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Depression and Mother's Day

Living with depression can make Mother's Day challenging.

Key points

  • Many people celebrate Mother’s Day around the world.
  • For some people, it is a particularly challenging holiday.
  • Anger and resentment may be felt by those who did not have a good relationship with a mother.

Mother's Day is a holiday that is marked worldwide. Countries such as the United States, Canada, the U.K., Australia, China, and Japan, just to name a few, highlight the day on their yearly calendar.

Historically, Mother's Day has been a day when children and other family members honor mothers who are nurturing and caretaking in maternal ways. For some, it is a day of celebration, of expressing one's love and appreciation for a mothering figure. The day is met with happiness and the sharing of joyous memories of times past and the anticipation of good times to come.

However, for others, Mother's Day is not so easy. It can bring forth sadness, loss, and yearning if one's mother has died.

Anger and resentment can be felt by those who've never had a good relationship with a mother.

Mother's Day can wrench your heart if your own mother who you've been so close to has dementia and cannot recognize your own face.

Or if a mother has lost a child to an accident or illness, it can become an excruciating day filled with grief.

What about if you gave up your child for adoption?

Or had an abortion?

Or were never able to have a child of your own?

Or worry that the child you gave birth to is struggling with things bigger than love can cure.

Tips for Getting Through the Day

In my work, anniversary dates or holidays can be especially difficult for anyone who's experienced loss, death, or the recognition of hardship in a relationship. Of all the days in the calendar year, Mother's Day and Father's Day tend to evoke the most profound emotional responses. And there are no cards in stationery stores that honor these painful emotions.

  • To those of you who struggle with Mother's Day, know that you're not alone.
  • Give yourself permission to feel and think whatever comes from within.
  • Create a tradition that honors your needs.
  • On this day, it's important for you to mother yourself.
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