Most Teen Mom OG fans know that Catelynn Lowell and Tyler Baltierra prioritize their mental health. The reality stars are refreshingly open about their battles with depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. But, a lot of fans don’t realize the extent to which mental illness impacts Catelynn and Tyler’s day-to-day lives. The parents recently shed light on their experiences during the Voices For Change 2.0 podcast where they explained why they’re committed to ending the stigma surrounding mental health.

Fans learned Cate battled with depression through her storylines on TMOG. She revealed that MTV didn’t force her to share her struggles with depression — she chose to be open about it because by doing so she might “save at least one life.” During the podcast, Tyler and Cate said that the stigma surrounding mental illness is made very apparent by the fact that people respond to her problems by suggesting she get out of bed and be more active. She said that when she is in that state those things are “just not possible.”

“If getting better was about changing your behavior, Cate would have already done it,” Tyler said. He explained that those who are critical of their situation are ignorant and haven’t done their research. Cate added that she’s happy to have a positive impact on mental health awareness. She revealed that people often message her for advice and repeat her mantra, “It’s okay to not be okay.”

Cate’s struggle with depression and suicide has gotten more attention lately because she’s been in and out of rehab. But, Tyler also shared his struggles as a teenager. He attempted suicide at age 11 and currently falls somewhere on the “bipolar spectrum.” Now as an adult, he attends therapy on a regular basis just like Cate. She’s struggled with mental health ever since she had her first panic attack at age 20, and has been diagnosed with panic disorder, PTSD, and depression.

“Don’t be ashamed, talk to somebody, and find a therapist you like, even if you have to go through three,” Cate urged listeners. “You can get through it and change as long as you are willing to put in the work. Remember that your past does not define you.”

She also shared how she goes to therapy, keeps herself busy, and focuses on hobbies in order to combat her anxiety. Riding her horse, meditating, doing yoga, and using lavender oil help her feel better. It’s wonderful to see Cate and Tyler putting their health first!

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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