Adoption Grief vs. Depression: Understanding the Difference and When to Seek Help

By Kiara Harris

Deciding to place a child up for adoption can be one of the most difficult decisions a birth mother can make. Even if choosing adoption is the best option it can come at an emotional cost to you in the adoption process, you may experience all of these different emotions, which can be intense and confusing. Although these emotional experiences will differ from person to person, some birth mothers may struggle to cope with an unplanned pregnancy if they lack support. 

Grief and depression are two common emotions when deciding to choose adoption for your baby. It’s important to be aware if you’re having symptoms that interfere with your well-being and daily functions, possibly making your symptoms much worse if you do not seek help. 

Here at Adoption Choices of Colorado, we understand the complex experiences of birth mothers who are considering adoption for their baby, and we want you to know that you are not alone there is support to help assist you with your needs. When you are going through the adoption process, it is completely natural to experience different emotions, such as:  

  • Sadness 
  • Anger 
  • Guilt 
  • Relief 
  • Gratitude 

How can a birth mother tell the difference between grief and depression, and when should you consider seeking professional help? 

Grief and depression are normal responses to a loss or a traumatic event. However, they both have characteristic differences and implications. 

Understanding the Differences Between Adoption Depression and Grief

Grief is a natural and healthy reaction to losing someone or something important. In its natural right, grief can be intense and painful but it usually starts to subside over time. It usually does not impair one’s ability to function which also can coexist with positive emotions such as love, hope, or gratitude. There are various stages that involve the grieving process to help you heal can be associated with feelings: 

  • Denial 
  • Anger 
  • Bargaining 
  • Depression 
  • Acceptance 

On the other hand, depression is a mental health condition that affects a person’s mood, thoughts, behaviors, and physical health. Depression can be triggered by an unplanned pregnancy causing stress about how to give your baby up for adoption or pregnant and don’t want the baby. Also, this can occur without any apparent cause unfortunately.   

Depression is more than just our emotions and feelings. It is a constant feeling that is intrusive to our mind affecting our thoughts and nagging of hopelessness, guilt, or worthlessness. Heavy feelings of emptiness, if it persists for more than two weeks, can interfere with our ability to perform daily tasks and enjoy life. It can also negatively affect sleep, appetite, energy, concentration, memory, or self-image. It is important for birth mothers to recognize the signs of depression and seek professional help if they experience any of the following: 

  • Losing interest or pleasure in activities that used to be enjoyable 
  • Having trouble sleeping or sleeping too much 
  • Having changes in appetite or weight 
  • Feeling restless or sluggish 
  • Feeling tired or having low energy 
  • Feeling worthless or guilty 
  • Having difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making decisions 
  • Having thoughts of death or suicide 

Seeking Professional Help From One of Our Adoption Specialists

Seeking professional help as a birth mother does not mean you are failing or weak. It means you value yourself and your mental health by acknowledging help is required. There are many different and effective options for treating depression listed:  

  • medication 
  • psychotherapy 
  • support groups 
  • other alternative therapy  

Birthmothers seeking adoption agencies in Colorado do not have to suffer in silence and deserve to heal and thrive after the adoption journey is completed. By considering our agency in the Colorado Springs area, we guarantee to support your needs every step of the way.

Our Role in Your Adoption Journey

The Adoption Choices of Colorado is a reputable and licensed agency with various resources customized to your needs. Our staff are empathetic and progressively working to provide an exceptional experience to anyone involved in the adoption process. We try to make this a simple and smooth process by helping you to consider all the adoption options available. 

The adoption agencies in Colorado can provide support and assistance for women who are expecting and after the placement of your child. These kinds of decisions are never easy to make, but remember you are not in this alone there are many services and resources to help support you when deciding whether adoption is the best choice for you and your baby.

Available Resources: 

  • Counseling for birth mothers and fathers (if interested) if you are struggling to cope with your emotions during this difficult time. Having a strong support system can help ease your emotions when considering adoption. It can be anyone you feel is important in helping you through this process. 
  • Birth Mother Support Groups are hosted every month to connect with others who have shared or have shared the same experience. Hearing others who have similar experiences can elevate your growth with different coping mechanisms others use. 
  • Financial Aid to those who are court-approved can provide financial assistance to birthmothers who cannot afford their living expenses or face other difficulties while pregnant or post-pregnancy. Financial aid assistance is available to help you get back on your feet after the baby. 

Seeking Help and Moving Forward After Adoption

Grief and depression are complex emotions that can be difficult to understand and cope with, especially when you are going through the adoption process. If you are struggling with grief or depression, it is important to seek professional help. There are many different and effective treatments available, and you do not have to suffer in silence.

The Adoption Choices of Colorado is here to support you every step of the way. We offer a variety of resources to help you cope with your emotions, including counseling, support groups, and financial aid. We are committed to providing you with the best possible care and support.

If you are a birth mother struggling with grief or depression, please know that you are not alone. There are many resources available to help you. Reaching out for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Here are some additional resources that may be helpful:

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