Today, I'd like to finish the list. Remember this is from Internet research that is scarce, they may be more precursors.
Please excuse the various fonts, which come from copying and pasting. I was going to re-type it all because I know it's harder to read this way, but Charlie is needing attention this morning, so here it is with apologies.
June Bond coined the term, post adoption depression, in a 1995 article for Roots and Wings Magazine. It refers to a combination of symptoms that may include: depressed mood, irritability, diminished interest in most activities, significant weight loss or gain, insomnia, or sleeping too much, feeling worthless or excessively guilty, difficulty concentrating, and suicidal thoughts. The severity of PAD may vary and should be taken seriously if you have five or more of these symptoms during a two-week period. Whether an incapacitating depression that requires treatment, or simply "the blues," PAD is a very real phenomenon.
It is suspected that having a history of certain issues can increase the likely hood that PAD will surface.
BEING A "CAREER WOMAN":
In understanding post-adoptive emotions, we examine expectations along several dimensions: our expectations of ourselves, of our child, of our family and friends, of our child’s birthparents, and of others (including our adoption professionals and society). Part of the wholeness of family lies beyond the primary family unit, reaching to extended family and close friends. The joy that we feel as parents is often contagious and includes the exquisite anticipation of sharing the fact a child will be added to the family. But adoptive parents may be surprised and ill-prepared for their families’ reactions. – Foli and Thompson
Remember my hurt over my baby shower? That was probably an expectation of mine, a dream of what it would look like, and when the RSVPs came in, it was shattered. My family IS in love with Charlie, and they ARE very supportive, but I’ll never forget the sheer volume of comments that post got…. Obviously not all families are. I hope yours is as wonderful as mine, but if they are not, find some supportive friends.
A HISTORY OF DEPRESSION, POST-PARTUM DEPRESSION (OR BI-POLAR, SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER OR ANY AFFECTIVE DISORDER):
If you have a tendency to any of the above mental health diagnoses, you are more likely to experience PAD. Personally I have battled depression for most of my adult life. This should not have taken me by surprise… After all, it’s such a joyful and happy time.
INTERNATIONAL AND SPECIAL NEEDS ADOPTION:
Science is just beginning to define "Post-Adoption Depression Syndrome" (PADS), which is not yet a distinct illness recognized by the American Psychiatric Association. PADS can range from a full-blown episode of severe depression that requires hospitalization or just a simple case of the blues that lasts a month or two. The few scientific studies of PADS indicate that over half of adoptive mothers experience it. For example, in 1999 Harriet McCarthy, manager of the Eastern European Adoption Coalition Parent Education and Preparedness, surveyed 165 mothers who had adopted children from Eastern Europe and found that 65% reported post-adoption depression. Other researchers have determined that you are more likely to experience PADS if you adopt from overseas or if your child has special needs.
WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT:
. Monitor your symptoms of depression and seek counseling and/or medical treatment if they persist and seriously impact day-to-day functioning.Don't become isolated in your community. Enlist friends, family and neighbors to help with errands or domestic chores so that you can focus on bonding with your child.
· Try to get out with your child every day. Especially in the winter, cabin fever can exacerbate feelings of depression.
· If you have a predisposition to depression, you are at greater risk. Contact your mental health provider, counselor, and other support network to be on "standby."
· If the loss of career (whether temporary or permanent) triggers an identity crisis, find new areas of competence and seek out opportunities for adult contact.
· Don't expect perfection from yourself. Just do your best and don't feel guilty.
· Establish time with your spouse/partner to nurture your relationship.