Hi, my name is Bailey. I’m a mom to three boys, and I struggle with anxiety and depression.
Today I’m going to talk about some tips that I’d wish I’d known in hindsight because I think I could have received help much sooner than I did.
So, the first tip is just to be educated. It’s never too late to start learning more about mental health, and the earlier you begin, the more prepared you’ll be. Start researching, read, listening, not simply on what mental health is, and what it looks like, but also the different treatment options and resources that are available. And kind of determine beforehand which course of action feels right for you and your family. It’s kind of like when you make a birth plan, but you’re making a plan for your mental health, preventatively.
Second, establish your support system. Talk about mental health early on, even before you’re pregnant or have a baby. Communicate openly with your spouse, loved ones, your doctor and people that have personal experiences with it. Your support system needs to have your back, and so it’s just as important that they’re educated and that you guys are on the same page.
Third, broaden your definition of mental health, because it looks different on everyone. I had no idea that depression and anxiety could manifest as rage until it started happening to me. So, just be mindful and aware of anything that feels off for you. And, ask your support system to be on the lookout as well.
Finally, wave your red flags, do not hide behind them. If you’re having dark thoughts or if you’re acting like a different person behind the scenes of your daily interactions with others, acknowledge that as a red flag and cry out for help. Don’t hide; don’t let fear take control. Acknowledge; accept and act. Have courage to move forward and find the resources you need to be your best self. And just know that struggling with mental health doesn’t define you: it’s an illness and it can be treated.
I hope this helps. Thank you, good-bye.