Tune in to our interview with Kristen Garzone, a 9x marathoner, wife, mom and dog mom, Every Mother Counts ambassador and self-proclaimed maternal mental health warrior. She is one of my very favorite follows on social media, she truly shares an unfiltered look into what she’s struggling through on her journey of running, motherhood, and battling mental health.
After navigating anxiety and depression since she was in college, Kristen was at risk for postpartum anxiety and depression but she didn’t even know that these diagnosis existed. She was struggling postpartum with anxiety, rage, depression and looks back to see a time where she was living a different life than her husband and daughter. She felt angry, anxious, and broken.
Things changed when her best friend, also named Kristin took her own life 9 months postpartum. This shook Kristen to the core and saved her life because it spurred her to get the help that she needed to navigate her postpartum depression and anxiety. Now maintained on medications, therapy, and exercise, on her instagram profile @mellank she shares the highs, the lows, the struggles and the triumphs of her mental health journey.
Kristen is a huge proponent of therapy, openness, medications, and as such she shares vulnerably and bravely about her experience with suicidal thoughts. She shares the struggles she had in bonding with her daughter, particularly when she was deep in the throes of postpartum depression and anxiety. Marriage and motherhood are challenging and balancing your own needs and mental health amidst the balancing act of life.
We touch on how having a mother with mental illness has shaped and positively influenced her daughter, Ellie. Growing up and growing empathy and awareness to other’s needs and how they are feeling and how compassionate her daughter is is a bragging point for Kristen regarding her daughter!
Kristen is so thankful for the community she has found and built online of mothers, runners, and women who share their stories, encourage others and come together in the comments for the good of the order.