1 in 5 Americans Struggle With Mental Illness
The National Alliance on Mental Illness states that “1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experiences mental illness in a given year.” Many Mom Bloggers have taken to Instagram to share their personal mental health stories by involving this statistic as a hashtag. Putting yourself out there isn’t for everyone, but for those who do it carefully and appropriately are strong, courageous individuals – such as the following Mom Bloggers.
Meg.boggs: “Our Voices Deserve To Be Heard Because Our Pain Is Real.”
“I remember being pregnant and thinking there was no way I would get postpartum depression. Even though I had dealt with depression my entire life, it didn’t make sense to me that having a baby would make me depressed.
But then Maci was born. And the dreams I had of us sharing a beautiful breastfeeding relationship quickly turned cold. I was sinking every day. I felt myself being pulled into the depression quick sand and fought with everything I had to fight it. The harder I fought, the more I sank.
But no more. Our voices deserve to be heard because our pain is real. The pain that sends shock waves through our nervous system and into our hearts is real. And we are strong enough to speak up. I’m making this promise to myself that I will always speak up.”
*To read the full post, visit Meghan’s Instagram: @meg.boggs
Th3littlestavenger: “Sometimes Anxiety Is Just There”
“It’s the craziest feeling to be so grateful for a life you created, but to be so desperately sad and lonely. I ended up on a low dose of Zoloft and let me tell you - it saved me. Fast forward to after having the girls and it’s been an entirely different ball game. I had absolutely zero postpartum depression BUT my anxiety ramped up tremendously.
“When I feel overwhelmed by my thoughts I find myself focusing on one thing that I can control. For example, before I had any kids at all I was pretty fitness obsessed , but it wasn’t all about being healthy. I found myself controlling every little thing from the calories I ate to the calories I burned and it never felt like enough. But you know what the worst part of anxiety is to me? How selfish it makes me.
“I’ve struggled my entire life with anxiety. I wasn’t officially diagnosed with GAD until my second therapist. I never stuck out therapy, but I did learn things about myself. What a lot of people don’t understand is that anxiety isn’t solely feelings of stress. Sometimes anxiety is just there.”
*To read the full post, visit Hayley’s Instagram: @th3littlestavenger
Motheringthings: “I Feel Helpless Most Of The Time. But I’m Not Alone.”
“I am 1 in 5 women in more ways than just the one. I am 1 in 5 women who have gotten postpartum depression. I am a mess. I’m anxious all the time. I didn’t love my daughter at first. I am overwhelmed. I am messy. I am a mom in college working as a server. I have no car. I have no health insurance. I have unpaid medical bills.
“I am a guilty mother and I am mostly not okay. On top of it, my tiny apartment is messy 98% of the time and I can’t ever clean it. And, believe me, when I say that it’s not the messy that can be fixed in a few hours of cleaning. It’s the kind of messy that you have to have a disclaimer before you reluctantly allow someone in. It’s the kind of messy that is probably talked about once people leave. And it is never fixed. I am 1 in 5 and I feel helpless most of the time. But I’m not alone.”
*To read the full post, visit Caley’s Instagram: @motheringthings
Katiemcrenshaw: “I’m Proud Of The Challenges I Have.”
“For me, it's been generalized anxiety disorder with panic disorder, and major depressive episodes exacerbated by hormone shifts... (hello Postpartum!) and, yep. Suicidal ideation at times, too. I've been struggling and walking uphill with lead on my feet since I was nine years old. I've done yoga, changed my diet, meditated, prayed, exercised, you name it. I'm 32 years old and I'm finally confident and thriving on a combination of (necessary) medication, weekly psychotherapy, and a strict self-care regimen. I have a large support group and am surrounded by love. But, guess what? There will always be a battle to fight.
“I'm here today to add a face to the numbers. I'm part of the 20% of us who struggle. I'm proud of the challenges I have because they've forced me to literally fight for my life.”
*To read the full post, visit Katie’s Instagram: @katiemcrenshaw
Part 2 of 3: Motherhood and Mental Illness: A Personal Story here.
Part 3 of 3: Motherhood and Mental Illness: Ways to Help here.
Jennifer Aline is a coffee addict, new mom of twins, and a passionate freelance writer and author. She writes for Moms.com on a regular basis and has had articles in publications such as the NY Daily News, NY Post, Rochester Magazine, and In Good Health Newspaper. Aline received her Bachelor’s Degree in Child and Family Studies from Keuka College and worked in the Human Services field before her two little girls entered her life. Aline now focuses primarily on writing, teaching aerial arts classes in the evenings, and caring for her twin daughters – all while continuously chugging coffee, of course.