This Isn’t What I Expected – Overcoming Postpartum Depression (7)

I know, I know … where have I been, right?!  Summer is here and I have been really busy with my girls.  I think we are all three exhausted, so I decided to take a break from the day to day activities and catch up on some stuff here at the house.  Even though I have not been blogging, I have been reading.

Chapter Seven is called “Where Do I Go for Help?”:  Getting the Most Out of Professional Therapy.”  This chapter goes into some reasons as to why women with PPD decide not to go into therapy and provides reasonings as to why they should not let those reasons become excuses as to why they aren’t getting the help that they need.  The chapter then goes into ways of finding help.

–  “It is very common to view the decision to enter therapy as a sign of emotional weakness.  When you have PPD, this notion gets compounded by your family’s, society’s, and your own expectations that it is natural to be a contented, enthusiastic, “good” mother, and that you should be able to resolve this on your own.  You may fear that if you admit that you “need help” then you are truly out of control.  Actually, the opposite is true.  Only when you reach the point where you can say, “I am tired of feeling so bad.  I am not going to continue to let this take over my life.  I want to do something to help myself feel better again!” can you begin to feel back in control.  We view it as a strength, not weakness, that enables you to take that step.”

–  “Some women say they are afraid that their family will think they are doing something wrong or that a therapist will surely think they are crazy.  If labeling does occur, it is out of ignorance, lack of education, misinformation, or fear; unfortunately, a stigma against mental illness still exists.  It can be quite self-destructive to be so afraid of what other people think that you do not take the steps necessary for your recovery.  Avoiding treatment will not make any illness go away.”

–  “You must make your own needs a priority at this time.  It’s hard to imagine finding time for yourself right now, but being able to do that is an essential part of recovery.  This is not selfish – your baby needs a mother who is functioning at her optimal level.  Taking care of your own needs is a critical part of taking care of your baby.”

–  “If members of your immediate support network (husband, family, and friends) disapprove of therapy, their opinion will clearly influence your decision.  At a time when even the littlest decision seems impossible, it would be especially helpful to have support from friends and family while you make this very complex one.  But remember, no one else really knows how you feel inside.  Ultimately, this is your body, your mind, and your choice.”

–  “We estimate that two-thirds of the women we treat for PPD remain in therapy after the initial crisis has subsided and continue to explore some of the following issues:  loss, codependency, abuse and incest survival, other forms of victimization, addiction (chemical dependency), eating disorders, divorce or severe conflict in your parents’ relationship, habitually unsatisfying relationships, chronic poor self-esteem, and significant conflicts about motherhood.”

–  “The elements of physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse that may directly impact PPD are having had your feelings and fears ignored and not having had control over your own body.  We see very high rates of abuse in the women that we treat for PPD.  If you grew up in a critical or punitive environment, it is hard to feel good about yourself in any situation, and clearly these feelings are exacerbated when you have PPD.”

~ by cmb0414 on June 9, 2010.

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