Health

Mom's Viral Post Reveals What Parenting With Depression Is Really Like

February 1st 2017

By:
Almie Rose

One mom's brutally honest Facebook post is going viral because of her confession that despite outward appearances she struggles most days to hold it all together. 

"...I don't have it together and may never have it all together."

Cierra Lyn Fortner detailed in the post, which was published on Jan. 20 and has over 90,000 shares, what it's like to be a mom with depression and a personality disorder — even before having her baby — and what it feels like to add postpartum on top of that, in addition to anxiety.

"Today I was at Walmart doing my weekly Friday shopping, when the cashier says to me 'I see you in here all the time, your kids are always dressed cute, behaving and you just seem to have it all together' at the time I just thanked her and giggled because that's far from the truth but as I drove home there was more I wanted her to know about me," the Oak Grove, Missouri, mom wrote. 

She went on to describe how sometimes she has "I'm losing my shit" moments and that everything isn't always as it seems:

"I want her to know I battle a personality disorder everyday with anxiety and depression mixed and I'm a two times suicide survivor.

I want her to know that I can't always get myself up off the couch to feed them anything more than frozen pizza and cereal. 

I want her to know that my son is late for school 3 out of 4 days because I regularly forget what day and time it is, despite the toddler size calendar in my kitchen. 

I want her to know I have those "I'm losing my shit" moments when I have to lock myself in the bathroom and cry. 

[...] 

But most importantly I want her to know I don't have it together and may never have it all together. I don't know a mother out there that has it all together but everything we do is done with love for our children and that right there makes you the perfect mom and in our children's eyes we most definitely have it all together. 

From one exhausted mom to another, you're doing great, have that melt down, let your kids eat the crap out of that cereal and take care of yourself always."

 

The comments on her post showed that it's likely her message resonated with many other parents — especially mothers.

The CDC reports that one out of every 10 women ages 18 to 44 will experience symptoms of "major" depression and about one out of seven mothers will suffer from postpartum depression, according to the American Psychological Association. Fortner explained to The Huffington Post she started showing symptoms of depression after the death of her mother in 2010, and her symptoms worsened after having her child, as she developed postpartum depression.

"After having him, I had my first suicide attempt as ... postpartum depression was added in and I had an extremely rough time with it," Fortner said to The Huffington Post. 

International Business Times reported in March 2016, based on a study in The American Journal of Psychiatry, that because of suicide, "new mothers with disorders were four times more likely to die." 

alone woman

Fortner added that she hoped her post would help shine some light on mental disorder stigmas and assist other moms who may be struggling with mental health issues know that there's nothing wrong with asking for help. 

Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 if you or someone else you know needs help. 

[H/T The Huffington Post]