Whether or not a person chooses to have kids is highly personal. Becoming a parent is life-changing–in ways that are both uniquely rewarding and highly stressful. Each of us should be allowed to make that decision individually, regardless of our trauma history. People with posttraumatic stress disorder can make wonderful parents, just like anyone else. Something that many people with PTSD may not consider, however, is that once they become parents, their kids could wind up triggering them.
It’s strange to think about a person being triggered by her child. After all, nobody is abused by an infant, right? But many behaviors displayed by children are similar to the actions of abusers, even if the intentions are completely different. A toddler, for example, might scream and throw objects against the wall if he doesn’t get his way. A pre-teen might yell, “I hate you!” and slam her door because you take away her phone privileges. Of course, kids aren’t behaving like abusers; abusers are behaving childishly. When you have a trauma history, though, that distinction doesn’t always matter.
I don’t know what it’s like where you are, but here in the Pacific Northwest we are fully embroiled in Autumn. The air feels crisp, my daughters are noticing leaves changing colors, and the other day when I walked beneath a beautiful oak, I smelled that cool, mulchy scent that means Fall. Ahhhh…
Mid-October also means it’s time for this month’s Parenting with Mental Illness feature interview. On a side note, I’d love to hear from a dad one of these days. If you’re a father with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or another mental illness, please fill out the preliminary survey (that’s the PTSD link; if you need the general mental illness one, it’s on my guest post info page)!
Today’s feature is a mama who you may have seen around the PTSD blog community before. Patricia “PTSD Wifey” and I did a guest post exchange earlier this year. She wrote about secondary PTSD for Betty’s Battleground, and I wrote about PTSD nightmares for PTSD Wifey. Her blog also appeared on the recent Feedspot list of top 75 PTSD blogs, meaning three blogs that I’ve written on made the list 😉 She’s a vocal member of the PTSD community, and I am excited to present her interview today, in which she discusses her experiences with secondary PTSD, a lesser-known phenomenon that merits a ton more discussion.
Today’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.
Mandy 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/