OCTOBER:National Mental Illness Awareness
By: Anise Marshall
Depression and anxiety are real. To that one soul reading this: I know you're tired, annoyed, overwhelmed, disappointed or even close to breaking, but there's strength within you. Even though you may feel weak, keep fighting. Even though you feel like there is no way out, keep living, keep thriving. Don't give up.
Our October blog is dedicated to understanding the importance of your mental health. The first week of October is national mental illness awareness week. Mental illness is a condition that was not spoke of often. It especially was not one of the best topics when discussing MOTHERS! The truth is, our children watch our every move. As a mother, we have to work, cook, clean and raise children no matter how sick, unmotivated or overwhelmed we may feel. Life has to go on.
As a mother, with multiple children, I understand this immensely. Add children with disabilities to the mix, and you may think, "How could someone balance a life like that?" Well, I have to inform you...it is very difficult some days. Some days, I just cry. Some days, I feel like there aren't people who understand. I can only imagine what it must feel like for a mother who battles with these feelings everyday. Mental health is important and has so many names. It could be anxiety, depression, both and so much more.
Many times you hear people say: "Well, you don't look depressed." Depression does not always look like a sad face and frustration. People wear masks because they are ashamed of their pain. Some wear masks because they are afraid that they will be judged. Especially mothers. According to Encyclopedia of Early Childhood Development, "Parents play a huge role in shaping children’s emotional health, particularly in early childhood." Also, 56 percent of American adults with a mental illness do not even receive treatment! So we know that the number must increase tremendously ( 2017, Mental Health America).
My point, is that you're probably not the only mother wanting support and feeling like life is unbearable. When you are a mother and realize the effect you have on your children's mental health, you have to decide to get HELP! Is your shame and embarrassment more important than the future of the children you are raising? My stance is not to make you feel guilty, but for you to ask for help! We have to protect our children and stop passing on things that will only hurt our kids.
Children are a reflection of what they see and the environment they are in. Most people don't understand that children deal with stressors and different degrees of mental health issues. We have to talk to them so they don't suppress them. Sometimes, children ignore their problems because they are made to feel like they don't have "real problems" because of their age. If that were true, our youth would not be taking their lives. They need to have a voice and share their struggles as well as their victories.
Dealing with these things can be challenging but you have to push past your anxiety, fears and depression. This blog is also dedicated to helping your children with their mental health. I have included links and information to help you. This could be an amazing start to a future where you choose to look after YOU and your children. How can you do your best at raising little humans if you're struggling to take care of yourself? YOU CAN DO THIS! If you need support and want to reach out, please email us. We will help you as best we can.
This month, I challenge you to spend 45 minutes alone. Try to dedicate this time with no interruptions. Don't worry about what this time will replace, just make the time. Mental health is important for you and those that love you. Seek help in any way you can!