Earlier this week, Teen Mom OG star Tyler Baltierra shared a poem about his heartbreaking suicide attempt. It must have taken a lot of courage for him to share such an intimate piece of self-expression.
Unfortunately, some people had the nerve to use this opportunity to suggest that he and Catelynn shouldn’t be allowed to be parents because of their mental health.
Tyler took to Twitter to clap back against this very dangerous line of thinking.
One Twitter user, an Instagram model whose claim to fame is having been on Bad Girls Club, decided to ask a not-so-innocent question about Tyler and Catelynn.
“Sad that him and his wife are struggling with depression and bi polar disorder,” Danielle says.
Unfortunately, she did not stop there.
Tyler and Catelynn have her sympathies, “but is that really a healthy environment for a child to grow up in?” she asks.
She also does that thing that some people do when they have a decent following on social media and would rather be able to say that they are “starting a conversation” than voicing an opinion.
“[I don’t know,] thoughts people?” she asks, as if her entire tweet were just an innocuous question about Catelynn’s hairstyle.
Tyler saw this and, very understandably, felt the need to speak out.
“So everyone who has a mental health issue shouldn’t be allowed to have children?” he tweeted.
You can really feel his righteous indignation.
Tyler continued, describing parenting as getting to “experience the most beautiful thing this life can give you.”
Not everyone will necessarily agree that parenting, with its many ups and downs, qualifies for that lofty superlative … but we’ll let it slide for the moment.
“It’s the same,” Tyler continues. “As telling someone who has diabetes or any manageable condition, that they shouldn’t have kids.”
Sadly, people have probably made arguments along those lines, too. No, wait, people have definitely made arguments along those lines. And it’s horrifying.
Tyler makes his feelings clear, writing: “I highly disagree with that!”
Tyler was not the only one who strenuously objects to the notion that people being treated for their mental health are disqualified from being parents.
One Twitter user replied to the original tweet: “Wow really?? I have anxiety and manic depression as well! I’ve raised two healthy sons to adulthood! Shame on you for that statement! I’ve had this since age 20! I’m 44 now!”
“This is the problem with most people,” another person tweeted. “If they have never experienced it they can’t understand. I’m raising 3 children while I suffer from anxiety. I’m a GREAT mom and they are very well taken care of! I am on medication and I take care of myself so I can take care of them!”
Many mental illnesses are totally treatable. If you argue that someone’s depression makes them a bad parent, you sound like a sleezy divorce lawyer.
Another tweets: “Were you not just begging twitter to pay your rent a few months ago? Worry about yourself & not the mental health of others.. btw Tyler is a WONDERFUL dad.”
Wow. Somebody brought some reciepts to the roast.
Another wrote, more simply: “Just because they struggle doesn’t mean [they’re] bad parents.”
Others simply couldn’t believe this woman’s audacity to ask the question.
“Why in 2018 is mental health still being stigmatised?!” another tweeter asks. “Why should people feel ashamed for having an illness that is out with their control?! This needs to STOP!”
Another decided that Danielle needed a little more roasting.
This person tweeted: “At least their kids can look back and see that their parents had positive impact in life and on tv. What are your kids gna see when they google your name? Bad girls clubs clips bahaha now thats sad.”
People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw shade.
Others, however, defended the question … sort of.
“I don’t think it’s a bad question,” another fan tweeted. “You have to truly understand that some are completely unaware of how it feels to live with a mental illness. Educate those whom do not understand.”
That’s a good point, honestly — sometimes, people have to ask questions to learn. Even if those questions have horrifying implications.
Speaking of horrifying thoughts, however, some people went above and beyond when agreeing with Danielle’s question.
One person tweeted: “Selective breeding, we do it with animals, why not humans…only way to stabilize society and weed out illness.”
Let’s just hope that this person is, like, 12 and still coming to grasp with right and wrong. Because, and I hate Nazi comparisons, but … that is one scary tweet.
Obviously, if someone is a bad parent, either abusive or neglectful or otherwise unable to give their child love and support, the child needs a better home where they can be safe and healthy.
But mental illness — in addition to being treatable — does not disqualify someone from being an amazing parent. It’s just a thing that they have to deal with.
In fact, that personal struggle can make them more empathetic to a child’s potential struggles.
In the mean time, the world has no shortage of truly awful parents who don’t have any mental illness. Being a terrible person is a character trait, not an ailment.
Good for Tyler for sticking up for himself, his wife, and for every other parent with mental health struggles.