top of page

Motherhood & Mental Health Awareness: Depression Isn't a Character Flaw, guest feature by Kristen G.

One of the biggest misconceptions I see about mental health is that the person who is suffering should just be able to do XYZ and they will feel better. While there are many activities and habits that can improve your mental health, depression and anxiety are illnesses that are complicated and often need more intervention.

I started experiencing depression with my first pregnancy. I thought my exhaustion, lack of motivation, and extra tears were just because I was pregnant. I thought maybe this was normal and I'd get over the hump eventually. But I didn't. In fact, things got worse.

I found myself unable to do much of anything. I called in sick to work. I laid in bed and watched TV a lot. Even the thought of taking a shower seemed like a monumental task. Everything was extremely overwhelming.

I tried my best to shake the depression. I thought maybe if I exercised more, prayed more, and just worked harder that I could handle this myself. It wasn't until my husband seemed seriously concerned for me that I realized that this was bigger than I thought.

I didn't know, and didn't want to accept, that I had a true disorder. I had depression. And just like any other disorder, it needs to be taken seriously and treated properly.

There are many types of treatments out there, and what works best for one person may not work for another. But it is absolutely essential to realize that depression doesn't happen because you're doing something "wrong," or not doing enough. It runs much deeper than that. The neurotransmitters in your brain, for whatever reason, are not in balance. And they literally cannot send the right messages until they are.

For me, medication was the only thing that gave me enough balance so that I could function normally. Up until that point, I couldn't help myself. My mind and my body felt paralyzed before that. I couldn't make the decision to do healthy things like exercising, cooking meals, and practicing self-care. No matter how much someone would tell me until they were blue in the face that xyz would help me, I felt completely unable to implement that.