Piers Morgan Tweets 'Man Up, Britain' in Response to Mental Health Statistics

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According to a new study from the U.K.’s Mental Health Foundation, two out of three Britons say they’ve experienced a mental health issue. Responding to the study published on Monday was Piers Morgan, who doubted the notion that 34 million people in the U.K. could have experienced a mental illness.

“34 million UK adults are mentally ill? What utter nonsense,” Morgan tweeted. “Man up, Britain & focus on those who REALLY need help.”

Morgan also shared his opinions about mental illness on “Good Morning Britain.” Speaking with Stan Collymore, a U.K. footballer who has been open about his experience living with depression, Morgan said:

I just read a report, yesterday, by, I think The Independent… medical expert, saying maybe 35 million people in Britain suffer some form of mental illness. To which I say, nonsense. There are lots of people that do, and they must be taken seriously, they must get treatment and they must speak to friends and family and when necessary medical experts. Let’s just put that on the table.

But, it seems to me a lot of people in this modern era now, are being led into the thought process that every part of life’s travails – the normal rough and tumble of life – has to now be categorized as mental illness. And I don’t think that’s helpful either.

“The whole point about mental health week, the whole point about speaking up and talking out about mental health issues,” Collymore told Morgan, “is that you shouldn’t have to man up, sit there, have a stiff upper lip. You should, at the appropriate time, if you are struggling, go to your doctor, speak to a friend.”

While Morgan agreed with several of Collymore’s points, the media personality continued by stating there shouldn’t be a stigma against those who approach their mental illness by “manning up.”

“What happens is when you are kept told by whether it’s Piers Morgan or whether it’s somebody on Twitter, ‘Man up, it doesn’t exist,’ is that rather than encouraging somebody to speak up on day one when they’re struggling is that on day 20,” Collymore explained sharing the story of a fellow footballer who died by suicide. “We don’t want people to get to that state.”

This isn’t the first time Morgan has shared his opinion regarding mental illness.

Dozens of people have replied to Morgan’s tweets, many of whom sharing how Morgan’s position keeps people living with mental illnesses from getting the help they need.

Update: Responding to Morgan’s tweet, Mark Rowland, director of communications for the Mental Health Foundation, told The Mighty: 

If most Britons reported that in their lifetime, they had experienced a physical health problem, would we be so quick to question their integrity? Would our response be to tell them to ‘man up’?

Piers Morgan will be on the wrong side of history on this issue. We have tried the ‘man up’ mantra for generations, and we have ended up with suicide being the leading cause of death for men under the age of 45 in this country.

Our research is entirely consistent with previous mental health statistics for government, such as 1 in 4 people experiencing a mental health problem in any given year (or 1 in 6 in any given week). Our data shows that two out of three adults have experienced a mental health problem in their lifetime. Like physical health, mental health problems range in severity, and of course support should be concentrated where most needed, but common mental health problems like anxiety and panic attacks are real conditions that cause significant, life debilitating effects.

We believe that people can be trusted to know their own emotional and mental health. Too many people have suffered in silence for too long.

We stand by the fact that two out of every three adults in Britain, have faced a mental health problem in their lifetime. This could be the generation that finally acknowledges the need for change.

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How to Find the Right Therapist for You

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“I can’t handle this anymore. I’m losing my mind. My stomach burns and churns and I feel like I could jump right out of my skin. I’m so sick of thinking like this. I think I need help but don’t know where to go.”

Do you have thoughts like these? Have you tried everything to feel better? Are you thinking about reaching out for professional help?

Hiring a therapist can be one of the most important and scary steps you take. Be wise and research the best choice for a therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist.

Unfortunately, most people don’t take time choosing their therapist. Think about how important it is to have this person be the right choice. After all, you will most likely share things with this person that you haven’t shared with others. You’re seeking their expertise for your problems.

With this in mind, it’s critical to take the time to interview potential therapists, counselors, psychologists and psychiatrists. Whether you are struggling with a mental illness, an addiction or family problems, having the appropriate person on your team is essential to your mental health.

It’s important to talk with the prospective counselor before your first appointment. If you can’t get past the administrative assistant to talk with the therapist, keep asking. Be persistent.

When you do speak with the therapist, keep in mind this is not the time to talk about your issues, but to interview the therapist. Keep the conversation focused on the questions.

7 questions to ask when hiring a therapist:

1. What kind of specialized training have you received related to my particular problem?

For example, anxiety, autism, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), paranoia, fear, addictions, etc. For example: If I’m struggling in my marriage, what kind of training have you had? What is your approach to this problem? If I don’t know what my problem is and/or don’t know how to sort through what’s happening with me, what approach would you use?

2. What is your opinion of, and approach to, mental illness and addiction?

Does this line up with your thoughts? Ask them questions about what is important to you.

When I hire my own therapist (yes, therapists need therapists too), I want to know if they have experience in counseling other therapists. I have my own ways of protecting myself, therefore I need someone who can call me out on my stuff.

Other things you might consider asking include:

Do I want to know if they believe in the 12-step approach? (If this is important to me.)

Do they think addiction a disease?

How do they help a couple who are yelling at each other in the office?

3. Where, when and whom do you refer clients out to?

Here, what you want to know is if they have team members or referrals for therapists with expertise in certain situations.

Occasionally, the therapist doesn’t feel confident in treating a specific issue so they would make a referral to another professional.

Does the therapist have physicians, psychiatrists or psychologists that they work with as a team? You would want a therapist to have such a team approach to your care.

4. How will you know when we’re finished with counseling?

An answer something like this is helpful. You (the person seeking counseling) determine the goals for therapy, and we work together to reach these objectives. I think it becomes a mutual decision about when we are complete. I have clients who achieved their goals, only to return to counseling for other reasons. People may need different levels of care, at difference times, based on their needs.

Sometimes programs for addictions or other mental health issues have predetermined lengths of treatment. For example, outpatient chemical dependency treatments are maybe six to eight weeks in length, or a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) group may be six months in length. Ask more questions about what happens in these types of groups.

5. What are your policies about scheduling appointments, missed appointments, fees and client responsibilities? Do you take insurance?

They should have a clearly defined explanation in written form for you to discuss and sign.

6. If spirituality is important to you, ask them, “ How do you support the concept of a spiritual component to the therapeutic process?”

Does the answer support or detract from your beliefs and needs?

7. Why did you choose this career path?

Sometimes therapists will share that they have a family member with mental illness or addiction, or they have issues themselves and have sought out therapy. If they do not share this openly, it’s OK to ask them, “May I ask a personal question?” If they respond with a yes, ask “Have you been in therapy yourself?” If they answer yes, ask, “Tell me what was helpful in therapy for you.”

As you ask these questions, take into consideration some of these thoughts too.

1. Does the therapist have a sense of humor?

2. Does it seem like I can be myself and talk openly with this person?

3. Do I feel safe and comfortable with this person?

4. Does the therapist seem open to sharing a little of themselves with me?

5. If the therapist doesn’t take the time to talk with you, that may be all the answer you need.

As you review the answers to these questions, consider your gut reaction. Don’t let someone talk you into hiring someone you aren’t confident about. On the other hand, it’s easy to discount and find fault in people when you are nervous, afraid and uncertain.

I’ve used these questions to find a therapist for myself. In the beginning I was a little nervous, but in the end I felt empowered to hire the right person to help me.

Brad Pitt Just Made a Really Good Point About Therapy, a Huffington Post article by Allison Fox points out that you need to shop around to find the right therapist. Just like Brad Pitt, we need to take the time and energy to locate a suitable person.

Remember, you are searching for someone who can help you on your journey to good health. Take the same time and consideration you would make for any important decision. You will be so glad you did because you’re worth it!

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

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Why I Believe We Should Look Beyond Mental Illness 'Labels'

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Labels. What defines them as acceptable? What makes them tolerable in our society? A label is a defining term used to describe someone or something. It’s a word people can identify with because it’s a generalization of a certain group of people, a look or behavior or belief. A label can be useful, but for mental illness, it can sometimes be degrading, demeaning and hurtful.

In the last six months, I have accumulated some different labels: borderline personality disorder (BPD), social anxiety disorder (SAD) and depression. I never even expected to be hit with one label, let alone three. Three mental illnesses trapped inside my body, making me feel this inexplicable feeling inside.

The Labeling Theory is how people identify with their own self-identity. This self-identity could be influenced by the terms used to classify them. This theory was popular back in the 1960s, and 70s. Modified versions of the theory have been invented as well that are still popular today.

I find associating with my labels helps me to identify my problems, but it doesn’t teach me how to fix them. I mean, the whole point of recovery is to get better, right? Solve the problems, get back on track, that sort of thing. For me, having a label that doesn’t do anything to fix the problem is kind of pointless. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for wearing my labels proudly and showing the struggles I have overcome. Wearing my labels comforts me sometimes, but I somehow still end up unable to function some days. How do I deal with that?

I find my labels sometimes make me feel worse. I wear them proudly on the outside, but on the inside they sometimes make me cringe. Sometimes, I hate having labels. I hate being those labels. I hate when people use my labels to define who I am. That is something I will not tolerate. I am not a label or a bunch of labels. I am a person. A person of value. A person who needs some help. A person who desires to be happy and loved.

Labels tend to be words that can seem general to others, but to those of us who actually identify with those labels, it’s not so nice all the time. I can often overthink and stress about the label I have been given. I don’t want to, but I can’t help it. It’s my natural reaction to being worried about what people will think of me when I have to have the “mental health conversation” — especially with someone I’m interested in having a relationship with. Warriors, you know what I mean. Happens every time.

Having a label can lead to other things such as stigma and discrimination. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, “The lives of people with mental health conditions are often plagued by stigma as well as discrimination. Stigma is a negative stereotype. Stigma is a reality for many people with a mental illness, and they report that how others judge them is one of their greatest barriers to a complete and satisfying life.” This shows having a label can affect how others treat people with a mental illness.

Here is another longer and more detailed description that explains the effects of stigma on a mental illness. It correlates to having a label because I believe the label is what gives people stigma in the first place. The Canadian Mental Health Association states, “There are significant consequences to the public misperceptions and fears. Stereotypes about mental health conditions have been used to justify bullying. Some individuals have been denied adequate housing, health insurance and jobs due to their history of mental illness. Due to the stigma associated with the illness, many people have found that they lose their self-esteem and have difficulty making friends. Sometimes, the stigma attached to mental health conditions is so pervasive that people who suspect that they might have a mental health condition are unwilling to seek help for fear of what others may think. Experiences of stigma and discrimination is one of their greatest barriers to a satisfying life.”

So what is the point? I believe we need to get rid of labels and start loving people for who they are, not what a label says they are.

Now, I hope you’ve all learned something here because I have. I learn new things about mental illness every day. I learn about how many people have had it for so long, how many people developed a mental illness so young and many other things. It’s mind-blowing for me to try and understand all of it. I wish there was a way to consume a lot of information about one topic at a time but the only way to do that is to read. One page at a time. So I guess I just have to keep reading and talking to other people who want to share their stories with me.

One significant thing I have learned I can leave you with is to look beyond the labels. Look at the substance, the human substance. The human substance is worth more than anything. I believe people are worth so much more than their mental illness and their label. A label is just a word. Do not be afraid of those of us who have a mental illness.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via miflippo.

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What I Tell Myself When My Mental Illness Makes Me Feel 'Less Than' Others

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Some days I feel like I am weaker than other people due to my mental illnesses. I feel like other people are resilient and able to deal with everyday stress. I feel like others can be transparent and open about themselves. I feel like other people are happier and more likable. I feel like they are stronger.

In contrast, I feel like I am weak. So many things trigger me. A crowded place can cause a panic attack. A topic of conversation can trigger a flashback. When someone asks me how I am doing, I always hesitate. Do I share the whole truth or just the safe parts? I am continually worried about how people will judge me since my life experiences and thoughts are different from “the norm.”

I look at my classmates and it seems like they all have it together. They seem more self-confident. They seem happier. They are able to talk about their lives without hesitation. I wish I could be stronger, like them.

But then I remind myself of a few other things that are true:

Everyone has struggles I know nothing about. We all work to seem like we have it all together. But everyone has stuff. I just have different stuff on my plate. Yes, my mental illnesses make me more vulnerable to stress, but I have grown so much as a person through my journey with mental illness. In many ways my illnesses have made me stronger. Someone who hasn’t had struggles like I have might have difficulty responding to a crisis. I have coping skills. And there isn’t much that can shock me at this point.

People often talk about survivors. We talk about someone surviving a fire or a hurricane. We talk about someone surviving heart surgery or a lung transplant. We talk about someone surviving other serious illnesses. We talk about people surviving the loss of a friend, relative or pet.

In all of these examples we focus on the strength of the survivor, not the vulnerability caused by the storm. So why is that when we talk about suicide, a mental health crisis, chronic mental illnesses or a mental breakdown, we often blame the person?

I want to tell people instead, “You are so strong. You survived mental health issues including a hospitalization and a suicide attempt. You are a survivor.”

I want to tell people, “You are so strong. You survived weeks of a depressive episode. You fought through it.”

I want to say, “You survived a manic episode. You survived a flashback. You survived a dissociative episode. You survived a battle with self-harm.”

I want to say, “You are battling addictions or thought patterns that are incredibly difficult. You are a fighter.”

My counselor tells me I am like someone with a heart condition. I have difficulty handling stress so I have to be careful not to push myself too hard. Like how someone with a heart condition can’t exert himself too much and put stress on his heart. But at the same time, he says I am a warrior who has fought through so much and not given up. I think someone can be vulnerable and strong at the same time.

I want to encourage you that you are not “less than” others due to having mental illnesses. Everyone has their own battles. Our struggles with mental illness can make us vulnerable at times, but also make us survivors.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via brickrena.

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I Am a Rape Survivor, but to You I Am a Pre-Existing Condition

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Editor’s note: This piece discusses sexual assault, self-harm, suicide ideation, disordered eating, and could be triggering. If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741. If you or a loved one is affected by sexual abuse or assault and need help, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.

I am a pre-existing condition.
I am 3-a.m night sweats and night terrors,
debating whether or not to send an email,
crying out for help.

I am 5 years old, 6 years old, 7.
The fight is over, we are moving away.
No more playing house because Mommy says it’s not OK.
“That’s not how kids play house,” but I didn’t know any better.

I am 11 years old, grazing a safety pin across my skin, wondering what it would be like to hurt myself.

I am 12, 13, 14,
hurting myself.

I am…
I am sending the email this time. I am reaching out for help.
I am on Medicaid, and the government-paid psychiatrist tells me and my parents this is a normal part of growing up.

I am 15. I am 16. I am losing control. I am losing weight… fast.
I am black circles under my eyes because I haven’t eaten in days.

I am graduating high school.
I never thought I’d live this long…

I am falling in love.
I am going to the emergency room because I need stitches and I don’t want anyone to know.
I am alone.

I am in therapy.

I am telling secrets I have never told anyone before.
I am talking about being 5 years old and being sexually abused.

I am 18 years old. Drunk beyond consent… but I am an adult, I “should have known better.”

I am keeping secrets.

I am crying in my parents’ room.
I am telling my mother I was raped.
Almost two years too late.

I am in treatment.
I am in treatment.
I am learning I am not alone.
I am learning it wasn’t my fault.

I am getting better.

I am falling again.

I am 22. I thought I was better, so I stopped taking my medicines.
I am feeling alone again.
I am throwing up after I eat because it’s the one thing I have control over.
I am cutting myself again, but this time I don’t care who knows.
I am over 50 scars on my body mostly in places that no one will see.
I am bandages over my wrists and stitches on my ankle.

I am “too much” for outpatient treatment.
I am in treatment. Again.

I feel like a disappointment.
I need to grab the bull by the horns.

I am doing well on my meds and debating going back to school.

I am living alone.
I am scribbling a poem down on paper.
This might be my last one.

I am waking up with blood on my sheets and my dog licking the bandage on my leg.
I am needing to see a doctor but terrified anyone will find out.
I am changing the bandage.

I am going to the hospital almost 24 hours later.

I am in treatment. Again.

I am hundreds of miles away from home,
learning once again that none of it was my fault.
I am learning to breathe again.
I am learning to cope.

I am doing better.
I am doing so much better.

I am in recovery.
I am in recovery, but things are starting to get dark again.
I am in therapy saying I don’t think I need this anymore.

I am 25.
I am waking up to night sweats and night terrors and would rather not sleep at all.
I am debating sending an email or a text.

I am anxious. I am depressed.
I am struggling.
I am aware I may lose my health insurance and then I will have no choice on whether or not I need therapy anymore.

I am in serious debt.
I am wanting to go back to school.
I am holding down a job I love.
I am thriving in many ways.
I am learning I was born with a brain that works differently from others.

I am more than my anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and eating disorder.
But to you,
I am a pre-existing condition.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 741-741.

Follow this journey on My Hand and His Collide.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo by Freezelight

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25 Secrets of Moms Living With a Mental Illness

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Being a parent is hard. Being a parent with a health challenge can be extra hard. Being a parent with a highly stigmatized health challenge… it can leave a momma with mental illness feeling like no one understands what she’s going through.

That’s why, just in time for Mother’s Day, we wanted to ask moms in our mental health community to share one thing they wish others understood about parenting with a mental illness. Because all mothers deserve love and support, and no mother should feel like she’s doing it alone.

Here’s what our Mighty Moms shared with us:

1. “Having to attend parties or playdates is a nightmare. I’m not being rude if I don’t talk to you… I quite literally can’t. I will leave a social event with a migraine and be physically drained. My house is never 100-percent clean… it’s sometimes not even 50-percent cleaned. If it comes down to doing something with my son, or cleaning, my son will win out. I’m not a bad mom for not wanting to socialize with other parents. I’m not a bad mom for not having a spotless house. My son is happy, healthy and loves me. That’s a win in my book. My anxiety/depression/ADHD/DID don’t define me. They are a part of me, and I make the best of every day. You should never judge someone because you never know what battles they are fighting.” — Kim B.

2. “I am ‘real’ with my children because I have to be. I don’t care if other people think I shouldn’t talk to my 4-year-old about ‘why Mommy gets cranky and cries sometimes.’ I’d rather tell them the truth, that Mommy is sick, than have them wondering their whole childhood and growing up thinking they were somehow to blame. As a result, my children are more empathetic than most adults because they realize that sometimes even adults can struggle with their emotions.” — Katie H.

3. “Sometimes I need to be away from my children. That doesn’t mean I love them any less than moms who can do it all and still be smiling… I just need to be alone sometimes.” — Courtnie H.

4. “I am not lazy. There are reasons why my house is not in order. Some days it takes all I have in me just to get out of bed. Ask me questions. Do not assume I am a horrible mother/woman.” — Lisa L.

5. “Not all moms fit the mold. I am not rude. I do not look you in the eyes or make small talk because of my depression and anxiety. I am as overwhelmed as my kids in a new school. I keep it together for my kids, smile through the darkness to let them know everything is OK, I go to Girl Scouts, sporting events, plays and concerts to support my kids. I am overwhelmed by crowds loud noises, but I push through. I am their number one fan.” — Aurora C.

6. “I wish people understood that having children isn’t a fix-all. Telling me I should be happier because I have children doesn’t help. In fact it does the opposite. It makes me feel guilty because I start second guessing my parenting ability.” — Julissa S.

7.Mental illness can be a lifelong struggle… sometimes I will be fantastic, but there will be days when anxiety gets the better of me… understand that just because I am doing well sometimes does not mean I am cured.” — Jolene N.

8. “I am capable of being my kid’s mother. She is fed, she has clothes and shelter, she is loved. Do we go out constantly? No. Does she know I love her to pieces even when Mommy is sick and needs yet another movie day? Yes.” — Christine S.

9. “It doesn’t make me a bad parent to ask for help.” — Amber R.

10. “The guilt can be horrible. You tell yourself you’re failing your children almost every moment. It could be because you forgot to buy squash or didn’t do the dishes today — little things seem like the biggest failing. It makes your depression or anxiety worse, then you find it hard to get up or take them to the park, and you self-confirm that you are a failed parent because of your depression. But, they are also the greatest healers. A smile and a hug from them can ease your suffering. And when I started CBT, I found that if I did something with them (big or small) each day then I felt so much better. Children are motivation. They are a reason to keep fighting.” — Hannah W.

11. “Sometimes I have to just lay in bed. Depression zaps my energy and will to do anything. I’m not lazy. I hate that my son gets more screen time than he should… but some days I just can hardly leave my room. I also wish my husband understood that a bad mental health day is just as bad as having a stomach virus or something. Having to be a responsible mom of two while struggling with those things is equally exhausting and cruel. Sometimes even though I look decent, I need backup.” — Destiny P.

12. “I wish people would understand that when I ask for time alone and away from the baby (even just to the grocery store), it’s not because I don’t want to ‘have to deal with my kid.’ It’s not that at all! My anxiety makes me tense and anxious and I feel so guilty if I let that side of me show to my son. Also, have patience with me while I try to pretend I’m not crying on the inside. I always struggle with feeling worthy to be a mom.” — Kendra C.

13.I’m not that mom… I’m not that mom who remembers to sign everything, check everything. I’m not that mom who signs up for everything, I’m not that mom who shows up looking perfect at every function, or even manages to make every function. I’m not that mom who keeps a spotless house and hides her tears from the kids and also remembers to always keep a soft voice. But I am the mom who keeps getting up every day even when I don’t want to. I keep going to work to support my family despite my anxiety, despite my depression. I still leave my house despite my issues. I still find the strength to be the best mom I am capable of being. I am that mom.” — Heidi G.

14.I wish people could understand that just because I’m working through my own mental health issues, it doesn’t mean I am irresponsible or an unsafe mother. I can still fully care for my children (and any friends who may come to visit).” — Jen D.

15. “My children see my illness and we speak about it. I tried hiding it. It hurt them more. We talk about medication and why Mum has bad days.” — Liz H.

16.I really wish people would get that I spend all my spoons on my kids. I have to to be able to properly care for them. That’s why when it comes to social functions, I don’t really show up or make an effort to hang out. I’ve already exhausted myself.” — Gail B.

17.I’m just like the other moms, just some of the usual daily stresses and struggles are often amplified by my mental illnesses. That’s what complicates my life. If I’m having a high anxiety day, my children’s activities/lives still come first, but I will be visibly off. I may want to reach out and chat with you at a school function, but it can be too overwhelming at times. And that although I struggle with what is at times debilitating mental illnesses, I am still a loving, warm and compassionate mother who can be trusted just as much as anyone else with your most precious gift, your child.” — Meghan B.

18. “It’s possible to manage my symptoms and be a good mom. And sometimes, I just can’t manage my symptoms, but I will still be a good mom.” — Kyra H.

19.I can’t just get up and go when called for plans with my 7-year-old. I need time to prepare. I may look ‘not friendly,’ but I have the biggest heart. I just don’t smile much. If I am having a really bad day I might not answer the phone. Don’t take it personally… I might be late to everything. It’s not because I am a bad mom or lazy. It’s because of my OCD when leaving the house. I also love my daughter more than anything, and having depression and anxiety doesn’t mean I can’t raise my daughter right. I am here because of her. Don’t judge others!” — Amy L.

20. “The biggest and most important thing to understand is that I can have a mental illness and still be a good mom! Having an invisible illness doesn’t mean I can’t or don’t love my child. It doesn’t mean I can’t or don’t take care of her and it doesn’t mean I should be looked at any different than any other mom. Do not judge mine or any other mother’s ability to be a good and loving parent based on their health.” — Amanda C.

21. “My child is the best thing to happen to me. With the right medication, I can be just as good of a mother as someone without a mental illness. I have a wonderful doctor who prescribed me the psych meds that allowed me to have a healthy baby…. My daughter is my world.” — Laura S. 

22. “No, I will not hide my mental illness from my child. He will see me cry, he will see me struggle and he will see me overcome so one day when life gets hard for him, he can look to the struggles of his mom and know it’s surmountable and there’s someone out there in the whole wide world who will understand.” — Jessi W.

23. “My mental illness doesn’t define me or how I take care of my child.” — Sarah A.

24. “My struggles with anxiety and depression have made me a better mom. I understand how to enjoy the little things because I’ve known the darkness. Being a mom was what forced me to get help, and I’m grateful for that.” — Alicia N.

25. “I wish my kids knew I always gave 100 percent, even on my worst days. But, when I tried medications that didn’t work and made things worse, I wasn’t 100 percent. I wish they would weigh the good day with the bad because the good was so very good. And there was a lot more good day than bad.” — MaryAnn M.

And lastly, from a daughter:

I’m not a mom, but my mom has always said she felt like she wasn’t good enough. We both have depression and anxiety. I’m afraid I will be the same way and people won’t understand. I tell her all the time now that she was a great mom. I wish I had done that more as a kid and teen. My advice would be to remind people to be supportive of all mothers because you don’t always know what is going on in their lives, in their minds.” — Sara F.

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We face disability, disease and mental illness together.