Working Mom’s Mental Struggles? Did you know the relationship between gut health and emotion?

Mental health is as if not more important as physical health. Overall well-being is achievable only with emotional, psychological, and social well-being. According to WHO, pandemic has triggered 25% increase in prevalence of anxiety and depression. Post-pandemic, there’s a lot of conversation and focus on this sensitive topic.

If we talk about Singapore, as per the available data, there were more females (18.6 per cent) with poor mental health compared to males (15.2 per cent), according to the survey. Even this infographic about the depression in Singapore reveals similar findings.  As a working mom, I resonate deeply with the mental health struggles many of us face due to constant multitasking at home and work, often at the expense of personal time. This relentless pursuit to be a “supermom” can lead to heightened anxiety, mom-guilt, and depression, while we juggle family responsibilities, full-time jobs, and social media communities. Despite these challenges, moms are undeniably strong pillars of the family, tirelessly working for their loved ones. However, this constant battle takes a silent toll on our mental health, which, if neglected, can degrade our physical health too. Personally, the stress has led to nausea, bloating, headaches, and gut issues.

Understanding Mental Health Challenges of moms

As a working mom, quite a few times I have been on the verge of burnout. Balancing family and work while giving your best to both is practically not possible but in the pursuit of perfection, we tend to ignore this fact and keep running the race of life.

What’s Depression and its symptoms

Major depressive disorder (MDD), also known as clinical depression, is a neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by the following traits:

  • long periods of lower mood
  • loss of interest in activities normally bringing pleasure
  • appetite shifts
  • gastrointestinal problems (irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, constipation)
  • fatigue
  • self-worthlessness or guilt
  • inattention
  • In severe cases, suicidal thoughts may start to manifest.

It is important for working mothers to be self-aware of depression, especially when we have to play multiple roles and manage so many aspects of life. Without sufficient self-care, the chances of depression increases drastically.

Self-assessment questionnaire for depression

To better understand your mental health situation, I have prepared a mini self-quiz for all hard-working moms out there. Please note that this quiz is not for diagnostic purposes. However, I would suggest you seek guidance from healthcare professionals if you scored 5 or more. 

Thankfully, there are ways to reclaim mental health and it’s entirely in our hands to achieve an equilibrium of a great family life and work life. With support, resources and appropriate medication and supplements, it’s possible to manage and overcome issues like depression and restore mental health and thereby complete well-being.

Treating Depression by Addressing Gut Health

The treatment of depression is diverse and includes but is not limited to psychotherapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, medication, and lifestyle adjustments. However, recent findings suggest the undisputable connections between the gut and mood. The gut-brain axis (GBA) is the two-way communication pathway between the brain and the gut. The two organ systems “talk” with each other through the vagus nerve by sending various chemical signals. Therefore, taking care of our gut health means looking after our mental health as well.

In addition, nutritional support from specific probiotic strains can be used to provide support through diet. Recent research suggests that certain strains of probiotics, known as neurobiotics, may bring a mental health benefit via the gut-brain axis. They play a role in modulating your body’s “happy hormones” – neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. Therefore, I highly recommend including neurobiotics in your daily self-care regimen. Lactobacillus plantarum PS128™ is a neurobiotic strain clinically-studied on patients with MDD, stress, and anxiety. Findings suggest PS128™ significantly improves depressive symptoms in patients with MDD and lowers the level of the “stress hormone” cortisol in highly-stressed workers. For more scientific information regarding PS128™, please visit the Bened Life website to learn more.  

Helpful Resources

Remember, you’re not alone on this journey. We encourage regular conversations with healthcare professionals, especially if you’re experiencing persistent feelings of depression or anxiety. They can offer tailored advice and support, ensuring you receive the care you need. We have added some Singapore-based support groups details below this post. Do check out!

Helplines

Samaritans of Singapore [Open daily 24-hrs]
phone: 1-767

Institute of Mental Health [Open daily 24-hrs]
phone: 6389-2222

Resources

MindSG

Disclaimer: Please consult your healthcare practitioner before starting any supplement / medication.


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