Hi, I’m 19 years of age. I have had a really hard past foster care, my mother using with as her drug, and losing my brother and sister as they had to move with their dad to a different state at a young age. I currently live in Florida with my baby and my baby’s father. My babyis8months old. Let’s say that for about two years I’ve felt very irritable, had a super low sex drive, sometimes just want to cry, and feel so very worried constantly about the smallest things that most people wouldn’t be worried about. I get so irritated at my baby when he cries I grit my teeth and just want to hit a wall sometimes, and my boyfriend I feel like he is just constantly lying to me about everything. We also just moved to Florida from Arkansas I miss home so much, I feel hopeless and just want to cry. I haven’t had sex with my boyfriend in over 6motnhs. Please help:(

A. I’m sorry you’re experiencing so much distress. You have faced extraordinary life circumstances. You effectively lost your family at a very young age. You then had a baby at a very young age, moved away from your then-current family and presently do not seem to have any social support. The fact that you are “feeling really down” makes sense, given your life circumstances. Postpartum depression may also be a factor.

You need support and you also need professional mental health treatment. The advantage of seeing a mental health professional is multifold. A psychotherapist could assist you with your mood instability, treat (if diagnosed) your postpartum depression, help you generate coping skills to deal with the very difficult job of being a new mother, and assist you in developing a better relationship with your boyfriend.

Your life could be greatly improved with the assistance of a mental health professional. I hope you will consider it.

Finally, you may want to consider joining a support group for new mothers. Another idea is to contact a local university or your local health department to determine if there are postpartum programs or new mother studies. The local hospital or community health center may also be to refer you to nearby programs. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle
Mental Health & Criminal Justice Blog