May: Mental Health Awareness Month 

May is an observed month for Mental Health Awareness in the United States since 1949. 

 

Though I am not a citizen of America, I share the experience of Mental Illness with the whole world. And sharing my experience is an important point I’d like to advocate for on my blog. 

 

 

 

 

If you are not a follower of my blog, I want you to know that I suffer from Postpartum Depression & Anxiety, OCD that I recently just discovered. The statistics in Canada for women who reported going through postpartum depression is 7.5%. That’s not a huge number in terms of reports of women having it. I say this because, it is not an illness that women/men openly talk about, but this is a very common and unexpected illness that most new parents and parents in general experience in first few years.

Having shared my initial experience of finding out I have it, was a struggle on its own but the outpouring support from the community of bloggers have mostly mentioned how this is not a common topic talked enough about. There isn’t much light being brought to raise awareness of this illness. Just like anyone would be concerned about cancer, this too is an illness that cannot be controlled and should gain the concern it requires.

 

Its an illness that that hides inside of the person and finds itself free to attack the person at any unexpected moment. 

 

What makes it even worse is the fact that it’s a mental health illness. Just say mental health in your head again, and what comes to mind? A person with an unstable mind? A person who is capable of bad things because they’re not all there, up there? A person who cannot perform their usual duties as a citizen or an individual because their brain cannot function like a ‘normal person’? That’s the stigma talking. That’s also the stigma stuck in my head when I first thought about what it would be like to share this with others.


FEAR!

Individuals who experience some sort of Mental Illness, struggle internally to share in words that would allow the receiver to understand.  The truth is, most individuals who experience mental illness cannot always find the words to say without sounding like they are ‘crazy’. Your mind plays tricks on you. You’re not really sure why you’re thinking, what you’re thinking–why you’re irrational, emotional and absolutely out of character.  Well it’s a chemical imbalance. Your emotions are all out of whack, even though the issue is with your brain that’s mostly, usually realistic, rational, and stern; with mental illness, none of that is how it’s supposed to be.

 

Mental illness is not something anyone just fixes for the person suffering. It is not an illness that the individual can just brush off and everything returns to ‘normal’.
It is an illness that cannot be helped (I repeat this because for those who don’t know this is a common misconception). 


There are a lot of people who choose to be ignorant about mental illness. Those people who have never experienced it with someone they love or for themselves.  People who don’t care enough about the importance of why this illness matters enough to be talked about. Sure back then (40’s, 50’s, maybe early 60’s) this isn’t a thing to be sharing with the world. It means you got sent to an institution because they didn’t have a solution for this. And what they did have for it was more pain. 


“Well, here’s the thing..you have to really think outside of your ass in order to really understand this. You’re not going to find it in there. This is just as important to understand as anything else that threatens the value of life.”

 

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Mental illness doesn’t just affect the person who has it but also those dearest to their heart. It affects families. The challenges of this illness takes a tole on each individual members of a family. The tole of this illness is the very thing that makes the feeling of guilt ever so present in motherhood.



HAVING CHILDREN IS NOT THE MAIN CAUSE OF THIS ILLNESS! 

There are several factors to why an individual finds themselves with this illness. The majority of women I have been able to connect with who suffer from this illness has openly shared the traces of their sickness reaching back to before they even had children. Having children is one of the factors that contributes at a later time in life, but it is an illness that roots from past experiences. Yes it can be from the sudden change of life experiences, in motherhood but for the most part this illness is traced from what’s already happened that the individual has fought to shove in a box, in the back of their minds. It can be hereditary. Something you didn’t know runs in your family bloodline. For someone who’s not aware of her roots, this is something I cannot trace back to roots. One thing I am certain of though is that, I’ve a lot of pent up anger that roots from my childhood that I kept in an box inside, far back that has now found its way creeping in on top of all the other stressor accompanying motherhood. 


If you know anyone who appears to be having a hard time emotionally, please offer to listen. Don’t judge or start diagnosing someone of what YOU THINK the problem is, but rather provide resources of different types of help they can seek professionally that may more helpful. 
There are a ton of people, communities who advocate for the awareness of this illness and mental illness in general. Please educate yourself if you’re uncertain of what mental illness is and how it affects a person. Don’t be ignorant. Don’t be judgemental because I can guarantee you, this is not my choice! No one wants to suffer emotionally and psychologically.

 

 

MM

Author: mommyingmaars

Maria, author of Imommy blog. Maria has three children, Apollo (8), Artemis (2), and Cassiopeia (1). She is due to marry her best friend July 2017. Maria used to be a Registered Early Childhood Educator, before having her second child. She is now a SAHM, that is not paid for wearing many other professional hats. She is, and not limited to some of these professional positions: Doctor, Nurse, Nanny, Chef, Maid, Uber Driver, and so on.. When she isn't mothering or tending to all her other unlicensed professional positions, she loves writing and dancing. She is a previous ballroom and latin competitor. Some of her favourite "stuff" are, turtles/turtoises, the colour green (lime - forest), Laneige's Sleeping mask, make-up, and eating (food is her most favourite self-care aspect). Maria is also currently writing a book on her autobiography, which has been ongoing for the last few years, she's certain she'll eventually finish if she could just get over the hump of emotions attached to exploring oneself. As you read Maria's blogs, you'll get a feel of the true individual that she is, which can sometimes be a fine line of crazy and sweet, but not too sweet. Maria hopes you'll enjoy her blog as she does talking in her head to herself as her fingers skim through the letters on her keyboard. A message from Maria; I do not intend to use my writing to impose or tell you how motherhood should be done. I am no pro at this, and find as I share my wisdom from my experiences, that it shall uncover parts of your heart that find it relatable. My posts aren't always consistent in writing, but it is meant for you to to take in as it is. Find it humurous, sad, lonely, or helpful. Whatever it is you take from it, it only means one thing.. that I have found a place in your mind for those few minutes you dedicated to reading my crap. Thank you for being here, for giving me the chance to share my thoughts. Please return, and remember all written materials and photos on this site, is not to be taken without permission. xo, MM

44 thoughts on “May: Mental Health Awareness Month ”

    1. Thank you so much for reading! This is an important topic to really bring light to, so many struggle with this illness in silence and they drift away never getting anyone to care about the hardship that comes with this illness. It’s not a choice we make, and we shouldn’t be shunned away for it.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by! It’s such a hard illness to battle. It’s not something that can easily go away. It’s a struggle everyday for those who suffer in silence. I wish people didn’t shun those who have this illness. I hope you share this!

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    1. Thank you! I just wanna provide a voice for those who struggle with this illness. It’s really hard. I know that. It’s a constant battle within yourself and you can scream all you want from inside and no one would ever know how much pain you feel. We just need people to understand that this requires light just as any other disease or illness out there. Hope you share this post.

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    1. Thank you for being open about your anxiety. It’s definitely a hard thing to go through. Thank you for sharing your journey, it’s such an important topic to shed light on. I hope that you have good days, ahead. xo

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  1. Thank you so much for sharing this! I can only hope that one day the stigma behind mental illness will one day end, and we will all be more willing to help others! you are such an inspiration to talk about it and help others! love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! If everyone only knew how hard, scary, it is to have mental illness.. to not have control over your own mind and emotions..then maybe people would be more understanding. Thank you for stopping by. I hope you share this.

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  2. Brilliant post! It is inspirational that you are working so hard to raise awareness and that all of us may be more on the look out for people we could support as the result of reading your work. Keep it up, and all the best for the upcoming wedding! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh I suffered really bad from Postpartum Health anxiety after my bub was born a year ago. I feel you. Keep up the good work as awareness is so important

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Much more information like this about PPD has to get out there. So many times it’s blown off as the baby blues, or because the mom is not taking time for herself (I hear it put that way and it disgusts me! People find a way to blame her for her struggle.) Thank you for sharing your story, and enlightening more people about this very real problem!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hate that people call it “Baby Blues”. Nothing about it is cute, or is it all about having a baby. People are so uneducated about PPD and mental illness in general that it’s such a shame to be part of this type of society. I definitely felt like it was my fault why I got PPD, but the more that I sank in it, the more I realize this shit chose me. I didn’t choose this. Thanks for reading. I hope you share this.

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  5. Such an important post. Thank you for sharing your experience and bringing additional awareness to the issue. I hope things get easier for you.

    Nicole | The Professional Mom Project

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Such an honest post. Its great that people like you are strong enough to open up and talk about this topic! I’m sure it’s going to really help someone going through the same situation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wasn’t strong at first. Then I had to brave it out. It’s such a scary experience and being alone and silent about it makes it that much harder. I really hope it brings light to this topic, and does help others. If you can share it to bring awareness about this topic, please do. Thank you!

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  7. Thank you for sharing your story! I agree that this PPD is definitely more common than what the statistics tell us. It’s sad that there isn’t more support out there for those suffering. You’re giving great advice that we all need to stop, listen and support each other more. People are too quick to judge these days. =(

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s crazy how much shaming and judging happens now.. especially with women. We are supposed to be a community, a village, who supports one another.. while not everyone is as such, I have met a ton of wonderful women who have been super supportive of my struggle. Please share this to shed more light and awareness to this topic. Thank you for stopping by, please come back again. 🙂

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  8. So important to have more open discussion about mental illness and how it affects people. I had 3 babies with no issues and was slammed with horrific PPD after my 4th, which I’m still learning to manage/trying to recover from. Thank you for sharing this!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. That was such a true post. Really not many people speak or rather know about Postpartum depression though many would feel for it. It actually is a stigma to share the same to society or even to husbands.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a struggle for those who have a loved one going through it. Especially between spouses. It’s definitely a hard thing to go through as a family. That’s why it’s so important to share this topic to find support for all involved. xo

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  10. Thank you for your honesty and being willing to share what you’re going through. There is a stigma associated with mental illness, and I think you’re right, that it keeps people from seeking the treatment they need. Great tip to help others in your life if you see they need it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I hope those who need help get the help they need from real professionals. And that those by their side day-in and day-out really take the time to support them.

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  11. Mental health issues, and especially post-partum depression are really difficult, it’s great that you talk so openly about it. People often have the wrong idea about what it is and it can make a lot of damage…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This needs to be talked about much more. I have a 6 month old and I was very lucky that people were looking out for me and asking how I was coping with being a new mum. Thankfully, I didn’t experience any post-partum depression but I have friends who did and they were too embarrassed to ask for help as they thought they were failing at being a mother.

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  13. Mental illness is a real condition. I hate when people tell me I can control my ADD. Ok then control cancer, control Alzheimer’s, control diabetes, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so crazy! I can’t believe people say that to you. I’m sorry. How stupid of them…i hate that instead of people learning about these things, they choose to be ignorant instead. I hope you’re well. xo

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  14. Beautifully written! I also suffer from PPD and I feel like there is still so much stigma surrounding it. People think I either tried to kill my kids or that I hate them, which is so not the case!! I think the more people share their experiences and struggles, then hopefully the stigma will be reduced about mental illness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally relate. I was so afraid to tell anyone even my husband. I was afraid he’d think I’m incapable or unfit to tend and care to our children. I didn’t want him to not trust me that I might hurt our kids. Which was not the case! There are different levels of ppd. And that’s the thing people don’t know that! The stigma is still so real and heavy. I feel like it is so important for those who suffer in silence to open-up and share. It helps bring awareness and light to such a dark experience.

      Liked by 1 person

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