Depression and anxiety in parents of children with special needs

Marissa Sweat Evans by Marissa Sweat Evans Additional Needs

Marissa Sweat Evans

Marissa Sweat Evans

I am a mother and advocate for my son as well as others with disabilities. My oldest was diagnosis with cerebral palsy, epilepsy and autism.

Parents of children with special needs are often diagnosed with anxiety and depression.

I am one of those parents. I am also the parent that was afraid to seek help.

As parents of children with special needs our main priority are always our children.

We honestly put everything else before we put our own health.

Not realizing that we must take care of ourselves in order to take care of our children.

When I first started having feelings of depression it was hard for me to speak out to anyone about it.

I thought I would be judged and even labelled as being an unfit parent.

At the time I didn’t know any parents that had children with specials needs personally.

And I felt like talking to someone that wasn’t in the same situation as me wouldn’t understand. They would be more sympathetic of the situation instead of being able to sympathize with my situation.

I didn’t want anyone feeling sorry for me because there isn’t anything to be sorry about.

I love my son more than I love me and I’m so thankful to have him. Its just that there are times when he goes through things or we get bad news that send me into depression.

It makes me feel like a failure as his parent.

So many times, I’ve wished for a magic lamp or fairy godmother to change it all, but we all know that’s not going to happen.

Therefore, all I must depend is the doctor. And I can’t take out on them what’s going on with Jaylen. Although sometimes I do because their the one giving me the bad news but it’s wrong of me to do so.

So, who do I blame for what’s going on with him? Myself!

I blame myself for every single surgery, seizure and his everyday struggles knowing I had absolutely nothing to do with it.

My entire pregnancy I did everything I was supposed to do to make sure my son was a healthy baby boy. And somehow, I still feel I failed him.

This causes me to suffer with depression as well as anxiety.

After battling with it for a while I decided to seek help.

I trusted my son pediatrician, so I decided to talk to her about the way I sometimes felt.

Once I talked to her, she told me that what I was feeling was normal for parents that have children with special needs.

Being we have so much more on our plates we often go suffer with depression and that I would be okay. She encouraged me to get help because I needed to take care of me in order to take care of Jaylen.

She reassured me that getting help wouldn’t make me an unfit parent but a better one.

With that being said I wanted anyone whose feeling this way to know that you’re not alone.

Its okay not to be okay. And its also okay to seek help.

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