Post placement depression

I was diagnosed with this today. I am struggling hard with our placement even though they are great kids. Anyone else have any experience with this?
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Re: Post placement depression

  • I have no direct experience, but Post Adoption Depression is more common than people think. I'm so glad you got some help.
  • I did. Bad. With our daughter who is now almost 7 mo and came home from the hospital w us. Feel free to pm me if you want to talk more. I'm sorry you are experiencing this. Big hugs.
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  • I went to a conference and heard someone speak about this. They said it's very similar to post partum. I definitely experienced something similar although I think I had more anxiety than depression. You are definitely not alone.

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  • Thank you ladies.  Every day is definitely getting better, but we still have a ways to go.  Our agency did not discuss this at all.  Not at all.  Our placement was hectic (we found out we were getting them 3hrs before they showed up at our house) and they are older then we originally planned and 3 days after we got them we found out the younger one is likely going to go home to dad in the next month or so (we are foster to adopt, but were told they would likely be freed for adoption at the next court hearing, which is why we agreed to take them).  I think a lot of this led to the depression (I also had a history of depression in college).  what a roller coaster
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  • Can you talk to them about addressing this in the future? It's pretty common, IMO it should be part of their training.

    I'm glad to hear you're feeling better.

  • I had a hard time, especially after our first adoption, but I wouldn't consider what I had full-on depression.

    For me, it was more of a "Oh my goodness, what made me think I could do this?" sentiment, that made me fearful, hesitant, and long for some time away.  It was an overnight transition from being relatively independent to having a walking, talking 7 year-old, who I couldn't communicate with.  It made me hide in the bathroom when I could and beg my husband not to go back to work when he had to.  It was definitely a difficult time, and I only got passed it with the passage of time.

    The second time around, I was more prepared, but it also brought it's own challenges, and I experienced another dip, just not as extreme.

    You are not alone.  Many adoptive parents feel ashamed that they have these feelings, because they wanted a child for so long and worked so hard to bring the child(ren) home.  Please understand that this is a function of the drastic and dramatic change in your life, and not an indicator of you or your ability to be a good parent to those children.  Be kind to yourself, and to them.  Understand that you are all just feeling your way, and it will be especially bumpy as you help these children who have experienced trauma in their short lives, learn to trust and live as part of your family.

    I'm glad you sought help.  You got this.  Sometimes when it seems that taking it day by day is too daunting, think about just getting through one task at a time.  Fake it until you make it, and I promise, you will make it through, with some pretty amazing results at the other side.

  • Can you talk to them about addressing this in the future? It's pretty common, IMO it should be part of their training.

    I'm glad to hear you're feeling better.

    This is interesting.  I've been thinking about it, and I don't think I have ever heard of foster training including much about postplacement depression, although it is a fairly common subject in pre-adoptive training.  I wonder if they just cover so much and that fostering is fraught with so many variables about whether or not a specific situation will lead to adoption that this is just something that they don't think to address.
  • Thank you everyone for your kind replies.  It definitely makes me feel better to know that I am not alone, or even if you have not felt it yourself you can empathize.

    The last 2 days have been much, much better days!  The first week with the girls I cried a lot, could barely eat, was exhausted, constantly thought about giving them back and was just miserable.  I started a medication that I am positive is helping and the girls are getting used to our home, schedule and expectations. 

    @CaptainSerious your response was very helpful.  Thank you for the reminder to not get overwhelmed with the days and break it down to tasks if I have to.  This weekend will be my first weekend alone with the girls (DH is a nurse that works 7pm-7am, he works Friday, Saturday and Sunday night, so he will have to sleep all day each day).  I have been dreading it a little bit, but tried to break the weekend down by chunks of time and what we will be doing during that time.  I know it may not all go according to plans, but helps me to have a plan I can break down.
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  • I'm glad I'm able to help.  I'm not going to kid, I had a very hard time.  M ran away from us the weekend before my husband had to go to work, he'd throw himself down and say I pushed him, and he was generally miserable with us.  BUT, he wouldn't act out in public, so I used that to my advantage, and kept him out as long as possible each day.  Our pool club opened at noon, so we got there right after lunch, and spent the whole afternoon each day, until my husband was about to arrive home.  It gave us fun time out, among family friends, where I could get support, he learned to swim, and we both were able to start the bonding process, which was aided by the skin-to-skin contact necessary for me to teach him how to swim.  I literally counted the minutes to the pool's opening each morning.

    I gets better, I promise.  I know it's asking a ridiculous thing to ask you to find time to read, but if you haven't yet, see if you can get some time to read Parenting the Hurt Child: Helping Adoptive Families Heal and Grow<>  (This book is the one that I always recommend first to parents adopting older children.  It really helped us understand what we were dealing with and how to best approach it.  It can be scary, because they talk about really bad cases, but it was so relatable and helped us avoid many pitfalls--especially triangulation!) and/or Wounded Children, Healing Homes: How Traumatized Children Impact Adoptive and Foster Families <> (This book was the first that really captured how I felt.  It's more about the impact that raising a hurt child can have on the rest of the family, and was very honest.  I couldn't believe that the emotions I felt were actually being written about so openly.)

    Also, if you are home alone with the kids more than your husband and/or are their primary caregiver, expect them to make things more difficult for you, and for your husband to not necessarily understand how tense things are when you are alone with them.  They will learn and push all your buttons to get a reaction out of you, and may act very different when your husband's around.  This is called triangulation, and it's a classic behavior pattern designed to drive a wedge between the two parents.  It's important for you to show a united front and for your husband to understand that what you say is happening is not an exaggeration.  He should support you in your parenting decisions, and hopefully be able to give you the breaks and alone/recuperative time you need when possible.  It's his support of you that's going to make this ride a little more bearable.
  • Yes, this is very common.  Ironically, I adopted and then got pregnant..with the adoption, I really struggled with emotions for the first few months..but with my bio son, I didn't have any issues despite all the hormones.  I think most people expect you to be so happy when you adopt..because most people who adopt tried hard to get to that point..but it can be tough for whatever reason.  I hope it gets better for you very soon!
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  • Oh, boy.  Yes, I had it.  We spent a week in the hospital while my son detoxed, and then my hubby left for a military training when we'd only been home 2 weeks.  He came home for a week, then deployed. 

    I don't know how much to attribute to the baby versus the deployment, but it was our first in both regards, and it was a very difficult transition for me.  I was most definitely depressed for a couple months, and a lot had to do with sleep deprivation. 

    I know your situation is a LOT different, but in the sense that it was a huge life change, all of a sudden, it's similar.  I'd say that quite a number of people have difficulty coping with drastic change, and it's probably quite normal.  I am glad you're getting the help you need tho.  I was too afraid to admit that I wasn't 100% overjoyed and it made things very lonely for me. 

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