ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

10 Legitimate Reasons That Depressed Mothers Are Afraid to Ask for Help

Updated on April 7, 2018
cursedempath profile image

Amber is an empath and introvert from Ontario, Canada. She knows the struggle, and the struggle is real. One love. Always.

Source

You would be hard pressed to find anyone who is unfamiliar with the terms "Depression" and "Bipolar Disorder" in this day in age (to name the two that I would consider to be the most "mainstream of the Mental Health Horn O' Plenty anyways). There has been a steady increase over the last few years of people seeking treatment for a myriad of disorders in fact. The World Health Organization claims that 1 in 4 people suffer with a mental health condition, and Depression alone is on the verge of becoming the number 1 medical condition that will cause people to turn to Public Disability Programs for financial support, as they are unable to maintain employment or support themselves in any other way.

These numbers are incredibly concerning. Which is why over the past 5 years, we have also seen the rise of the Suicide Prevention campaigns, "Let's Talk" campaigns, and Mental Health Awareness campaigns. The overall goal is to work on eliminating the stigma that also walks hand in hand with Mental Illness and encourage those who are struggling with their Mental Health to feel confident in seeking out the support and treatment that they need in order to (hopefully) better manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.

For the most part, I believe that these campaigns have been very successful. More and more people are openly talking about their own struggles with mental illness on Social Media. We are seeing more and more blogs every day. There are Suicide Hotline phone numbers everywhere you look it seems. And quite frankly, these things are long overdue.

But, there is still 1 group of sufferers that have to really proceed with caution when it comes to this one. And that group, of course, would be the Moms.

Yup. We as Mothers are nowhere close to being given much in the way of compassion if suffering with Depression. The stigma that Mothers face is absolutely unbelievable. Admitting that you are a depressed Mom will almost always bring out the the rock throwers and torch lighters. And this point barely scrapes the surface of the issue.

Based on my own experience, and the circumstances where I have personally witnessed others being slammed into the pavement for having the audacity to even consider dropping the "D" word, here are the Top 10 reasons as to why Mothers are less likely to seek help or admit that they are struggling with depression in a society that openly supports the notion that we have to stop stigmatizing those who are struggling with Mental Illness.

10. You will almost always be invalidated

This is so very true. There will be no shortage of common folk and even a few Professionals in fact, informing you that it isn't even "that bad", and kindly reminding you to pull up those "big girl panties and get on with it."

It can't be that bad, stop being sooooo dramatic!
It can't be that bad, stop being sooooo dramatic! | Source

9. You will be reminded of how selfish you clearly must be

Yep. Remember lady, YOU made the choice to bring children into this world, you have no business crying about it now. How selfish you must be to subject your poor kids to your bullshit. Grow up!

8. "If I can do it, why can't you?"

Karen over there has 5 kids, 3 jobs, a hobby farm, and even crochets blankets for premature babies at the hospital on Sundays! You don't even have 1 job and only 2 kids! What the fuck is wrong with you?

The leading cause of stigma when it comes to Mental Illness
The leading cause of stigma when it comes to Mental Illness

7. You should be grateful

Because some people would do anything to have children, but can't. Some people's kids have cancer. Kids in Africa are starving. *Insert "they have it worse story here".

Maybe if you spent more time counting your blessings, you wouldn't be so "depressed", asshole.

6. Mothers have an image to uphold and holy shit if you do not measure up

Isn't culture awesome like that? According to every goddamned advertisement since the existence of print media, "Mom" has a very specific role and image in society, and if you are not constantly happy, nurturing, organized, thin, domestic, and involved in every imaginable fundraiser or bake sale that your community has to offer? Or, if you are all of those things....but sad about it? What purpose do you even serve? We were made for this shit. What do you mean you hate your life and want to die? Those poor kids :(

If this isn't you, are you really even a Mom at all?
If this isn't you, are you really even a Mom at all? | Source

5. Even those who do empathize, still can't understand

Again, based on the whole notion of what a Mom is supposed to be, it seems impossible to understand that you could be anything but thrilled to be living the dream as a Mom in 2018. They are concerned to a degree of course. But hey, at least most of us have washing machines these days rather than a wash board and bucket tub so....what's the problem? Please refer back to number 3 if anything here is lacking in clarity.

4. If you are in a relationship/married, chances are your partner just "doesn't get it"

They just don't understand why you are sad all of the time. And quite frankly? Your shit attitude and lack of interest in sex is forcing them to consider getting their needs met elsewhere. Do you really want your depression to be the reason that your partner leaves you? Stop being so selfish.

Pro tip: the onus for cheating in a relationship is always on the cheater. Nobody can force another person to engage in infidelity under any circumstances. Ever!

3. Managing scheduled appointments feels impossible, especially when you are poor

Has anyone else noticed this, or is this just me? Every time I have attempted to schedule an appointment with someone in the Mental Health field, the only times that ever seem to be open are 3 months in the future, and during a time where I am legitimately unable to attend. It got to the point where I simply gave up on it altogether. Another thing to consider is that in many cases, actually getting to the Doctor is a huge battle in and of itself. Especially when we realize that mental illness tends to effect those in poverty on a far larger scale than those who are financially better off. Long story short, it is extremely challenging to actually meet program requirements, visit both Doctors AND Psychologists/Psychiatrists, and still manage to pay the rent when you lack the resources and transportation to even do so in the first place. To clarify for those in the back: being too poor to pay for transportation does not equal too lazy to actually seek the help that one needs to function.

$35.00 for a taxi to the Psychiatrist across town? Seems doable.
$35.00 for a taxi to the Psychiatrist across town? Seems doable. | Source

2. Calling a Crisis Line and even hinting at thoughts of suicide can land you in hot water

Look. I get it. If the operator on the other end has reason to believe that you may cause harm to self or others, they are legally obligated to get police involved. I can appreciate their position, truly. However, there is a big difference in feeling suicidal or thinking about suicide, and actually having a full blown plan to actually do it. Is the operator a mind reader? No. But surely they should have a base understanding of how to objectively assess the situation. And many do of course. But all it takes is getting the wrong operator, or a newbie, or someone who is biased and assumes that every single caller is going to ultimately pull the trigger and KABOOM. Welcome to the back of a Police cruiser, on route to a padded room in the Psych ward of the nearest hospital. Heaven help you if you have children and this happens and no backup childcare. You will be taken by force and yes, I have been threatened by an Officer with a taser if I did not comply. I could go tasered, or untasered.

I prefer to remain taser-free, to be frank
I prefer to remain taser-free, to be frank | Source

Regardless, there was no alternative. I wasn't suicidal, intoxicated, or out of control. I was just very very sad, and decided to call a Crisis line. I had no childcare back up. Which leads me to the number 1 reason that I personally will never again in my life reach out for help regarding my issues with Depression.....

1. It can actually get worse. Say hello to Child Protection Workers

I have very little polite discourse when it comes to the mere mention of this corrupt and deplorable Government-funded and publicly-supported baby snatching ring that claim to be there to "support and protect" children and families.

Admitting that I was depressed did indeed result in the temporary loss of my 2 children. I will not get too detailed here (that will be saved for another article entirely, believe me). But yes. Admitting that I was feeling very sad, very overwhelmed, and reaching out for help ultimately fucked my family 5 ways from Sunday. If we thought that I was depressed before? Ha. That was nothing compared to what came later. I am now overwhelmed with guilt as my children wound up traumatized by Foster Care as did I. I came thisclose to losing my house, vehicle, and we are still in the financial toilet months later as I lost the child benefits that were necessary to support the bill payments. I had nothing. I am still begging the bill collectors for more time as it takes months for those to kick back in once you they are removed. But that is besides the point. The bottom line really is, asking for help almost cost us everything. And, I have actually developed panic disorders and a literal fear of people since. I have always been more on the Introverted side of the coin, but this is different. This is a full blown withdrawal from society in general.

Before we even dare to try and justify what these "Protection Workers" did here, consider these few things first:

  • The children were not present when I decided to reach out for help and had no knowledge that I was even right bummed out to begin with (you learn to hide depression well after years of social shame for having it in the first place).
  • I was not intoxicated in the slightest, I do not have issues with alcohol or drugs nor have I ever.
  • I have no record in the slightest of abusive behaviors, especially towards children. I have never harmed a single person in my life.
  • I did not threaten or even claim to have a plan to commit suicide whatsoever. The closest that I got to the topic of suicide was stating that I was so overwhelmed with the struggles of life that I wish that I didn't even exist in the first place. When directly asked if I had any plans of self-harm, I responded with a sound NO, as I have 2 children to raise and am the sole support parent.
  • I am solely guilty of making it known that I am depressed and that I wanted to actively engage in getting help for it, because being a Mom and being depressed makes it extremely difficult to parent and I was concerned that my ability to be a good Mom was being grievously harmed by fighting with my own goddamned mind day in and day out.

The point is, there is absolutely no excuse whatsoever for the sheer levels of Hell that tornadoed through my front door, simply because I felt "safe" to make that life-altering phone call. Making that call took every ounce of courage that I had in me to even punch in the phone numbers. And sadly, my case is not that uncommon. We just don't read much about these things in the mainstream media because if we did? Well, the general public might not be too pleased with what their tax dollars are paying for here. Oh and by the way? In Ontario alone, 1.4 billion dollars is taken from the public purse to fund the individually owned and operated Child Protection Corporations.

So much for offering compassion and support it seems when you consider how the funding structures work I suppose.

You are powerless against the Government and the pain of losing your children is indescribable.
You are powerless against the Government and the pain of losing your children is indescribable.

In Closing

So, there you have it folks. These are the reasons that I truly believe that Mothers (especially the most vulnerable, which are single Mothers of low income) keep their mouths firmly shut when it comes to their struggles with depression or any other stigmatized and fully misunderstood metal illness. The truth really is that there ARE risks involved, and by reaching out, we really are putting a lot on the table. You have to ultimately decide if it is worth the gamble. And this, to me, is beyond horrific.

It shouldn't be a terrifying and risky ordeal to simply reach out for help with a medical condition. I never dreamed that this could happen to us. If I could go back to that day in July, and if I could have predicted that outcome....I never would have picked up the phone. Never. And it bothers me on such a deep level that I, or anyone else for that matter, should feel this way. I want to be very clear about this one: Suicide is a REAL THING, and ANYONE who feels such levels of despair that it begins to look like the only tangible option should immediately seek help and actually fucking get it. At no point should reaching out for support result in a world of punishment that ultimately leads to worsening mental and emotional conditions at the end of the day. This notion alone renders me utterly speechless.

We as a society need to wake up. There is no reason whatsoever to treat Mothers who need help in this area with such disdain and disregard. And if we are going to keep "talking about Mental Illness", ending stigma, and encouraging people to reach out for help? We need to offer that same level of love and compassion to Moms as well. And quite frankly, I do not believe that we have come close to creating a feeling of inclusion and safety with it comes to supporting and encouraging Mothers to reach out, and it is driving us further into despair which I can promise you, isn't helping anyone. Especially those "poor kids" that we keep mentioning as a side note.

This issue needs to be brought to the table and it needs to start happening right now.

Please, if you know a Mom who is struggling, or if a Mom finds the courage to admit it (whether in person or online) I am asking that you really consider how you respond. It only takes 1 off-hand comment or assumption to discourage her from mentioning it ever again, and in some cases, could be the catalyst to a preventable tragedy. Let that sink in. You do not have to understand, but at the very least, please offer her some sort of compassion. If you are incapable of doing that much? Say nothing at all. Just keep scrolling.

Finally, for those of you who can easily identify with this, and who are feeling very hopeless, miserable, or depressed? This part is important:

I want you to know that there is help out there. I know, it certainly doesn't sound that way from what you have just read but hear me out. Everything that has been stated here has come from a place of raw honesty and truth. Yes, these things did happen to me. However, I would never ever discourage anyone from seeking out whatever support that they need to manage this shit, and if you ARE feeling suicidal (as in, you have a plan, you are thisclose, things like that)....please call 911 or go to your closest Emergency Room. Whatever you have to do to not make a drastic decision that cannot be undone. Your children desperately need you, even if it doesn't feel that way. Even if you feel like the biggest failure in the world as a Mom, believe me when I tell you that Foster Care is far more traumatizing than you on your absolute worst day. Your kids would rather you be sad than gone entirely. This is my ironclad guarantee to you. I am just saying that you need to be cautious in how you go about it. Be sure to look into local services that are known for taking good care of those who seek them out. A good example, in my opinion (if you are in Canada) would be the Canadian Mental Health Association if you need a place to start. These folks actually get it. They were my light in the darkness, truly.


Even on your worst day, this is exactly what your kids are thinking. I promise you this.
Even on your worst day, this is exactly what your kids are thinking. I promise you this. | Source

Additionally, my door is always open if you need a boost or just want to vent and have your feelings validated. Good people still exist and I have faith that those who create Hubs such as this or simply follow along with us, will always welcome you with open arms (even if our arms are a little broken as well.) If you are one of these awesome folks, please make your presence known. Angels like yourself are in short supply!

Remember this: reaching out for help is not something to ever be ashamed of. You are not weak, a failure, a loser, a "drama queen", and you are certainly not in the wrong. Nobody chooses to battle with Mental Illness and being afflicted with one is not your fault! Finding the courage to seek help and support is actually the polar opposite of each of those statements. In fact, recognizing that you have a problem and taking the necessary steps to deal with that problem makes you a fucking Warrior. Do not ever forget that.

The way that we continue to treat Mothers who admit to needing help with Depression is the problem here. Not the Mothers who admit it. Period. We need to very seriously reconsider how we continue to isolate and shame Mothers still, even in 2018. The current system is not working and requires a serious overhaul if we truly wish to offer hope and treatment to those in dire straits, and if we truly mean it when we collectively agree that it is "ok to call for help." Very simple changes in just our general attitudes towards depressed Mothers could mean a world of difference. This is where hope begins.

Can you relate to any of this? What are your experiences with seeking help or services for mental health-related issues? I, for one, will never judge you and would be honored if you felt comfortable enough to share your story in the comments. It might help you to feel less alone in this battle while offering a sense of relief for others who can totally relate to the war that is our own minds. Both positive and negative input is encouraged. Whatever your story entails, it is both valid and important. I hope to have your input!

There is still a huge stigma against Mothers who struggle with Mental/Emotional Distress

See results

© 2018 Amber Slater

Add Your Voice!

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • cursedempath profile imageAUTHOR

      Amber Slater 

      6 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thank you very much!

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 

      6 months ago from Jamaica

      Good hub

    • cursedempath profile imageAUTHOR

      Amber Slater 

      6 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      dashingscorpio I couldn't love your comment more if I tried haha! Your points are so totally relevant and you offer some excellent insight to this discussion. I truly enjoyed reading your feedback.

      It's awesome to have both sides of the coin on 1 page, which is exactly that your comment offered. My side highlights the point of view from the single parent battling depression and the fears that come with, while yours highlights the reasoning behind the stigma, why people are hesitant to help, what has added to the minefield, and so on and so forth.

      You make a fantastic point when you say that some people want to be "rescued" rather than help. YES! So very very true and this point alone is extremely frustrating for me. Simply put, because of this type of behavior happening far more often than not (I too have been taken by someone who had little interest in actually creating real change) it hurts the rest of us who are really and truly trying to turn things around. I can admit, it feels very very difficult, if not impossible. It leaves one with a feeling of "what am I doing wrong and why is every direction heading straight into a brick wall?"

      I also agree with the fact that we are very quick to blame and ask questions rather than focus on the now and how. What I mean is, I find it redundant that there tends to be more focus on the "why it happened" vs the "it did happen so how can it be solved?"

      There are so many variables as to why things can go wrong in a person's life that it is incredible. It is truly amazing to me the whole "it can't happen to me" mindset but as you say, it is human nature to hold this mindset. And you are absolutely right.

      Thank you so very much for such an honest, in-depth, and critical answer. It was a pleasure to read that and it certainly helped me to consider these things which in turn, helps me to put things into a better perspective. It makes sense of what felt like an senseless situation, even if I am not particularly pleased with the reality (truth is one of those things that doesn't sit well with most lol!).

      Wishing you all of the best, and again, it was a pleasure!

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 

      6 months ago

      I agree there is and always will be a stigma against mental health and especially so of depression when it comes to parenthood. The same thing could be said about drug addiction and alcoholism for that matter.

      Anytime the illness is a result of (the choices an individual made) people tend to look at their behavior or choice they made.

      In the case of a low income single parent some might say why would anyone choose to have children without having establishing a solid career and being married to a responsible partner. They'll want to know was this intentional? Was birth control used? Was there ever a plan? How does one do the same thing multiple times? Why did you choose him/her to be to be your child's parent?

      In part I believe it's human nature for people to first look at how a problem could have been avoided in the first place. Secondly they have a need believe it could never happen to them because of....etc

      Thirdly they want to use (you) or whomever as an "example" of what happens to people who make the wrong choices in life and so on.

      Finally some people will offer some help but they want a guarantee that lessons have been learned and the person actually wants to help them self. Believe it or not some people want to be "rescued" and not helped.

      Others want to be helped on (their terms) rather than accepting contingencies a person or organization requires in order to be helped.

      I heard a homeless man was once told of chapel where he could go to get food and a cot to sleep on.

      His said; "I'll pass. I heard {they make you pray} first over there."

      Depression is really about feeling disconnected from everyone else. A person also feels they have nothing to "look forward to". In other words tomorrow is going to be just like today. This leads to feeling hopeless.

      Depression also drains one of energy or desire to make an effort sometimes. Mentally a person may know what "needs to be done" but they simply can't motivate themselves to take action or get their hopes up one more time...etc In fact it's not uncommon for some depressed people to intentionally "shrink their world". They want to avoid friends and family who seem happy and want to "cheer them up".

      Their logic being if you're "happy" you can't relate to what I'm going through. An old adage: "Misery loves company." really applies to being around someone facing a similar challenge or deeply empathizes.

      Personally I don't believe anyone outside oneself can do anything meaningful to flip a switch in someone else's mind to go from a victim mindset to a determined fighter mindset. Granted there are instances where someone reads a book, hears a speech, or becomes inspired by some outside force they internalized. However it's about being ready.

      Sometimes the very act pulling out a piece of paper and writing down one's options, making plans, and detailing steps they can take is enough to start turning the tide. Taking action is probably the only cure. Having said that: "Life is a (personal) journey."

      What "worked" for one person may not work for another. A person has to become in tune with them self to choose the best path to take. Know yourself, Love yourself, Trust yourself.

      The world may not owe you anything but you owe yourself the world. Success leaves clues. Find out how others overcame.

    • cursedempath profile imageAUTHOR

      Amber Slater 

      6 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      That means a lot Frank, I truly do appreciate your kind words. I went through some serious Hell, I won't disagree. But I can also see the silver lining. I can use my experience to help others and perhaps use it as means to create real change in this area. Or, maybe I can help someone feel a little less isolated while helping them find validation if they may have a similar experience. I know that I am not alone in it, but I tell ya, it often feels this way.

      Thank you so much for reading and offering your kind words. I truly do wish the absolute best for you and your loved ones as well!

    • profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      6 months ago

      Amber, I can just say a prayer make sure you keep safe and keep your loved ones even safer... thanks for sharing the experience and giving us an internal view... bless you

    • cursedempath profile imageAUTHOR

      Amber Slater 

      6 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      Hi Helen! Thank you so much for your supportive comment! This is my hope too, that by shedding a light on the very real risks and consequences that could result from taking those steps towards recovery, we can start to work towards eliminating these risks in order to create better lives for Moms and children within our communities. What I experienced was the epitome of worst case scenario, but it happened. Moms who fear admitting depression because they could lose their kids are not wrong. I never thought it could happen but it did. And the fact that it is not a fear without merit is deeply disturbing.

      Again, thank you so much for reading!!

    • HoneyBB profile image

      H Lax 

      6 months ago

      Amber, the way you were treated is horrifying! I'm sure your article will be very helpful to many other Moms who experience what you have been going through. Most government programs for the poor and ill need complete overhauls. I'm glad you had the Canadian Mental Health Association to help you through your struggles. Maybe they could teach the government a thing or two. Take Care

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)