Parenting with Mental Illness: Andolina (Major Depressive Disorder)

Meet Andolina-on bettysbattleground.com

Parenting with Mental Illness, a feature interview series on bettysbattleground.comI am honored to introduce Andolina as this month’s Parenting with Mental Illness interviewee. She’s a beautiful young mother who lives with Major Depressive Disorder and moderate anxiety. She also lost her father to suicide. I can only imagine what that kind of loss is like, and I thank her for her sharing her story here on Betty’s Battleground. It breaks my heart to hear about yet another woman whose birthday has been ruined possibly forever–this time by a tragic loss.

A person recently left a very interesting comment on my blog post about forgiving our loved ones who commit suicide. She (I’m actually not sure of the person’s gender, but am using “she” for the sake of clarity) noted that she had lost her spouse to suicide several years back. Then she asked me to re-write my post to exclude the term “commit suicide.” She informed me that there is now a movement to have people say “died by suicide” rather than “commit suicide,” due to negative connotations associated with the word commit, and the idea that suicide is an act for which the victim is not culpable.

I’m familiar with these kinds of language movements. There’s one also in place around the word “addict,” for which I’ve had several losing battles with editors on the titles and language within certain of my articles. My problem here is that I’m not sure I agree. I don’t agree that the word commit is inherently negative, nor do I agree that people who attempt suicide have no volition whatsoever. They’re ill, usually, but if we say they have no power, that can be dangerous to people struggling with suicidal ideations. Is our commitment stronger to the living, or the deceased? I do believe we should respect and honor those who lost their lives to suicide. I do believe in awareness. I don’t know how I stand on the language. Will you leave your thoughts in the comments?

And now, Andolina:

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Mommy Marching with PTSD

How one Mama overcame her Post Traumatic Stress symptoms to march against Trump with her daughter

I have seen a lot of photos from the various Sister Marches since marching the Womxn’s March on Seattle this past Saturday.  You’ve probably seen my favorite, it’s the one showing a sign that says, “So bad, even introverts are here.” I can relate to this one because there are few events on this planet that contain large crowds and also contain me.  At least since developing PTSD.  Before PTSD, I used to attend concerts constantly.  I was a regular presence at every local Summer festival, and even traveled to Oregon and California to attend O Fair and the Rainbow Gathering one happy year past.  I had no problem with large crowds.  I remember skipping through Folklife wearing a ragged, oversized striped sweater over a vintage wedding dress, scanning the crowd for friends even though this act may have led me to make eye contact with a stranger (horror of all horrors)!  This past Saturday, I scanned the crowd a bit, but only because I had developed PTSD Survival Skill: “Target Skipping.”

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