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Living with anxiety as a parent isn’t easy, but so many of us do it on a daily basis.
Maintaining good mental health and balance as a parent is hard work and that’s why it is important we look after ourselves.
I didn’t manage it, and when my third child was a few months old I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety.
I had probably been anxious for 5 years by then, ever since my first baby was born in 2004. In those days mental health was not something that was discussed often. I hadn’t realised what was going on and had assumed I was weak and needed to pull myself together, everyone else seemed to be able to cope – so why couldn’t I?
“But it turns out I wasn’t weak, I was ill.”
There is a difference. A huge difference.
You have to first recognise you are ill before you can get any help. My ignorance meant I didn’t get the support I needed for a long time.
I don’t want anyone else to suffer in silence and for this reason I have written here a list of symptoms I experienced that I later realised were indicators that I was anxious. This is a personal list (and we all experience these things differently) but if you identify with any of the following maybe it is time to consider talking to someone about getting some help.
A non-exhaustive list of my symptoms:
This is just a brief list and mental illness is far more nuanced than this, but if you have been wondering if you are suffering with anxiety I would greatly encourage you to seek help: talk to a friend, and make an appointment with your GP. I did and I am so glad of it. Although it was a long road ahead, I have now learnt how to live in a way that promotes mental health and wellbeing, my life has transformed completely and all for the better.
I know it feels overwhelming but please remember, this is not your fault and you are not alone in feeling this way. Through talking with friends you may well find others who know what you are going through and can offer you help and comfort on the road to recovery.
Elli Johnson has been writing her blog for over 4 years. She writes about mental health, creativity, beauty and the chaos of family life. She is a professional Child wrangler, (Over)thinker, and tea drinker, lover of long train journeys and stripy tops.
To find her newest and most exciting work, check out www.patreon.com/thehippochronicles