Updated: Sep 23, 2020
“Taking care of yourself is part of taking care of your kids”
What’s more important mental health or physical health? I was listening to an interesting podcast, The Drive, where the host posited that mental health has more collateral damage than physical health. The fact that he said that, considering he is an MD really had me thinking. He made his argument based on how the collateral damage caused by a mental illness is greater than most physical conditions. That idea made me think of mental conditions as a landmine, that when it explodes the blast radius is large and impacts all things in close proximity, whereas a physical condition tends to be more like a sniper shot, only impacts the victim. Anyone who has lived with or near someone with real depression, anxiety, bipolar, OCD, eating disorders knows there is a real weight to being in their world. I feel bad saying that but I have lived that reality and it’s true! To further play out this scenario, if I blow out my knee and live the rest of my life with a slight limp, chances are I’m not going impact my kids or their kids BUT if I raise my kids in a state of heightened anxiety or depression, the chances are great it will have a generational impact. The purpose of this piece isn’t about picking a winner or loser but merely to shine light on the importance of mental health and how we all need to do a better job at not downplaying our experiences or waiting until issues are critical. Life happens and we all have bad days but unaddressed mental health issues can have generational consequences that negatively shape the ones we love the most. If not for you, do better for your kids or the kids you hope to have!