Healing Words: How I Fought Depression With Medication

Learn how motherhood and mental health blogger MomMandy fought depression with medication on bettysbattleground.com

A guest writer series about the ways we heal-on bettysbattleground.comToday’s guest post comes from MomMandy, a mama who struggles with depression and who was featured previously as one of the Parenting With Mental Illness interviewees. Speaking of which, for those who are waiting on the newsletter with Brandi’s bonus questions from this month, I’m still working with my e-mail subscriber support to get the composition problem worked out. I appreciate your patience. It’s a buggy month, because Simply-Linked, the provider of my Off-Fridays linkup, has also vanished without warning. This means all of our awesome libraries are affected! I don’t know if this is temporary or permanent, but please leave suggestions for a new free email subscriber plugin and linkup providers in the comments, just in case!

Now, back to Mandy’s post…In this article by Mandy, a mother who hails from the Netherlands, she describes her lifelong struggle with depression, and how a combination of therapy, self-care, and antidepressant medication helps her manage it. Right now I am putting together an article about medication and the stigma faced by people who use it. There are different levels of stigma associated with different medications. For example, the focus of the article I’m writing is methadone and buprenorphine, both used to treat opiate dependency and addiction. But medicine for other mental health conditions face a fair amount of stigma too. How many times you have you seen that meme telling people pills are shit and trees are medicine? Did you know that many advocates of the 12-step program do not consider users of appropriately prescribed psychiatric medication, including antidepressants, sober? Stigma is real and it is rampant. So I commend Mandy for standing up and advocating for the medicine that has allowed her to thrive.

Mom Mandy discusses depression and medication on bettysbattleground.comMandy is a 33 year old working mom. She is married to a graphic designer and is the mom of a three year old. Mandy is currently in the midst of a career change and will be going to nursing school in September.  She blogs about trying to live a balanced life on www.mommandy.com You can follow her on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/MomMandy84/

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Tales From The Other Side: “Growing Up With An Untreated Bipolar Mom”

Read about one woman's experience growing up with a mom who had untreated bipolar disorder-on bettysbattleground.com

Tales from the Other Side: A guest post series on www.bettysbattleground.comToday’s guest blogger, Christy, grew up in a household with a mother who had untreated Bipolar Disorder. I can’t claim to have the same experience, or anything remotely like it, but I do have an aunt who has untreated Bipolar disorder. We stopped speaking a couple years ago when she started calling me a bitch, excusing herself because of her own disorder, and then gaslighting my PTSD. Ever since then, I have occasionally seen rude comments about me that she’s left on other family’ member’s accounts. Anyway, she lives in New York so I don’t have to really bother with her, but I learned today that she’s coming to Seattle, AND she’s asked to see my kids. So I guess I’m gonna get to have another epic Tia A—- adventure!

Anyway, as annoying and borderline abusive as my aunt has been, it does not compare to Christy’s experiences. Please don’t misunderstand the intention of publishing this story. I in no way wish to demonize people with Bipolar Disoder. I previously hosted an interview and guest post by a Sheila O’Donnell, a lovely blogger living with BPAD. I published an author interview with Rebecca Lombardo, who wrote a book about her experiences being Bipolar. The late, and beloved, Carrie Fisher was a famous mental health advocate living with the disorder. However, all of these people also pursued treatment. Whether that means medication and talk therapy, exercise and self-care, writing and reaching out, or whatever-they manage their symptoms and actively seek treatment. Mental illness does not have to be harmful. Usually, it isn’t. But if a person has a serious mental disorder and a family, that disorder will affect her family. If she doesn’t get her disorder treated, it may harm her family.

We cannot silence true stories because they don’t fit the narrative we want to tell. I am a mental health advocate. I want people to understand that mental illness or injury doesn’t make people evil or abusive. But I also cannot lie and say that when people don’t pursue treatment of any kind, everything is OK. It’s not. Those of us with mental health conditions need outside support, but we also need inner drive. Christy’s story is an example of a family that was deeply harmed because their Bipolar mother did not pursue treatment.

Blogger Christy Zelaya opens up about growing up with a mom who had untreated bipolar disorder on bettysbattleground.comChristy Zelaya is 38 years old and lives in beautiful Bradenton, Florida. She lives with her husband Jose Zelaya, and their four children; two each from previous marriages. They also have two dogs who are their babies too! They have been living as a blended family for almost seven years. Jose was diagnosed with kidney failure in February of 2014 and is now on dialysis. They are hoping for a kidney transplant soon. Christy also lives with Rhematoid Arthritis, which is exacerbated by her weight issues. You can follow her journey at christyzspeaks.com.

 

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Parenting With Mental Illness: Mandy (Depression+Anxiety)

Parenting with Mental Illness, a feature interview series on bettysbattleground.com

Hello! Thank you for dropping by this fine day in July! Or if you’re in the part of the world that says things like “fine day in December” (so weird), then thank you for dropping by this cold wretched day in July.

Today’s post features a mama struggling with depression over in The Netherlands. I completely feel for her and understand 100% the burden of being a mom and wife while having to also tend to your depression. Motherhood is often a very lonely job. I mentioned Summer in the paragraph above…Well, Summer used to be, hands down, my favorite season. I fiended for it all through the year, waiting with mounting excitement for the time when it would be warm enough to go out all day, when I could enjoy my favorite physical activity-swimming-and when I could feel happy enough to spend time with my friends.

Now, Summer is just another season to feel even more lonely and stressed. Don’t get me wrong: I love my kids. But without any help over here, I never get to swim. Never. They aren’t in daycare long enough for me to really enjoy anything; especially since I have to spend that time cleaning, shopping, or trying write marketable articles. Any outdoor excursion becomes an event. One which involves arguments over socks, inexplicable screaming fits, a monstrous stroller to haul, heavy bags loaded with diapers and snacks and extra clothes and diaper wipes…you get the picture. Nothing is carefree. Nothing is fun. It’s taking a toll. I can feel a very serious depression creeping up on me, wrapping its hands around my eyes again. I’m not built for a life where nobody cares for me. No help in sight. No end in sight. Just my lonely, burdened existence.

So I understand where Mom Mandy from The Netherlands is coming from. She is a gorgeous woman with a beautiful family, living in a country internationally lauded for its peacefulness. My reasons for saying all this are not to guilt Mandy for her feelings but to point out that Depression and Anxiety are, in fact, illnesses with biological causes. People can have the most enviable-looking lives…people can be in the middle of their favorite season…and still experience Depression. Just as beautiful women with loving families can get cancer or the flu, they can also get Depression and Anxiety. Let’s dive into this interview to see how Mandy experiences and copes with her illness.

Mandy Wijn from the blog Mom Mandy talks about her experiences with Depression and Anxiety on bettysbattleground.com

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