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Ritika Srivastava
30 Nov 2016 . 4 min read

Tackling Depression In Stay-At-Home Women


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Education, jobs, friends, and money are increasingly changing the image that women have of themselves. More and more young women have aspirations that do not fit with the conventional roles of a “wife” and a “mother.” Does the impact of modernity brings the baggage of “identity crisis” for women? A woman, who is now a primary school teacher, told me that she “wasted seven years” sitting at home just after marriage. In another case, a woman admits difficulty to having sexual intercourse even though she loves her husband. She feels the problem lies in a sense of frustration about being “only a housewife.”

The notions of ‘feminine’ and ‘masculine’ roles are created by society and human beings are stuffed into these perceived gender roles. This often leads to dissatisfaction and frustration. Women, like men, are creative beings. One reason stay-at-home wives might feel more dissatisfied than working females is the lack of appreciation for their labour of love – or a missing sense of accomplishment. 

Another aspect of being a stay-at-home mom that might contribute to anger and depression is isolation. Working ladies get to actualise their interests, skills and relationships outside of the home. Compared to men, women experience much more fluctuation in hormone levels that are associated with symptoms of depression.

For many women, a working career is what gives them a sense of being and purpose – an identity that is enriching.

Now whether a woman should work or stay at home, should be a personal choice and forcing upon her, to do either way, is unfair. If the decision of the woman is to stay at home, or circumstances demand that she stays at home, here are a few pointers for what can be done to feel better about being a stay at home wife/mother:

Follow a ritual

Taking the time to shower and put on makeup makes one feel clean, refreshed, and prepared for the day.  If an unexpected visitor comes, it takes away the embarrassment of not looking the best.

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Stop watching too much TV

There is very little to be gained from watching television. Look at any study done on the effects of watching television for a prolonged time — it’s called an idiot box for a reason. It seems that our grandparents weren’t too far off when they told us that it was rotting our brains. Instead, use that time to learn a new skill, read a book, go for a walk, read to your baby (even a newborn), go to a park, visit a friend or relative, the list of opportunities is endless.

Create a schedule for yourself

This is probably the most important piece of advice. Scheduling gives structure to our days, space to enjoy activities, and time to get work done. Socialise more, join some hobby class, keep yourself fit.

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Most importantly, if you’re feeling depressed, don’t try to keep doing the same things.  A change in your daily patterns will completely transform your outlook. It’s more of a psychological problem rather than a biological one. So, if we can alter our thought process we can certainly overcome depression.

But if depression persists for a long time, don’t shy away from taking help. Whatever pulls you out of that pit, even consulting a medical professional, should be tried.


 


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Ritika Srivastava
A Psychologist who has an experience of more than 3.5years in CBT,CCT and REBT, and deals with relationship, career,organisational and clinical issues. I have an independent practice in Mumbai and actively involved in writing journals and articles.

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