One woman’s admission that Xanax helps make her a “better mom” has put anti-depressants and parenting issues in the spotlight. Hope Chanda, mom to twin 6-year-old boys in Melbourne Florida, says that the drug helps make her a “better mom,” according to a Feb. 18 CNN report.
CNN reports that Chanda and her husband Joe have been trying to conceive for the past two years, trying six rounds of fertility shots and three cycles of the fertility drug clomid. “All the hormones made me crazy,” she adds. But the two miscarriages were the hardest for the couple. “After the second miscarriage, it all came out,” Chanda says. “I had this feeling that something was really wrong.”
Chanda explains she experienced several panic attacks. “Every time, I feel like I'm going to die,” she says. After one too many midnight panic attacks, Chanda talked to her family doctor. Now she takes half a milligram of Xanax twice a day, and 20 milligrams of Celexa at night. Chandra says she did not want to end up like her mother, who was hospitalized for anxiety issues when Chanda was 10.
“It helps me be a better mom,” says Chanda. “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.”
“Parenting is a tough job, one that is exhausting on a good day,” says Jenn Berman, a licensed psychotherapist in Beverly Hills and author of “The A to Z Guide to Raising Happy, Confident Kids.” “If you're also prone to depression, it can push you over the edge.”
“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,” Berman says. “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.”
Allan Horwitz, a professor of sociology at Rutgers University and the author of “The Loss of Sadness: How Psychiatry Transformed Normal Sadness Into Depressive Disorder,” is not a fan of parents medicating themselves to deal with the “emotional roller coaster of parenthood.”
“Let's say you have a colicky baby,” says Horwitz. “Colic means your baby is not sleeping, which means you're not sleeping. Now you have resulting symptoms from that—fatigue, irritability, feeling overwhelmed.... We've become less tolerant of negative emotions. It's much easier to take a pill.”
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