By: Brianna Bell | Good Housekeeping | September 29, 2020
I was already struggling as a parent before the pandemic turned the world upside down. Four years ago, I was diagnosed with clinical depression, anxiety, PTSD and agoraphobia. I’ve managed my responsibilities as a parent through therapy, medication, routine and alone time to decompress. In 2019, I felt like I was finally getting into the groove of managing my mental health. I was loving my time as a mother and wife, thriving as a writer and enjoying my days all-around.
Once the pandemic hit, the guard rails keeping my mental health in check fell. I lost my routine, my space and my support. My kids were with me full-time while I attempted to keep my writing career afloat and make sure we had enough food in the fridge and clean underwear every day.
Leela R. Magavi, M.D, a psychiatrist and Regional Medical Director at Community Psychiatry in Newport Beach, California, says that instances of depression have likely increased in mothers during COVID.
“During this pandemic, many women are experiencing burnout as they are completing all their previous tasks in addition to now teaching their children,” Dr. Magavi says. “The pandemic decreases mothers’ ability to follow a routine and socialize, which can directly affect emotional and physical wellness.”
She encourages mothers to safely socialize with others, which may mean connecting with others virtually or setting up phone calls with friends. She also says that women in partnerships should engage in open and honest dialogue about their needs. “Aligning parenting styles helps create reliable structure within the household,” she says.
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