I have taken bit of time a time out since I spoke about being a mum with depression. I was so overwhelmed by the response I got from my first mention of it in my article Something Beginning with D last December.
I tend to compartmentalise feeling in order to deal with them one at a time, it’s a coping strategy I developed as a kid. I didn’t anticipate the love, support and new friends that resulted from me ‘coming out’ as a mum with depression last year.
It’s OK To Say “I don’t want to hear that anymore”
I don’t believe I am the only mum
- Just chill / calm down / relax / take a breath Most often I don’t know why I am feeling really low or tired. Telling me to ‘relax’ will actually do the complete opposite and my brain will go into overdrive because of the anxiety it caused
- You are over thinking it / it’s not that bad I actually know it is not that bad, the rational side of my brain keeps telling me that. But the fight/flight response to a certain trigger has affected my mood/anxiety and any one with a medical degree that the fight/flight response overtakes any other cognitive function. That means I cannot actually control how I am responding at this moment.
- Try a vitamin / exercise more / sleep more / drink plenty water If I had a dollar for every time I was told this. I have spent a small fortune on this area of my life and will continue to do so. A healthy body is of utmost importance and I know this. But when I can’t get out of bed and have lost my appetite, it doesn’t help at all being reminded of this.
Whilst these are thought to be helpful anecdotes these statements are actually anything but helpful.
Rather, You Could Say:
Here are some phrases that more encouraging for a mum with depression. I never wanted anyone to solve my problems or fix things. I just want to be heard and loved. I want to know that I am not alone and reassured that I have support from my nearest and dearest.
These are what I’d rather hear…
- Can I give you a hug?
- You aren’t going crazy
- I will always be here
- I don’t understand but I’d like to
- I love you
I hope this helps you out a bit more. Either a person dealing with mental health problems or as a person who loves someone struggling with it.
It’s all about starting the conversation and creating awareness. You will be surprised how many of us are out there, 1 in 4 people!