If you’re a parent experiencing some form of mental illness, daily living can pose its own set of struggles. Fortunately, there are medications and other coping techniques that can help you manage symptoms and gain more control over life. Parenting and taking care of your own lifestyle doesn’t have to be a constant struggle. Here are a few ways that you can get the right type of help and manage your mental illness as you parent.
Keeping Track Of Your Medication
Taking specific pills at certain times is important for proper effectiveness. That’s why it’s imperative to keep good track of your medication. Some helpful tips to consider include:
- Podding your meds by day and time frame.
- Setting up a phone app to help generate reminders.
- Utilizing a pill finder for identifying lost medications or spilled med bottles.
- Creating a med list and adding check marks throughout the day.
- Having an adult buddy help remind you to take your meds on time.
- Asking a social worker or home health aide to help you administer your meds.
Making sure that you take your meds properly can help make your challenges with mental illness easier to cope with.
Staying On Point With Your Health
If you haven’t been diagnosed yet with a mental illness, it’s important to seek medical care to get a firm diagnosis. Once your doctor evaluates you both mentally and medically, he will determine the best diagnosis and devise a follow-up treatment plan. If you’ve already been diagnosed with a mental illness such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or borderline personality, it’s essential to follow the right treatment course. This may include a multifaceted approach such as:
- Taking your medications exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
- Following up with your doctor after your initial appointment.
- Not abusing your medication or other non-prescription drugs.
- Talking to a loved one, friend or counselor about your illness.
- Learning the correct life skills to be the best parent you can be.
Following a positive pattern of development will help make it easier to cope with day-to-day problems and be mentally present to care for your children.
Asking For Help With Parenting
Are you a single parent struggling with taking care of the kids on your own? Having a mental illness and dealing with troublesome symptoms of meds or lack of medication can make it hard to enforce proper parenting choices. Now is the time to ask for help. Some resources may include:
- Asking the other parent for help with co-parenting.
- Relying on dependable family members or friends to help out with occasional babysitting.
- Seeking out a social service agency for help with counseling and parenting classes.
- Finding a daycare or preschool that is affordable.
If you feel mentally overwhelmed with life, don’t try to tackle huge issues on your own. Ask for help with caring for your kids as you work through your mental health symptoms.
Talking With Your Pharmacist
The way you act and function throughout the day can instantly impact those around you, especially your children. That’s why it’s important to know the side effects of your mental health medications. Side effects like lethargy, dizziness, and depression can impact your parenting actions. While your doctor can do a great job at describing some of the symptoms, don’t hesitate to talk to your pharmacist. He will go over any potential drug interactions, help you with pill identification and instruct you on how to take certain meds properly.
Seeking The Right Facet Of Care
If you’re caring for more than just yourself, including small children, you need to make sure that the health care that you receive benefits the entire family. Seek out support groups and group therapy sessions that involve spouses and children affected by loved ones with mental illness. If you feel like your psychiatrist or medical professional isn’t benefiting your mental health enough, see another doctor until you find the right one. If you feel like you’re becoming addicted to prescription medication or taking too much, talk to your doctor about changing meds and seeking rehabilitative care.
Everything that you do throughout your parenting adventure affects your children. Battling mental illness can make it feel twice as hard to face challenges head on. Combining the right meds, therapy and outside assistance can help you win the battle against mental illness.