The terrible 3: Depression, Anxiety & social media 

You know what the meanest things you can ask someone who is suffering from depression?

Are you still taking your meds? Regularly?

Are you going to see your therapist?

Are you ok?

You are crazy.

Wow. Really?! Pretty sure those are the worst things to say or ask someone who is struggling. (Obviously not coming from your doctor or trusted family or friends.)

Depression is a mental health condition. Like any other infection or disease it requires medical diagnosis and treatment. But when someone admits they need help and seeks treatment that should NEVER be thrown back into their face. Would you dare tell an anorexic person to put down their food or call them fat?! Hell no!

When I chose to share my blog and explain the title Just Happy Mommy I was putting it out there that I suffered from post partum depression and now both depression and anxiety. And after watching NBC Nightly News tonight and their coverage on depression. I decided I should expand on it.

They are calling for all adults to have a mental health check for depression, especially in new moms.

After having our first son we had a lot of MAJOR changes going on in our home life but I got thru it after a few months, so it was situational. The second time around I knew something was off. I never had evil thoughts of hurting myself or my babies. I just knew I wasn’t myself so I called my doctors and we started a low dose anti depressant. It’s not like moms choose this, quite the opposite. We feel embarrassed and broken and disappointed in ourselves.  Also I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me. I’m not fishing for compliments. I know I am not a celebrity who can bring real awareness but I’m a mom not a lot of people would think has these issues. I am a happy person. I love life. But I needed help and that’s ok.
There are many levels and types of depression. Major, bipolar, seasonal, psychotic, Post Partum, Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) and Situational Depression.

The stigma of depression sucks! It doesn’t mean that every depressed person is manic or bipolar or suicidal or dangerous. Usually a combination of medication, therapy exercise and life changes can do the trick. A sorority sister introduced me to a great website and movement called WE GET DEPRESSED. Bringing awareness and acceptance to depression.

There is NO LOOK of depression. It can affect anyone, at any age and is very serious but there is help and hope. I love the quote from Clueless when Cher says “She’s a full on Monet. From far away, it’s OK, but up close, it’s a big old mess.” And “Some of us are just better at hiding it, that’s all,” from The Breakfast Club.

Painting a pretty picture of what you think other people want to see is a job in and of itself. Feelings of inadequacy and even failure can haunt even the strongest person.  There are studies showing that social media use can feed anxiety and increase a persons feeling of inadequacy. When we go on social media sometimes it is not a fun thing because we see things we want or don’t have or realize we weren’t included. Sometimes we are not in the mindset of “oh isn’t that great!”, instead we think “FU!” So until we can truly love ourselves, our situation and own it without fear of rejection or giving zero Fs we will be at the mercy of the LIKE button.

We are still learning this new world of social media and the affects it has on us. IMHO I think that social media can pose a threat to our mental health and well being, while at the same time it can be POSITIVE, SUPPORTIVE, EDUCATIONAL & FUN! I struggle with “is this safe?  fun? or should I just quit participating all together?”

Last year I gave up social media for Lent which is a Christian observation where you choose to give up something or challenge yourself for the 40 days leading up to Easter because Jesus went 40 days and nights fasting in the desert and being tempted by the devil. At first it was hard then when Easter came I did not know if I wanted to rejoin the cult.

It has become part of our daily lives whether we admit it or not. Until getting a job in TV out of college I did NOT have Facebook. It was not until after we got married that my husband and our friends started to participate. At first it was super fun and cool then it started to go political, rude and annoying. People use social media for so many reasons; business, family connections, social networking, education, advice, etc. it is like the new yellow pages. When used properly and positively it is great, when used as a way to bully people who commit suicide it is REALLY BAD!

How do we protect our kids? I have put myself and my kids in a semi dangerous place because I have chosen to put our lives online. My sweet, innocent, little nuggets who may live to resent me and my online sharing choices. The reason I started my blog was to share my life experiences in hopes of connecting and helping at least one person. I am thrilled to say that I have accomplished that. But should I stop sharing my real life stories of being a mom of 2 kids? And stop posting pictures of my adorable kids for fear that some crazy ass is going to try to come kill me and my family because of what I posted online? To answer your question prolly. But will I? Prolly not. The struggle is real. There is no way of controlling social media as long as we live in America and the Constitutional 1st Amendment rights protect our freedoms of speech and press.

So from someone who suffers from depression, anxiety and is addicted to social media I urge you to either enjoy the ignorance is bliss mentality or get scared out of your mind because we are all dialed in and obsessed!


Just happy mommy