The revelation that a mother uses a prescribed antidepressant to help her get through her parenting obligations as ignited a debate regarding parenting and treatment options surrounding depression and anxiety.
Hope Chandra was the subject of a recent CNN report which focused on how parenting is affected by depression and anxiety. Chandra, after suffering several miscarriages and rounds of fertility treatments, was prescribed Xanax to help ease the anxiety she had been experiencing.
But Chandra revealed that she continues to take the medication and that it allows her to become a more effective parent by allowing her to remain calm and deal with situations in a healthy, responsible manner.
"It helps me be a better mom," Chanda told CNN. "I look forward to taking my medication. I'm more flexible, tolerant, and rational. Before, when the kids were being a problem, I would get frustrated and yell immediately. Now, we work through the problem."
While Chandra's admission may seem as a surprise, more adults in the United States are suffering from symptoms of depression and anxiety which can have a major impact on the individual and their families.
One in every 10 Americans reports being depressed, according to the Centers for Disease Control, with anxiety disorders affecting north of 40 million adults in the U.S.
That figure has led to more than one in five adults taking medication to treat a psychological or behavioral disorders, which is a is a 22 percent increase since 2001, according to the CDC.
Statistics also show that the number of women prescribed antidepressants increased 29 percent between 2001 and 2010. And ADHD drug use increased a whopping 264 percent during the same time period.
"Parenting is a tough job, one that is exhausting on a good day," says Jenn Berman, a licensed psychotherapist in Beverly Hills and author of "The A to Z Guide to Raising Happy, Confident Kids." "If you're also prone to depression, it can push you over the edge."