October 23, 2009, Newsletter Issue #162: Depression After Adoption

Tip of the Week

One aspect of adoption that often takes new parents by surprise is a feeling of being overwhelmed or depressed. Adoption is an extremely emotional event, not only for the child and birth parents, but for the adoptive parents as well. Sadly, most adoptive parents are unprepared for this, and subsequently feel guilty for having these emotions at what should be considered an exciting and joyous time for them. Let me assure you that these feelings are very common and even have a clinical name and diagnosis, “Post-Adoption Depression.”

In my article, Post-Adoption Depression: What New Parents Should Know About PADS, I explain the disorder and give tips for combating this common condition. This article arose out of my own experience with PADS. Soon after I brought my new daughter home, I found myself feeling run-down, very emotional, crying frequently, and overwhelmed. I felt guilty for having these feelings; how could I feel this way when she is an answer to prayer, and I love her so much? I even felt ridiculous, after all, this was how biological mothers feel after giving birth (I know because I experienced the exact same thing after the birth of my two biological daughters); I adopted this time, I shouldn’t feel this way.

To further aggravate my condition were well-meaning ladies who suggested that I was lucky to have missed out on the labor and delivery process, and how much easier adoption is compared to giving birth. Obviously these women never adopted, and were making thoughtless and careless comments not realizing how hurtful they were.  Adoption took longer, was just as emotional, and even took a physical toll on both my husband and I- a result of the adoption roller coaster that we rode for several years.

Now, after finalizing a total of three adoptions, I can say that each adoption had its own ups and downs and glitches along the way- its own type of labor and delivery, if you will. I am begininng a series of tips on this very subject: post-adoption depression. Stay tuned for new tips in the upcoming days. Also, please contact me if you have any input on this topic, ideas for other topics, or have been affected by post-adoption depression and would like to share your story with me, I would love to hear from you!
Adoption Guru

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