Has anyone on this board experienced post adoption depression? I have, (so has one of my frinds who also adopted from China) and I am surprised that this syndrome, which affects more than 65 percent of people who adopt, was never addressed by our agency or social worker. It never crossed my mind that it could hit me, but it did. I was completely unprepared for it. (I don't see the issue discussed much on this board, either.) It seems to me that adoption agencies too often paint a rosy picture of adoption, leaving out the sometimes very difficult aspects. For me, it was really, really hard at times. I even told myself that, had I known that this is how I would feel after the adoption was completed, I would have reconsidered and remained childless. I would love to share thoughts with those of you who have gone/are going through something similar.....
Hi, just peeking in from the Russian boards. PADS (Post Adoption Depression Syndrom) is discussed over and over on the Russian boards as well as other areas (appropriate areas) here on the forums. If you do a search you should be able to bring up countless discussions regarding this very real issue. I am not sure why it has not or isnt discussed here on the China boards as much but this will give you an opportunity to perhaps venture out of your home base forum and you will be surprised to find so much information and support on this topic. I am sorry you are caught off guard by this but it is real and you are not alone. The best of luck.
You can download articles on this subject at EMK Press:
What happens when you come home and all isn't what you hoped?
Post Adoption Depression
Stressed, Depressed and Parenting?
How do We Cope with Ourselves and Parent as Well?
By S.M. Macrae, Ph.D
Depression and International Adoption
By Jean MacLeod
Hi... Yep, it is very common among (international) adoption (and probably domestic also). I suffered from a mild case about 2 months home with my DD. Even though she is an older child, I truly believe that the emtional stress of the process, the ups and downs during the same time, travel (2 or more trips, the financial end, and then FINALLY Being Home.... It felt like 20 Christmas's all at once, and then the The after Christmas/winter blues X's 20 also!!!
As "Drazil65" mentioned in an above post, over at our Russian board (and others) PADS is discussed quite often. NO, I really haven't heard of many Agency's going over this possiblities. My SW did ask, during the first PPR (6 months home), how I was feeling, etc., but NEVER asked specifically if I had, had any depression. I wasn't able to talk about this with my family, as to them, THIS SHOULD BE THE HAPPIEST DAYS OF MY LIFE!!! Yes, they where and continue to be, but it still didn't mean I couldn't be/or wasn't having a bout of depression!!!
Do a Search on here for PADS!! You will very interesting posts!!!
Best of luck....
I've gone through post adoption depression. I never anticipated feeling that way. After all the years of trying to have a baby through natural means, IUI's, IVF's and adoption, how could I possibly be depressed after it finally happened? How could I be down when I just got what I had always dreamed of, a beautiful and healthy daughter? Talk about guilt setting in. I was tired and not getting any sleep. I was depressed to no end. I cried. I was miserable. I finally got help. I was put on some medication and am now doing much, much, much better.
I love my adoption agency but I wish they would have informed me (us) about the real possibility of ending up with PADS. It wouldn't have changed my decision about adopting- no way! It would have helped me to be better prepared though.
Feel free to PM me if you want to talk about this more. I'm sorry you are going through this. It does get better. Hang in there.
Thank you for all the links and direction supplied in the previous posts. I would like to be as best prepared for the adoption process- concerning the health of my child- as well as after the adoption experiences.
I was wondering- does anyone know if there are stats about parents of children already experinecing PADS?
I can see it going two ways-
the chances are greater- as you already have the stress of other children to care for and cannot focus on acclamating your new child into the family...
it is less- as you have been through some illnesses, sleep deprivation and other parenting experiences already- so you may be more prepared and less stressed.
Either way- I am nervous about experiencing it after our adoption. I am just as nervous about my dh experiencing it- as we really work together to raise our kids and we are a dual working family. So if either one of us - or both of us ends up with PAD's we would be in trouble.
Unlike PPD, I believe many people do not know or recognize these symptoms in family members. I am making our extended family members aware- just incase. I am also planning on lining up support for when we come home- just as i do when I brought my sons home from the hospital. Hopefully we will all settle in nicely- but ya never know.
Thanks again for the links!
I went through this too after adopting our first DS domestically when he was two days old. DH had just gotten a new job and had to work 14 hours the day after DS was placed with us, then had to leave for a week-long business trip the day after that! During the day I was okay, but as soon as the sun set every night I was so overwhelmed and felt absolutely alone - and the worst part was feeling SOOO guilty about being unhappy. I finally had the beautiful child I had waited for, what was wrong with me? I can chuckle now about the fourth or fifth day, when I sat in my new rocking chair, holding an absolutely perfect baby, sobbing and asking myself, "How do I tell DH that we have to give him back?" I think part of it was me grieving for the "me-centered" life that had just died, and this new, child-centered existance was such a change - I was totally unprepared! NO ONE had mentioned that I might feel this way - how I wish I had known!!!
I was lucky,our agency did talk about it so I knew it was a possiblity. I did have it with our first adoption. My first child and all,I was trying to be the perfect mom!!
Well I felt crappy for a few months but got over it. Our second adoption I was fine. I guess I wasn't as nervous the second time around. It is not fun and is a very real feeling.
Reading and talking to people about it will help.
I also talked to my social worker and she said I would get over it in time and feel much better and I did.
Talking to your social worker should help if that is a possibility.
PADS has been discussed on this forum before, but not in a long while.
When I came home with Lydia I had a case of the blues, but I wouldn't call it depression. I know many do have to deal with PADS and that it is a very real problem that needs to be discussed and understood so those who need it can get help.
But I think it's just as important to understand that just because you don't have PADS doesn't mean everything will seem rosey and perfect. When we got home, I questioned whether we made the right choice to adopt Lydia. My life was so different. So much more difficult than I'd imagined. Lydia was (and is) a joy, but I mourned my old life. The ability to go whereever whenever, the ability to just "get up" without having a hysterical scene. Lydia was and still is to a degree a very clingy child--she attached and now has bonded to me...and only I would do for the first few months of our lives together. Now, while I still bear the brunt of "barnacle baby" I can occassionally hand her to daddy and that's saved my sanity in a major way.
Now, I look back at that time and I wonder how I could ever question the wisdom of bringing her into our lives. I know she is the best thing ever to happen to me...but it took awhile, and I think that's understandable. Just as we should know our children will mourn their old life (even though their new life is better) we too will mourn our old lives even though our children enrich us and make our lives better as well.
I had the baby blues after my first bio boy was born. It took me almost 3 weeks to feel that "love-connection" and enjoy being his mum. With number two the maternal love was there instantly. I wasn't so overwhelmed with the responsibility and positive or negative sides to being a parent either. I think that's what helped.
I have read that PADS is just as normal as getting a depression after having bio kids. But personally I think PADS can strike you even harder since the longer you have waited, the more you have tried, tho more rosy-red picture of parenthood you'll have.
Kids are kids. Sometimes you wish you didn't have the responsibility of kids with their tantrums and nightmares and bad behavour to get attention, but then you have all the positive things, the hugs and kisses, watching them learn about the world or ride a bike for the first time as well, that you'ld never be without. It is very important to remember that having a child is hard work, but will give great rewards too.
I think Adoption agencies should inform about PADS and if there's not enough information about it, it would be good to contact the agencies and demand it. It should be in their best interest to have adoptive families as prepared as possible. We are talking about poeple, and their families :grouphug:
(As you can tell, I haven't started the adoption process yet, still waiting to turn 30, so I wasn't aware of the lack of information about PADS.)
You know, both as an adoptive mom who experienced it and as an adoption educator I've been writing (see Adopting after Infertility, 1992, Launching a Baby's Adoption, 1998) and training about post adoption anxiety and/or depression for a LONG time. There a number of explanations for why it is logical that it might happen some ways to predict it and to head it off at the pass, so to speak. It's frustrating that most agencies still don't mention it as a possibility as part of their parent prep process.
However, though the situation is not uncommon, it has NOT been formally accepted by the mental health community as a diagnosable "syndrome" of its own. Additionally, there has been virtually no formal research on this and not even any statistically relevant surveys, so the statistic of "over 65%" mentioned by the original poster is not in any way reliable. I'd love to know where it came from!
Pat Johnston
Infertility and adoption educator and amom to three young adults.
I had this after our son's adoption, and we had a bio daughter at home. I had no warning - and almost cried in relief when I found a book about it in a bookstore - i was searching in the "parenting" section for SOMETHING, ANYTHING that could explain how I was be honest - i was actually looking for something that could explain why he was the way he was - when in fact it was ME with the issues!
I laughed when i read the post from "hhousl" about having to tell her husband they had to give their baby back - its not that funny, its so sad, but EXACTLY how I felt. But through lots of open conversation with dh and a good friend who has an adopted brother i was able to work through it all. I felt so guilty for feeling this way (as others have said) that it was a huge weight off my shoulders to realize I wasn't alone....
Our agency did not say a word about this - it was weeks into it that i even heard the term (about 6 months after our son was home) - although I knew right away it applied to me.
Are you still going through this Katia555 or are you on the other side now?
I had it after our last adoption, and thought I was going crazy. I'd put feelers out to on-line friends, ask tentative questions without giving to much away and to spoke to my dh about how I was feeling, how maybe I'd made a mistake etc... Not one of them mentioned that maybe PAD was even a remote possibility. Everyone who'd adopted an older child made it sounds like everything was peachy, when in reality about 2 months after being home I found out one or more of them experienced the same thing, and some had gone on medication. I was so frustrated. I said why didn't you tell me this?
I know for sn's, toddler and older adoption part of it is people don't want to turn others off waiting children adoption. They are a little bit harder place and no one wants to keep a child from finding their family.
I personally would have loved to have some info BEFORE going to CHina, not because I would have changed my mind, but so that I could have been prepared. Neither of our agencies ever brought up PAD prior to either of our adoptions, and like the others I really feel agencies need to prep their families that this is a possibilty. Shelley
Its too bad that more adopting parents are not educated about this. Postpartum depression is talked about all of the time when you are expecting biologically. You read about it constantly in things given to you by your ob/gyn etc. I guess it may be because your body isn't actually going through hormone changes etc. I dont know how it feels after an adoption but definitely after a pregnancy. I only experienced it slightly after #3. I had a 4 yr old, 2 yr old, and a newborn. My dh had to leave for work the day after I brought my dd home. I can remember sitting in the nursery holding her in my arms just sobbing and sobbing as I rocked her, wondering how in the heck I was ever going to do this with a 4 and 2 yr old. I did it!!
I can certainly understand how it would be an issue after adopting. I can bet that the risk of having this after adopting is just as likely as having it after delivering. Being prepared and educated about it would be the best prevention I think.