Mom's Brave Selfie Shows There's Nothing Shameful About Depression

by Ashley Austrew

Thousands of moms suffer from anxiety and depression, but knowing that doesn’t make it easier to ask for help when you’re struggling. One of the many lies depression tells you is that you’re alone, and that’s why this Tennessee mom who shared photos of her antidepressant prescriptions is a hero right now.

Erin Jones is a mom who blogs at Mutha Lovin’ Autism about being on the Autism spectrum and raising kids with special needs. A few weeks ago she made the very difficult decision to start taking medication for her depression and anxiety, and she went public with her choice in a post on her blog’s Facebook page that has since gone viral.

The post quickly amassed hundreds of likes, and moms even started sharing selfies with their own medications and prescriptions. In fact, it got such a positive response that Jones has since paired up with The Mighty — a media company devoted to helping and advocating for people affected by diseases and disabilities — and created a viral hashtag. Now, hundreds of people are sharing their own photos and stories using #MedicatedandMighty on both Twitter and Instagram.

Jones told The Mighty that she didn’t expect the post to become as popular as it has, but she’s amazed at the outpouring of love and support that’s come from sharing her struggles. She says, “To know that by just being honest about my shortcomings, all of these people are receiving the help they need, is very humbling and overwhelming.”

When you’re a mom dealing with depression, it’s easy to think that no one else is struggling as much as you are. You log on to Facebook or go to a playgroup and everyone is dishing out the highlights of their lives. No one mentions their new medications or the really incredible breakthrough they had in therapy the night before. I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety for years and written about it extensively in my career, but even I cringe at the thought of talking to most people about my medications.

According to Scientific American, between 8-10 percent of the U.S. population is currently taking at least one antidepressant, yet conversations about depression and its treatments are so rare. Medication is still seen as an “easy way out” or something only weak people need. It’s difficult to admit that you can’t just “get over it” and cope with your depression on your own.

Photos like Jones’ are an amazing reminder that there is nothing shameful in struggling and there is nothing embarrassing about asking for help. In fact, sometimes asking for help is the strongest, most inspiring thing you can do.