I’m completely exhausted! I am a full-time working mother of two. I make excellent money, but my job is so stressful. I actually make more than my husband. I have been on anti-depressants/anti-anxiety medication for several years, but I don’t think it’s working anymore. It seems as though all of my girlfriends who are moms and work have to take medication too. None of their husbands have to take mediation to “get through life.” What gives?
Anonymous – North Carolina
I am so glad you wrote because I see exactly what you are talking about.
First of all, I did a little research on the subject and found the following at Mental Health America of Eastern Missouri. Below is an excerpt.
Why do women suffer from clinical depression more often than men?
Women suffer from depression at roughly twice the rate as men, and one in every four women will experience the illness at some point in her lifetime. Biology, genetics, emotional makeup and environmental factors (such as prolonged stress or a life crisis) often play roles in the onset of clinical depression. The importance of these factors (both independently and in relation to each other) is yet to be identified. However, it has been determined that men are more likely to ignore their symptoms or try to cope with emotional pain by using/abusing alcohol or illicit drugs.
So let’s talk about this. Back in the cave man days, men went out to hunt and gather food. Women took care of the children and prepared the food. It seems to me that was the natural instinct. We women as the “physically weaker” sex did not bring home the bacon….we fried it!!!
Then comes WWII….where women were forced to help the American industry meet wartime production demands for weapons, planes, tanks, and ships. The female labor force grew by 6.5 million. In 1944, 37 percent of all adult women were employed and comprised 35.4 percent of the civilian labor force. Once we started working, we never stopped.
Today, women outnumber men in the workforce. How does this play out with our natural born instincts to nurture? Working mothers are constantly torn between the responsibilities of their career and the responsibilities at home. Maybe we have wonderful husbands who help us 50/50 at home, yet, our makeup to “take care” of everybody all the time just can not happen. Basically, I think we try to do too much. Sometimes we are just plain forced to do it.
Here is an example: You are working away on a Monday morning and you get a call that one of your children is sick. You being “mom” want to rush to get your child, but you have a big meeting to go to. You call your husband at his job to pick up your child. He does so. You feel tremendous guilt and would rather be home taking care of your child, but you’re the main bread winner and you could not miss this meeting. Talk about a no win situation!
I am not surprised at all that the number of depressed women is twice that of men. I personally feel their makeup is so different than ours that the emotional stresses we feel are handled differently in them. Not to say they don’t feel it, they just deal with it better than we do.
For your specific issue, you should see your doctor because your body may have adjusted to your medication. You may have another underlying issue as well. Maybe it’s time to take a hard look at your financial situation and determine if the career is worth all the stress. Would you be happier with less money and more sanity? Can we all say the word “downsize!”
Please send your questions and responses to firstname.lastname@example.org for next month’s article.
Love in Christ,
Cherise Perkins lives in Northwest Arkansas. She has a Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology with a Minor in Writing from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Her website is www.cheriseperkins.com. She is a singer/songwriter with songs available for others to record. Cherise has most recently performed at the National Quartet Convention in Louisville, Kentucky and the Branson Gospel Music Convention in Branson, MO. Her record label is Jericho Records which is part of Zion Music Group in Nashville, TN. She has released three songs to Southern Gospel radio in the last 12 months with her latest single “He Loves Me” at #9 on radioactiveairplay.com. She is a mom and wife with a full time career and part-time ministry.