Mom’s Mental Health - my personal experience and plea - another long & emotional post :)
May is National Mental Health Awareness month in USA and you might have come across a lot of material on the topic.
Last year, I had written up a blog post on the mental health of Moms around Mother's' day. I wasn't totally forthcoming in that write up! I would like to elaborate and reiterate the reasons behind my concerns about the mental health of mothers in this generation, like no other.
I lost my Mom to long term stress and eventual depression. The depression made her take her own life in 2012!
The why and what behind my mother’s case might have been extreme but not rare. The reasons could go back decades into her childhood and maybe several generations past but I have found similar parts of the narrative in my own life and other women I have met. I would like to share some of my experience in case it might resonate with you and encourage you towards some positive action.
At first after she passed away, I was in shock & denial which is very common, then came the guilt & anger, again very common. She was the most kind-hearted person, loving, sensitive human I knew and would lend her ears to everyone for sympathy. She also kept herself and her children motivated by constantly trying to keep growing by learning new things. What had made her take this drastic step was beyond my belief and imagination!
I took on a ton of stress on top of this overwhelming grief, concerns about my Dad that he would now have to deal with my younger brother who has had a few mental health issues himself AND run a household in India, which is way more daily work than in USA. I started struggling to take care of my two kids, who were both under ten years old. Loving and caring for them after a full time (long) IT work day seemed beyond exhausting. I ended up with thyroid and digestive issues so I resigned from the job, hoping to join back when I felt better- hopefully in a few months.
It was hard being home, not only was there the drowning grief from losing my Mom so tragically but I felt I lost my sense of identity too, after having to quit my job as well. It has been a very traumatic time and I still feel its effects today!
I did try to get some therapy and I discovered that my issues were not just grief over losing my Mom but a lot of other misguided beliefs about happiness, relationships and money that I was conditioned into, not just from our families but the patriarchal culture, in general.