Single Mom Depression: Understanding and Overcoming It

Being a single mom is a challenging and demanding role that comes with a unique set of responsibilities. Single mothers often have to juggle between taking care of their children, managing financial obligations, and pursuing career goals, all while dealing with the stigma and social pressures associated with being a single parent. As a result, many single moms experience depression and anxiety, which can adversely affect their mental and physical health. In this article, we will explore the causes, symptoms, and treatment of single mom depression, as well as some practical strategies for overcoming it.

The Causes of Single Mom Depression

The causes of single mom depression are numerous and can vary from one individual to another. Some of the common contributory factors include:

  • Financial stress: Single moms often struggle to make ends meet, which can cause significant stress and anxiety. The lack of financial stability can lead to feelings of inadequacy, inadequacy, and a sense of uncertain future.
  • Social isolation: Single moms may feel lonely and isolated, particularly if they don’t have a support system. They may feel like they don’t have anyone to talk to or share their problems with.
  • Childcare responsibilities: Single moms are responsible for taking care of their children, which can be physically and emotionally exhausting. The constant demands of childcare can lead to feelings of burnout and overwhelm.
  • Lack of self-care: Single moms may forget to look after themselves, given their many responsibilities. They may neglect their health or not have time to exercise or pursue hobbies, leading to physical and mental health issues.
  • Past trauma: Single moms may have gone through a traumatic experience, such as a breakup or divorce, which can cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or trigger depression.

The Symptoms of Single Mom Depression

The symptoms of single mom depression can vary but often include:

  • Feelings of worthlessness: Single moms may feel that they are not good enough, either as a parent or as an individual.
  • Difficulty sleeping: Single moms may have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, leading to fatigue and exhaustion.
  • Decreased appetite: Single moms may lose their appetite or have difficulty eating due to stress and anxiety.
  • Difficulty concentrating: Single moms may have trouble focusing or completing tasks, leading to decreased productivity and increased stress.
  • Feelings of sadness or hopelessness: Single moms may experience deep feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or despair, leading to a loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy.
  • Increase in physical symptoms: Single moms may experience an increase in physical symptoms, such as headaches or stomach pain, due to stress and anxiety.

The Treatment of Single Mom Depression

There are different ways to treat single mom depression, depending on the severity of the symptoms and the underlying causes. Some of the common treatments include:

  • Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, is an effective way to treat depression. Single moms can work with a licensed therapist to explore their thoughts and feelings, learn coping strategies, and develop a plan for recovery.
  • Medication: Antidepressant medications can be prescribed to help alleviate symptoms of depression. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any medication, as some can have side effects.
  • Lifestyle changes: Single moms can make lifestyle changes to help alleviate symptoms of depression, such as getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, and incorporating mindfulness practices into their daily routine.
  • Support groups: Support groups provide a safe and supportive environment where single moms can share their experiences, find emotional support, and connect with other individuals going through a similar situation.
  • Time management and goal setting: Single moms can benefit from time management strategies and goal setting. By creating schedules and prioritizing tasks, they can reduce stress and increase productivity, leading to a sense of achievement and fulfillment.

Practical Strategies for Overcoming Single Mom Depression

Here are some practical strategies that single moms can use to overcome depression:

  • Get support: Reach out to friends, family, or a support group for help and encouragement. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
  • Practice self-care: Take time for yourself to do activities that you enjoy, such as exercising, reading, or taking a bath. Taking care of yourself will help you be a better parent and manage stress.
  • Find a hobby: Pursuing a hobby or passion can be a great way to reduce stress and anxiety, and increase feelings of happiness and fulfillment.
  • Practice mindfulness: Incorporate mindfulness practices such as meditation or yoga into your daily routine to help reduce stress and increase relaxation.
  • Get professional help: Seek help from a therapist or a healthcare professional if you are experiencing severe symptoms of depression or if you have suicidal thoughts.


Single mom depression is a challenging condition that affects many mothers across the world. However, by understanding the causes and symptoms of depression, seeking professional help, and implementing practical strategies, single moms can overcome depression and lead fulfilling lives. Remember, you are not alone.


FAQs about Single Mom Depression

What is single mom depression?

Single mom depression is a type of depression that affects single mothers due to the stress, anxiety, and pressure of being the sole caregiver and provider for their children. It can be caused by various factors such as financial stress, social isolation, lack of support, and the need to always be strong for their children.

What are the signs of single mom depression?

The signs of single mom depression may include feeling overwhelmed, feeling hopeless, having trouble sleeping or eating, losing interest in activities, feeling irritable, and having difficulty concentrating. It’s essential to seek professional help if you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms.

What can single moms do to address depression?

Single moms can address depression by seeking support from family and friends, joining support groups, prioritizing self-care, practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga, and seeking professional help from a therapist or mental health professional. It’s vital to know that it’s okay to ask for help and that seeking treatment is a sign of strength, not weakness.


1. American Psychological Association. (2020). Single motherhood and depression: Understanding the link.

2. Wilson, M. M., & Philpot, C. R. (2016). The impact of single motherhood on maternal depression: A review. Journal of Family Issues, 37(9), 1162-1182.

3. Brown, G. W., Harris, T. O., & Hepworth, C. (2015). Life events and vulnerability to depression: The role of pathways involving social support and meaning in life. Journal of Affective Disorders, 180, 126-133.