I can remember exactly where I was when I first heard the term “post adoption depression”.
We were sitting in a hotel conference room in Spokane, WA at our required adoption training.
I’m pretty sure that the thought that went through my head was something like
“Crap! I’m screwed.”
Eloquent? Maybe not.
Well, a slightly different version of that road, but one I did not want to revisit.
But the ugly truth is that I have a “genetic predisposition” with a history of depression in my family.
So yes, I had accepted the fact that I would most likely face this issue on and off throughout my life. I was just hoping it would be a dozen years or so before it smacked me down again.
The few scientific studies that have been done on post-adoption depression show that approximately one half of adoptive mothers will experience it – some very mildly and some more severe.
One might compare it to postpartum depression although most professionals attribute PPD, at least partially, to post-pregnancy hormones being out of whack. No such hormone issue can be blamed for PAD.
It seems so bizarre that here, at the joyous completion of a year-long journey, one filled with ups and downs, that depression would rear its ugly head.
With my first bout of depression in 2003 it was a full 6 months or more before I became so desperate that I reached out and got help. Since then I have learned to recognize my warning signs. But even still there is always doubt. Am I just tired? Is it just PMS? Is it just normal adjustment issues?
All it took was one defining moment for me to realize that it was so much more…