Parenting With A Mental Illness




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Both single parenthood and mental illness carry major stigmas but when you’re a single parent with a mental illness, that stigma can seem too large to bear. However, having a mental illness doesn’t mean that you can’t be a great parent. You may be plagued but doubts and fears but so is every other parent. Parenting is difficult whether you have a mental illness or not.

 For many parents with a mental illnesses, their children are their biggest motivation for getting and staying stable. As a single parent, this is an even bigger deal. You know that your children depend on you so you want to do everything you can to make sure you can provide for them. This often means seeking help, even if you weren’t interested in it prior to having children. Sticking to a treatment plan - seeing a therapist on a regular basis and taking medication if necessary - allows you to be the best parent you can be.
 
Outside help is only a part of the equation though. A major factor in your mental health is self help. This means knowing your limits and stressors and having a plan to deal with them when they come up, focusing on your strengths as a parent, and acknowledging your triumphs. Give up on trying to be a perfect parent, because no one is. Make the best of the times you are stable by spending it with your child, and help them understand what’s going on when you’re not.
 
You will still have your good days and bad days even when you’re doing everything you can. This is why it’s also a good idea to have a strong support system. You don’t have to go through it alone. With the help your treatment team and support system, you can live a happy and healthy life with your children!


By: Alecia Stanton



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