Today, 3rd May 2017, the world has come together to raise awareness of World Maternal Mental Health Day.
When starting a family, we’re not given a job specification or an outline of responsibilities to prepare you for this important role ahead. Being a parent can be the most important role you will ever accept. It can also be the greatest and most rewarding journeys of life, however for some parents, this change in life can be overwhelming and can cause unpredictable changes to their mental health.
It’s believed that 2 in 10 women have a mental health problem during pregnancy and in the first year following the birth, and yet over 75% of women do not get diagnosed or receive the adequate treatment and support.
Both the course of pregnancy and being a new mum can have many strains; physically, emotionally and financially – it’s understandable that your mental health is not going be at it’s strongest, but it’s important to share how you are feeling and to know that it’s best to seek support when needed.
As your hormones adjust from being pregnant to after giving birth, it’s very common to experience the ‘baby blues’; a short period of feeling low, irritable, tired, and anxious. The ‘baby blues’ can last for approximately 2 weeks after giving birth, which is different from postnatal depression.
Postnatal depression can happen gradually or all of a sudden. The depression and feeling a sense of low self-esteem can range from being relatively mild to very severe.
The NHS suggests that “postnatal depression can start any time in the first year after giving birth.
Signs that you or someone you know might be depressed include:
- a persistent feeling of sadness and low mood
- loss of interest in the world around you and no longer enjoying things that used to give you pleasure
- lack of energy and feeling tired all the time
- trouble sleeping at night and feeling sleepy during the day
- feeling that you’re unable to look after your baby
- problems concentrating and making decisions
- loss of appetite or an increased appetite (comfort eating)
- feeling agitated, irritable or very apathetic (you “can’t be bothered”)
- feelings of guilt, hopelessness and self-blame
- difficulty bonding with your baby with a feeling of indifference and no sense of enjoyment in his or her company
- frightening thoughts – for example, about hurting your baby; these can be scary, but they’re very rarely acted upon
- thinking about suicide and self-harm
These symptoms can affect your day-to-day life and your relationships with your baby, family and friends.
Many women don’t realise they have postnatal depression, because it can develop gradually.”
Of course, fathers and partners can also become depressed after the birth of a baby. You should also seek help if this is affecting you.
Here you can read more from the NHS about treating postnatal depression.
The reassuring news is that postnatal depression is a temporary illness and can be treated with the right support.
If you are a new parent and this is all sounding too familiar, don’t be afraid to speak out. Tell your midwife, health visitor or doctor how you feel. Seek advice and talk to a specialist.
For more information on how to treat Postnatal Depression, don’t suffer in silence – contact us today firstname.lastname@example.org
Unfortunately, and often the case, anxiety can be mistaken for anger due to the two having similar behaviours and characteristics.
With anxiety you may find yourself becoming withdrawn, easily irritated, and quick to react and snap in aid of stopping whatever might be causing this feeling. From the outside these traits may appear as aggressive and it’s this misunderstanding that creates a defensive response from onlookers.
Of course in order to tell the difference between anxiety and anger, it helps to understand what the terms actually mean. “First, anxiety is defined as “an unpleasant state of mental uneasiness, nervousness, apprehension and obsession or concern”. Anger is defined as “a strong feeling of displeasure, hostility or antagonism towards someone or something, usually combined with an urge to harm (physically or verbally)”.
As you can see, just because the outward symptoms may look the same, the motivation behind each is vastly different. Another way to look at it is that anxiety makes a person retreat and anger pushes a person to advance. This motivation provides clues to help you differentiate.” [Source Psych Central, blog post by Gabe Howard]
Rather than immediately confronting a distressed individual in a defensive manner, consider taking a few moments to observe and assess the entire situation before reacting or getting involved. Try to see if they want to get away or if they are trying to start a confrontation. If they are trying to get away, it’s very likely that anxiety is driving their actions.
Anxiety can be unpredictable. It can pounce on you at the most unexpected of times; like when the doorbell goes unannounced, when you’re invited to a social gathering, or perhaps a queue has built up behind you at the checkout.
We’ve all been there – your heart races and you perspire for no apparent reason, you become incoherent or light headed. When caught up in anxiety, one often responds with negative responses to the body and mind. We feel unease, nervous, apprehensive and worried. Our thoughts are full with fear, and our minds are stuck in a negative thought pattern, showering us with questions like “what if”. If this sounds all too familiar, and it happens to you regularly, then perhaps it is time to seek help.
One of the hardest parts of living with anxiety is feeling trapped, like you have no one to turn to and you have to live in a protected bubble to avoid situations you’re not comfortable with. Seeing a councillor may help you to learn how to build the confidence to push forward and decrease your stress levels… it’s often a problem that can get worse if the stress continues to build up.
You may feel ashamed to ask for help, or believe that it’s not ‘that big of a problem’. But by covering up your feelings could worsen the situation. It’s important for yourself to understand what drives your anxiety and how to deal with it.
At Amida Life Coach, we care about you. We want to help you make a connection between your thoughts and the feelings of anxiety, so you can learn to identify and counter negative thoughts to improve your mood and reduce your stress levels.
There are various way to help, however one of the most effective ways is to look at Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), which will help you learn coping techniques.
CBT can help you manage your problems by enabling you to recognise how your thoughts affect both your feeling and behaviour.
For more information and advice on anxiety or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, please do get in touch. Contact Amida Life Coach today at email@example.com
I don’t know how many times I have asked myself that question. I would not be surprised if you are asking similar questions now. I went through a lot of attempts to solve my own problems myself as I thought it was weak and shameful to ask for help.
I wish I had the strength and knowledge I have now to rebuke these ideas and notions. Going to see a life coach was the best decision I ever made. They helped me grow spiritually, personally and created a foundation to explore my fears and desires.
I was struggling with a break up of a long-term relationship, which left me disorientated and helpless. Having an “enlightened” witness to listen to, interpret and challenge my thinking allowed me to understand my thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
With deep exploration and a structured plan, I was able to understand my unconscious choices and drives, allowing me to work through negative thinking forms, resulting in increased confidence and better relationships.
My own therapy and coaching has inspired me to train as a coach, a therapist and a spiritual practitioner offering varied platforms to support clients to move forward in all aspects of their lives.
With all the current turmoil and upheaval in the world today, we may become anxious or resistant to change. Here are my 6 tips to embrace change
- Reduce expectations.
We may need to re-evaluate expectations, and don’t expect or demand a particular outcomes; we learn to lessen our grip and attachment to these desired outcomes, becoming more open to other possibilities. With healthier expectations of life we are less likely to meet with loss, disappointment, and pain.
- Acknowledge change.
We learn learning change can happen quickly where things can and will be different from how they are now. Healthy change is allowing it to happen when it unfolds instead of approaching change from a place of denial and resistance.
- Accept change.
I desperately tried to prevent and stop change from happening in my work life and personal relationships, prolonging the inevitable by burying my head in the sand. I have learned Change encouraged transformation and growth, which when embraced allow us to make positive shifts and adjustments for a more fulfilling life.
- Learn from the experience.
If we accept and embrace change, we will start looking for and finding lessons from it. Once we can reflect upon the new experiences change has created, we can develop and see profound shifts in our lives. Change can be our greatest teacher, but only if we give ourselves permission to learn from it.
- Recognise you’re growing stronger.
When you accept, embrace, and learn from change, we inevitably grow stronger. The ability to continuously accept change creates a stronger foundation where we can adjust to the ever shifting social dynamics, financial burdens and political problems all around us.
- Embrace the wisdom.
Embracing change will bring newfound strength and more inner peace, more calmness and develop courage. We you will reach a level of understanding in life with a new cultivated wisdom which can embrace and accept change.