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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Book Of The Weeks 6/19-7/2/2017: “It’s Not Your Journey”

Find out about Rebecca Lombardo's new book, It's Not Your Journey in this review + EXCLUSIVE author interview! -on bettysbattleground.com

It’s tha otha Monday again..time for a new book! Wow..time just keeps rolling on. It honestly feels right now as though time has turned into taffy and is just stretching oh-so-slowly while turning on its mysterious mechanism. One week feels like a month. I think it’s stress. It must be stress. Last week, at my peer support group, it seriously felt like it had been a month since I’d last attended. It had been a week. Minds can be strange, stressful places to dwell. (Get ready for an awkward transitional sentence!) And this weeks’ book selection helps us to better understand just that.

I’m deviating from fiction again to present a non-fiction book about mental illness unlike any other I have presented here before. And I’ve got a special treat after the review, so stick around!

You may have heard of this book’s author, Rebecca Lombardo. She is a pretty big name in the mental health discussion; besides her new book, she writes a popular blog, hosts a podcast, and created the viral hashtag (that I myself use a lot) #KeepTalkingMH. She lives with Bipolar Disorder and PTSD, similar to Sheila O’Donnell who I interviewed last month, but as the title of her book stresses, each story is unique, even among those who share symptoms or diagnoses. Read on to find out what It’s Not Your Journey is all about, and my thoughts on it.

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Parenting with Mental Illness: Karin (PTSD)

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

It’s that time of the month again..By which I mean, of course, time for the monthly Parenting with Mental Illness interview. I am so grateful to the three mothers I have interviewed so far for being so generous with their stories. Maria, the first mother I interviewed, described the feeling and effects of Postpartum Depression with unabashed honesty, which is so important, because when we hide the most embarrassing or shameful aspects of our disorders, we perpetuate negative stigmas about what they “should” look like.

Sheila did not hold back in describing her traumatic past, or the obstacles which CPTSD and BPAD have placed between herself and her overarching goals. She also showed us the importance of support after trauma, which is a pet issue of mine, so I really appreciate her for that.

Today, we’ll meet Karin, a single mother who lives with PTSD. Like everyone who has PTSD, Karin has been through more than her fair share of hardship. The part of her story that broke my heart the most was when she talked about being strangled during pregnancy; I too was strangled by my former partner during pregnancy, so I know how much that experience robs you of security, sanity, and hope.

Yet Karin has persevered. She credits much, if not all, of her recovery to a treatment called EMDR. I was not familiar with EMDR before first talking to Karin. The acronym stands for “Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.” It is a little confusing, frankly, as someone who has never experienced it or had it explained to me by a professional, but it is supposed to help trauma patients reprocess their trauma using “bilateral stimulation,” which involves eye movement and electromagnetic stimulation. It appears to be connected to REM sleep. Read Karin’s interview to learn more about her experiences with it, as well as her life as a mother with PTSD.Learn more about parenting with PTSD on bettysbattleground.com

 

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