If you’ve ever been so low you know there’s no way out without help, then you know asking for that help can be one of the scariest things you’ll ever do.
You may have experienced thoughts such as: “Will people overreact? Or will they underreact and not believe me? How terrible and weak will they secretly think I am?“
Catelynn Lowell, known to most of us as one of MTV’s Teen Mom regulars, dared to ask for help, and now she’s sharing her story. The Teen Mom OG star made the choice to check herself into a treatment facility in mid-March, in order to seek treatment for postpartum depression.
You’ll recall Catelynn and Tyler Baltierra welcomed their first daughter, Carly, while they were still in high school. They chose to place her for adoption. In early 2015 they welcomed a second daughter, named Novalee Reign, and later that year tied the knot.
Despite their joy over welcoming a second child, taking the steps to ask and go for help was difficult for Catelynn.
“I think it was one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to come to, but I need to do for myself and my family,” she recently told People. “It was really just one day where I was like, ‘You know what, I think I need more help than what I’m getting here. I need time to focus on myself,’ and I kind of just was like ‘I need to do it.’ And I did it.”
Thankfully, Catelynn had the help of her “very supportive” husband, Tyler, who stepped up to the plate to solely take care of their daughter while she was getting treatment.
“He was very supportive,” the now 24-year-old recalled. “He was like ‘Alright. I think it will be good for you and don’t worry about anything here – I got it and everything will be fine. Just go focus on yourself and don’t hide anything. Don’t worry about protecting anybody.’ “
Topping the list of what put her in motion, Catelynn worried Novalee might grow up witnessing her struggling with depression.
“My thing then was that I just needed to get help,” the reality star explained. “I didn’t want [Nova] to grow up and remember that ‘Oh, my mom had really bad episodes of being depressed all the time.’ Or her having to worry about me; I didn’t want her to worry about her mom. So that was my biggest fear. I needed to get this taken care of now before she gets any older.”
As a fellow mom who’s faced her fair share of struggles, I both get where Catelynn is coming from and would caution her.
There’s nothing simple about realizing you actually really do need help, admitting it to others and taking the steps to get it. It’s so simple in theory, but when you’re not feeling well it can be ridiculously daunting to do. Applause for Caitlynn for taking the steps!
I’ve taken them too, and also was lucky enough to receive support from my partner. I didn’t go away, but I now have some tiny little pills that are now helping me get by.
That being said, I’ll argue with Catelynn on just one little point — I’ve made the decision not to hide my struggles from my kids. Obviously I don’t want them to see me being a total wreck, but if they happen to see me taking a pill, or ask why sometimes I’m exhausted or crying, I try and tell them the truth: “I have a hard time sometimes. The doctor prescribed me these pills to help with depression.”
They’d probably prefer I ended it there, but I tend to rattle on: “Depression means sometimes you feel bad even when you don’t think you should and don’t want to. It’s a feeling that’s out of your control, and it runs in your family. There may come a time when you feel the same way, and I hope you feel like you can talk to me or your doctor if that ever happens. It sucks, but there’s help.”
And ya, now you have the speech as well.
As simple as it sounds, what I tell my 10 and 11-year-old is pretty much what I’d tell any friend out there going through something similar. It can be hard, but it really also can get better.
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