Working Status and Mental Health
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|Fri, 08-15-2003 - 12:29am|
This summer in Minnesota there have been two news stories about mothers who have harmed their children (one threw her twins off a bridge, the other slit her baby's throat.) From what I can gather from the newspaper stories (and it isn't all that clear,) one mother was not employed and the other was a professor. It is assumed that the first mother was depressed and possibly psychotic and the second mother was suffering some kind of post partum psychosis. Of course, both cases are very extreme.
Now my question. Who do you think is more likely to be at risk of developing mental health issues--WOHMs or SAHMs? Or no difference? Do you have an image of the SAHM going a little nutty because she is staying home with (potentially) demanding children all day, perhaps isolated and overwhelmed, temporarily not getting a chance to pursue her other dreams and goals, resenting the way society puts little value on her contributions? Or does the WOHM trying to do it all have more mental fragility because she is burning the candle on both ends, trying to do her best at work and at home and never really getting on top of either, completely undervalued? Who is more likely to snap?
I don't know exactly why I think this, but I think SAHMs are more at risk of developing mental illness. Something about living in this culture where your job is your identity and the continual message that we don't really "count" seems to push people over the edge. WOHMs are too busy to overanalyze their lot in life ad nauseum and therefore have it better.
Curious to see what everyone thinks. Please comment even if you don't know WHY you think that way.