When our lives are in flux, sometimes the change can take us by complete surprise. A big life change can come out of nowhere, like a job loss or a sudden death. But even expected life changes, like becoming a new parent, can leave you feeling like a bomb just went off in the center of your world and nothing makes sense anymore. Your usual ways of dealing with stress just don’t seem like enough.
Some of the major life changes people seek help for include (but are not limited to):
- Becoming a new parent
- “Empty nest”
- Rocky relationships
- Job loss/new job
- Grief / loss
- Health issues
PERINATAL MOOD AND ANXIETY DISORDERS (“Postpartum Depression”)
At least 1 in 5 mothers (and 1 in 10 fathers) experience some form of mood or anxiety disorder during pregnancy or within the first year of a child’s birth.
This is different than the “baby blues,” which affects up to 80% of child-bearing people in the first 2-3 weeks after giving birth. This moderate moodiness and weepiness is considered a normal adjustment period and resolves on its own. If symptoms are severe or longer lasting, please seek screening for PMAD via your medical provider or contact me for an appointment.
Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMAD) can arise during pregnancy, and can have many faces. It is not only about depression. Some new parents experience intense anxiety without depression, panic, or post traumatic stress. Some new parents experience bipolar depression, which is deep depression cycled with periods of high energy and a decreased need for sleep. Some new parents experience intrusive thoughts that are scary. When these thoughts frighten or disgust them, this does not mean they will hurt the baby. This often gets confused with Postpartum Psychosis, which is what we see in the news and is unfortunately called “postpartum depression” in the stories. Postpartum Psychosis is a separate and very rare illness in which the person has a complete break from reality. It only occurs in about 1 or 2 cases per 1000 births.
There are many factors that contribute to PMAD. It is not your fault. You did nothing to “cause” this. With help, you will get better.
How I can help
I use research-backed tools and awareness practices to help you feel steady on your feet again and promote clearer thinking. We zero in on your strengths and values to re-connect you with what’s most important. We explore new ways of dealing with stress and taking care of yourself that work with your new normal.
If this sounds like it might be helpful to you, contact me and we can schedule a free 15 minute phone consultation.