“Mom Mental Health” through Exercise: Pregnancy, Postpartum & Beyond!

Mom Mental Health Through Exercise-Pregnancy, Postpartum, & Beyond! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

Childbearing Years Mental Health & Exercise

The years of childbearing and parenting young children can be some of the most challenging. For one, the hormonal shifts that accompany pregnancy and childbirth can throw many women into a struggle with a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder, like postpartum depression, and this can significantly impact her partner/spouse, children, and the entire family. Men also experience shifts in emotional functioning after a baby is born and can develop Paternal Postnatal Depression (PPND).

Lack of sleep is another issue that’s common in the childbearing years, with most parents fighting off fatigue and exhaustion on a daily basis. Time is suddenly consumed with caregiving, providing for, and spending time with children and family, in addition to previous work and personal responsibilities. It’s a season of high stress and no sleep that can take its toll on a mother or father’s mental health.

 

Mom Mental Health: The Facts

To better understand the unique mental health needs of the childbearing years, let’s look at the facts:

  • Pregnancy and the first year postpartum are a particularly vulnerable time in a woman’s life. In fact, a woman is thirty times more likely to experience a psychotic episode in the days immediately following childbirth than any other time in her life. This shows just how stressful and challenging the childbearing years can be.
  • Postpartum mental health falls on a spectrum, with disorders ranging from mild to severe. On the mild end, up to 80% of women will experience some change in their emotional healthMother Holding Infant --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbisduring or after childbirth. This is most commonly referred to as “The Baby Blues,” and typically goes away without treatment. In the middle of the spectrum, we see depression and anxiety disorders. Up to 15% of women will have depression in pregnancy, and as many as one in five will experience Postpartum Depression. Approximately 6% of pregnant and 10% of postpartum women suffer from an anxiety disorder, while 3-5% experience pregnancy/postpartum obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and 1-6% experience postpartum post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (PSI, 2014). On the severe end of the spectrum, 1 in 1000 women will experience postpartum psychosis, a serious and potentially life-threatening mental illness that requires immediate treatment to protect both the mother and the baby.
  • If untreated, pregnancy/postpartum mental illness can become chronic. Maternal depression affects approximately 10% of mothers, after the postpartum period, each year. Only about half seek and receive treatment, and it is estimated that at least one in ten U.S. children has a depressed mother in any given year (Ertel at al, 2007). Maternal depression is one of the strongest predictors of future behavioral and cognitive problems in the developing child (Canadian Pediatric Society, 2004).
  • It’s estimated as many as 10% of fathers worldwide, and 14% in the U.S., experience Paternal Postnatal Depression (PPND) (Paulson, 2010), which can also become chronic if untreated. Some estimate these numbers to be even higher, considering many do not discuss their symptoms nor reach out for help.
  • About half of men who have depressed partners are also depressed. When both parents are depressed, it can have a significant impact on parenting, bonding, and the overall development and wellbeing of the baby and other children.

 

The Benefits & Challenges of Exercise in the Childbearing Years

As you can glean from the facts above, if we want healthy children, we need healthy mothers and fathers. Considering the high risk of mental illness during the childbearing years, it’s crucial for parents to be Mom Mental Health Through Exercise; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #pregnancy #postpartum #ppd #mentalhealthprepared. Receiving education, like the statistics above, is a first step, and understanding the treatment options is a second.

Psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of the two, are considered the go-to treatment for maternal and paternal mental illness. Psychotherapy, it’s now shown, should be considered a first-line treatment for postpartum depression (Stuart et al, 2003), which makes sense, since it can also teach skills and new coping strategies for the stressors of parenthood. Considering the drastic effects of untreated maternal depression on the child, antidepressants are often recommended for moderate to several maternal mental illness. Research has shown that antidepressants and some other psychotropic medications are considered relatively safe for use in pregnancy and while breastfeeding (Chad et al., 2013). Yet, medication use in the childbearing years can be a tough choice for a pregnant/postpartum mother and her partner; they may fear the risk to the infant, and some mothers who do take medications, knowing it’s the right thing, still harbor terrible guilt about it.

 

Exercise as Treatment!

Exercise is a valuable preventative and treatment method for mental health in pregnancy, postpartum, and beyond.Mom Mental Health Through Exercise: Pregnancy, Postpartum, & Beyond! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

  • Research has shown exercise can significantly elevate mood in pregnant and postpartum women and should be considered a first-line treatment option, especially since so many mothers worry about the risks of antidepressants (Daly et al., 2007).
  • It’s not only safe for moms and dads; it’s safe for babies and children, too.
  • Exercise also promotes physical and mental health in pregnancy, postpartum, and parenting, and thus it’s truly a win-win.

 

Barriers to Exercise in Motherhood

Many parents do not exercise, however, and for many reasons. Becoming a parent shifts priorities from self-focus to child-focused. While this is no doubt a good thing, many parents give up their own physical and mental fitness as a result. Some feel, with such a full life, physical activity is no longer as important as it once was.

Of course, lack of sleep can also impact motivation and ability to exercise, as well as the heavy responsibilities new parents face. Finally, having a baby or young children can make it tough for many parents to find the time and space to exercise.

 

Tips for Exercise in the Childbearing Years

It is possible to maintain a regular exercise program with babies and young children at home. With six kids of my own, trust me, I know. And the good news is that developing an exercise program now will not only benefit your physical and mental health; it will benefit your children, as well. Here are a few suggestions for how to make exercise work for you:

  • Involve your child in your exercise program. Put the baby in the sling and do squats or lunges. Place him in the bouncer and do a yoga video, making faces and interacting with him while you do. Use a stroller or sling and go for a walk. Research shows that stroller, or pram, walking is an excellent way to improve mental health with your baby.
  • Exercise during naptime. Babies typically enjoy a ride in their stroller or sling while they sleep, and you can benefit by getting out in the sun and moving your body, too.
  • Create a home exercise “studio.” This can help you cut your exercise time. During naps, head to your exercise area do a home video, lift free weights, or stretch.
  • Join a gym with babysitting included. I taught aerobics for years using the free babysitting, and my kids loved it!
  • Exercise together, as a family. Put the kids in the stroller or sling and go for a family walk at the end of a busy day. Great bonding time, and you’re modeling self-care, too.
  • Trade off. Couples can take turns watching the kids while the other exercises. My husband and I used to do this: he’d watch the kids while I went for a jog or did a Pilates video, and then he’d head to the gym to play basketball, while I stayed with the kids.
  • Involve friends. Meet at the park and take turns watching the kids while the other goes for a jog, or start a babysitting co-op, where each person takes a turn watching all the children, and rotate.
  • Little kids can workout “with” you. When my kids were very young, they used to stretch and do yoga with me, or follow along with my exercise video, or they’d ride their Big Wheel up and down the street, while I ran alongside. It’s a great way to instill in kids a love of exercise, too.

 

~Exclusive, editor-deleted excerpt from my brand new book, “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise” Coming April 2016, and available for pre-order TODAY on Norton.com (COUPON: save 25% plus free shipping with code HIBBERT) on Amazon & Barnes & Noble! Watch for more sneak peak excerpts, coming soon!

 

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

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FREE Webinar! Intro to “Women’s Emotions”: What you were never taught about your Brain, Hormones, & Mental Health”

Introduction to Women's Emotions- What you were never taught about your brain, hormones, & mental health! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

What creates the ups and downs so common in female emotions?
What role does the brain play, and how do hormones factor in?
Why is it that most women were never taught these crucial truths?

 

Join me for my new, FREE webinar all about “Women’s Emotions,” as we explore the relationship between hormones, the brain, life experiences, and the unique qualities that create women’s emotional and mental health.

 

Register Here!

 

I’ve been teaching seminars on women’s emotional health for years, and I’ve found that this is information EVERY woman is needs.

Those who work with women, especially in the medical or mental health fields, need this information; those who love women (like husbands and partners) need this information; and those who want to better understand their own mental and emotional health so they can pass this information on to friends, family, and daughters especially need it.

In fact, many women are desperate for this understanding–desperate for answers to why they feel how they feel, why their moods fluctuate so much, and what they can do to increase wellness and mental and emotional health in their lives. In fact, my previous articles on “Women’s Emotions,” parts 1, 2, and 3, have been some of my most popular, and each time I teach on this topic, the women in the audience (and often the men who love them) ask, “Why was I never taught these things?”

 

This is why I am so thrilled to share this brand new webinar series with you!

Personally and professionally I have found this information to be life-changing, and I hope it will be for all who join us, too!

 

 

Here’s what you will learn in this FREE webinar!

 

 

In the first 30 minutes:

  • Learn the facts on female emotions, why they can be so challenging.
  • Understand the underlying factors creating women’s mental and emotional health.
  • Receive tools to help you overcome mental health struggles and build emotional wellness.
  • Leave with a new framework for understanding your, or women’s, mental and emotional health.
  • And, most importantly, know what you can DO.

 

The second 30 minutes will be a LIVE Q & A!

Submit your questions in real-time, and I will answer as many as possible. This is a wonderful opportunity to have your questions answered, live! If you can’t attend live, no problem! The webinar will be recorded, so you can access and view it any time!

 

Register Today!

Just click this link and you’ll be taken to the registration page, which includes a short video introduction to the webinar and easy registration!

Don’t stay in the dark about your own emotions any longer. Register for “Introduction to Women’s Emotions” today!”

 

 

 

P.S. If you have any questions about the webinar or registration, feel free to ask in the comments, below!

 

 

Be sure to check out my New show, “Motherhood,” on WebTalkRadio.net!

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#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
Be sure to check out my bestselling, award-winning memoir, This is How We Grow!
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"Who Am I Without You?" 52 Ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Breakup; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #book #selfesteem #breakup #divorce

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Creativity & Motherhood: 10 Ways to Uplift & Inspire Your Kids, Family, & Self!

Motherhood & Creativity- Uplift & Inspire! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

 

As women, and especially as mothers, we are creators. Creators of human beings, creators of families, creators of homes. We nurture, love, uplift, and inspire, and all of these requires creativity.

 

It’s easy as busy women and moms, however, to let our creativity fade, to let the busyness of life overtake us, ruling our schedules and making us believe our need for creation is unimportant, impossible, or insignificant. Yet, we need to create. We were born to create! We must continually nurture our creative qualities and pursuits if we want to keep our spirit alive and kicking, and when we do so, we have so much more to offer. In fact, it is through creativity that we uplift and inspire–our kids, our families, our communities, and yes, ourSELVEs.

 

 

10 Ways to Boost Creativity & Uplift and Inspire!

I was inspired by my interview on Motherhood radio with Rhonna Farrer, graphic artist and creator of the award-winning apps, Rhonna Designs & RD Magic (which I LOVE!). It is truly energizing to be around people who embrace & actively foster their creativity, and Rhonna is definitely one of those people! In fact, her tagline, “Uplift & Inspire,” inspired this blog post as well as our radio episode on Motherhood & Creativity: Uplift & Inspire! (Listen here on demand or download podcasts from iTunes!)

 

If your creativity needs a boost, check out the following 10 tips I believe are essential to nurturing and keeping creativity flowing in motherhood. Then, use that creativity to get out there and uplift & inspire, today!

 

I struggled with my confidence as a writer for years before I finally made myself believe in me. 2 years later, I'd not only published my first book, but I won an award for This is How We Grow! Others obviously believed in me, too. :)

I struggled with my confidence as a writer for years before I finally made myself believe in me. 2 years later, I’d not only published my first book, but I won an award for This is How We Grow! Others obviously believed in me, too. 🙂

1) Acknowledge your creativity. 

I can’t tell you how often I hear people say, “…but I’m not a creative person!” To that I say “Wrong!” We are all creative in some way or another; the trouble is we think creativity only applies to artistic ability, when in reality it’s so much more. You may be a creative thinker, problem solver, or nurturer. However and whatever you create–be it a clean home, happy disposition, or physical or mental health–is your creativity shining through. Your creativity may shine in your garden, at the dinner table, or while playing with your kids. It may pop up in how you handle your relationships, how you serve others, or how you learn. We ALL create. The first step is to acknowledge your preferred forms of creativity.

 

 

2) Believe in yourself. 

Of course, for any of these things to happen, you’ve got to believe in yourself. You’ve got to recognize your creativity and believe you can and will be able to apply it to make the world, or your home, or even your life, better. If you don’t have confidence in your creativity at the start, then fake it ’til you make it. Practice, like you would with weight lifting, until your confidence muscles become stronger. Even if you don’t feel confident, you can still practice creativity. The more you work on building your creative muscles, the more likely your confidence is to start shining through. (For more on building self-confidence and self-worth, click here.)

 

 

3) Practice nurturing your creativity each day.

To flourish, creativity must be nurtured. That means making creativity a part of each day–on purpose! It may sound difficult, but it’s simpler than you think. Writing, drawing, singing, dancing, crafting, gardening, decorating, brainstorming–even (and especially) mothering can get your creative juices flowing! The trick is to make creativity a practice–part of your daily routine. Rhonna Farrer has a fabulous way to nurture her creativity. Each day she selects one of 100 creativity-boosting exercises from a jar and does it. For example, doodling on a chalkboard or writing down thoughts or ideas throughout the day. Check out Rhonna Farrer’s “Boost Your Creativity” post, workshop, and kit to try it out, too!

 

 

4) Ditch the excuses. 

Created with the Rhonna Designs app!

Created with the Rhonna Designs app!

Okay. I know it’s not easy to cultivate creativity when you’re exhausted, sleep deprived, barely showered (or not quite showered), and just trying to keep up! Trust me, with 6 kids, this is my life every day. BUT, I can also say that creativity can fit in with motherhood, no matter what season of ‘being mom’ you’re in.

There truly is a “reason for every season,” and you can fit creativity into every stage of motherhood. Sit and practice piano with your baby strapped to your back, pull out the finger-paints and dig in with your toddler, or work with your teenager on redecorating her room. Practicing creativity doesn’t have to add more time to your already busy life. It’s more about using your time as wisely as possible, about simplifying things by creatively approaching each task. It’s about getting out of the “box” of excuses for why you can’t be creative and finding a whole new box to explore!

 

 

5) Nurture your relationships with creativity.

When I was in high school, my friends and I started “creative dating.” We’d invite new guys out

My husband, OJ, and me at my 39th birthday/ "This is How We Grow" book release party! Such a fabulous, fun night!

My husband, OJ, and me at my 39th birthday/ “This is How We Grow” book release party! Such a fabulous, fun night!

each week and then plan outrageous, fun dates with them that included things like playing cards in the airport, dinner on mountaintops, gondola rides with Italian opera, and a serenade in 3-part harmony (by us) to top it off! We can bring the same creativity to our marriages and relationships, if we focus and work on it. Play games, tell jokes, dance, sing, laugh together. Anything that gets you out of your rut!

For my birthday a couple years ago, we had a super fun game/competition/book launch party, with Jenga, Perfection, Connect 4, and “SingStar” competitions, as well as a few intense “Down on the banks of the hanky pinky…bullfrog” hand slapping competitions between my friends to win copies of my book! Other prizes included a “Bacon Wave,” kitchen appliances we no longer needed, and even our old TV! Everyone felt like a kid again; it was a great time! Think outside of the box with your family, partners, and friends–it will not only uplift and inspire your relationships, it will strengthen your creativity!

 

 

6) Practice creativity in your parenting.

Whether it’s helping your child find a solution to their problem, doing the end-of-the-year projects with them at midnight (the day before it’s due!), or finding creative discipline solutions that work, parenting is all about creativity. Actively incorporate creativity into your daily parenting by looking for new ways to handle your children’s needs, respond to intense situations, keep your family healthy and active, and teach important values and skills. Instead of talking out a problem, have them draw a picture of it. Then, together, draw a picture of a creative solution. There are countless ways to boost your creativity as a parent. All you have to do is look for and implement them! (Read more about Parenting Skills, here.)

 

 

7) Create the Life you Desire. 

It’s up to us to envision, execute, and ultimately to create the life we desire. It won’t just fall into our lap. It takes work, and it requires creativity. Don’t sell yourself short. Learn to use your creativity to bring to pass the life of your dreams! Learn how in Create the Life you Desire, Parts 1 & 2!Create your Life’s Vision, and Becoming the Butterfly: The power of personal transformation!

 

 

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

8) Create the body and mind you desire.

Physical and mental health are both acts of creation, as well. We can’t be healthy, and happy, until we make our health a priority. Exercise is one of the best tools for creating the body and mind you desire, and this article can show you how to create an exercise program that works for you! Sleep, nutrition, alone time, and self-care are other elements of creation that build wellness and help us flourish. We have to see these as creative acts, as acts that ultimately lead to health. Then, we have to practice creating the body and mind we desire. (For more ideas, read 6 Strategies for Body-Mind EmpowermentThe Mind-Body-Spirit Connection, and w5 Steps to a Clutter-Free Mind (and life!) And be sure to check out my new book, 8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise!)

 

 

9) Create happiness.

Research shows that only 50% of happiness is determined by genetics and personality. The other 50% is up to us. Only we can create happiness and discover joy; we can’t afford to wait around, hoping it distills upon us. How do we do this? These posts are a great starting place: Beyond Happiness: 10 Ways to Create Joy, Living a Life of Meaning & Purpose: The key to true happiness, and Joy is in the Moments.

 

 

I love this quote and created this meme using the Rhonna Designs app!

I love this quote and created this meme using the Rhonna Designs app!

10) Create love.

There is no greater creative purpose than that of creating love. And yes, loving is a highly creative process. As we focus on others’ needs, seek to meet those needs, nurture, uplift, and inspire, we grow, and as we focus on personal growth, we have so much more love to share!

As I write in This is How We Grow, “…Love comes from God and nature and light, and fills us, if we let it, like a well that never runs dry. As we receive this love, we become so full of love it pours out our eyes and mouth and arms, filling those around us, too. Love cannot be kept, but must be given and received again— a continuous cycle that, when complete, generates greater and higher love. Yes, choosing to grow is choosing to love.” (Kindle Locations 6847-6849). 

 

We can create the love we desire. We can create the life we desire. As we nurture our creativity, we will be “constantly filled” with “beautiful stuff.” Then, it’s up to us to tip over and let that beauty out. It’s up to us to share, to serve, to uplift, and to inspire.

 

 

How do you keep your creativity alive? What inspires you? How do you use creativity to uplift others? Share your ideas, tips, and creative pursuits with us, below, by leaving a comment!

 
 
 

Be sure to check out my New show, “Motherhood,” on WebTalkRadio.net!

Link for this episode: Motherhood & Creativity: Uplift & Inspire!

(Featuring Rhonna Ferrer, of Rhonna Designs!)

Listen to "Motherhood" with Dr. Christina Hibbert! Each week on WebTalkRadio.net & iTunes! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #radio

 

 

 

 

Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

You may manage your subscription options from your profile.

For updates on the release of my NEW book,

8 Keys To Mental Health Through Exercise, subscribe today!

 

 

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
Be sure to check out my bestselling, award-winning memoir, This is How We Grow!
Available now at Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

 

 

 

 

"Who Am I Without You?" 52 Ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Breakup; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #book #selfesteem #breakup #divorce

 My latest book, “Who Am I Without You,” is available now at
 TargetAmazonBarnes & NobleNew Harbinger, or your local bookseller!

 

 

Design created by Rhonna Farrer, using her fabulous RD apps!

Design created by Rhonna Farrer, using her fabulous RD apps!

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Motherhood 101: 12 Realities & 12 Lessons from a Seasoned Psychologist & Mom of 6 (PSI Blog Hop 2015)

Motherhood 101: 12 Realities & 12 Lessons from a Seasoned Psychologist & Mom of 6 (#PSIBlog Hop 2015)  www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #motherhood #mothersday #moms #ppd #postpartum #pregnancy #children #familyIt’s that time of year again–May, or as my friends and I call it, “May-hem!” The end of the school year, commitments galore, graduations, the summer-shift approaching, and all month long, what do we celebrate? Motherhood. How fitting! Between mother’s day, Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month (May) & day (May 7th), I’m in the mood to speak a little truth about good old motherhood!

 

I’ve been at it for over 18 years, and with six kids, now ages 7, 11, 14, 16, 18, and 18 1/2, well let’s just say, I know the reality and I’ve learned a few lessons. As a psychologist, I’ve learned some important lessons, too–the first being that we need to talk about the realities of motherhood, and that we need to open ourselves up to the lessons motherhood has to offer.

 

So, hold on tight and grab a notebook! It’s time for “Motherhood 101.”

 

(And be sure to join me for my new radio show, “Motherhood!” Starting May 18th on WebTalkRadio.net! And don’t miss my exclusive offer–FREE Postpartum Couples DVD!

 

 

MOTHERHOOD 101

Reality #1: It’s hard!

No matter what “season of motherhood” you’re in, it’s the hardest work in the world. It’s a 24/7, 365-day job, and a highly demanding one at that. Up early, no sleep, go-go-go all day long, keep going all night too, worrying yourself awake in the

Just weeks after our family went from three to six kids! Talk about motherhood being hard! Some days, I didn't think I could do it. (Read about it in "This is How We Grow.")

Just weeks after our family went from three to six kids! Talk about motherhood being hard! Some days, I didn’t think I could do it. (Read about it in “This is How We Grow.”)

early hours, exhausting yourself, giving your all. But we do it because we love our children, right? As I wrote in a song about motherhood a few years ago, “It’s the hardest work I’ve ever done, but somehow, it’s the easiest to do.”

When I ran a postpartum support group a few years ago, the moms struggling with postpartum depression and anxiety would desperately ask, “It gets easier, doesn’t it?” To which, I’d reply, “Yes… And then, it doesn’t. And then, it does…” We are happy to leave behind the sleepless nights of having an infant only to find our house is destroyed by an energetic toddler. We finally leave behind “the terrible twos” only to find the “threes” might be even more terrible as they develop greater independence. Not to mention the teen years! (I have 4 teenaged sons right now! Aye-yi-yi!). But, it’s all worth it. They grow, and hopefully, so do we.

 

Lesson #1: Recognize that it’s hard.

Even if it looks easy on TV or on a friend’s Facebook page, trust me, it’s not. You’re not alone in this crazy thing called motherhood–it’s hard for all of us, and some times are harder than others. Discover which phases and seasons of mothering are easiest and most rewarding for you and which are not, and then, give yourself a break in the harder times and recognize your strengths and put them to good use in the easier times. Oh, and hang in there! It does get easier. And then it doesn’t…

 

 

 

Reality #2: Hormones, brain chemistry, and life experiences can make it even harder.

Women’s mental health is made up of a unique blend of our hormones, brain chemistry, and life experiences. Monthly hormonal shifts, pregnancy,

Me, during my most recent hormonal quarantine, watching Project Runway and eating chocolate with the door bolted shut! Thank you, hormones!

Me, during my most recent hormonal quarantine, watching Project Runway and eating chocolate with the door bolted shut! Thank you, hormones!

postpartum, and perimenoupause can all significantly affect our coping abilities. Hormones also directly impact the neurotransmitters that make our brain feel well, and life experiences do the same. Trauma and loss change our brain chemistry and, over time, can leave us feeling depressed, anxious, or worse.

 

Lesson #2: Understand all you can about your emotional health and take care of yourself.

Learn about Women’s Emotional Health and what it means for you. Then, take care of your body and brain through good nutrition, sleep, exercise, regular health exams, emotional processing and support, and spiritual self-care.

 

 

 

Reality #3: You won’t love every moment, and you won’t feel happy all the time.

As I wrote in This is How We Grow, “I love every moment of being a mother. I even love the moments I don’t love.” Yes, if there’s one thing we can count on, it’s that we won’t love every moment. But, joy in motherhood is found in the small moments, and joyful moments are everywhere in motherhood, if you’ll open your heart and seek them out.

 

Lesson #3: Look for joy in the moments.

Happiness in motherhood is found in the small moments—in the laugh, the love, the play, the hug. As we seek out these moments we see them more clearly, we’re more present, and we soak them up. As we connect these moments we find that motherhood really is joy-filled, or it can be if we look for the joy in the moments.

 

 

 

Reality #4: During some seasons of motherhood, it may a struggle to feel happy at all.

Pregnancy or postpartum depression, anxiety, OCD, and psychosis together affect one in five moms and can make it rough to feel happiness or joy; it can also crush your sense of self-worth. Maternal depression is also common and can last for years if untreated.

 

Lesson #4: It’s not “normal” or “okay” to live with depression, anxiety, or even with no self-worth, and it’s definitely not good for our families either, so SEEK HELP.

With help, you can and will be well, which is not only good for you; it’s good for your children, spouse/partner, and family, too. And if you keep working, you can be even “better than better!” Acknowledge your needs and seek help. Then, let that help in. There are fabulous support groups, counselors, doctors, and resources for pregnancy, postpartum, and beyond. Postpartum Support International is a wonderful resource, with support coordinators in every state and around the world. Your church or faith community, friends, and family are another good place to start for help, support, and referrals.

 

 

 

Reality #5: We can’t do motherhood alone.

We need each other in motherhood more than perhaps any other time. Support is crucial in motherhood—support for us, support for our children, support for our husbands/partners—we cannot survive without it. We may feel like we don’t know where to turn, or like

My family with my friend's family, sending balloons to her in heaven to remember her one year death anniversary. We need each other.

My family with my friend’s family, sending balloons to her in heaven to remember her one year death anniversary. We need each other.

we don’t have anyone to rely upon, but we must prioritize building our support system.

 

Lesson #5: Build your support system.

Make a list of everyone who supports you and what they can do. Include your family, including family, friends, faith/community members/resources, support groups, online support, professional support like counselors, doctors, etc. One person might be great at helping with childcare, while another is the one you can talk to when times are tough. If you feel your support system is lacking, then start building a better one. It takes time, but support is out there if you’re patient and willing to work.

 

 

 

Reality #6: Loss is a big part of motherhood.

Whether struggles with postpartum depression or anxiety, relationship changes and challenges, wayward children, death, job/career loss, or sending them off to preschool, kindergarten, college, or beyond, motherhood carries with it a lot of loss. These losses, if not dealt with, can build up and create more trouble for our emotional and physical health over time.

 

Lesson #6: Recognize your losses, then grieve them.

Here’s how.

 

 

 

Reality #7: Motherhood is not just a “job”; it’s a calling.

I’ve long reminded myself that though I don’t really love the “job” of mothering—the late nights, early mornings,

Motherhood isn't just a "job;" it's a calling. My forever family, April 2015.

Motherhood isn’t just a “job;” it’s a calling. My forever family, April 2015.

cooking, cleaning, diaper-changing, problem-solving constant-ness of it all—I do love being a mother. Motherhood is a high and holy calling: I believe that, 100%, though it doesn’t always feel that way. It’s a forever kind of deal, so it’s important to work it out, to believe in that calling, to find our gratitude for our role as a mother.

 

Lesson #7: Motherhood really isn’t about the “job” at all; it’s about love.

The house, dinner, bathtime—that can all come or go. What matters is how we love.  What matters is how we value our role as a mother. Do we recognize the gift it truly is? Do we remind ourselves in the hardest times how grateful we really are to be called, “Mom?”

 

 

 

Reality #8: Motherhood isn’t about how our kids turn out.

So many moms I know focus on the choices their kids make as a measure of how well they’re doing as moms. I’ve been there before, too, and trust me, it’s not pleasant! The truth is, we have no real control over our children’s lives when they get to a certain point. That’s not the way it works, and really it’s what we’re striving for as we parent them over the year—independence and self-reliance.

 

Lesson #8: The “fruit” of motherhood is how we turn out. It’s about how motherhood changes us. It’s about how motherhood transforms us.

 

 

 

Reality #9: It really does fly by.

As I was dropping my oldest son off at college last fall, I hugged him, got in the car and forced myself to drive away, watching him excitedly return to his dorm in my review mirror. All I could think was, “They were right. It really does fly by. We have them for such a short time and then, they’re gone.” I bawled the entire four hour drive home! When I called my husband, he thought I was crazy, and to be truthful, so did I. But it really hit me—it goes so, so fast.

 

Lesson #9: Pay attention and be grateful now.

Years ago, when I’d have those stressed-out, frustrated, overwhelmed, exhausted mothering days (and there have been plenty!), my older friends who were missing their little ones would say, “Enjoy it while you can; it goes so fast.” I knew they were right, but I couldn’t feel it in those moments when I just wanted to get through the day and crash to sleep. Then one day, I really did get it. I decided I didn’t want to miss those precious years when they were young because I was stressed, overwhelmed, frustrated, or tired. And so, I made a goal to stop and stand still in the chaos. I’d briefly close my eyes and imagine my kids grown and gone and my house quiet and still. Though a luxury in the busy mothering days, I’d let myself feel how a quiet house may feel lonely when it’s permanent. I’d say a little prayer, ask for help to be grateful for this very moment, and take a snapshot of it. Then, I’d breathe deeply, smile or sometimes even chuckle to myself and just say it like it is, “Motherhood is a crazy ride!” And back to business. Truthfully, years later, the chaotic moments are some of the most memorable.

 

 

 

Reality #10: We mothers need to be a little (or a lot) kinder, more compassionate, more forgiving, and more loving toward ourselves.

We’re harder on ourselves than any other group on the planet! It’s such a shame, because I’m convinced no one works or loves harder than mothers.

 

Lesson #10: Practice self-love.

Self-love involves: 1) Self-care—take care of your physical, emotional, mental/intellectual, social and spiritual needs. It’s not selfish Motherhood 101-12 Realities & 12 Lessons from a Seasons Psychologist & Mom of 6 www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #motherhood #ppd #postpartum #ThisIsHowWeGrow #books to practice self-care. In fact, it’s the only real way to be healthy and strong as a mom, and it teaches your kids to do the same. 2) Self-compassion—forgive yourself, accept your weaknesses, be gentle when you make a mistake. 3) Self-kindness—do nice things for yourself. Time alone or with friends, a bath, a nap, a walk, a “girls’ night”—whatever feeds your soul, do that. 4) Let others love you. Let your children’s love in. Let your husband’s/partner’s love in. Let your support system’s love in. Let God’s love in. Open your heart and let it receive love. Then, give and open again and again and again. (more on Self-Love here or in my new book, Who Am I Without You?)

 

 

 

Reality #11: At its core, motherhood is really about love.

That’s what it’s really all about–growing in love. Receiving love. Giving great love. Motherhood is truly all about a beautiful cycle of giving and receiving love.

 

Lesson #11: Love greatly.

When hard times hit, love. When great times are rolling, love. When you’re fearful, worried, overwhelmed, at your limit, love greatly. It is love that overcomes the pain and stress of motherhood. It’s really all about love. Again, love greatly.

 

 

 

Reality #12: Motherhood is a crazy ride.

Trust me, I know! In fact, if you google, “My Kids are Driving Me Crazy,” my blog posts come up on page 1, so it’s really no secret. But oh how exhilarating! It’s the up, and down, and spinning around, upside-down ride of your life! And it doesn’t end there. Motherhood is forever. So, learn your lessons, buckle up, and hold tight!

 

Lesson #12: Enjoy it while it’s here.

Don’t take motherhood for granted. Don’t wish away your moments or your days. Identify your challenges. Seek help. Let help in. Choose to grow through motherhood. Then, sit back, buckle up, take a deep breath, and enjoy the ride. It’s the greatest ride of your life!

 

 

What are some of your motherhood “realities” and “lessons?”

Leave a comment, below, and join the conversation!

 

 

 

 

An Invitation to YOU!

Join us for

Postpartum Support International’s 2015

Third Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month

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2015 PSI Blog Hop: You are not alone! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

2015 Theme:
You Are Not Alone: Focus on Support Groups and Resources

 

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#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
Be sure to check out Dr. Hibbert’s Amazon Bestseller, This is How We Grow
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"Who Am I Without You?" 52 Ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Breakup; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #book #selfesteem #breakup #divorce

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Motherhood 101: 12 Realities & 12 Lessons from a Seasoned Psychologist & Mom of 6 (#PSIBlog Hop 2015)  www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #motherhood #mothersday #moms #ppd #postpartum #pregnancy #children #family

 

 

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16 Things I’d Like My Postpartum Self to Know, 16 Years & 6 Kids Later (PSI Blog Hop 2013)

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How to Cope with and Treat Perinatal Loss & Grief (Part 2)

Join “The Many Faces of Depression” Movement & Stop the Stigma! Submit Your Story/ Photo!

The Many Faces of #Depression: Join the Movement & Stop the #Stigma @ www.DrChristinaHibbert.comLast week, I shared my personal struggles with depression in my post, Overcoming the Stigma of Depression: “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION (& Anxiety).” I have been deeply touched by the outpouring of support from so many who have joined me, stating, “I, too, am the face of depression.”

 

 

Overcoming The Powerful Stigma of Mental Illness & Depression

It’s a wonderful start: getting people talking and asking about depression, and hopefully increasing understanding and support. But there’s much more to be done if we hope to one day overcome the stigma of depression.

 

Even though I’ve received dozens of messages of support from online friends and followers, I’ve only had three real-life friends/family members reach out  to me after reading my article, and two of them are really more like acquaintances than close friends. All of them have also been affected by depression, either themselves or in a close family member. They didn’t do much other than say, “I’m so sorry you’ve been struggling. How are you doing now?” Or, “Is there anything I can do for you?” Or, “I think you’re brave to have written that article. You’ve helped me be brave, too.” It helps to hear my own friends talk about it.

 

But there were only three. While I didn’t write the article to get sympathy or support from my friends and family, I was surprised by how few of them have spoken to me about it. I’m sure I shouldn’t be surprised. That’s why I wrote the article to begin with–because the stigma of depression is so strong, it silences us.

 

I’m sure most of my friends and family don’t judge or criticize me for my depression. It’s just that, unlike with other types of illness (injuries, cancer, surgery), they don’t know how to react. People don’t know what to say, so they say nothing (kind of like how people don’t know how to handle grief). They don’t know what to do, especially if they haven’t experienced depression first hand. So, again, they do nothing and hope I just “get better” so we don’t have to talk about it. They click “like” on the picture of me holding my sign, and I am grateful for that. But they say nothing.

 

This is the power of stigma, my friends.

 

 

“The Many FACEs of DEPRESSION” Movement

I am getting better, day by day, thanks to my ability to overcome the stigma of depression, seek help, and let help in. I’m feeling stronger again, thanks to the support of my husband, children, and a couple of close friends."I am the face of depression & anxiety": Overcoming the #Stigma of #Depression; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

 

But no matter how I’m feeling, I continue to feel the need to make sure this conversation doesn’t die. I need to keep giving depression a face and a voice, to lend it mine, to keep us talking about depression, and anxiety–for my children, for my clients, for my family, friends, and for myself.

 

Thus, I present “The Many FACEs of DEPRESSION” Movement. My hope is that you will join me. My hope is that we can give depression a face and a voice. My hope is that one day things will change and we will no longer feel the need to stay silent. We will no longer feel the need to hold depression as a shameful secret.

 

 

Submit your Story/ Photo & Help Me Stop the Stigma!

I invite anyone who has been touched by depression–either personally or in a loved one–to share your story and/or your photo, to publicly declare, “I, too, am the FACE of DEPRESSION.” After the submission deadline (see rules, below), I will then select 6 stories to publish in full on my website throughout 2015. I will also publish excerpts from other stories, along with as many photos as I receive. Together, we can show the many faces of depression. Together, we can help people face depression, to ask about it, and to understand it.

 

We can stop the stigma of depression. One face. One photo. One story at a time. We can give this illness a voice and, one day, stop the stigma.

 

The Many Faces of #Depression: Join the Movement & Stop the #Stigma @ www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

Join “The Many Faces of Depression” Movement! 

Submit Your Story and/or Photo!

Submission Rules & Guidelines

  1. Written submissions:
    1. Posts must focus on the theme “I am the face of depression” and share your personal story.
    2. Length of post: 600-1000 words. Longer posts will not be considered for publication.
    3. Submissions must be received no later than January 10, January 25 2015, midnight PST.
    4. Please focus on: 1) Brief details of your experiences with depression, 2) What depression feels like for you or your loved one (symptoms), and 3) What methods of treatment have been helpful for you? 4) What have you learned from depression, or how have you grown? And what would you like others to know about it? (You can use my post as a model, though keep in mind that mine is much longer than the allotted length above.)
    5. To be considered for a full post, you must include at least one photo of you, holding an “I am the face of depression” sign. To download a sign, click here: “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION” Sign    “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION (& Anxiety)” Sign
    6. If you do not wish to post a photo and do not wish to be considered for a full post, you may submit a short post with no photo.
    7. By entering, you agree to allow your article to be posted on my website, www.DrChristinaHibbert.com, either in full or in part, and you also agree for your photo to be posted in “The Many Faces of Depression” collection on the same website.
    8. Authors of the 6 articles that are selected to be posted in full will be notified by email prior to publication. Others will be notified that they have not been selected and will be given information about the publication dates for excerpts.
    9. Please do not include any profanity or inappropriate material. Such articles will not be considered for publication
    10. Please subscribe, below, and then share the articles and photos as they are posted!
    11. Must be at least 18 years of age to enter.
  2. Photo submissions
    1. All are invited to submit a clear photo of yourself holding an “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION” sign.
    2. You are welcome to download a sign, or to create your own. If you create your own, it must say, “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION” or “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION (& Anxiety)” and include our web address www.DrChristinaHibbert.com in font large enough to read in the picture. To download a sign, click here: “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION” Sign   “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION (& Anxiety)” Sign
    3. Only one photo entry per person, and entries must be received no later than January 10, January 25, 2015 midnight, PST.
    4. Please, no inappropriate attire or materials in the photos. Such will not be considered for publication.
    5. Please subscribe, below, and then share the articles and photos as they are posted!
    6. Must be at least 18 years of age to enter.

 

SUBMISSION DEADLINE for Articles and Photos:

DEADLINE EXTENDED!

Due to the holiday busyness and getting back into the new year, I’ve extended the deadline for submissions! I hope this is helpful to those of you who asked for more time. I know it’s helpful to me! 

January 10, 2015
January 25, 2015!

 

SUBMISSIONS & Questions Should Be EMAILED to:

support@drchristinahibbert.com

 

Thank you for adding your voice to mine! I look forward to seeing what we can do together! 

 

Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

You may manage your subscription options from your profile.

 

 

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
Be sure to check out Dr. Hibbert’s Amazon Bestseller, This is How We Grow
available now on Amazon.com!

 

 

 

"I am the face of depression & anxiety": Overcoming the Stigma of Depression, Dr. Christina Hibbert; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

 

Don’t miss a thing! 

SUBSCRIBE, just below, “like” my Facebook pages (Dr. Christina HibbertThis Is How We Grow), and follow me on Twitter,Pinterest, & Instagram!

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Overcoming the Stigma of Depression & Anxiety: “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION”

"I am the face of depression & anxiety": Overcoming the Stigma of Depression, Dr. Christina Hibbert; www.DrChristinaHibbert.comI am the face of depression and anxiety. It has taken me a while to come to grips with this fact. I don’t want to be someone who struggles with depression. I’ve worked hard throughout my life to understand mental illness and to apply the tools I’ve learned professionally to my personal life so I could prevent depression and anxiety. I have a strong family history of mental illness, especially depression, and this drove me early on. I did not want to suffer like my family members had.

 

But fighting doesn’t necessarily stop clinical depression. I had postpartum depression/anxiety after all four of my childbirth experiences, try as I did to prevent it. I’ve been through trauma, and more times of grief than I can count, all of which included significant feelings of depression. And yes, I’ve experienced episodes of Major Depression.

 

The first was when I was 18, a couple of months after my 8 year-old sister died, just when I thought I’d gotten through the worst of my grief. That was the first time I went to therapy, and it was life changing. It encouraged me to become a psychologist so I could help others like me.

 

The second came smack dab in the middle of graduate school. I knew life was busy, but I was floored when I suddenly found myself struggling to get up and take care of my school, work, children, husband, and self. After weeks of fighting it, I realized I needed to stop saying, “I don’t want to be depressed.” I was depressed. Sometimes, the problem is the fighting. This was a great lesson in learning to “accept what is.”

 

My third episode hit about six years ago, nearly one year after my sister and brother-in-law had died and my world had been turned upside down as I had suddenly become a mother of six. I’d already been in therapy for over a year, but with the addition of a court battle, adopting our new sons, and the deaths of two more family members, I found myself lower than ever.

 

As I wrote in my memoir, of that time: “It’s official. I’m depressed…That’s what Dr. Hale said on Monday, ‘Helplessness and hopelessness? Sounds like depression.’…Why is this such a shock?…I feel unmotivated, lost, pessimistic, and this makes me feel like I’ve failed. I thought I’d be better by now…I thought I was stronger… Now I’m starting to see an antidepressant as a possibility. I can’t continue feeling so low when I need to be at my best. I can’t afford to keep saying, ‘I’ll feel happy when….’ Could a little pill be the missing piece I need to help me grow?” (This is How We Grow, p. 216-17). It was. My first time taking an antidepressant, I took it for the next six months. It helped tremendously.

 

Watch my “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION” YouTube video, and then add your voice to mine… 

[stream provider=youtube flv=http%3A//www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DbMNPUsCHA2M img=x:/img.youtube.com/vi/bMNPUsCHA2M/0.jpg embed=false share=false width=640 height=360 dock=true controlbar=over bandwidth=high autostart=false responsive=16:9 /]

 

Fast forward to seven weeks ago. I had been working hard to stop being so busy, because I wanted to take care of myself. My dear friend had died as a result of depression and suicide six months before, and I had once again worked through intense grief. I took from her death the great importance of prioritizing my health—for my children, for my husband, and for myself. I was working on slowing down, doing less, and focusing on wellness.

 

That’s why it caught me so off-guard. At first, I thought it was “hormones.” Then, insomnia crept in. I’m normally not a great sleeper, but this insomnia was getting out of control. My thoughts were racing, and I couldn’t settle down. I thought, perhaps, the lack of sleep was causing my mood symptoms, but three weeks later, I had to wonder if it wasn’t the other way around.

 

“Am I depressed?” I began to wonder, but pushed the thought aside. Again, “I don’t want to be depressed” kept flooding my mind. I stopped every extra activity, stayed in, carved out alone time, and tried to nap and sleep as much as possible. I tried talking with a close friend, letting my husband help me, and writing. I tried to exercise more and take more Omega-3’s.

 

But I was getting worse. My anxiety was getting out of control, making me sick to my stomach for weeks, and making me so frustrated I was horrible to be around. I was starting to feel incredibly down on myself, and worse than that: hopeless. Finally, I made an appointment with my doctor. Many tests later she confirmed what I had already guessed: “You’re perfectly healthy. You have a slight hormone imbalance, but that probably isn’t causing your mood symptoms.” I knew she was right. Enter Major Depression episode number four.

 

 

Watch this 3-Minute therapy video on Anxiety: The #1 Mental Health Issue in Women

[stream provider=youtube flv=http%3A//www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DKbk709-fjDM img=x:/img.youtube.com/vi/Kbk709-fjDM/0.jpg embed=false share=false width=640 height=360 dock=true controlbar=over bandwidth=high autostart=false responsive=16:9 /]

 

 

Why am I sharing this now?

Maybe it’s the fact that my friend lost her life last April, as a result of depression she felt she had to hide. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m still fired up about the court hearing I attended a couple months ago where this dear woman is serving 40 years

40th birthday selfie. I don't look depressed, do I? I gave it my all and made a great day! "You can't always tell by looking."

40th birthday selfie. I don’t look depressed, do I? I gave it my all, & made a great day! But, “You can’t always tell by looking.”

after suffering from postpartum psychosis, about the injustice of how mental health is perceived and treated in this country. Maybe it’s the fact that as I go through depression and anxiety once again, I am once again faced with the way people don’t want to know about it, how it feels like I have to hide it, how I would be better off if I had a physical illness because at least people would see that it’s real. Perhaps it’s that I just celebrated my 40th birthday, and I feel like I don’t want to hold anything back anymore.

 

Whatever it is, I can no longer sit by and let those struggling with depression be forced into the shadows, be treated like lepers or, worse, be completely ignored. I want to, no I need to, help give depression a face and a voice. I need others to acknowledge it as real, to seek to understand it, to see that those who suffer from depression are excellent, wonderful, successful people! To see that we all have mental and physical vulnerabilities, and depression just happens to be one of them, and that’s okay.

 

It’s okay to suffer from depression. We can admit it. We can say it. It doesn’t make us any less. And guess what? You can’t always tell by looking. So ask.

 

 

The Many Faces of Depression

Ask, “Can you tell me about your depression?” Because, the more we talk about it—the more those who struggle say it out loud—the more we can understand the many faces of depression. Though its symptoms may generally be the same, depression can look, and feel, very differently for different people. Understanding this will help us break down the stigmas that make those who suffer from depression feel like they have to hide.

 

For me, depression means anxiety. I can’t say which comes first, but I do know that the anxiety makes me feel far more depressed. My thoughts spin out of control. I try to get them back in check, using a thought record, journaling, talking about them, but they seem to be controlling me instead of the other way around, bringing me down and zapping my energy.

 

I also have symptoms like:

  • Insomnia
  • Extreme stress (every little thing can seem like too much)
  • Feeling overwhelmed and frustrated (frustrated I can’t fix this, frustrated that others can’t seem to help me, frustrated with feeling so alone, but mostly, frustrated about being depressed again.)"I am the FACE of DEPRESSION": Overcoming the Stigma of #Depression & #Anxiety; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com
  • Low energy, fatigue, exhaustion
  • Sadness and crying
  • Anger (Crying, then getting angry because of how I feel, then feeling sad again and crying some more. I can’t understand my emotions and I definitely can’t seem to control them.)
  • Feeling restless (I have a hard time focusing on things I usually enjoy, like a good book. I feel like I need to get up and do something.)
  • Changes in appetite (some days I’m overdoing it with junk food; others, I have no appetite)
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms, muscle tension, and headaches. (The stress and anxiety literally make me sick.)
  • Feeling alone (like I don’t’ know who to turn to. I have helped so many people through depression, but where do I turn when I need help? I struggle with this, feeling like no one would get it. Everyone thinks “I’m fine,” and they keep asking me for help, but I’m not. And no one understands. I’m working on this, though, because my rational brain knows I’m really not alone at all.)
  • Feelings of resentment (I admit, I have been resenting everyone who needs me. “I need myself!” I keep saying. I’m learning to say “no” and take care of me.)
  • Negativity (It’s a core component of depression–negative view of self, the world, and the future. But eventually, I can’t stand hearing myself think.)
  • Desire to escape (Watching TV and movies, driving somewhere, anything to get me out of my head and current situation.)
  • Self-critical thinking (Thoughts like, “My body betrayed me.” “Why can’t I just be well? I’m weak.” “I’m a hypocrite, helping others while I can’t help myself.” “Why do I have to struggle with depression while others do not?” These thoughts plague me until I finally have to let them go and accept what is.)
  • Hopelessness and helplessness (“I’m broken.” “Someone needs to fix me.” When I reach this point, I know it’s Depression. The healthy me is a big believer in hope and taking action.)

 

For me, Treatment for Depression includes things like:

  • Psychotherapy. I’ve been through many rounds of therapy in my life, and each time it has helped me in some new and important way. I learn new skills, process deep and painful emotions, uncover faulty beliefs, and it really helps to have an impartial and knowledgable supporter who can listen and help me see things I can’t see on my own.
  • Antidepressants. Sometimes, I need them. I’m finally accepting that. This time and the last, I opted for an antidepressant, because I’d been struggling too long to be well and I can’t afford to wait months or years to feel better. I know, this is a tough decision for many, and it always is for me. I encourage you to read my article, “Antidepressant? Or Not?: 12 Facts on Depression & Medication”  to help you in your decision.
  • Exercise. Always a first line defense against depression. I’m even writing my next book about it.
  • Sleep. I’m letting myself sleep in when I can, nap, and do whatever it takes to get my body back to healthy. A little Melatonin helps, too, when I can’t fall asleep at night.
  • Reducing stress. I’m taking this one seriously this time. Doctors orders.
  • Supplements & vitamins. Omega-3 Fish Oil, Vitamins B, E, and D, Calcium, Multivitamin, and Magnesium.
  • Reevaluating and strengthening my support system. I’m learning who I can rely on and letting them help me.
  • Identifying and changing faulty beliefs. I’m working on this one. Again. A deeper level of self-understanding and awareness, I know this is going to make a huge difference in my life.
  • Alone time. To process, ponder, and make myself face what’s going on. This is how I receive understanding.
  • Time with people I love. Connection gets me out of myself and reminds me how loved I really am.
  • Powerful prayer and scripture study. Increasing my faith, relying upon God, seeking instruction and revelation for my health and happiness. This is probably the most important thing of all for me.

 

 

Break down the Stigma: Face Depression, Give it a Voice"I am the face of depression & anxiety": Overcoming the #Stigma of #Depression; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

Mine isn’t the only experience of depression. Depression is the most common cause of disease in the world. And yet we keep silent about it. We force those who suffer to keep silent, because we can’t seem to break down the stigma of depression.

 

Well, not anymore, at least not for me. I can speak up now, because I’m working through my depression. I’m feeling much better these past few days, but I know I still have a lot of work ahead of me. And I will continue to speak out as a voice for depression and anxiety for as long as it takes. I will use my voice to help others learn to use theirs.

 

Join me in breaking down the stigma of depression by:

1) Speaking up when we are suffering from depression, giving it a voice and a face.

2) Facing depression when someone you know and love is struggling. Being there for them. Offering support and help.

3) Asking those you know and love to “Tell me about your depression.”

4) Simply joining the discussion, listening, learning, and seeking to understand.

5) Joining my “Many Faces of Depression” movement by sharing your personal story and photo here on my site. (More information on this to come soon, so subscribe (below), and stay tuned!)

 

We must speak up. We must show our faces, face depression, and give it a voice, even when we are struggling with depression. Especially when we are struggling, we must show the truth. It is the only way to stop the stigma and help the world, and each of us, heal and be whole again.

 

 

Do you or someone you love suffer from Depression or Anxiety? What is it like, and what helps? Leave a comment, below, and join your voice with mine.

 

 

 

 

 Join “The Many Faces of Depression” movement!

Submit you story and/or photo, download “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION” printables, and be featured on my website in 2015!

Click here for information, rules and guidelines, and thank you for joining your voice with mine!

 

 

Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

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#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
Be sure to check out Dr. Hibbert’s Amazon Bestseller, This is How We Grow
available now on Amazon.com!

 

"I am the face of depression & anxiety": Overcoming the Stigma of Depression, Dr. Christina Hibbert; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

 

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Personal Growth Tools: How to Create your Life’s Vision

Personal Growth Tools: "How to Create your Life's Vision" www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #ThisIsHowWeGrow #PersonalGrowth #Group

“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.”

~Helen Keller

 
When you look at your future, what do you see? Do you see yourself growing and becoming the person you’ve always desired to be? Or are you clinging so tightly to negative thoughts, worries, and fears that you’ve clouded your vision? Have you even given it much thought before?

 

Creating a life vision is the first step in realizing that vision. It’s the first step in knowing what you’re aiming for, in recognizing your potential. It’s one thing to think, “My future has great potential;” it’s another to actually see it, strive for it, and eventually, realize that potential. Creating your life’s vision is the place to start.

 

 

Live with vision.

It’s pretty hard to live the life you wish you had if you don’t have a vision of what that life would be. Sure, you may stumble upon happiness, wealth, success, and healthy relationships, but, in the vast majority of cases, these things don’t just “happen.” Personal Growth Tools: "How to Create Your Life's Vision"; www.DrChristinaHibbert.comThey take a whole lot of work.

 

Living without vision means waiting around for good things to hopefully happen to you. It means taking your chances with whatever comes your way and hoping you end up where you want to be, hoping you end up becoming the person you always wished you’d become.

 

Living with vision, on the other hand, implies living with direction, purpose, and thus greater meaning in each day. It means knowing who you’re striving to become and working to get there.

 

 

What is “vision?”

Vision is a key element of personal growth. Living with vision means creating a clear image of what you desire out of life, then remembering and working toward that image.

 

Having a vision includes seeing the best possible outcomes for work, family, relationships, personal development, faith, and anything else that matters to you. As we work on creating a life’s vision, we force ourselves to imagine the future. We begin to practice seeing who and what we hope to become. In seeing our hoped-for future, we are better prepared to set goals and take the necessary measures to get us there. We are also better prepared to correct the habits that may be leading us off-course.

 

 

How to create your life’s vision.

Your vision may involve a meaningful phrase, quote, or words to inspire you, or it may simply be closing your eyes and seeing those clear images you’ve imagined, over and again. I have found the following steps particularly helpful in creating a life vision. I hope they inspire you, too.

 

1)    Set aside some quiet time and space to work on creating your life’s vision. When you’re ready, relax, breathe, close your Personal Growth Tools: "How to Create Your Life's Vision" www.DrChristinaHibbert.comeyes. Begin to let yourself imagine your best possible future. What do you envision for yourself, your family, friends, work, future, and for your own growth and development? What traits would you most like to possess? Who would you like to be?  Write it all down.

 

2)   Add to your list of what you envisioned. Write down all the things that are most important to you. What values, characteristics, and experiences matter most? Create a list as long as you’d like, and continue adding to it as more things come. (When I first did this, I had an entire page covered in words describing what matters most to me.)

 

3) When you’re ready, revisit your lists. Group like things together—for instance “compassion,” “kindness,” and “giving,” could all be grouped under “love.” Group together as many traits/items as possible, making sure each group has one word/phrase as its title.

 

4) Circle those words/phrases from your grouped list that feel most important to you. Circle as many as you’d like.

 

5) From the grouped list with circled items, choose three words/phrases that feel most important to you at this time. Write them down. For example, my three words are “Faith, Love, Joy.” These words encompass many other important aspects of my life, including family, contribution, spirituality, and yes, growth. These three words express my life’s vision. A simple, effective way to remind me of the meaning, purpose, and direction I desire my life to take each day. This exercise can give you the vision you are seeking, too.

 

 

Bottom line…

1)    Envision the life you desire. Don’t hold back. You need a vision in order to achieve it.

2)    Then, remember your vision and work toward it each day. It really is that simple.

 

 

*Bonus ToolDream yourself to sleep

Instead of thinking of all your worries and stress as you drift off each night, imagine the best possible future for your loved ones and you. See it clearly in your mind. “Dreaming to sleep” not only helps you sleep more peacefully; it helps you wake ready to work, to see your vision come to reality.

 

 

 

~This post was adapted from Dr. Hibbert’s new book with New Harbinger Publications,

Who Am I Without You?: 52 Ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Breakup.

To be released March 2015 & available for pre-order on Amazon.com!

  

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
Be sure to check out Dr. Hibbert’s Amazon Bestseller, This is How We Grow
available now on Amazon.com!

 

 

 

 

Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

You may manage your subscription options from your profile.

 

 

 

Personal Growth Tools: "How to Create your Life's Vision" www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #ThisIsHowWeGrow #PersonalGrowth #Group
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Meaning, Purpose, & Fulfilling Your Life’s Calling: This is How We Grow Personal Growth Group, Season 2

Meaning, Purpose & Fulfilling Your Life's Calling: #ThisIsHowWeGrow Personal Growth Group, Season 2; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #mentalhealthIt’s that time of year again—time to resume my This is How We Grow Personal Growth Group! Last year was the first year I took it online, but really I’ve been doing this incredible group for going on five years. Hard to believe what started as a small church group to help women with depression has become such a staple of personal growth for so many.

 

We’ve had many different themes over the years in our in-person group, including “Discovering who you really are,” “How to keep an open heart and mind,” “How to create the life you desire,” and of course, last year’s theme (our first online session’s theme), “The seasons of personal growth.”

 

Now, as we begin Season 2 of our online group, I’ve been working hard to select a theme I think applies to all of us, no matter where we live, what life has handed us, or which season we’re in. It’s something I believe we’re all seeking a deeper understanding of—“Meaning, purpose, and fulfilling your life’s calling.”

 

 

Meaning, Purpose, & Fulfilling Your Life’s Calling: Season 2′s Theme!


The topics of this season’s theme are not new to me. I’ve been working on greater meaning, purpose, and fulfilling my life’s calling, personally, for many years now. I’ve been especially focused on these things these past months as I’ve been preparing for the upcoming season of our This is How We Grow Personal Growth Group, and I’ve come to know a few important things for sure:

 

1) Meaning & Purpose are essential to a happy, healthy, abundant life. Daily meaning and purpose get us through our weeks and months with greater joy and satisfaction. They help us get out of bed in the morning, carry us through tough moments, and create enthusiasm with each new day.

 

2) Meaning and Purpose are also essential to overcoming, becoming, and flourishing. When we seek and find meaning in even the hardest times, it helps us overcome them. Knowing there is a purpose for us helps us become who we are meant to be, and both of these are a core element of living a flourishing life.

 

Meaning, Purpose, & Fulfilling Your Life's Calling: #ThisIsHowWeGrow Personal Growth Group, Season 2!  www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

3) We each have a divine purpose, mission, or life calling here on earth. Every single one of us. If you don’t believe me, join us in the group this season. I’ll make a believer out of you.

 

4) Most of us struggle to understand what our life’s calling really is, or where to even begin. Years of helping people in my psychology practice, of helping friends, family, and myself, have clearly demonstrated how much we all struggle to know why we are here and what we are supposed to do. However…

 

5) It’s simpler to know than we realize. We just need a little guidance and direction, and a little more patience and hard work. That’s what this year’s group is all about.

 

6) We grow best by learning and growing together. I’m a firm believer in this one. Even though I’m an introvert and highly value learning on my own, there are many, many lessons we can only understand together. We need one another. We see ourselves more clearly through one another. One of my favorite quotes reminds us, “We cannot see ourselves. We need a mirror to see ourselves. You are my mirror, and I am yours.” (Debbie Ford, Dark Side of the Light Chasers, p. 54)

 

 

Join us for Season 2, This is How We Grow Personal Growth Group!

I am here to be a mirror, and I look forward to seeing more of myself in your mirrors, as well. That’s what this group is all about. I know as we prioritize our personal growth, and as we continually work on these things together, we will each discover greater meaning and purpose in our lives and begin to comprehend and truly fulfill our life’s callings. It’s going to be an exciting season of growth!

 

Join Dr. Hibbert's "This Is How We Grow" Personal Growth Group! FREE. Online. Growth. www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

FREE. Online. Growth. What more could you ask for?
For more details about the personal growth group, click here.

Join the This Is How We Grow Personal Growth Group Today!

Register Here:




After you’ve registered, above, join us in our This is How We Grow Personal Growth Group on Facebook! Just request to be added, and we’ll make sure you are! A great place to get to know other group members and “grow” together!

**Disclaimer: The This is How We Grow Personal Growth Group is purely educational. It does not replace the need for professional mental health care, including psychotherapy.**

 
 
 

Have a question, comment, or idea about meaning, purpose, life’s calling or the personal growth group? I’d love to hear it! Leave a comment, below.

 
 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
Be sure to check out Dr. Hibbert’s Amazon Bestseller, This is How We Grow
available now on Amazon.com!

 

 

 

Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

You may manage your subscription options from your profile.

 
 
 

Meaning, Purpose & Fulfilling Your Life's Calling: #ThisIsHowWeGrow Personal Growth Group, Season 2; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #mentalhealth

Don’t miss a thing! 

SUBSCRIBE, just below, “like” my Facebook pages (Dr. Christina HibbertThis Is How We Grow), and follow me on Twitter,Pinterest, & Instagram!

 You may manage your subscription options from your profile

 
 
 
 
 
 

Related Posts/Articles:

Living a Life of Purpose & Meaning: The Key to true Happiness

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Life: The Battle & The Beauty (Living the Paradox of Personal Growth)

Life: The Battle & The Beauty (Living the Paradox of Personal Growth) www.DrChristinaHibbert.comLife. It sure can be demanding. It sure can be beautiful. It’s a paradox, isn’t it? As I’ve said before, we can learn to “live in the paradox;” it’s how we grow (This is How We Grow, p. 59). It’s where I’m living now.

 

The Paradox of Life

I’m reminded of the popular theme song from one of my favorite childhood TV shows, “You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have…”—life. Life doesn’t ebb and flow in perfect crests and swells like the ocean. It comes crashing like a thunderstorm on a sunny day—and is just as beautiful. We finally overcome life’s challenges only to find another spell of trouble upon us. We experience pain as, simultaneously, miracles abound.

 

The past weeks have been such for me—the good, the bad, the ugly…and the beautiful. I’ve been out of touch online and here on my blog, because once again, life has been happening, and when life happens we need to show up and live it.

 

The Battle and The Beauty

On April 28th, my dear friend took her life as a result of severe depression. She’d left her daughter with me that day, and my family was there for every minute of her story unfolding. She was a wonderful mother and friend and person. A light in every room she entered. She was a second mother to my children. Her three children have been best friends with mine for ten years; I’ve been a “second mom” to them. Now, I really am.

 

Those who’ve read This is How We Grow, those who know my story, my family’s story, know how close to home this hits for us. It’s been extremely hard, as grief always is. Just as we were finally finding our footing in “normal” life, the heartache has returned—the pain of once more seeing my children in pain as they grieve their “second mom,” of seeing my friend’s children and husband grieve their mother and wife. The sorrow of our community at this tragedy, and how we were hit with a second tragedy just two weeks later, as a young man at our kids’ same school took his life, too.

 

Yet I have experienced the beauty. The hope of family and community as we have banded together in support and love for the friends we have lost, for their families, and for each other. The outpouring of concern and kindness and generosity, not only for the families in grief, but for my own children, for me, and for others who may be suffering.

 

May is always a tough month, as many parents will attest. Every project, activity, performance, banquet, ceremony happens in May. We call it May-hem, and it always is—this year even more so. It was beautiful, however, to sit with my husband and our friend’s husband and watch our two daughters, BFFs, emcee the school talent show. There has been beauty in going to plays and recitals and receiving hugs, in feeling so much love as a community. There has been beauty in watching us all work to move on.

 

At the same time, my second book manuscript was due to my publisher. I tried for an extension since my mind was mush, but was "This Is How We Grow" wins an IPPY Award. LIFE: The Battle & The Beauty www.DrChristinaHibbert.comlovingly told it was not possible. This was the one deadline in the contract that was set in stone. Every day for the past month, I awoke, tended to my family and my new “family” (my friend’s), then shoved the grief aside and forced my brain to focus as I wrote. I made my deadline a day early. (The Breakup Breakthrough, with New Harbinger Publications, will be released March 2015.)

 

In the midst of everything, I had the opportunity to travel to Sacramento, to give a keynote address for the California Maternal Mental Health Collaborative and speak the next day at the CA Maternal Wellness Summit. May was Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month, and I was fueled by my friend’s death as well as the death of my own sister over six years ago, to speak out and encourage the work we are doing to strengthen and help mothers. No woman, mother, person should ever have to feel so desperate, so alone. We must work diligently to help one another, to care for each other, and to let help in when we need it.

 

That was the day I learned my memoir, This Is How We Grow, my very first book, had won an Independent Publisher Book Award, an IPPY. I flew to New York last week and was full of gratitude as I received the medal. (More on that here.) The day I returned from New York was the last day of school for my girls, the next day was the last day for my boys, and the next day, last Saturday, my firstborn son, Braxton, graduated from high school.

 

Now, here I am. The whirlwind of May-hem has abated. My first “baby” has graduated (I’m still emotional about that). Summer is Graduation day! Life: The Battle & The Beauty (Living the Paradox of Personal Growth) www.DrChristinaHibbert.comupon us once more (I’m always conflicted when summer begins and know I need a summer sanity plan). I’m back in counseling, once again doing the familiar work of grief and trauma, and I’m trying to continue to practice what I preach—to let myself be in the season I’m in. I need a moment to figure out just which season, or rather, seasons that would be. I haven’t had a moment yet.

 

Perhaps that’s why I’m taking this moment. Perhaps that’s why I’m writing all this out. I feel…so many things. Hopeful, and sad, and grateful, and exhausted, and loved, and alone, and full of love and loving for one and all. I am seeking peace amidst the whirlwind—and finding it in small moments like this one.

 

Living the Paradox of Personal Growth

Yes, life is a paradox. As I’ve said before, “Paradox is part of the cyclical nature of things. As we die, so are we born. As we love, so are we left. As we do, so are we undone. Sometimes these cycles feel against nature. But we can choose to let it be…Paradox is the ultimate soil for personal growth” (This is How We Grow, p. 60).

 

You know I believe in growing. That’s my hope as I fall back into the Fall and Winter seasons of growth once more—that I may continue to feel the Spring and Summer. That I may continue to embrace life, the battle and the beauty.

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
Be sure to check out Dr. Hibbert’s Amazon Bestseller, This is How We Grow
available now on Amazon.com.

    

 
 
 
 

Join Dr. Hibbert's "This Is How We Grow" Personal Growth Group! FREE. Online. Growth. www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

FREE. Online. Growth. What more could you ask for?

 
 
 
 

Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

You may manage your subscription options from your profile.

 
 
 
 

Life: The Battle and the Beauty (Living the Paradox of Personal Growth) www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

 
 
 
 

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Beyond Depression: Postpartum OCD Treatment–part 3 (& video)

Beyond Depression: Postpartum OCD Treatment--part 3 (& video); www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #PPD #pregnancy #postpartum #mentalhealthIn this 3-part series we’ve been discussing Pregnancy/Postpartum Obsessive-Complusive Disorder (PPOCD). In part 1 we took a good look at the symptoms of PPOCD and why it is so misunderstood. In part 2 we discussed why PPOCD is so misdiagnosed and how to make a proper diagnosis. In this final part we take a look at treatment for Postpartum OCD. 

 

Postpartum OCD Treatment: Best Options

When it comes to pregnancy and postpartum mood/anxiety disorders, there are a variety of treatment options, including medication, psychotherapy, self-help, and complementary and alternative modalities. It’s also helpful to consider addressing/treating sleep issues, couples’ and relationship issues, and making sure dads and partners get the treatment they need. (Please see my Postpartum Depression Treatment series for more.)

 

(For a quick overview, watch this 3-Minute Therapy YouTube video, Beyond PPD: Postpartum OCD Treatment. Then, read on, below.)

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However, when looking specifically at Postpartum OCD, the following treatment options are considered the “gold standard of care”:

Psychotropic Medication

Antidepressant/antianxiety medications are highly recommended for PPOCD. These medications heal the misfiring of the brain chemistry that is causing the intrusive images/thoughts. They help reduce symptoms of anxiety, worry, and fear, and can also treat the symptoms of depression that may accompany postpartum OCD. (More on medication: Postpartum Depression Treatment: Medication; Antidepressant? Or not? 12 Facts on Depression & Medication)

 

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy aims to teach new, healthy coping strategies. This can be especially helpful for women struggling with Postpartum OCD. Working with a therapist, counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist who understands your symptoms and can offer reassurance, encouragement, sound advice, and new ways to deal with the troubling symptoms of PPOCD is a highly effective treatment approach. (More on postpartum psychotherapy, here.)

 

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is considered one of the best treatment methods for PPOCD because of its focus on helping mothers identify and alter unhealthy thoughts and beliefs.

 

Couple’s therapy is also helpful, for it addresses not only the mother’s concerns, but the couple’s relationship. It allows fathers to get involved in treatment and also addresses any issues he may be facing. (More here for Dads/Partners or on  Paternal Postnatal Depression)

 

Social Support

Social support may involve support from your partner, friends, family, and faith community. Reaching out and letting others help and support you through PPOCD is important to your recovery. (More on social support, here.)

 

Support groups specifically for pregnant/postpartum women can also be a great help to PPOCD moms. Many communities around the world now have Postpartum Adjustment support groups, and the camaraderie, support, and encouragement these provide can help women with Postpartum OCD realize they are not alone. Hearing another mother say, “I’ve experienced that, too,” is often the thing you need most. (Find a support group near you here.)

 

Combination Treatment

Of course, research shows the very best treatment for Postpartum OCD, Depression, and most of the perinatal mood/anxiety disorders is a combination of medication, psychotherapy, and social support. Combined, these treatments provide the PPOCD mom with the physical, mental, and emotional support and care she needs.

 

Postpartum OCD Treatment: Things to ConsiderPostpartum Depression & OCD Treatment; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

For moms/dads/families:

1)   It’s important, when possible, to seek treatment from a medical/mental health provider who has been trained in the diagnosis and treatment of perinatal mood/anxiety disorders. Postpartum Support International is a wonderful resource for finding experienced providers in your area.

 

2)   If you can’t find someone who specializes in pregnancy/postpartum mental health, then look for a provider who is at least understanding and willing to learn about PPOCD and consult with others, as needed.

 

3)   It can be very helpful to have your husband/partner/parent/friend go with you to your first treatment session. This can give you support and a second opinion on the treatment. It can also help the provider to obtain information from another person who is close to you, in order to make a more thorough diagnosis and treatment plan.

 

4)   While it’s important to find an educated, understanding provider, it’s just as important to find somebody you like and trust.

 

5)   It’s okay and even recommended to seek a second (or third or fourth) opinion until you find the provider(s) that is right for you.

 

For Providers:

1)  Part of the treatment for women with PPOCD is providing understanding and reassurance. I’ve had mothers call just to hear me remind them they are not going crazy, to help validate these thoughts are not their fault, and remind them of the coping strategies they have learned. This, along with making a proper diagnosis, is one reason providers must seek as much education and training on this issue as possible. There are wonderful educational courses on perinatal mood/anxiety disorders, so please consider learning more, as needed. (See the resources section below for more information.)

 

2)  If you do not feel comfortable diagnosing and/or treating PPOCD (trained or not), please seek supervision or consultation from a provider who specializes in pregnancy/postpartum mental health. This is imperative in making the proper diagnosis and protecting the health and safety of the mother and the child. You may also consider referring the mother to a provider who specializes in perinatal mood/anxiety disorders, if that feels like the best option.

 

3)   As mentioned above, it is very helpful when diagnosing Postpartum OCD for you, the provider, to involve the client’s husband/partner/parents/friends in the assessment process. It may also be helpful to obtain a signed release to speak with the mother’s obstetrician or other care providers. A team approach is an ideal way to ensure the safety of the baby while also giving the mother the diagnosis and treatment she needs.

 

Bottom Line…

Together, we can reduce the stigma, misunderstanding, and mistreatment associated with Postpartum Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. The more educated mothers, fathers, families, and providers become on this disorder, the better the diagnosis and treatment.

Mothers, remember you are not alone. Remember, this is highly treatable, and with patience and proper treatment, you will be well.  Trust me–you will.

 

Please share your thoughts/suggestions/questions by leaving a comment, below! 

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Beyond Depression: Postpartum OCD Treatment--part 3 (& video); www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #PPD #pregnancy #postpartum #mentalhealth

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Related Articles/Posts:

Beyond Depression: Understanding Pregnancy/Postpartum OCD (Part 1)

Beyond Depression: Diagnosing Postpartum OCD (part 2) (& video)

Pregnancy & Postpartum Emotional Health

Postpartum Depression Treatment

Postpartum Depression Treatment: For Dads & Partners

Postpartum Depression Treatment: For Couples

Postpartum Depression Treatment: Complementary Alternative Modalities

Postpartum Depression Treatment: Psychotherapy

Postpartum Depression Treatment: Medication

Postpartum Depression Treatment: Self-Help

Postpartum Depression Treatment: Sleep

Postpartum Depression & Men: The Facts on Paternal Postnatal Depression

The Baby Blues & You

Postpartum Survival Mode

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Pregnancy & Postpartum Mood & Anxiety Disorders: Are Women of Advanced Maternal Age at Higher Risk?

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Thought Management, Part 1: The Relationship between Thoughts, Feelings, the Body, & Behavior

Womens’ Emotions & Hormones– Series

Achieving Balance–Why You’ve Got it Wrong, & How to Get it Right

Pregnancy & Postpartum Loss, Grief, & Family Healing (Part 1)

How to Cope with and Treat Perinatal Loss & Grief (Part 2)

 

Pregnancy/Postpartum Resources & Help:

Postpartum Support International Website

-Worldwide help and support for new mothers and families, including a bilingual hotline and state/country coordinators to help you find the right treatment provider or support in your area. PSI also provides educational courses on Perinatal Mood/Anxiety Disorders.

Postpartum Progress Blog

-Excellent source of education and support for mothers and families.

Arizona Postpartum Wellness Coalition

-Support for AZ families: Support Warmline, Brochures, & Provider/Family Education.

Postpartum Stress Center

-Education & support for Providers and Families)

Postpartum Couples Website

Pregnancy & Postpartum Resources

 

**This article is not intended to replace proper medical/mental health care. If you think you may be suffering from Postpartum OCD, please contact your medical or mental health provider, or PSI, for referrals/help/support.**

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