Amber from “Teen Mom” gets super real about her struggles with depression, and our hearts go out to her
Have you been following Teen Mom recently? Well, you should. This past Monday’s episode showed Amber Portwood get pretty real about her struggles with mental health, and it showed that even though she’s come so, so far since earlier seasons of the show, she’s still — like many of us— trying to figure everything out, and attempting to get through every day. During the episode, Portwood — who has openly struggled with addiction — mentioned that she was diagnosed as being bipolar, suffers through borderline personality disorder, and also deals with depression.
After the episode aired, Portwood sat down with Mark Shraybe from Cosmopolitan, and talked about her mental health a bit more.
On her relationship with Dr. Drew…
"I remember years ago when I first met him, he looked at me and he said, 'Listen, if you don't get this under control, you're going to be addicted,' because I was just starting partying and taking pills. And that's exactly what happened. He's never really steered me the wrong way," Amber said.
Dr. Drew has hosted the Teen Mom reunion for years, so he’s formed relationships with the girls since their MTV journey started. Just recently, Portwood’s castmate Catelynn Baltierra gave Dr. Drew a call about her own issues, and he provided some much needed counseling.
On being diagnosed as bipolar, and having that come out on the show…
"I was diagnosed with bipolar a long time ago. It's really hard. I think people don't quite understand what it's like to be bipolar and then have something like borderline personality on top of it, plus you have anxiety disorder. I've just been screwed up since the beginning, which is a big reason why I used to self-medicate as well. I'm glad I have professional help now," Portwood said.
She even mentioned why fans of the show didn’t know about this particular diagnosis until Monday.
"I was kind of embarrassed by it," Portwood admitted. "Now I'm older and stronger, and I understand that a lot of people deal with these things and that I should be open about it. That's what I'm trying to do. I'm still afraid to talk about it because I really don't want to be judged as some person who can't control herself."
On how she deals with depression spells…
"There's no shaking it off because it's a chemical imbalance," Portwood said. "When I get depressed, my depression is laying in bed not moving not wanting to even take [a] shower. Matt's had to pull me out of bed I don't know how many times and start the shower for me because I've been so down. And my anxiety ... I can't really go out in public a lot because of it. I don't like going to movie theaters, and it's just really hard. I'm also not taking anything that would affect my sobriety."
After the birth of her daughter Leah, Portwood was prescribed Klonopin to help her handle her anxiety. She credits the drug for being the gateway to much worse, noting that eventually she was high for 24-hour periods at a time. So while Portwood is still getting her anxiety and depression under control with medication, she makes sure that it’s nothing that she could get addicted to.
It’s amazing that Portwood decided to speak out on the issue, as many of us suffer with mental illness in complete silence. We wish her the absolute best with her continued recovery!