600,000 diagnoses of postpartum depression. Services like LFCS counseling exist to support women, like Kathrin, through this condition in order to build better tomorrows for moms and kids across Missouri. If you are suffering from PPD or know someone who is, please contact us so you can find the help you deserve.