Angry Mom

Today’s guest post author has asked to remain anonymous.

I can still vividly remember the first time I hit my daughter. She was about eighteen months old and didn’t want to get in her carseat. I was frustrated by her wriggling and whining, and somehow my hand came up and slapped her on the cheek. Her eyes widened and filled with tears, and so did mine. I Iooked at her sad little face and vowed never to do that again.

But I did.

After that first time with my daughter and her carseat, I felt horribly guilty for several months. But then I got pregnant right around her second birthday and things started to slip out of control. I was tired, hormonal, stressed because my husband was working two jobs and applying for graduate school, and trying to figure out how to parent a very willful toddler. Then my son was born early with complications that necessitated an emergency c-section and I began a very dark period in my life. We moved to another state when the baby was only a few months old so my husband could begin a graduate program. I didn’t know anyone and now I had two small children to take care of while my husband went to school and worked.

Most of the time I did an OK job with parenting: the kids were always clean and well-fed, the house stayed in order, we went to the library and the playground. But I couldn’t seem to control my anger, and as my son became a toddler I often found myself vigorously spanking both kids, roughly slamming my grouchy toddler back into his bed when he didn’t want to sleep, and even sometimes slapping them as I had done that one time with my daughter. I never thought I would be an angry mom. I never thought I’d be the kind of mom that spanks her kids simply because she’s mad at them, or who gruffly yanks her kids by the arm and pulls them away from the playground when it’s time to go home. Each time I felt horrible guilt and shame; I knew I was a bad parent, that my kids would be damaged forever, and that I could do nothing to stop it. Sometimes I threw things or yelled when I was angry, and I even kicked a hole in the door of a closet in our apartment. The anger seemed to come from some place deep inside me; I didn’t always understand why I was so angry or why I couldn’t seem to make it go away.

Thankfully, one day I got up the courage to see a therapist. I didn’t dare tell him the truth about what I did to my children, but we talked about anger. Through his help, and a few other things, I managed to control my anger and became a better parent. It has been several years since I have ever put a hand on my children in anger. I now have a toddler again, and even though she can be extremely frustrating, I’ve never hurt her. I made a vow to never touch my children when I am angry, and even more importantly, I don’t feel as angry as I used to, so keeping that vow has become easier each passing year. Here are a few things I did that helped:

1. I learned about anger. My parents had a volatile marriage, and as a child the only lesson that I learned about anger was that it was scary and dangerous. So I vowed never to get angry; I become the ‘good girl’ that never bothered her parents, never talked back, and never spoke up about anything. Unfortunately I never learned how to do anything with anger other than to stuff it away inside. For the record, that doesn’t work. From my therapist and several books I read, I came to accept that anger is a normal human emotion. In fact, anger often is really an outgrowth of other, more difficult emotions like shame or anxiety. I learned that most of my anger at my kids was actually anxiety; I was nervous about being a good parent and I was worried about my marriage and my family’s financial situation. My son’s traumatic birth also triggered post-partum anxiety that manifested itself as anger (if I were to go back in time, I would make myself speak up about my post-partum feelings and I would get medication right away). I learned to listen to my body and my feelings, and to take a moment to identify my real feelings in a heated moment. Often just the acknowledgement of the fear or the depression helps cool things down.

2. I also learned better parenting skills. I read some books and I took some parenting classes offered through my daughter’s preschool. Before having my own children, I didn’t really have much experience with small children. Toddlers can be very difficult; in fact, rates of child abuse are highest between the ages of 1 and 3. Learning better parenting skills as well as learning more about child development and age-appropriate behavior reduced both my own frustration and that of my kids. One of the key things I’ve been doing, especially as my children have gotten older, is talking about our feelings and appropriate ways to express them. My children and I understand that feeling angry or scared or sad is normal, but we have to choose acceptable ways to express those feelings.

3. I started taking better care of myself. I learned good ways to speak up for what I need and to express my displeasure in constructive ways. I’ve also learned that getting enough sleep is vital, even if it means sacrificing some of my precious ‘me time’ after the kids are in bed. Exercising, eating well, and keeping up my scripture study and prayer habits help me not feel so anxious and angry.

4. I just decided to stop. This sounds simplistic, and it would not have been possible without the help of a therapist and some of the other things I mentioned. But, I did have to one day simply say “this is wrong and I’m not going to do it ever again.” Anger is addicting and feeds on itself. It can be habit-forming. When I first made the decision to never touch my kids when I was upset, it was really hard at first. I had to use great self-control to do it. But, as time went on, my angry responses to things lessened. As I quit expressing my anger inappropriately (including throwing things or slamming doors), I actually felt less angry.

I am certainly not a ‘perfect parent’ now, by any means. But, I can say I am a much better one than I was five years ago. I still deeply regret the way I treated my two oldest children and I’m not sure I’ve totally forgiven myself yet. But I also know that I didn’t have the courage to change until I realized that I could. When I assumed that I was just a ‘bad parent’, I didn’t think I could do anything about it. Then I discovered that there were reasons why I kept making the choices that I did, and that I didn’t have to act that way. A key moment in my decision to seek out therapy was when a woman in my Relief Society shared her story of dealing with a terrible depressive episode that left her hospitalized; another key moment was reading a blogger’s story of suffering from post-partum anxiety and recognizing myself in it. I’ve debated for a long time about writing this blog post, but I hope that sharing a little about my life can help others realize that they are not alone and that they can change.

47 thoughts on “Angry Mom

  1. Thank you. Your words about anger being repressed anxiety just gave me an insight I needed to help one of my children, who is often angry. Thank you for being brave enough to speak aloud about these things.

  2. Thank you!!!! Thank you for having the bravery to step forward and take this subject and aggressively attack it so your example could help me. Me personally.

  3. Oh, God bless you. I truly believe I know how you feel. I am so feeled with regret. I’m glad you were able to change while you were still young. I applaud your honesty and feel heart-hurt. For all of us who are “angry moms.”

  4. Hooray for all the progress you’ve made. You have remade yourself in dramatic ways. It’s inspiring and communicates hope.

    Managing anger is my biggest struggle. I have seen six therapists over 30 years, read dozens of books on the topic, and made this a topic for scripture study and prayer. In some ways I have improved since a teen when the problem first surfaced, but I must always remain vigilant so that I can keep things under check. I work on two fronts: reversing the physical build up of stress and untangling the cognitive structures that trick me into the “you make me mad/that makes me mad” illusions. Also, making sure that I take care of myself helps (adequate sleep, food, exercise; don’t overschedule myself).

    I am grateful for people who help protect me from this vulnerability when others who discover my problem then seek to poke me with a stick and exploit my weakness. Blessed are the peacemakers! But I do concede that I am 100% responsible for all my thoughts, words and actions. Elder Uchtdorf just talked about how easy it is to love those who love us. I have to better learn how to diffuse conflict with people who stir the pot.

    God bless us all as we work with mortal tools and divine tools to put off the natural man and to make weak things strong. (Mosiah 3:19;Ether 12:27)–whatever happens to be our thorn in the flesh (2 Corinth 12:7)

  5. Wow. That took a lot of guts to write, and I’m so glad you did! There are insights in there for everyone, I think, and I’m going to have to read it again.
    One thought: you feel horribly guilty about how you treated your older children (and I definitely feel like all my mistakes are with the oldest ones :(, is it possible that the changes you’ve made and things you’ve learned will help them live better lives and raise better families in the future? You’re a pioneer for your posterity, if you will?

  6. Oh, you sweet, brave woman! Thank you for sharing your story. It could have been mine in large part. Being a mother of young children can be so very maddening and isolating, especially when those are the years that spouses are often gone very long hours establishing themselves in their careers or plowing through school. And you are left alone. I grew up in a very physically agressive home and though I swore I’d not repeat those patterns in my own home, I often found myself lashing out in verbal or physical ways with my own adorable but strong-willed children. It scared me and them. That was many years ago. I still do occasionally have some outbursts, although they tend to be more loud and verbal than physical. Time and circumstance, repentance, prayer and many of the behavioral changes you mentioned have altered my responses. I also feel accountability to my older children as they watch me parent to model something better. And all that physical aggression is so counterproductive. Thank you for articulating your story. I know you are very very much not alone and so many loving, thoughtful and deliberate mothers make these mistakes. I hope they read this and find hope.

  7. We need more insights like this post- being real with our struggles and issues to help each other! The label of “bad” that we put on people who hit their children is wrong. Thank you for doing something to break down that stereotype. Thank you for this honest and insightful post. It took great courage and humility. I wish I could give you a hug, and give you the pat on the back you deserve after conquering these problems.

    I also found things that resonated with me in this post. Especially, I appreciated your recognition that you needed to take care of yourself and how much that improved your abilities.

    My family life is structured in a way that helps me to function well. Specifically, we are not over-scheduled. It can be difficult when people question how our children will ever be successful if they don’t do piano lessons, soccer practice, and the school play but I know that having a happy and peaceful mother contributes to their success more than those activities! Also, because they have my genetic material they might have to deal with these same issues in the future. So while this family culture of a quiet life began for my sanity, I realize now that it is a blessing to my children in many ways also, teaching them how to be still and take care of themselves.

  8. I had a ‘revelation’ moment for both my son and myself when my son’s therapist communicated to me that excessive anger in children is one of the manifestations of depression. I think the same can be true for adults (at least it is for me). Thanks for the post.

  9. Thank you for this post. For anyone reading who may need some help, I want to share a wonderful resource called Recovery Inernational. I go there in addition to receiving therapy, and it has changed my life and my family. It is a support group with a feeling of empathy and kindness. You do not have to share anything if you do not want to – just go and listen. It can help anyone as it focuses on helping us work ourselves down when we are worked up (and everyone gets worked up. I’ve specifically known it to help people with anger management, psychological issues such as anxiety and depression, post tramautic stress syndrome and others. You can check it out and find meeting locations at lowselfhelpsystems.org.

  10. I suspect that many of us are products of the cultural shift from the “Board of Education” (did anyone else have one of those in their house?) and corporal punishment to “show em who’s boss” to a kindler, gentler, more appropriate style of parenting. I loved your honesty; I too struggled with losing it when under pressure. Now, I watch my children parent their young children and am amazed and so grateful for their patience and feel that we must have done something right in setting an example for them. It used to be normal and OK……I am grateful that it is not considered normal and OK anymore.

  11. Thanks for your post. Thanks for being brave enough to write something that could make a big difference to someone. A couple of my children struggle with anger, and it’s so good to be reminded to teach them emotional awareness–understanding that anger is almost always a secondary emotion.

    I want to teach them to pause in the moment and identify what the real emotion is, or at least to be aware that there IS a more fundamental emotion that needs attention. Somewhere I learned that anger almost always comes down to fear. You mentioned anxiety and shame, which both could have a root in fear, fear of what might happen, fear that someone will think badly of us, fear that we really are bad.

    One of my kids also suffers from anxiety and depression, which in his case is mostly manifest as anger, like Maralise said. That’s so important to recognize. Thanks.

  12. I too very much appreciate your honesty in this post. I wish I’d read it years ago when I was struggling in some of the same ways with my oldest. I have also learned that anger is connected to other emotions–when I’m stressed, distracted, feeling guilty or anxious or worried about what someone else thinks about me or when my expectations for the children (or myself) are too high are all times I am more likely to become angry. Now that I have older children, I find it a lot easier to be patient with toddlers and preschoolers. Dealing with older children who don’t always do what I tell them to do when I tell them to do it or who tease their siblings repeatedly are more common triggers for my anger now. Recognizing that I am not accountable nor in control of their choices (beyond teaching and administering consequences) helps me cool down. When I forget that and take their behavior personally is when it gets a little more dicey. And definitely taking care of my needs–spiritual and physical goes a long toward helping me feel and act calm. Thank you for addressing this topic in such a straight forward manner.

  13. The timing of this post is perfect. I got so angry at my son today, and yelled and spanked him (not for the first time). Then after he was down for a nap, I cried to my husband that I knew I was a bad mom, that I was ruining my precious and perfect child by my bad example, and that he does not deserve me as a mom. Every time I get so mad I feel like scum and vow to never do it again. But it always happens again. How can I expect God to forgive me over and over if I can’t change? I don’t exactly feel depressed, but now I wonder if I do have slight anxiety and/or depression. The anger comes up so quickly and so strong, it surprises even me. I just really hope I can change so that my toddler has no memories of the horrible person his mom can become now and then.

  14. “A” Please get a complete blood panel done to see if any of your hormones or levels of serotonin are down..or even potassium…low levels of potassium will cause abnormal behavior. Please check all organic issues. One does not necessarily have to “feel” depressed to be depressed. good luck to you.

  15. Great post! Coming from angry parents, I have to work on controlling my anger too. My greatest hope is that I will learn to control my thoughts/emotions/actions so I can teach my kids to do the same. And then maybe, just maybe, the cycle of explosive anger and lost tempers will come to an end!

  16. Thank you for writing this. I think it’s important to write about the struggles we’re truly ashamed of (and that horrify others who might not understand). I hope to see more posts like this here.

  17. Thanks for this.

    I have learned to recognize anger in myself and curb it. But I have a 5 year old daughter who is angry almost all the time. We talk about it, pray about it, work on it, daily. Most of the time I stay calm, but occasionally I get angry in response to her wild almost animalistic behavior (I think it is tick bite related…? Had her tested for Lyme, but came out negative. She just got bit again and I swear her angry behavior increased.) Yesterday I ended up pulling her hair and immediately apologized.

    I will address the possibility of underlying issues.

    Parenting is hard stuff sometimes.

  18. I don’t know how to express enough gratitude to you for writing this post. It was a timely answer to prayers, and I feel overwhelming comfort this morning knowing that I’m not alone. Thank you.

    There’s a country song by Tim McGraw that came out years ago and one of the lines in the chorus sings, “I don’t know why you gotta be angry all the time.” I remember thinking when it first came out how sad it was that someone could be angry ALL the time. Now I hear that song and I immediately cringe. I am that person. I didn’t used to be. I’d watch my dad lose his temper over and over again over the littlest things and vow to never, ever be that way. And then I became a parent to a preschooler and toddler and my patience went out the door. While I have yet to actually hit either one of them, I sometimes think the guilt and shame after seeing the fear and uncertainty in my 4-year old’s eyes after an “episode” might just eat me alive.

    This post has shined the light on the possibility that I can, in time, overcome this. I’m not a lost cause. So, again, thank you.

  19. I also appreciate posts like these. I struggle with anxiety and depression and sometimes take it out on my children. It takes effort to get emotions uder control and I think the more open we are about it (especially with our children) the more we can help each other.

  20. I was just in the process of writing a blog post “Angry All The Time” when I thought to come over here. Your words are perfect!! It’s important sometimes that we speak about these issues when they’ve come full circle and a process of healing can be displayed for those who are suffering. When we read something written by someone in the middle of the process who hasn’t found tools to help, our responses are often not supportive to complete recovery, trying as women so frequently do to “make her feel better” when there is real growth and stretching happening. When, as you have here, the post goes up after we’ve found the tools, we can give hope for true healing.

    It takes tremendous courage to face ourselves and say that something’s gotta change. I am reviewing the church’s twelve step program after the interlude between conference sessions yesterday and noting how similar it is to the beatitudes, and how crucial for all of us to apply the principles in our processes of personal change. Thank you so much for your willingness to concisely but thoroughly discuss the tools you used to step beyond self-flagellation and self-excuse and embrace a makeover. You are an inspiration.

  21. Thank you, thank you to our anonymous writer and to the humble, gracious, compassionate Segullah community for their responses.

    When the writer first emailed me about this topic I encouraged her to write but worried she would be attacked in the comments. Rather her words have been met with understanding and gratitude. Three cheers for the Segullah community!

    And thank you, thank you anonymous, for writing. You are a voice for hope.

  22. Thank you for this post. It was eye-opening to me to read that anger is a manifestation of underlying anxiety. That makes so much sense and explains my short temper with my kids this weekend (dad out of town).

  23. Courage and thank you. I am not only often Angry, and have to break through those things also, but I have a very angry son. He’s also become very fearful in the past six months, for no reason, and fearful of things that before he loved or enjoyed. Reading about the link between anxiety and fear and anger… revelatory for me this afternoon. thank you again for your courage to tell us your experiences. My mom once told me, the difference between a mentally healthy mom and one who needs help is that both have the desire, periodically, to throw the child out of the window, but the healthy mom will not do it. Which was great comfort to me when I had visions of stuffing socks in my colicky baby’s mouth. Now, sometimes I have to have a time out, too. I think so many of us fight these difficulties, but because we fear so greatly we are alone, not just in out anger, but in our fear, our frustration, our depression, our anxiety, out disappointment… that we are further isolated from our sisters, most of whom have experienced similar things at times and likewise kept silent. It is breaking the silence that helps others to begin to heal, which is why we need more courageous people like you.

  24. Thank you. I can’t type much else through my tears. Thank you to everyone who commented too. I didn’t know that so many people were like me. I thought I was alone.

    I want to throw out there that I didn’t have angry parents but I still feel like this is a weakness in me. That makes me feel kind of guilty–like the rest of you have a good excuse and I don’t–but then I wondered if another woman was thinking the same thing as me, and I want her to know that she’s not alone either.

  25. I still can’t look at photographs of my oldest child as a toddler without feeling tremendously guilty for the way I treated him. Unfortunately my daughter also had to go through some hard times with me as a parent. She was a willful child and I actually credit her for helping me to realize that my behavior was actually only making things worse. My youngest son, then, has been the beneficiary of their trials. I rarely spanked him. Luckily they are all (so far) relatively happy, well-adjusted kids. They seem to have overcome the parenting lessons that I had to learn. It’s all a process.

    Now when I start to feel guilty about how I treated them, I acknowledge that for awhile it was bad, look at how far I’ve come, and then think about all the parents who severely abuse their children. It helps me remember that it could have been a lot worse.

  26. This is an excellent post. Thank you very much for sharing something so difficult. I am actually writing a book for an LDS audience on this very topic. I’m discussing how we need to be more open about the realities of motherhood, and our trials and emotions associated with it, so that we can be healthier, happier women and families. All the research I have done points to exactly what you said here: our anxiety over doing things perfectly, and even our efforts to do things perfectly (especially when they come at the expense of our own health, time to ourselves, and so forth), usually backfire on the families we are sacrificing so much to take care of. A mother needs an identity out side of Mother, time to be herself, and freedom to discuss the pressures of being a parent without stigma. We also need to be more open about postpartum depression, anxiety, and depression in general, so that families who experience them can identify the real problem and get treatment without guilt.

    I have been collecting stories to include in my book. One of the best medicines for people experiencing difficulties like your (and mine. I have some similar experiences) is to read stories from others who have been through the same thing. It lets us know we’re not alone, we’re not bad or crazy, and that there is a way to get better. I would love to quote from this post, or even include the whole thing, if that is all right. You would remain anonymous, though I would like to share where you’re from and how many kids you have, if you don’t mind. You can either respond on this post or contact me at bright.ifrit at gmail. Others who have stories they’d like to share are welcome to do the same thing.

  27. Oh thank you so much. I felt like I was reading my own story, only my first time was during potty training. It still haunts me. This is an example of being an answer to someone else’s prayers. This has been my battle for many years. I feel stronger for having read your post and learned of some tools I should have reached for years ago. Thank you. Thank you.

  28. This is a very important post. Thank you for sharing. I recently interviewed Christina Dalpiaz of the CHANCE organization and she shared how working for years in the field of teaching parenting skills that there were only a handful of people that did not change. She is very optimistic. Also, I remember my Child Development teacher in high school saying how being a parent made her understand how a parent could get to the edge as she came close. You show that a parent can learn a better way. Of course, you are still not perfect. But you children are blessed that you were willing to take care of yourself, speak up when appropriate for yourself, and learn better parenting skills.

  29. What parenting books did you read and what type of therapy did you utilize? I don’t even know where to start.

  30. Thank you! What courage. Thank you again.

    We had six children, two of which were adopted. The last child arriving was our oldest, and she had gone through what nobody should have to endure, and was deeply scarred.
    We were told she would neve have any real emotions. It was very hard.

    She rejected my love. She rejected my goidance. She stole. She cheated. She lied about everyhting. She had learned to survive by any means that popped into her mind. I alloed myself to get angry at her. It made things worse.

    The Lord loved her more than I did.

    We never gave up on her, but she is still not close to us, but she believed one thing I told her. I told her that the Lord loved her perfectly in a way I didn’t know how, and that she could trust Him.

    I told her if she rejected every teaching I gave her to believe in the Lord’s guidance.

    It was probably the only thing I said that helped her. It is what kept me loving her. Some things are too big to deal with without scores of angelic help from the Lord’s servants on both sides of the veil.

    Your sharing is some of this kind of help.

    Thank you.

  31. Someday I hope to be at a place where I can, like you, be on the other side and help others out of the pit. But I’m not there yet, I still have hope that permanent change can be a part of my life. Thanks for the hand and the pull in the right direction.

  32. Dear Writer,

    I needed to read this post so much more today than you can imagine. Thank you so very very much.

    I am going to call my OB-GYN and find out what kind of help is available to me. I’m trying many of the steps you mentioned, but I think I need to incorporate the others so that together I can better help myself.

    My children are so precious to me. I don’t want them to have an angry mom.

    xo

  33. Thank you for this post–and for all those who’ve responded so positively! I never thought of myself as an “angry” person (although I had a quick temper as a teenager) until I had children. In particular, my oldest son, who is very much like me, has been hard for me. He’s also quick to anger–and I’ve found the comments here about the connection between anger and anxiety, and anger as a masking emotion, to be so helpful. I’ve known for some time that the best way to help him control his anger was to model that control myself, something I’m still learning to do better. You’ve given me a lot of hope. (I also find a lot of hope in the idea of how many of us struggle with getting angry with our children).

  34. I just wanted to share that tonight my 5 year old reported to me that she didn’t get angry today (maybe first time in 2 years)! She has listened to us praying for her and trying to model good behavior (most of the time). She was so sweet and happy. I have great hope now where there was mostly fear.

  35. This is an excellent post. I wrote a little about anger being a secondary emotion here – read my comment, too. It started out as a short post, but I should really add the comments to the actual post.

    It’s amazing how the Lord gives us just the right experiences for our mortal journey. Which doesn’t sound related, but for me, it is.

  36. Thank you so much for this post! I, too struggle a lot with anger. I have never hit my toddler, but I once came very close to doing so- and my anger at that time scared both me and him badly. I actually also grew up as one to simply stuff my anger away and not deal with it- and as you say, that doesn’t work. The concept that anger is a secondary emotion is a real revelation to me, and SOO helpful- I have never really been an angry person but suddenly this is a real issue for me and I had no idea where it was coming from. BUT I have had lifelong battles with anxiety and depression- I am guessing this is it. Thanks again.

  37. Such sweet words. I was just talking with a a friend the other day about how we need to do better in the church at admitting our struggles whatever they are. Then we can do a better job of confronting them together. The responses here are such a great example of how well we can support each other when we take our walls down. Such loving discussion!
    I struggle with depression too, and am just coming out of a very difficult period. There are many factors (there often are) but my doctor discovered that my iron was woefully low, and the simple act of taking an iron supplement has made an ENORMOUS difference. Who would have thought?? I was blaming myself so much more than I needed to, when all I needed was more red meat! Haha! So my point is–there is professional help that can make a huge difference. It can’t hurt to check in with your doctor(s) and see if there is something that needs to be addressed. Or make an appointment with a therapist–if you aren’t comfortable, you don’t have to go back, but maybe . . . maybe it will help. There is so much help out there. And obviously, from all the lovely comments here, none of us have to go through this alone.

  38. Hi everyone–I know it’s been a few weeks but I just wanted to respond and say thank you for all your kind, wonderful comments. A few people asked about suggestions for books/therapy ideas. Here are some that worked well for me:

    Cognitive-behavioral therapy works really well for both depression and anxiety, and if you are having a particularly hard time it can work really well in conjunction with medication. Many OBs or general practitioners can prescribe medications, but personally I think it is better to go to a therapist and work with them so you can get therapy and medication. Like some people here have mentioned, you may have to visit more than one therapist before you find one you are comfortable with. Getting a good physical checkup is also a good idea too, because hormonal imbalances, thyroid issues, and other physical things can cause problems too.

    As far as books go, the classic manual for cognitive-behavioral therapy is Feeling Good. Another really good one is Learned Optimism–both have good, practical solutions for changing negative thought patterns and perceptions of the world. Another really key book for me was called Honor Your Anger by Beverly Engel.

    Parenting books that really helped me were How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk, Siblings without Rivalry, Parenting Your Spirited Child, and a book called Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles. These books were all helpful in giving me good, practical tips for working with my kids in a way that wasn’t manipulative or threatening.

  39. Dear Anon Author,

    I just wanted to let you know that I’ve gone to see my doctor and am starting medication for postpartum depression. Thank you for encouraging me to acknowledge a real problem and to look for help.

    Also, last week I went to BYU women’s conference and attended a session about depression. The presenter read a book called “Living With a Black Dog: His Name is Depression” by Matthew Johnstone. It’s a picture book that is a little tongue-in-cheek but accurately describes what it’s like to have depression. It rang so true to me. I’m trying to get my hands on a copy so my husband can read it to help him understand how I feel.

    Thank you again, a million times over, for helping me get on the road to acceptance, treatment, and hopefully someday recovery. One of the worst parts of depression is feeling alone. You helped me realize that I’m not. Thank you for that.

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