10 Signs That Your Nanny May Be Suffering From DepressionDecember 17, 2012 | in Nanny
There are a number of reasons why a private childcare provider could struggle with depression, from environmental factors, like missing her own family, to physiological ones, like a clinically-diagnosed chemical imbalance. Dealing with depression while managing the household of a busy family could be overwhelming for your nanny, who may be reluctant to broach the issue with you for fear of repercussions up to and including the loss of her job. If you’re concerned that your childcare provider could be suffering from depression, here are 10 of the signs to look out for.
- She’s Irritated or Easily Frustrated – One of the classic hallmarks of depression is a heightened irritability and lowered threshold for frustration, which could leave your once cheerful and patient nanny snapping at the children and having trouble under pressure. If this irritability and frustration is typically out of character for your nanny, it could be a sign that she’s struggling with depression.
- A Noticeable Lack of Interest – Another classic depression symptom is a lack of interest in daily activities and things that your nanny once enjoyed. In some cases, this loss of interest could border on downright apathy. If you’re noticing that Nanny no longer seems concerned about things that she once considered very important, depression could be the culprit.
- Changes in Her Appetite – A sudden loss of appetite or an increase in hunger are both signs of depression, as some people seek to self-medicate with food and others have a lack of interest in eating. Any sudden appetite changes in either direction could indicate depression.
- She Seems Agitated or Restless – Restlessness and agitation are very strong indicators of depression, especially when they’re accompanied by other symptoms. If your nanny seems to be more restless than usual or is exhibiting strong signs of agitation, it’s smart to take any other behavioral changes into account in order to determine whether or not depression could be the root of these changes.
- She Has Trouble Concentrating – Depression can dramatically affect your nanny’s ability to concentrate, leaving her easily distracted and even making it difficult for her to arrive at a decision in some cases. Indecisiveness and a suddenly shortened attention span are common symptoms of depression and should not be overlooked.
- Her Energy Level Has Plummeted – Dealing with depression can make even the smallest tasks seem overwhelming, and can leave your nanny with a dramatically depleted store of energy. If your nanny’s job performance is reflected by uncompleted chores and an out-of-character sluggishness, looking for other symptoms of depression may help you figure out what’s going on.
- She’s Fixated on Small Mistakes or Failures – Fixating on her past failures and intense feelings of self-blame are very common signs of depression. A nanny that seems to be consumed with guilt over the smallest mistakes or is stuck on her failures while exhibiting other symptoms could very well be depressed.
- Problems Remembering Details – The distraction and apathy that can be side-effects of depression can often lead to forgetfulness, causing your nanny to have trouble holding onto details. If your once-fastidious nanny is having trouble keeping track of dates and times, she may be having some trouble with depression.
- Emotional Outbursts – Feelings of being overwhelmed and exhausted are par for the course with depression, and can cause your nanny to lash out or have an emotional reaction to seemingly small situations. A nanny that’s never been prone to such outbursts before is likely having some trouble with depression.
- Physical Aches and Pains – In addition to the emotional and psychological effects of depression, many sufferers also feel physical aches and pains that won’t go away. A nanny that complains of small physical ailments while exhibiting other signs of depression may be dealing with the condition privately.
Only a mental health provider or physician is qualified to diagnose depression. If you suspect your nanny is depressed, it’s important to bring up the topic with your caregiver. If you feel your child’s care has been compromised, take the necessary steps to protect your child.
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