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‘Teen Mom’ Dad Fires Back at Those Who Think People With Mental Illness Shouldn’t Have Kids

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“Teen Mom” stars Catelynn Baltierra and Tyler Baltierra have always been refreshingly honest about their mental health struggles. Earlier this year, Catelynn re-entered treatment for experiencing suicidal thoughts, and Tyler recently opened up about his own bipolar disorder diagnosis.

Being parents in the public eye, though, always comes with criticism. On Tuesday, someone questioned whether the “Teen Mom” parents were raising their children in a “healthy environment” considering their mental health struggles.

Tyler was quick to respond.

So everyone who has a mental health issue shouldn’t be allowed to have children & experience the most beautiful thing this life can give you? It’s the same as telling someone who has diabetes or any manageable condition, that they shouldn’t have kids. I highly disagree with that!

The comment came after Tyler had opened up about a past suicide attempt in an Instagram post. He tweeted about the post, “Change starts with discussion. Discussion only happens when people are authentically transparent with one another.”

Deciding whether or not to have children is a big decision for anyone — not just those who live with mental illnesses. Yes, most mental illnesses do have a genetic component, and parents may factor that into their decision. At the end of the day, though, people with mental illnesses can live fulfilling lives. Having a mental illness doesn’t mean you won’t be a good parent.

In a piece about explaining her mental illness to her daughter, Mighty contributor Sarah McClure described the positive side of parenting with a mental illness:

My flaws and my mental illness have set the stage for emotionally healthy children in a way the world has never seen before. Is there a chance they have inherited my mental illness? Possibly. But if they do actually inherit an “unstable mind,” they will have a mother with a team of doctors and therapists on call. They have a mother who can read the warning signs long before they realize anything is wrong. Because of the advocates who have come before me, a new road is being paved that lets us bypass the stigma of mental illness, and we can openly discuss any roadblocks and how to get past those barricades. My children will never feel embarrassment for the thoughts that might run through those pretty little minds. My children will never hide from themselves until they self-destruct.

I am a good mother.

People with mental illnesses deserve all that is good in this life. For some people, this includes raising children. We appreciate Tyler for speaking out.

Lead image via Catelynn & Tyler’s Fanpage


Originally published: June 26, 2018
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