In a way, modern reality stars live two lives concurrently.
There’s the storyline we see on our TV screens that provides in-depth detail about events that took place several months ago — and then there are the social media posts that provide up-to-the-minute updates on what the stars are doing right now.
And every once in a while you end up with someone like Amber Portwood — a woman who had so much drama going on in her life then and now that it’s almost impossible to keep track.
In July of 2019, Portwood is facing domestic violence charges after allegedly attacking ex-boyfriend Andrew Glennon, who now has full custody of the former couple’s son.
But when the current season of Teen Mom OG filmed last year, Amber was dealing with big-time drama involving a different ex … and a different child.
As we learned during the previous week’s episode, Portwood’s daughter Leah has been exhibiting symptoms of panic attacks.
Amber and Gary Shirley have different ideas about how to address the problem, and they’re trying to settle on a treatment program that will be best for their daughter.
It’s a road that Portwood has been down before, but unfortunately, it seems Shirley has some very different ideas about mental illness.
“I need to get on board with exactly what’s going on in Leah’s life, what I can do,” Amber said to Andrew Glennon at one point.
“There’s a lot of things I know about this certain situation. I really want my alone time with her, I want us with her. I need to make sure everything’s okay with Leah.”
And so, Amber decided to calmly confront Gary about how to address their daughter’s mental health issues.
And for once, we’re not being sarcastic — the confrontation was actually calm.
“My first time it happened to me, I was 9 years old,” Amber told him.
“If she’s saying this is happening on the bus, you gotta figure out what the reason is and how she can cope with it when she’s in the situation when you’re not around, I’m not around, Christina’s not around.”
Gary remained resistant to having Leah diagnosed, saying:
“I don’t want to put a label on our daughter. I just don’t like saying she’s having this issues probably because she’s crazy.”
In response, Amber made an important point:
It’s not that mental health problems were less common 20 years ago, they were just left untreated, often with disastrous consequences.
“I think times we needed to have therapy growing up, we didn’t get it,” she told Gary.
“I think when we look back sometimes, I kinda wish I did have therapy because maybe I would have felt better.”
Like we said, it actually went pretty smoothly, and Amber was able to make Gary see her side.
“I think me and Gary had a really good conversation, we both want the same thing for Leah and we’re just taking the precautions we feel we should as parents,” she later told Andrew.
“It’s a big step for us to be able to sit down and talk about issues without arguing.”
Now if only Amber’s relationship with her most recent baby daddy were going half that well.
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