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Parental Confession 101: “Drugs Make Me a Better Mom”

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Mothers discuss consuming anti-depressants.

Photography: Nhophotos.com

Reported by Malcolm Morrow

Xanax, a medicine that is prescribed to treat anxiety and depression has been heavily edorsed by a new group. You’ve probably heard Rappers such as Lil Wayne and various rock stars singing about the drug or perhaps you may have a friend that experiments with it. Lately parents have begun taking it in the hopes of becoming better parents. J.D. Bailey chronicles her battle with depression on her blog, Honest Mom, and also speaks candidly about having taken numerous psychoactive medications to help combat it. Bailey says that after her youngest daughter was born she was prescribed a low dose of Zoloft to help her deal with post-partum depression. It stopped working eventually and then she was prescribed a revolving door of drugs such as Celexa, Viibryd and Prozac.

Today Bailey does not depend on medications; she simply takes a break in the laundry room of her home away from whatever situation is currently triggering her depression. “Last week I had to step away when my six-year-old, Annie, was having a full meltdown. I felt like the worst parent in the world because I didn’t want to make her feel better, I just wanted to get out of there.” She went into the laundry and let the dryer run until she was able to go back out and deal with her daughter. Bailey suffers from situational depression that is triggered by her children. According to Parenting.com, more than one in five American adults now take at least one type of medication to treat a psychological or behavioral disorder, a 22 percent rise since 2001. For women ages 20 to 44, the use of ADHD medication is up a staggering 264 percent over the past decade.

Another mother, Hope Chanda, provides an alternative mentality to that of Bailey’s regarding the use of medications to make parenting easier. Chanda suffered from regular panic attacks and felt as though she could not properly care for her family in that state. “It helps me be a better mom. I look forward to taking my medication. I’m more flexible, tolerant, and rational. Before, when the kids were being a problem, I would get frustrated and yell immediately. Now, we work through the problem.”

Jenn Berman, a licensed psychotherapist in Beverly Hills, commented on the matter: “You know how on an airplane the flight attendant says to put on your own oxygen mask first, then your child’s? That applies here. It’s really hard for moms to put their well-being first, but they have to help themselves before they can help their children and families.” Depression is a real illness and I too have suffered from it and received counseling to lessen the symptoms. I’ve also used Xanax to combat it. The calming sensation that rushes over your body is amazing, which helps me understand why parents with busy children use it as a way to alleviate many of the stresses of parenthood.

How do you feel about parents taking anti-depressants?

Malcolm Morrow, a Your Black World Network contributor, is a senior, criminal justice major at The University of Southern Miss

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