Workplace Stress Case Study

Post Natal Depression

Presenting Issue: Jenny married with two children and working full time presented with what her doctor diagnosed as depression. Returning to work after the birth of her second child, she began to experience symptoms of changeable moods, exhaustion and insomnia. Her doctor prescribed mild medication and recommended she consult with a counsellor or psychotherapist.

Counselling Process: She began weekly psychotherapy sessions, during which she explored what was underlying her symptoms of depression. Through the counselling process, she realized that motherhood had impacted heavily on her and she was worried that some catastrophic event would occur either to herself or a family member. Becoming a mother was indeed a challenge for her as she felt so responsible for her toddler and infant. This led her to speak about the relationship between herself and her mother. The relationship was quite fragile, as her mother had difficulties in her own life, losing her husband to cancer when the children were quite young. During counselling and on reflection Jenny thinks her mother may have suffered a lot of depression due to unresolved grief and had carried on stoically.

Psychotherapeutic effects: Counselling enabled Jenny to speak freely about her depression and worries. She became aware that she too had unresolved grief around the death of her father. She accepted that she did not have to do it all on her own and allowed her husband to support her. This freed her to enjoy motherhood, share parenting with her husband and engage more with her busy life.