Few facts about perinatal depression and anxiety:
- Perinatal refers to the period during pregnancy, and for one year following birth, although mental disorders related to birthing and parenting can be experienced at any stage. Recent research suggests that it is more common four years after birth.
- Although commonly associated with new mums, dads can also experience postnatal depression. Click this link to visit a website dedicated to new dads.
- Perinatal mental illness is not just about depression. There are a variety of mental health disorders that may first present in this period including anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, even psychosis.
Perinatal mental disorders are common, serious, and treatable. The important thing is to seek help, and seek help early. Don't be afraid to let your health care providers (GP, obstetrician, midwife, maternal health nurse, psychologist etc.) know what you are thinking and how you are feeling.
Beyond Blue have an online questionnaire to help you check your symptoms (click here), and together with Smiling Mind have just launched a free smart phone app, called Mind the Bump, to help expecting parents support their mental and emotional well being during pregnancy and in becoming a new parent with mindfulness. You can read more about mindfulness in an earlier blog.
This week (16-22 November) is postnatal depression awareness week. PANDA (Post & Antenatal Depression Association) is calling for greater awareness of antenatal and postnatal anxiety, encouraging mums and dads to seek help early.
One my clients recommended I read this post. I like this blog anyway, but this particular post resonated with me for its beautifully explanation and illustration what it can be like to have depression.
From a psychological perspective, we often talk about depression being not only the presence of negative feelings, but more importantly, the inability to experience positive feelings.
If you haven't felt this way before, it can be difficult to understand, and even more difficult to describe, but this blog does it really well.
For those of you that have been there, you may relate to the story. For those of you who haven't experienced depression - you probably know someone who has. You may appreciate gaining some insight into what is happening, and how to support, those loved ones around you.
Click here to read the post.
This post is related to the one I did yesterday.
We can often feel a bit lost with how to help our loved ones going through a difficult time. What is the right thing to say? How can you help?
For youth week (4-13th April 2014), the NSW government has published a webpage on how to help youths with mental health. It may be designed for young people, but the strategies apply to all. Click here to visit the page.
Dr. Edmund Bruce-Gardner is an osteopath