How many times have we heard the line “I think you may need help”? This line seems so simple, but if you are someone who has been told this line we know that it can sometimes be a lot more complicated than we thought. When we get to a point where we have realized that we need help, sometimes fear creeps around the corner or we have the OMG moment this “thing” that I have been struggling with is real!! At the same time it can be this freeing moment that we realize that there is help, and that there is light at the end of the tunnel. The light at the end of the tunnel looks different for each of us when we start our healing journey. For some the light can seem so far away that we barely see it, and for others the light is so close that it is as if we can touch it with our fingertips. Regardless the distance to your light there is a light, there is hope, you can come out of the darkness, there is help, and you are not alone. You do not have to walk down the tunnel by yourself. There are many forms of support and help available. I could write a separate blog post for each (which I will do in the very near future with some guest blogging post). I just want to share a couple with you today.
Finding a support group:If you look at the resource section you will find some awesome links that will help you locate some groups in your local area. I LOVE groups so much. I love knowing that I am not in this alone, that there are others out there who also struggle like I do. I think there is some fear about being in a group. We may tell ourselves “ya they are struggling but I am doing so much worse”, “there is no way they can understand what I am
going through”. Just like in many other areas in our lives we like to compare. The truth is that when you go to a group everyone is going to have a different story, may be on a different path, be on a different treatment method, and or may have a different diagnosis, but we all experience VULNERABILITY, we get to choose how we want to express that vulnerability. I highly recommend you read some Brene Brown she is absolutely amazing (great TED talks too). Being part of a group is a great way to destroy those negative thoughts that you are alone and no one understands. Isolation is not the answer. I know finding strength to leave the house, and getting yourself ready for the day can be completely overwhelming. If group is not for you that’s ok there are other options. We all heal differently which means we may need a different method of help to help us heal.
Therapy:As you may know I am Therapist. I have some confessions to make. As a Therapist I knew that I wanted to go into maternal mental health. I have worked with several women and their families who have struggled with PMAD. The more I have read and researched the more I have realized how important it is to be trained and certified in Maternal Mental Health. That is the journey I am on now, and whish I had started years ago. So my encouragement to you is that you find a therapist that is certified in Maternal Mental Health (if you are a therapist reading this PSI has some great certifications and trainings). There are some great questions to ask a Therapist before beginning therapy in the book “Beyond the Blues”. Do not be afraid to ask your therapist questions, we are talking about your health and the health of your family…. you have every right to ask questions. As a therapist I love when my families come in with questions. It may take you awhile to find a therapist who is trained, this is a growing specialty, but there are therapist out there who are very passionate about the women and families that they serve. Therapy will look different for everyone. You may see your therapist once a week, twice a week, or every other week/month. Another topic that will come up during therapy is your treatment plan (goals and objectives that are targeted towards guiding you to your light at the end of tunnel). Your treatment plan may or may not include medication. I know medication can be an uneasy discussion to have with your therapist (this is based of my personal conversations with mama’s). It is an important conversation that you need to have. If medication happens to be the right option for you, having a therapist help you through this process will hopefully bring you some comfort and put your worries to ease. You will also work with your doctor when it comes to medication… I like the idea of having a group of professionals who are working with me to find the best solution. If you are looking at alternative methods of treatment ask your therapist. I know herbs and essential oils are making a rise (it seems that there needs to be more research done in this area), if you are using any of the above… let your doctor and therapist know. Be as open and honest as possible with your therapist.
Postpartum Doula:Postpartum Doula…I think that is soooo amazing and wish I had a postpartum doula (I hope to have a guest post for this topic soon). From mamas that I have worked with they say having a postpartum doula is such a gift “they did my laundry, cleaned my dishes, she did everything that I just was not able to do… so I could take the time to take care of myself”.
There are other forms of help, but just wanted to list a few today (to be continued…). Social media has been away that mamas have found support, but please be careful. Postpartum Progress has a great blog and facebook page, I would also check out PSI. “As We Thrive” is growing and we are very excited about this you can find us on facebook and Instagram.