ENDING THE MENTAL HEALTH STIGMAS | THE CREATIVE MOMPRENEURS CONFERENCE IN SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS.
We at the Creative Mompreneurs want to start an open conversation to end the stigmas of mental health, bring awareness to the reality, and show our support to those who are impacted!
Mental health has become a hot topic in the last few years. People are beginning to be more aware of the true reality that mental health struggles are real, affecting one in every five adults in the United States.
So, let’s start from the very beginning…what in the heck is mental health?
Mental health, defined by the World Health Organization, is "a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life or traumas, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community".
Everyone can experience mental health in different ways at different times of their lives, with different triggers and symptoms. There is no rule book, you may be having a panic attack but it may not look like in the movies where you are hyperventilating breathing through a brown bag.
Sometimes we don’t even realize what’s going on until we hit rock bottom, and your rock bottom can be very different from mine. What I am trying to say here is that YOU ARE YOU, unique to your needs and just because your rock bottom may be nothing compared to my rock bottom doesn’t make you not worthy of help! When you realize you have been struggling with something that is keeping you from being yourself, that's when the real hard work begins.
Being a mom, for example, can be overwhelming and stressful. You prioritize your kids rather than you because ‘that’s what a mom does’, ‘that’s what the world and society expects of me’, ‘ that is what I’m supposed to do as a good mom.” That is what we all have been programmed to believe and that is exactly what we keep trying to do, but it creates MAJOR, MAJOR, problems. It not only leads to us not taking care of ourselves, but it also sets us up as a bad role model of self-care for our children…and so it creates this continuous generational cycle.
Our sons are being programmed to accept that this is what their future wives are expected to do.
Our daughters are being programmed to accept that this is what they are expected to be; the only way to live life as a mom. The scary reality is that they are being taught this right now, right here, by us!!!
There is a HUGE transition that takes place in us mentally when we become moms, and this transition can affect us more than we realize. Often, the transition is manifested in either:
1. Postpartum “blues” or Baby Blues- Affects 60-80% of new mothers and is often expressed as frequent and prolonged crying, anxiety, irritability, poor sleep, quick mood changes, and a sense of vulnerability. Usually occurs within the first three days after birth and continues for up to two weeks and is usually self-limiting.
2. Postpartum depression & anxiety- Affect 10-20% of new mothers and is more debilitating and longer lasting than the “blues” is also characterized by despondency, tearfulness and more intense feelings of guilt, anxiety, and fatigue. Unfortunately, moms experiencing this form of depression rarely seek treatment although almost all respond well.
I had a very real and very personal experience with depression in 2018 after not being able to shake the experience that I felt like a big failure and the sense that I had given up on my big dreams in life. I did not want to get out of my room. I was constantly crying. I did not want to care for my kids. I had to drag myself out of the house every time I needed to go somewhere.
It was such a difficult time for me, and the entire time I was wondering why I was feeling like this? I didn’t want to feel like this. It was around this time that I stopped singing and dancing…because why would I want to do that?
It was not until 2020, after two years of going back and forth into what I felt for me was deeper and deeper depression, that I sought help. I knew that it was time for me to put in the work that I needed to do to try and get better. I have to admit that I was surprised, but relieved, at all the shit that came up from inside of me when I began energy healing sessions and counseling. (I will blog about these when I am ready to share.) I began to understand what it meant that my fight or flight response was literally “ON” for many years, and my body and my mind were just like “girl, like we can only take so much”!
Now I have to be honest, one of the main reasons that it took me two whole years to finally seek help was because of the way I was programmed. My mom, specifically, to this day does not believe in the reality of mental health and depression. She has even told me that, “that shit is made up. If you have anxiety you are weak minded. You are not strong. Tell your brain to stop doing it. No one needs to know that.”
So, I was programmed to believe that I did not need help from anyone. I was fine. I mean, I am not in a full manic state, am I? Nah... it’s all good, but in reality, it wasn’t and I wasn’t.
I am feeling much better now. Not every day is perfect. Some days are like… “dang”, but I know that I am still moving forward, even if only with little tiny steps.
We at the Creative Mompreneurs would like to encourage you. If you are feeling the struggle, no matter how it is manifested, tell the person that you trust the most and that is willing to hold your space, listen, and support you in the best way possible without any judgments. You may also want to find specialized help. It may take up a little bit more time to share your struggles with a professional, but it just feels so good to finally release it. I can tell you from experience.
You deserve all the help. You deserve all the attention. Most of all, you deserve the approval to set your own self-care as a priority and to take care of yourself, despite what you, and I, may have been programmed to believe.
I love you! I see you! I honor you! I celebrate you!
P.S I am no pro but if you need someone to listen to you, hold you, cry with you, and give you a big-big hug personally message me www.instagram.com/patyaraujobranding
Hop over our Instagram account to watch chatting with Katrina Flores from The Verve Wellness about “Mental Health is Real Mamas!” IGTV
The Creative Mompreneurs is a conference for mom entrepreneurs and solopreneurs in the San Antonio, Texas area and surroundings.