I’m a therapist trained in post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and perinatal mood disorders. I treat survivors of traumatic birth, so the women-centered content of Little Voices is very powerful for me. This story deeply describes the unique female psychological experience of traumatic childbirth, perinatal mental illness and recovery. The opening scene is Devony’s traumatic birth experience. Many women come into my office sharing a story much like hers.
Dyane Harwood is my June 2018 shero.
Perinatal mood disorders are the most common complication of childbirth. 15 – 20 % of women experience symptoms of depression and anxiety during pregnancy and in the first year after giving birth. Postpartum depression is the most common term used, but there are a few differential diagnoses that can be found in the perinatal mood distress category. Postpartum depression (PPD), postpartum anxiety (PPA), postpartum obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), bipolar disorders, postpartum psychosis and postpartum birth trauma. You can find out more about these categories at the BirthTouch® website or at Postpartum Support International.
Pregnancy and birth are major adult transitions filled with joy, but the transition to parenthood can also bring up feelings of insecurity, sadness or fear as you and your partner move into this different phase of self-identity. Parenting an infant is difficult, but if one of you had a complicated early family life, parenting is like navigating rough waters, as flashbacks to unpleasant scenes from childhood intrude upon present reality.
If you’ve experienced a previous depression or anxiety or trauma or went through infertility treatments, have a baby in the NICU, or experienced childhood abuse, you have a higher risk that the physical and emotional changes of childbirth could bring on recurrent symptoms. Because of the hormonal fluctuations experienced at childbirth, 85% of all women experience the baby blues, which is a sadness after childbirth that resolves itself in about 2 weeks.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Be kind to yourself today.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month!
As of 2017, the World Health Organization lists depression as the top cause of ill health and disability worldwide.
Just a few years ago, it was number four on the list.
Did you know that 99% of women who stop breastfeeding due to medications can actually continue?
As a new mother 22 (short?) years ago, I suffered postpartum depression. I was breastfeeding and refused to take any medications for it. I think I would’ve come out of the depression sooner if I had opted for medication. But, I was afraid. There weren’t many studies back then. Now there are a lot of studies on this topic and there’s a lot of information available about medications and pregnancy and breastfeeding.
The idea of the Triple Goddess is rooted in antiquity, in prehistoric societies, in Greek and Roman culture and mythology. The Triple Goddess is often portrayed as one goddess with three faces embodying the archetypes of maiden, mother and matriarch all in one being. She is associated with the moon, and often called a moon goddess.
These three archetypes are portrayed throughout the world in literature, poetry, mythology, ancient religion, folk stories and fairy tales. Many of our modern archetypes of womanhood are derived from these archetypes and implicitly influence how we define womanhood in today’s world.
A definition and overview of DBT’s Distress Tolerance can be found here.