Post Adoption Depression Syndrome Part 1
Brooke Randolph, LMHC
Postpartum depression (PPD) has become recognized more in recent years; however, Post Adoption Depression Syndrome (PADS) is still discussed only minimally. There are different reasons for PPD and PADS, yet there is also some overlap. Postpartum depression is at times a "chemical imbalance" from the changes in and surges of hormones, but there are many other reasons one might experience PPD or PADS.
is hard. It is the most difficult, most important job you will ever have
. Parenting necessitates giving of yourself - your time, your attention, your physical energy, your emotional energy. The adjustment to parenting and often the adjustment to any additional child generally means adjusting to functioning on less sleep, accomplishing more in less time, and physical and emotional fatigue. As wonderful and rewarding as parenting can be, it's a tough job
! Children that are adopted often have difficulty sleeping through the night for awhile, regardless of age. Working on trust and attachment during the adjustment period requires intense attention.
You and everyone you know have been anticipating the arrival of this child, but he or she likely had no idea or did not understand what was occurring; while you have loved this child from afar, you are still a stranger to him or her. Many new parents find it painful to love a child who does not yet return that love and affection. The period of adjustment in adoption
can be pretty wearing. As the parent of an adopted child, you must undertake all caregiving tasks, including feeding, bathing, dressing, soothing, and putting the child to bed. Grandma, Grandpa, Aunts, and Uncles can play with your child, but to establish a secure attachment, your child needs to know you will always take care of him or her.
For months you have loved this child through a picture and a plan; yet, your child is a real person with a unique personality, habits, losses to grieve, etc. You are getting to know your child, and just like when you started dating, you may not like everything you learn. You may find that you do not feel immediately attached to this child, despite all your planning and daydreaming. You may start questioning if you made the right decision. Many who experience PADS wonder if they have ruined life for themselves, their family, and this new child.
We cannot forget that many of you are experiencing jet lag and catching up on being away from home for a while. Travel can be pretty stressful, and it becomes more so if you have health or digestion problems, difficulties with translation, uncomfortable local weather, problems with the airline, or a screaming child who has never seen a plane or felt the pressure change in his or her ears. If you had to travel to complete your adoption, you are not at your best when you finally arrive home to your own bed, and you cannot be the super-parent that you would like to be.
Be the first to comment on this item.