On 11 December, the organization Handikos Mitrovica, in the framework of the project “Depression in mothers of children with disabilities and disabled persons” held a group session with the mothers of children with disabilities. This session was attended by 18 mothers of these children, psychologists and staff of the Psycho-social Center for Trauma Therapy “Diakonie”, as well as representatives from Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN).
Depression includes symptoms such as slowdown and regression in thinking, in movement, and the presence of feelings of worthlessness, weakness, reluctance, pessimism, suicidal thoughts and slowdown in physiological functions as well as the feeling of deep sadness. One of the main causes of depression in persons with disabilities, according to the World Health Organization, is reported to be the limited ability, respectively the conditions and prejudices that derive from the social environment.
“We have very often discussed with Handikos Mitrovica staff, about the importance of psychological sessions for the treatment of depression in disabled persons and have hoped that we will find financial support for providing such sessions”, said one of the psychologists leading the session. “We have also always emphasized the fact that only few suchlike opportunities are provided to family members who care for these people, namely the mothers of children and young people with disabilities, who usually take care of them in most of the cases. We have emphasized how necessary it is for mothers to be provided such sessions to try to relieve them from depression”.
Participation in such sessions for mothers of disabled persons is first of all challenging because they are permanent caregivers for their children and have no place where they can leave their children when they want to attend such sessions or whatever other activity outside the home, and consequently they neglect also the care for their personal physical and mental health.
Therefore, participants in this session discussed the importance of expressing emotions in order to release their mental loads, aiming for their well-being and the well being of their children at the same time.
Mothers began to talk to each other and to psychologists about their life experiences.
While one of the participating mothers said she “faces many difficulties as she has a daughter with autism and it is almost impossible to go outside her home without her daughter, as she is very closely bound to her”, another mother stressed that “when I see my child in bad condition, I get worse and my life gets even more difficult”.
Whilst another mother stressed that “the fact that she started contacts with the organization Handikos Mitrovica and her participation in the sessions and meetings organized by this organization have helped her a lot, and sometimes when I am very nervous and in poor emotional state and cannot come here, I try to remember what I have been taught and advised in the organization and manage to soothe myself”
Participating women were very thankful for being able to participate and express their opinions and receive advice from other mothers who are facing similar problems.
This project was supported by Kosovo Women’s Fund (KWF) and Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN)
and is funded by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA).