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Kia Stephens


August 2, 2015

How Depression Impacts Women With a Daddy Wound

August 2, 2015 | By | 20 Comments

No one updates their Facebook status with the words, “I’m depressed.”   Why would they?  Our culture is constantly tempted to project an all-I-do-is-win-persona.

If you are discouraged, get over it.

If someone hurt you, get even.

If you experienced a setback, rise above it.

But what happens when you don’t, or can’t overcome?  Days turn into months morphing into years, and you are left in a seemingly unending state of sadness.  While everyone else leaps from one high to the next the natural tendency is to compare their green grass to our tan hue.

We are left with a nagging question in our brain, “What is wrong with me? Why am I not happy?” If we find ourselves immersed in despair for an extended amount of time, we could be  struggling with depression.

According to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, depressive disorders affect approximately 14.8 million adults.  Of that staggering number, women are twice as more likely to experience depression than men (Journal of American Medical Association).  When we consider painful circumstances experienced in between birth and death this statistic is not surprising.

Without notice or warning, trauma happens.  In an instant, we relocate from thriving to surviving as we grapple with the events of our lives.






& Fatherlessness

Though the causes are many, for the sake of this blog I want to focus in on the role depression plays in the lives of women who grew up without the love and affirmation of their biological fathers.  In her book, “Whatever Happened to Daddy’s Little Girl?”, Jonetta Rose Barras describes 5 categories of the Fatherless Woman Syndrome.  The 5th category is called the “The RAD Factor”, to encompass Rage, Anger, and Depression.  Her perspective sheds new insight on how depression can manifest in a woman’s life.

“The fatherless daughter is a fount of unexplained anger and rage,” says Barras. Rage displays itself in, “drugs, alcohol, food, sex and (the drive for) success.  Other times the anger takes the form of depression, which is nothing more than rage turned inward.”

Prior to reading Barras’ words I never saw the connection between rage and depression.  However, after reading this truth, the relationship between the two made perfect sense.  The inability to control a painful situation becomes fertile ground for anger. This anger, left alone, has the potential to evolve into depression.

Many daddy wounded women feel powerless to change their lot in life.

I can’t make my daddy love me.

I can’t force him to be a part of my life.

I can’t change the reality of my situation.

I may never have the father daughter relationship I desire.

Consequently, women find themselves swimming in a sea of impossibilities trying not to drown.  And as I raise my hand to say, “Me too,” there is a tinge of shame in admitting that I too have struggled in this area.  Why?  Why is it so difficult to publicly say I’m hurting, I have a problem, or I am depressed.

I believe it is deeply rooted in fear.  We are afraid to publicly expose our pain.  Whether rooted in a concern for people’s opinion or the possibility of rejection, the fear of man will stifle our growth as women.  We cannot become who we are destined to be while clinging to the fear of our neighbor’s view of us.

And so I have chosen to join the ranks of “me too women” in order to bring hope to the hurting.  In doing so I have realize three things about depression:

  1. It is common among women.

  2. There is nothing to be ashamed of.

  3. Great men and women of the Bible experienced depression.

  4. With God it can be defeated.

Below are four steps that have been helpful to me in conquering depression.

# 1 Admit It

  It is much easier to share our latest accomplishment, or vacation spot, but if we are going to experience genuine healing we must be willing to own our truth.  If you think there is a possibility that you are depressed admit it.

How Depression Impacts a Woman With Daddy Wounds Meme 1

# 2 Share It

 If you are dealing with depression, take a risk and tell someone. In doing so, it is necessary that you ask God to direct you to someone who is trustworthy, wise, and filled with the love of God.  If you do not know an individual like this, I would highly recommend Christian counseling.  Additionally, know that I am praying for all of my readers and will pray for you personally if you need me to.

How Depression Impacts a Woman With Daddy Wounds Meme 3

# 3 Pray About It

Prayer is one avenue God uses to change, encourage, and equip us.  

 We can freely talk to our creator without fear of judgement.

How Depression Impacts Women With a Daddy Wound Meme 5

# 4 Praise God Through It

It seems paradoxical to thank God in difficult times, but this one act can shift the focus from our inability to His power. Thanking God for our pain precedes perspective, enabling us to see purpose in the midst of it.

 If you find yourself depressed today, I am praying this will become your reality.


  1. This is so relevant to the issues both my sister and I are currently dealing with. Thank you for sharing these encouraging words. I’m 41 years old and only in the last year have I fully realized both the depth of wounds and the beauty of God’s unconditional love and acceptance.
    Rose @ Walnut Acre recently posted…Being Still, Pony Rides, Tomatoes, Squash and MoreMy Profile

    • Rose, I applaud you for digging deep and seeking emotional healing. This is difficult at any age but you are choosing to do the hard work. Keep going! I believe there is more beauty to be found at each juncture of our healing journey. May the love of God overwhelm you and His presence surround you day by day. Be blessed! – Kia

  2. Kia, I think you are so right about this: “our culture is constantly tempted to project an all-I-do-is-win-persona.” Which makes it even harder for those of us who walk in the shadow of the cloud of depression to feel our struggle is valid. Yet. “Yet I will praise Him,” as the Psalmist said, in spite of the downcast state of his soul. Thank you for sharing…stopping by from the #RaRaLinkup!
    Elizabeth Spencer recently posted…What I Laid Down, What I Lifted UpMy Profile

    • Elizabeth, thanks for your beautiful response to this blog post. I think it is so important that we validate the challenges faced by those struggling with depression. Women must know they are not alone or abnormal and that even in the midst God is there. Thanks for joining the conversation today. Be blessed! – Kia

  3. Depression alone is difficult. I can only imagine how hard it is for those with underlying issues from childhood.

    I’ve listened to Michael Jackson’s Oxford speech and although he had a difficult relationship with his father, he said he decided to forgive him. The first step to healing.

    Very well written. 🙂

    • Lux I think healing from childhood issues is one the most difficult things to do. The realization of how our childhood hurts impact our lives and those around us has the potential to transform the way we love ourselves and others. I totally agree with you that forgiveness is necessary when healing from depression. So glad you joined the conversation today. Be blessed! – Kia

  4. Great truth here…wounds from our childhood reveal themselves in waves as we go through trauma in our adult lives…many blessings to you ❤️

    • This is very true Beth. I am so grateful that God is able to dig deep in our souls and bring the healing we need – if we allow Him to. Thanks for joining the conversation today. Be blessed! – Kia

  5. denise

    amen, so true.

    • Thanks for joining the conversation Denise. Be blessed and know that I am praying for you. – Kia

  6. I appreciate as you teach as well as give hope to those who are suffering from depression for any reason. Step 1 seems to be the hardest of all because the process of admitting how we are feeling will show others our weakness. So glad you shared this at The Weekend Brew.
    Mary Geisen recently posted…My Inside Out Heart…Where Home Is {Making it Home Blog Tour}My Profile

    • But those who own their truth, on the contrary, are strong, not by man’s standards but by God. Thanks Mary for joining the conversation. Be blessed! – Kia

  7. Thank you for this. Diagnosed with clinical depression 16 years ago, I’ve been struggling with it a lot longer than that. Depression festers and grows in the dark. It takes exposure to light to start the restoration process. Unfortunately in our culture, open mourning is discouraged. I love that your first steps are admit it and talk about it. A lot of women need the permission to do just that!

    • Kate, thank you brave friend for sharing your truth with the world. I am so blessed by you!!! Your honesty is so refreshing in the body of Christ. Your truth will bring life to so many women that are just waiting to say, “Me too!” Thank you my friend for your courage and know that I am praying for you. – Kia

  8. My father stopped talking to me 10 years ago after he remarried and had a new family. It hurts and i feel bad for my daughters who don’t have a grandfather because of his selfishness but i shall overcome. But it still hurts…..

    • Connie, I am so sorry that this is your truth. What happened to you is wrong and should never be the story a woman tells about her father. In saying that I will say there is hope. God can take every broken place in our lifes and make a beautiful testament of his goodness and grace. I pray both you and your daughters will find and know the healing, peace, and comfort that only God can bring. I will be adding you to my prayer list for women wounded by their fathers. Thank you for so bravely sharing this with me and know that God is a father for the fatherless. Be blessed! – Kia

  9. I loved what you said about praising God even in the pain. I think there is something so powerful in that.

    • Yes Alice, praise is a secret weapon against depression! It has the power to lift our souls in spite of the heaviness we may be carrying. Thanks for you comments my friend and be blessed! – Kia

  10. Great advice! I’ve never felt that I truly suffered from depression, but I do have a painful past involving each of my parents and most of the time I ignore it and refuse to admit it to anyone. Your advice is helpful for my situation as well. Thank you for sharing!

    • Meagan, I’m cheering you on over here! It takes a lot of courage to deal with a painful past. I have never met you but I applaud your bravery. I am honored that this post was helpful to you and that you told me about it. I pray that God would be close to you as you begin the process of healing. Be blessed! – Kia

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