On last week’s episode of Teen Mom OG, Amber Portwood learned her daughter, Leah, may be struggling with anxiety. She also learned that her ex and his wife haven’t been fully transparent about Leah’s possible struggle with her mental health.
During the episode, Kristina Shirley said she received a text from Leah’s school stating Leah “started crying and saying her chest hurt.” In the moment, Gary Shirley didn’t seem to want to admit that his daughter’s symptoms meant she could be having panic attacks.
Amber Portwood learns her daughter might be having panic attacks
Kristina told Portwood about Leah’s episode when the two took the 10-year-old to get a pedicure.
“I guess her chest got tight and she couldn’t hardly breathe and she was crying,” said Kristina.
“How is it a panic attack?” asked Leah, mentioning that she’s had “eight maybe in the past couple years.”
Portwood was upset for a couple of reasons: she felt out of the loop regarding a big part of Leah’s life and she’s worried about her daughter’s mental health.
Portwood’s no stranger to anxiety, as she’s struggled with panic attacks for years. It was hard for her to hear her daughter might be facing the same issues.
“Why wasn’t I told this?” asked Portwood. “I feel like you guys aren’t telling me anything right now. We need to figure that one out. When things like that happen, I really would love to know.”
Kristina told Portwood that she’d keep her updated on all mental health matters moving forward.
Portwood told Kristina that she started having panic attacks when she was Leah’s age.
“It’s real,” she said, “F*** my life. I just feel like crying.”
“I’m completely crushed that Leah might be having panic attacks,” she said in a confessional.
“I feel like, when something like that happens, you should just let the mom know,” she continued, crying. “I told [Leah] next time it happens, call me. There’s things you can do to get your mind off it. She doesn’t know yet. She said it was like her eighth one.”
Portwood’s boyfriend, Andrew Glennon, was disappointed to hear Kristina and Gary didn’t utilize “the best coach” once they learned Leah could be having panic attacks.
Gary doesn’t want to believe Leah has anxiety
When Kristina and Gary discussed Leah’s situation back at their house, Gary was still in denial about his daughter’s mental health.
“It might not be, we don’t know,” said Gary.
“Leah’s in very good hands. I don’t know everything Amber has, I don’t understand it. I know there’s bi-polarness, I don’t want Amber to say, ‘I think Leah has this because I have this,'” he continued. “There’s no cause for concern for any psychiatric help. I don’t want to put Leah in that category, I want Leah to be her own person and not be shadowed by something her mother has.”