Stressed-Out Moms on Meds Should Be Doing a Lot More Than Popping Pills (VIDEO)

moms on meds anderson cooper jacqueA few weeks ago, Stir staff writer Jacqueline Burt dove into the moms-on-meds debate when she wrote "5 Ways Medication Can Make You a Better Mom." Well today she got to tell her story on Anderson Live. With her was a mom with a very different perspective on moms on meds, and also parenting expert Dr. Michele Borba.

I got to watch the show from the audience, and I've gotta say, the woman sitting next to me wasn't having any of this moms-on-meds business. But she seems like the exception. Overall, I think most of us moms get it: Modern parenting is stressful, and some of us need that extra help. But are we reaching too quickly for meds and by-passing other ways to cope with that stress?

Dr. Borba pointed out that it's important that we model positive, healthy coping strategies for our kids. So even if you're using meds to keep your moods stable, that should be just one among a few different tools you use. We also need to learn what our "hot spots" are so we can plan what to do when we get stressed. Here are some of Dr. Borba's tips. And she recommends we all do relaxing activities -- with our families.

I know a lot of moms who've had to deal with chemical imbalances -- even before they had kids. We all know how pregnancy and childbirth can upset those brain chemicals even more. And then you add the stress of modern life on top of that? As Jacque and others put it, you need the meds just so you can feel "normal." Or as another mom put it, you can't parent if you're having a panic attack. So the more I listen, the clearer it seems to me that there are women out there who definitely need their meds.

And then there's the rest of us. When I first separated from my husband, I had a checkup with my doctor. She ran me through a whole battery of questions to see how I was handling this crisis and figure out if I needed to be on something. And her conclusion? No meds for me! She prescribed cardio three to four times a week and some therapy. That was my first line of defense ... and it turns out, it was all I needed. I'm glad she made that call.

Anyway, who says we moms who aren't on meds are such shining examples of stress management, anyway? Sure, I've got my spin classes, but I like to self-medicate with a little red wine, too. And the biggest difference between that red wine and Xanax is that at least with Xanax, you're under a doctor's supervision. Definitely something for me to think about!

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How do you cope with stress? Do you have more than one tool for managing your moods?



drugs, emotional health, mental health, stress


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slw123 slw123

I exercise a lot, it really helps me deal with stress.

Leiss... Leissaintexas

Modern parenting is so much more stressful than what? Raising kids in an era when pregnancy and childbirth could be deadly? Parenting during the Great Depression? Or how about during an outbreak of the Plague. Modern parents have it so much easier than even the previous generation. How about we quit trying to be supermom ? Maybe then motherhood wouldn't be so "stressful". SMH.

Miche... MichelleK41

For me I think about how wonderful my kids and hubby are and how lucky I am. I have wine maybe once a year and use no anxiety meds. I think being active with the family helps control the stress and reading when I am alone like sitting in a school car line for 40 minutes, coming online in the morning before everyone wakes up and coffee is a must. =)

mrswi... mrswillie

I like to workout when I am stressed.

mommy... mommytojack0524

There is a big difference in a mom who has a chemical imbalance in her brain (a medical condition) and a stressed out mom (something we all are from time to time).  One requires medication. The other (probably) does not.  It may require therapy, exercise, simplifying life, or whatever.

Lacey Friis

Winter time is more of a challenge, because we all get cabin fever.  We are DEFINATELY outside people.   Because of my husband's work hours, I'm alone with our three, small children  A LOT.  The traditional ways that I would destress are pretty impossible: long, hot bath (what are they destroying in the other room), meditation(not quiet, and again, what are they destroying in the other room), reading a book/doing a crossword(too loud).  At this stage, parenting truly is 24/7 for me.  My challenge lies in getting out of the house and having a break.  Babysitting is very expensive now-a-days compared to earlier years.   A lot of us opt to stay home with the kids, because we A) want the control over their environment B) want that precious time with them C) Financially, it isn't worth it since you're handing 2/3 of your take-home to someone else.   Therein lies the problem for many single income homes.  How does the mom afford a sitter to get that much needed sanity break?  I think modern parenting is MUCH more stressful than our parents and their parents' generations.  My elders agree with me.   I think it is largely due to the disproportionate income spent on housing, food, and vehicles compared to what their percentages were.  They also were less 'watched' by authorities, kids went outside and 'got lost,' and there was a better sense of community for parents.

sukainah sukainah

Lately, stress has been super bad where I can't even get out, still do it, but it's miserable.  So I had to get on some kind of med to help as it was out of control.  I still get stress though, so I have to find other methods.  I do try to get breaks when my DH comes home.  That's helpful.

Saman... Samanthamommy

A hot bath alone. I've been known to sit in there for over an hour, lol.

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