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Depression Fifteen: Being a Step Parent

Being a step parent can be especially stressful especially under the following circumstances: if you are the woman and are going to be doing the majority of raising the children; if the children you “marry” are already half raised; if your husband has full custody of the children and live with you full time; if having children wasn’t on your life agenda but you wanted to marry anyway; if the child or children have an “attitude” about having a new parent; if the child is compromised by special needs. Even though raising children can be rewarding it can also be a formula for depression. If you marry under any of the above circumstances you must be prepared to face some real challenges, both with yourself psychologically and with your new children. If you read this and are considering marrying then consider the consequences of doing so. Megan married Joe who had custody of his two children, ages 9 and 12. Even though Megan was fully committed and ready to take on the job of being a step mother she was not prepared for the stresses of doing so.  Over time Megan discovered that even though the children did their best to accept her authority ultimately she was still considered an outsider. For years Megan lived under a cloud of depression. Finally the marriage ended and the children sided with their father. Megan felt cheated and unappreciated for the years of seemingly thankless giving. To avoid depression think twice when marrying into a step family.

Wendy Hill, M.A., Ph.D. candidate (2013) has been in private practice in psychotherapy and hypnotherapy in San Diego and Encinitas for over thirty years. As a therapist and counselor Wendy specializes in transforming self-defeating core beliefs. Her therapy includes using hypnosis and counseling to treat anxiety, depression, addiction, childhood abuse, sexual abuse, relationships, self-confidence, and life challenges. Her website is

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