MATERNAL DEPRESSION: 9 THINGS YOU CAN DO TO COPE
A very interesting article appeared in the 1999 volume of the
Journal of Attention Disorders titled "Levels of Self-Reported Depression Among Mothers of Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder." In this article the authors report that
1) Mothers of ADHD children experience significantly higher degrees of depression than mothers of non-ADHD children.
2) Mothers of children with Hyperactive-Impulsive or Combined Type ADHD experience significantly more depression than mothers of Inattentive Type ADHD and
3) Mothers of multiple ADHD children experience more depressive symptoms than mothers of only one ADHD child. What does this mean for mothers of ADHD children and what should they do?
1) Understand that you are at greater risk for reactive depression than the general population.
2) Be easy on yourself - being the mother of an ADHD child is a difficult task, do not expect perfection.
3) Forgive yourself - you will make many mistakes, as raising a child with ADHD is anything but routine.
4) Educate yourself - continue to read this newsletter, look for books
(many can be found at the ADD Warehouse at www.addwarehouse.com). Explore other sources of information such as the CHADD website (www.CHADD.org).
5) Join CHADD and attend your local CHADD chapters' meeting for information and support. Go to www.chadd.org or call 1-800-233-4050 to find out the location of your local chapter.
6) Do not isolate yourself. Talk to other parents you respect about how
they handle difficult issues with their non-ADHD kids.
7) Keep the lines of communication open with teachers by developing a positive relationship with teachers through frequent contact and supporting them in their role.
8) Make it your personal mission to praise your child at every possible
opportunity, large and small. It will build your relationship, build
his/her self-esteem and improve their behavior.
9) Take care of yourself. In addition to doing what you need to do to stay healthy, give yourself some time off occasionally to recharge your batteries. Get a massage, spend the night away with a friend - do what you need to do to stay mentally healthy. You're one of the most important links to your child's success.