Many people worry that it will be difficult to cope with parenting if they have a mental health problem. It is natural to be concerned about the impact this will have on you and your children. However, with the right support and resources, it is perfectly possible to be a good parent while managing a mental health problem, and to care for and support your children in a positive way.
All parents face challenges, but if you are coping with a mental health problem, you may face additional concerns or difficulties.
A mental health problem can make the day-to-day challenges of parenting feel harder. For example, anxiety may make you more easily worried, or depression may mean that you have low energy.
You may worry about how your mental health affects your child; for example, whether they may experience stress or mental health problems themselves.
You or your child may have difficulties because of other people’s judgement about mental health. For example, people may judge your parenting abilities because you have a mental health problem, or your child may be bullied or teased.
It feels like you are on the outside of your family looking
in. You so desperately want to feel part of it but can't find a way to.
If your child has to take on responsibilities around the home to help you, such as preparing food or getting younger siblings ready for school, this may have an impact on their school work or the amount of free time they have to play or see their friends.
You may find it hard to seek help because you are worried that people may see you as a less capable parent, and you may put pressure on yourself to cope for longer than you are able.