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“You have anxiety and depression,” told my doctor. It gave me a sense of relief to find the reason responsible for my years and days of crying past midnight. It all started with the birth of my first child. Adjusting to the new schedules and with new baby never left me time to go over all the instructions that came with the baby.” Reach us if you ever feel depressed. ” said the nurse while we were getting ready to leave the hospital. But do we ever? With all the excitement that came over with the baby after years of infertility, I never thought I would have to deal with post-partum depression. And it never crossed my mind. It couldn’t be me. My overwhelmed brain couldn’t take over with all the new chores and sleepless nights that came with the parenting joy of having a baby. Parenting a child with anxiety and depression, my life never got any better. The journey into motherhood is often lonely. You lose your friends. A hard truth that adds to the despair. With changing priorities and expectations, the distance grew between my friends, and soon I found no one to talk beside my husband. Just two of us, together.

Parenting a child with anxiety and depression is hard. The parenting realities are different from Facebook and other social media with the pictures of all smiles and giggles. Or a deception uploaded by people of happy pictures that creates an illusion of wrong and right. Maybe, I am not a good mother or a wife. Why can I not perform the chores and put on a smile on my face? Maybe, I am not parenting right.

“Let Mommy leave the house,” told my toddler. I slowly turned into a rage monster and couldn’t carry on—irritability, crying with no reason past midnight. I would leave the house to calm myself down. I wanted to be a good mother, where I wouldn’t snap at my child when asked for a bottle of milk. Where I could keep my house clean, and the sight of clutter wouldn’t race my heart. Something is not right. I couldn’t be any happier. Life soon turned meaningless, lifeless. The struggle was real. I felt as if I was the worst mom ever. Soon, I couldn’t remember things anymore. I couldn’t recall the recent conversations. I didn’t enjoy the things I loved doing before. I wanted to scream. I was depressed. But, it took a long time to admit to it. I wasn’t brave enough. I needed help.

“Seek help,” told my husband. I am glad I did. I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression after my years of struggle.

After seeking professional help, counseling, and medication, I felt better than before. It simplified my struggles. I hope one day, I will stop taking them and won’t be dependent on them to make me feel happier. But until then, I don’t have a choice!

If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also text HELLO to 741-741 for free, 24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line. Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources.

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