Mothers are frequently victims of the symptoms of Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Monitoring maternal mental health concerns helps in the early treatment of symptoms and problem-solving. “Remember, taking care of your mental health is not just beneficial for you, but also for your family. It’s okay to seek support and take time for self-care,” wrote Therapist Linda Meredith. Unexpected changes in mood, prolonged melancholy, or agitation are indicators that a mother is emotionally depleted and frustrated.
The mother’s mental and emotional state impacts the child too
Motherhood is one of the most challenging jobs on earth. While it is important to abide by your duties, it is equally important to not overlook your mental health struggles as a parent. Often, things can get overwhelming for mothers, especially when they have to juggle several responsibilities at once. It is hard to take time for oneself, and often self-care takes a backseat for mothers. Many studies show that the more stressed a mother is, the unhealthier the impact she has on her children. It is also proven that a mother’s depressed state of mind can impact a foetus severely. The stress starts to affect the child as early as the first trimester of the pregnancy.
It has been demonstrated that a variety of prenatal stressors for the mother can both contribute to and raise the likelihood of emotional, behavioural, and cognitive issues in the child. The mother can experience stress due to several reasons such as uncertainty in home life, financial struggle, increased everyday problems, potential natural or man-made calamity, and emotional abuse or other forms of domestic abuse from her husband. Pregnancy-related stress in the mother increases the child’s risk of developing conduct disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and autism spectrum disorders. Other issues that may arise include asthma and premature birth.
Stressors throughout a child’s life also impact his health immensely. If a mother is stressed all the time around the child, then it can negatively impact the child’s ability to soothe himself emotionally, leading to developmental trauma. The child’s ability to gain emotional autonomy is severely damaged. The individual genetic vulnerabilities of the child and the nature of the postnatal care can also influence outcome.
Signs of bad mental health in mothers
Unrelenting worries, anxiety, and unnecessary stress can affect the mother emotionally, mentally, and also physically. Increased or decreased appetite can be a sign for a mother to watch out for as well. Insomnia, loss of sleep, or change in sleeping patterns can affect the body. Sometimes excessive sleeping can also be a sign of mental health issues. When excessive fatigue persists even after getting enough sleep, it’s important to pay attention to your mental health.
Certain neurodevelopmental issues in children may be avoided if one can take action to assist expectant mothers in lowering their stress levels. Psychiatrists are qualified to diagnose mental illnesses, and the prognosis and choice of therapy depend greatly on the diagnosis. However, there are situations where it’s crucial to look beyond a diagnosis; stress during pregnancy is one of them.
In addition to medication and talking therapies, one might also need to seek other forms of support. Assistance with the partner’s relationship could be one of these. Although he can be a great help, the father is frequently a huge source of stress. This could entail helping with practical problems like housing or facilitating the development of a more robust and encouraging social network.
By: Gursharan Kaur