ZocdocAnswersEmotional Detachment - Is it normal to sometimes feel as though one does not love their children?

Question

Emotional Detachment - Is it normal to sometimes feel as though one does not love their children?

I'm a young mom and sometimes I feel like I just don't love my children at all. I don't feel any warmth toward them. Is this normal? Women in this society always act so crazy about being mothers that I can't even tell if this is a normal thing that people just don't talk about.

Answer

Parenting is a very stressful responsibility, and many people have questions about the complex feelings it stirs up. The doctors who will be well qualified to discuss this issue with you include your primary care doctor or your psychiatrist. The first step is to make certain that there is not an underlying psychiatric problem that is causing your feelings. For example, if you are suffering from an anxiety disorder or a mood disorder like depression, this can cause these feelings to arise. The treatment of these disorders can include medications as well as individual therapy sessions. Because of the stress of parenting, it is common to feel periodically overwhelmed and even to feel like you are not affectionate to your children. It is important to take care of yourself. Make sure you get plenty of sleep and exercise and that you eat a nutritionally healthy diet. Also, make certain you schedule time for yourself, where you leave the children with a sitter and take time to engage in activities that you enjoy. As always the diagnosis and the management of your particular condition will require an examination and interview with a personal physician. Setting up an office visit with your primary care doctor or your psychiatrist is highly advised.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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