Christine Coughlin The In-Between

Maternal Mental Health- ADHD & Anxiety


Christine Coughlin

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Looking for Answers

I don’t have a diagnosis. If I had to guess, I would say ADHD and High-Functioning Anxiety. 

Each time I visit a doctor for help, they ask if there are times I can’t get out of bed for two weeks. When I say no, they offer me medication and send me on my way.

My thoughts have always been skewed against me, leaving me hard-wired with self-doubt, low confidence and the need to show up perfectly or not at all. 

I have a deeply rooted fear that there is something wrong with me. I just can’t figure out exactly what. 

If I feel “too” happy, a wave of guilt rushes in, telling me I’m selfish and entitled. If I’m tired or sad, I feel worthless and lazy. 

Isn’t it funny what can hide behind a smile?

More Questions Than Answers

I don’t know if I have a neurodiverse brain, a chemical imbalance, or if it’s merely the result of being an ambitious mother of three. 

I knew I needed to get help when I was so busy internalizing my children’s issues as my own that I couldn’t show up for them in a supportive way. 

My Path Forward

I’ve been working with a therapist for months and learning to challenge the old beliefs that try to limit my growth. 

As I teeter in-between feeling gloriously confident and like a snivelling fraud, there are times my brain tries to tell me I’m failing at therapy. (It’s a lie, my inner bitch is just checking if I’m still committed to the work.)

I’ve also started working with a naturopathic doctor to access my hormones and have put myself on a list to speak with a psychologist to understand better the brain I’m working with.

I’ll share more on this soon.

Every Story Matters

My anxiety kicked into high gear this week, warning me that my story wasn’t worth telling because I don’t have concrete answers. After reaching out for help and a lot of tears, I realized that was also a lie. Hot tip: don’t believe every story your brain tells you.

My story does have value because it is mine, and it is real, and so does yours.

Our health matters.

Have you struggled to find the support you need to support your mental health?


what it's like living with high-functioning anxiety graphic
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This article was included in a five-part Mental Health series, the collaboration intended to keep the conversation going and to encourage readers to look beyond the smiles when it comes to maternal mental health. 

You can view the other articles here:
Mom’s Mental Health- OCD, by Amy Libby
Mom’s Mental Health- Depression & Anxiety, by Codi Darnell

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