Being a single mom is one of the hardest things women face. There are certain times as a single parent when we may need help addressing problems and issues that cause us emotional distress or make us feel overwhelmed. When you are experiencing these types of difficulties, you may benefit from the assistance of an experienced, trained professional. Here are some signs that it may be time to seek some help.
You have symptoms of depression. This may be described as feeling sad, blue, unhappy, miserable, or down in the dumps. Most of us feel this way at one time or another for short periods. True clinical depression is a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, loss, anger, or frustration interfere with everyday life for a long period of time. Postpartum depression follows a pregnancy and can include feelings of detachment for your children and infant. Many professionals will advocate a combination of drug therapy and psychotherapy in the office. You will learn exactly what depression is and will recognize the onset of future episodes, if they occur. You will gain new skills and challenge depressive thinking and behavior at the onset that means you can be confident about leading a depression-free life.
You have symptoms of anxiety or panic attacks. Anxiety disorders are characterized by excessive, exaggerated anxiety and worry about everyday life events with no obvious reasons for worry. People with symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder tend to always expect disaster and can’t stop worrying about health, money, family, work, or school. The worry often is unrealistic or out of proportion for the situation. The anxiety dominates the person’s thinking that it interferes with daily functioning, including work, school, social activities, and relationships. Counseling can help you put a plan in place with therapy and medications to tackle these fears and have a sense of peace.
You are abusing a substance, have an eating disorder, are addicted to something, or someone in the home is. Professional counselors offer the caring, expert assistance that can help you identify your problems and assist you in finding the best ways to cope with any addiction or disorder by changing behaviors that contribute to the problem or by finding constructive ways to deal with a situation that is beyond your personal control. You will learn effective ways to deal with your problems by building your personal strengths instead of turning to the addiction. Counselors can also help teach you how to deal with someone in your home who has an addition or disorder.
Professional counselors may also offer help to single mothers facing sexual abuse and domestic violence, career change and job stress, social and emotional difficulties related to being a single parent, life transitions and issues with ex, the death of a loved one, including widows. Joyce Breasure, past president of the American Counseling recommends counseling when you spend 5 out of 7 days feeling unhappy, regularly cannot sleep at night, are taking care of a parent or a child and the idea crosses your mind that you may want to hit that person, have lost someone or something (such as a job), have a chronic or acute medical illness, can no longer prioritize what is most important in your life, or feel that you can no longer manage your stress. Good indicators of when you should seek counseling are when you’re having any difficulties at work, school or home. If you are questioning if you should go into counseling that is probably the best indicator that you should. You should trust your instincts.