The stars of the popular Teen Mom television franchise are no strangers to opening up about… well, just about everything, either in front of TV cameras or on social media. Now, Catelynn Lowell and Tyler Baltierra, who shared their experience in placing their first daughter Carly with an adoptive family in 2009, are using their platform to shed light on the importance of mental health.
In a recent interview with E! Lowell reflected on her decision to open up about her panic attacks and seeking therapy for past trauma. “It was a hard thing to share and hard just to get the courage to share it but I think it comes down to the fact of letting people know and showing the raw reality of it,” she said. “That way, people know that they are not alone and that you can get help and there are things out there that can help you.”
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There are plenty of resources available for people who might be seeking help with their mental health issues, including apps and telemedicine appointments with therapists. And given that young mothers are more likely than their older counterparts to experience severe ups and downs with their mental health, Lowell definitely isn’t alone in her decision to find help. For that reason, she was touched when people began reaching out to her saying they could relate to her struggles.
“After sharing all of the stuff I’ve been through, I do get lots of messages from people saying, ‘Thank you for being open and honest because I thought I was alone and nobody understood,'” she added.
It’s because of that massive platform that Baltierra stressed the importance of handling any storylines about mental health with care and sensitivity. “We told the producers from the get-go that this is very sensitive information,” the Teen Mom OG star said. “But we feel like we have a moral, ethical responsibility with our platform to share this reality with people and I feel like the viewers have really responded with a warm, welcoming heart.”
The couple is also keenly aware that the current coronavirus pandemic is likely doing a number on a lot of people’s mental health, given the need to practice social distancing when and wherever possible. “As humans, we need interaction with people,” Lowell said. “We’re kind of hard-wired that way and being home all the time and feeling isolated is a scary thing. I can see why that could be a huge factor in people’s mental health. I think it’s a good thing that people are calling hotlines and reaching out because there are things and people out there that can help you.”
The pandemic and its impact on social, work, and personal lives cannot be underestimated, and it might impact young people in unique and painful ways. “I think it’s going to be a long time before we understand the impact of the pandemic and the stay-at-home orders on the developing brain and just the life experience of Generation Z,” Dr. Cara Natterson recently told SheKnows.
In the meantime, both Lowell and Baltierra lean on each other for support in addition to seeking help from therapy and other mental health treatments. “She’s a high spot who can lift me back up and vice versa,” Baltierra said of Lowell. And the couple are already modeling a home that prioritizes communication for their daughters, Novalee Reign and Vaeda Luma.
“One of my biggest fears that one of my girls is going to struggle with what I struggled with,” Lowell said. Even so, she and Baltierra have a game plan: “If our girls were to ever go through anything, we’d be their best supporters and teachers and guiders. We’ve been through it and I think it comes to just really communicating with your children in an honest way about what is really going on in school, what’s really going on in their friend group,” she said.
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