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  • 'Hindi Siya Drama-Drama Lang’: Expert Shares Why Moms Often Can’t Control Their Anger

    There are three main factors that may contribute to mom rage.
    by Dahl D. Bennett .
'Hindi Siya Drama-Drama Lang’: Expert Shares Why Moms Often Can’t Control Their Anger
PHOTO BY Shutterstock/Rachata Teyparsit
  • It’s uncontrollable, its ugly, and the guilt in its aftermath can be overwhelming. Yes, at some point we all may have experienced it—mom rage.

    Does it stem from an attitude problem? Sheer exhaustion? Or postpartum depression? This was the hot topic in a recent episode of Smart Parenting Confessions on the Calamansi app, which guested psychiatrist Dr. Joan Mae Perez-Imperial, a training officer of the Department of Psychiatrist of the Veterans Memorial Medical Center and a faculty member of the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health.

    “Mom rage is (going) beyond the normal range of anger,” defines Dr. Perez-Imperial. “Ang mom rage ay hindi po siya disorder. Hindi po siya sakit or hindi po siya kino-consider po na diagnosable na mental health concern or issue.”

    “Maaari po siyang tingnan as a symptom… ng post-partum depression or postpartum anxiety.” This depression or anxiety may stem from fear and worry about the baby’s well-being, she says.

    Mommies confess

    Mommy Dang Ceñir, a member of the Smart Parenting Mom Network and who was one of the guests, recalls that her negative emotions stemmed from feeling stuck with taking care of her baby. Adding to it is the mess at home.

    “Parang cluttered 'yung itsura nung bahay so du’n umiinit 'yung ulo ko,” she says. It was only when she learned to let go and accepted the fact that she cannot do everything that her anger started to subside. “Inuuna ko na ngayon na magpahinga ako and eventually, nawala 'yung init ng ulo ko.”

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    Another guest, Mommy Chesca Halili, says that hers stemmed from forgetfulness after giving birth and  lack of sleep. “At the onset, hindi ko na-realize 'yung pagiging mainitin ng ulo ko. Hindi rin maganda sa pakiramdam na 'yung parang araw-araw galit ka.”

    Factors that contribute to mom rage

    According to Dr. Perez-Imperial there are three main factors that may contribute to anger or rage.

    1. Biological/hormonal

    When a mother is pregnant, her estrogen and progesterone levels are 10 times higher than normal and all these immediately drops right after giving birth, Dr. Perez-Imperial explains. “So, nagkakaroon po ng sudden na changes sa hormonal levels. So, definitely nakakaapekto 'yun sa mood ng isang bagong panganak lang na nanay.”

    2. Psychological

    Dr. Perez-Imperial also refers to this as the ability of the mother to cope with new responsibilities. “Kapag bagong panganak, ang daming changes. Nagbabago ang role sa bahay. Kung dati pwede pa tayong manood ng sine as a form of coping 'pag tayo ay stressed, ngayon hindi pwede kasi hindi pwedeng iwanan si baby sa bahay,” she explains. This period of adjustment is what may contribute to anger or rage.

    3. Social

    Lack of social support can affect new moms and make her emotional, citing single or teenage moms who may not have had any support from pregnancy to birth or who lack the maturity to deal with the new situation. Dr. Perez-Imperials says that rage may also stem from conflict in the home. “Kaya maganda na meron sanang pwedeng mag-support or tumulong sa atin after natin manganak para may time ang ating body na mag-heal or mag-recover.”

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    Dr. Perez-Imperial stressed that all the factors mentioned are contributory to mom rage.” Walang isang single cause para po sa mom rage. So, puwedeng sabay-sabay or meron interplay nitong mga factors na biological, psychological at social factors,” she says.

    Mom rage signs

    Mom rage can be handled better the earlier we are able to detect the signs that a mother has some mental concerns. There are several ways to find out if a mother has the potential to show mom rage behavior, according to Dr. Perez-Imperial.

    Among these is knowing if one has had a previous history of conditions like anxiety or depression before or during her pregnancy, she says. “Kung meron na tayong history na nag-seek tayo ng help for (these conditions) before, pwede na ito ay magiging isang risk factor na pwedeng mangyari siya ulit either after tayong manganak or even during pagbubuntis,” she explains.

    A look into one’s family history and genetics may also be a red flag. “Baka may mga family members tayo na dumaan din sa hirap sa pagtulog or nagkakaroon ng mga anxiety attacks or may mga episodes ng pagkalungkot or pagka-depressed. Puwede rin pong isa sa mga biological factors yun or genetics.

    Dr. Perez-Imperial clarifies that mom rage is not a product of attitude problem but reiterates that it is a combination of biological, psychological and social factors. “Hindi siya drama-drama lamang 'pag ayaw (ng ina na) bumangon, kumilos, gumalaw or ayaw gawin ang kanyang role as a mom kasi nga po makikita natin na, biologically, may nangyayari po sa brain at sa mga hormones ng ating katawan pag tayo ay bagong panganak.”

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    She advises that people should not be quick to judge mothers going through episodes like mom rage because their behaviors are influenced by different factors. “Tatandaan natin na ito ay totoong concern at totoong mga emotions and feelings ng mga moms na dumadaan sa ganito,” she says.

    Click here for what to do when everything seems to make you angry.

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