“Perhaps the most hurtful impact of the stigma surrounding mental illness is the common belief that women with mental illness cannot be good mothers. In a society that values ‘self-sacrificing mothers’ and rewards adherence to gender norms, we often deem that a ‘good mother’ has few needs and challenges of her own; rather, she can commit herself in her entirety to her children.
Mental illness can certainly make some aspects of motherhood more challenging, but it doesn’t disqualify those of us living with a mental health condition from being good parents. In fact, research suggests that many issues faced by mothers with mental illness are generic to all parents. While mothers with mental illness may experience more unique challenges from their symptoms, or from medication and treatment obligations, these risks can be managed with the guidance of a good collaborative care team.”
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