Five Mental Health Issues That Affect Single Mothers
Studies have shown that single mothers are most likely to face health issues than those who are married are partnered. This is because the entire burden of childcare falls onto the mother and no one else has a role in raising the child. After a certain period, the stress of doing it alone begins to show, putting her mental and physical health in peril. Here are a few of those issues.
Lack of Sleep
When there is one person taking care of children, whether it may be one child of four, it is a 24/7 job for mothers. From morning to night, the mother is always on alert for anything that could happen. So, getting the normal 8 hours of sleep becomes unlikely and pervasive, which could lead to insomnia.
Postpartum Depression (PPD)
A form of clinical depression, PPD is not as understood as other cases of depression. It affects both men and women following the birth of a child. Changes of hormones, as well as radical change of lifestyle, are hypothesized as causes of it. Another possible factor is the mother’s previous past of enduring abuse. The symptoms and length of PPD can last from a few months to a year, starting about two weeks after delivery. It includes unexpected episode of sad feelings, lack of energy and sex drive, anxiety, and insomnia.
Conflict with The Biological Father
This happens a lot, unfortunately, where mothers are forced to bear the burden of raising the child alone as the father turns into a deadbeat dad. It could be from a resulting of continuing abuse (see above) and the mother’s trauma that she brings with her after she leaves the relationship. The same goes after separation or divorce from the father, who then remains in conflict with the mother over various matters related to the child or not. It’s such behavior that could lead to PTSD or any other mental issues from the conflict.
All of the stresses of being a single mother can also lead to a poor handling of their hygiene, nutrition, and physical being. This makes them think they are still fat or stressed out that they gain weight or resort to prescription drugs and alcohol to relax them; “mother’s little helper” as it is called in the UK. This can hamper the mother’s job when trying to care for her child.
Stressing About Finances
Raising a child is an expensive thing. For single mothers, even with a really good job and good pay, the budget is tight because most of the expenditures go the child’s needs. There is the fear of suddenly becoming unemployed and not having any financial security. Also, in relation to not having a partner, the mother fears of not getting the fair amount of child support agreed upon. This ties in with the other four issues mentioned because of the degree of difficulty in doing an important job alone without any support.