Grieving Stepmoms: Recognizing and Reconciling What You’ve Given Up by Brenda Snyder, LCSW
Lots of stepmoms show up in my counseling office because their family doctor prescribed an antidepressant and recommended therapy. Admittedly showing signs of depression (i.e., irritability, sadness, changes in appetite, difficulty sleeping, fatigue), these women readily agree with their doctors that something is not right. What both doctor and stepmom fail to consider, however, is that the symptoms of depression are stunningly similar to signs of bereavement.
In a routine screening, your doctor may only ask about common losses—the loss of a parent, child or other loved one—and completely overlook the laundry list of life-changing losses we, as stepmoms, routinely endure. Some of what we give up, when we partner with someone who has kids from a prior relationship, includes:
⊲ The Fantasy Wedding
⊲ Happy Ever After
⊲ A Long List of Firsts
⊲ Identity and Self-Worth
…To read the rest of this article and learn how to overcome the most common forms of stepmom grief, log in to your account and download the July 2016 issue. Don’t have an account? Click here to subscribe.