Posts Tagged ‘couples counseling’
World Mental Health Day Blog Party: Coming Out of the Closet About Depression and Postpartum Depression
Hey there! Honored to be part of PsychCentral’s World Mental Health Day Blog Party! Today, as an LPC, I could write another professional blog about treatment options or family dynamics; like outline a specific self-care relaxation, expressive or cognitive re-framing exercise.
Did you know that women are twice as likely to suffer a mood disorder than men, and this risk of depression begins at puberty? Women’s moods are influenced by biological, psychological and social factors. Are you at risk?
Pregnancy is a time of spiritual & psychological growth, but can also be a time of uncertainty. Personal issues as being in a relationship, balancing career and motherhood, and being a good parent may start to show up. During this time of change, intense emotions may come up as you re-evaluate your ideas about life and relationships.
Much joy and much stress may show up, as you wonder about how it will be to become a parent. If you experienced abuse in your past, you may wonder if you can parent calmly, even if you are determined to break the cycle of abuse.
Perhaps you and your spouse or significant other
have been having problems for quite some time. Perhaps you are
discovering the person you thought you wanted to live with for the
rest of your life is not who you thought he or she is. Perhaps you
are confronting and dealing with infidelity or extreme anger issues.
Perhaps there is emotional and or verbal abuse, continual sarcasm
that you have been trying to deflect or manage, but you are finding
that is not working out so well. If there is physical abuse in your
relationship, you need to find a safe house as soon as possible and
take haven there. Go to a relative’s house, a friend’s house, or a
shelter if you need to hide from your abuser. Help is available.
If you are in a situation that is safe, and you have decided to
pursue couples therapy, then the next step is to look for a licensed
therapist and sort through the different personalities and therapies
in which they have training. There are so many types of couple
therapy out there, with differing names. It can be confusing to
You might be wondering, “Why is my doctor singling ME out? Am I really experiencing postpartum depression? But I am a good mom, this couldn’t be happening to me. I DO love my baby. I couldn’t possibly have postpartum depression. That’s not me. I am a capable person, with lost of love in my heart. I mean, don’t all women experience feelings of sadness, fatigue, anger, and anxiety after giving birth? After all, there is now so much more work to do, I am not getting much sleep, and I am totally responsible for my baby’s safety, a very important job…that would make anyone feel overwhelmed and tired! But I do feel pretty alone a lot.”
It can be difficult to recognize postpartum depression as it is sort of an imposter. Its more intense feelings are on a continuum of feelings that women normally experience after giving birth. Having a baby is naturally a time of emotional highs and lows. There is much research showing that about 85% of women who give birth experience feelings of sadness, fatigue, overwhelm, weepiness, anxiety, irritability and possibly some fleeting scary thoughts during the first two to three weeks postpartum. There is so much evidence to support this type of emotionality two or three weeks postpartum that it has a name, the “baby blues.” The baby blues is considered a normal part of the human emotional experience, and will fade as the mother’s body, mind and spirit adjust to parenting.
I just read an article about how anxiety disorders are on the rise, not just in, women, but in the general population. Mylast blog touched on the fact that women’s moods are not just based on hormonal shifts, but also on social and emotional factors,so this article supports this information as well. Researchers in the article cite a correlation between the rise of extrinsic values(materialism, working more and more) and depression and anxiety in the general population. The article is in Glamour magazine and is here.The researchers state that developing intrinsic values of self-worth based on values of community, socialization and commitment to work and family create feelings of security and self-worth, and inoculate against depression and anxiety. The researchers also had many positive suggestions supported by research to help inoculate against anxiety and depression, like mind-body techniques such as yoga and meditation, and lifestyle adjustments. I guess we really can’t haveit all.
I just got back from Europe where I attended a family marriage.In the places we stayed, the population tended to stay in one placeall of their lives; people tended to be imbedded solidly in their community with many social contacts. The housing was less ostentatious than you find in the US, but there were more ways to socialize, walk about the community and just make connections with people. People weren’t moving around at a frenetic pace driving their kids to umpteen activities, striving to exercise themselves into a size they were when they were 20 years old, and also fitting in working to pay for the activities and gym memberships. I watched and felt myself in this society, where people and who these people were are actually valued more than the size of the house, the designer furniture inside, and the brand of the car. I know there are things I can do and DO do to help create this type of intrinsic value in my life, but where are the common sense community controls on advertising, cyberbullying, computer games where kids witness and cause 20,000 deaths? We have over-ridden commonsense in pursuit of individual expression. How about that case where some girls in LA posted malicious cyberbullying content on YouTube, were suspended from school for this, but one of the girl’s father proudly kept the content up on the internet, citing freedom of expression. Come on,you know, it is just not nice to post mean comments on YouTube about people. Where has common sense gone? Let’s retrieve it in our daily lives, and reduce stress and anxiety. Read the rest of this entry »
While it is truly wonderful that women’s moods, such as postpartum depression, from a biological perspective, are now being studied in more depth, I think the popular focus on maternal reproductive health as a by-product of a biologica lhormonal condition is too narrow. Janet. M. Stoppard. PhD, in her work,Understanding Depression, discusses the social and personal issues that also pressure women across the life-span, as they move from one reproductive stage to the next.
Women across the lifespan have a higher risk of depression than men. Dr. Samantha Meltzer-Brody, Director of Perinatal Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, discusses depression, women and hormonal fluctuation. Research about women, complex hormonal fluctuation and reproductive maternal mental health is important and ground-breaking. Giving voice to women in research about depression is important, having women researchers work on the subject and also actually including as subjects in research studies, is important, This is as opposed to studying male subjects and then applying conclusions about male subjects to women.