As a mom who suffers from anxiety, I can tell you firsthand that it can be a challenge to convey how different my concerns are from "normal" parenting concerns. There are things every mom with anxiety wants you to know, though, especially if you want to understand what we're going through a little better and even though it might be hard for us to articulate exactly what we're feeling. For me, anxiety is like that one a**hole that just won't go home at the end of the party, only that a**hole is in your head and really doesn't have anywhere else to go. Just like the person who keeps going, long after things have ended and growing more and more obnoxious, my anxiety just keeps building on itself. What starts out as a manageable worry just grows larger and scarier until, eventually, I feel like I've lost all control of my fear.
I come from a long line of "worriers." Not warriors, my friends. Worriers. It sounds so innocuous when it's put that way, doesn't it? In fact, it's a horrible description for what I go through on a daily basis. It took me studying psychology at a university to finally realize that what I was actually experiencing was anxiety. And, unfortunately, becoming a mom only magnified all of those feelings, something I think a lot of women can relate to.
If there's one thing I've learned from my experiences coping with anxiety as a mom, it's that the world (and especially moms, who are often revered and praised for putting themselves last and sacrificing every single part of who they are as human beings) need more mental health advocates. The stigma we face is real, and needs to be actively pushed back against, which is why mothers suffering from anxiety need you to know the following things: