Announcing “Motherhood Essentials!” Empowerment for Family Health, Wellness & Finances plus FREE Webinars & Giveaway!

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It’s an exciting day, friends! A day when I get to share with you something I’ve been passionate about for years–something that has empowered me as a mother and expanded my family’s health, wellness and happiness: essential oils.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking:

“Essential oils? That’s what you’re so passionate about? Are you serious?” Yes. I am.

Believe me, I once felt like many of you–skeptical, to say the least. “How could a little bottle of plant extract actually do anything for me? Isn’t it all just a placebo effect?”

Now, after years of experimenting with essential oils, studying the research, and finding my own results time and again, I can tell you: “They DO work, and not just a placebo.”

 

 

The Power of Essential Oils: My Firsthand Experiences

One week post-concussion.

One week post-concussion.

I was first introduced to essential oils several years ago, while visiting a friend who was recovering from a broken femur (ouch!). This friend had been a go-to for me before for natural solutions to family health issues (like using vapor rub and apple cider vinegar on chest and bottoms of the feet for croup–and trust me, it works!). This friend had another friend who was a master of such things, and was happy to pass on everything she learned. Now, with a very painful broken leg, my friend had turned to her friend and her friend had introduced her to essential oils, to which she introduced me (have I sufficiently confused you yet?).

 

The point is, she became hooked on essential oils because of the real-life results she was experiencing as the oils soothed, comforted and supported the healing of her broken leg. As she told me of these results, I was intrigued. Then, when she told me how essential oils were supporting her children’s health during cold and flu season, I was sold (she has 7 kids!). I ordered my first essential oils from doTERRA–lemon, peppermint, and On Guard, a blend protective blend that protects against environmental and seasonal threats and supports a healthy immune system, and started using them with my own family.

 

I, too, became hooked. The more I used the oils, the more benefits I saw, not only for myself, but for my entire family. Having these oils on hand–even just the few I started with–gave me something I desperately craved as a mother when it came to my family’s health and wellness: options. Since then, I’ve grown in my understanding of how to use essential oils, and in the results they have offered. My kids started asking me, “Mom can you make me a ‘cocktail’ (as we call it)? I’m starting to feel like I’m getting a cold.” To this day I make these “cocktails” for the kids, which now include oregano, lemon, peppermint, and On Guard. Even my college-aged son recently stopped by to get a “cold cocktail” from mom before heading on a trip out of town, to combat his scratchy throat and sniffles. I love that my children feel empowered through essential oils, too.

 

My post-concussion armory. Earplugs, to help me sleep, water, sunglasses to block light, acetominaphin for the pain, and an army of essential oils to calm, soothe, and comfort my bruising, aching, swelling, and distress.

My post-concussion armory. Earplugs, to help me sleep, water, sunglasses to block light, acetaminophen for the pain, and an army of essential oils to calm, soothe, and comfort my bruising, aching, swelling, and distress.

I starting using essential oils like lavender to relax at night and help my kids and I sleep better, and now, lavender is always with me–it’s great for relieving itchy bug bites, calming nerves, and a host of other things. I diffuse my favorite uplifting blend, Elevation, to lift our family’s mood during the day, and I diffuse Serenity to help us calm down at night. I use doTERRA‘s Balance blend every day to bring more balance to my moods, and I love the Clary Calm blend and phytoestrogen supplement when hormones are wreaking havoc on me. In fact, I now start each day with a health shake that includes doTERRA’s Terra Greens “green drink” mix, and take the lifelong vitality pack of nutritional supplements/vitamins, including important omega-3’s (which actually improve mental health as well as physical).

 

In times of distress, I’ve also learned to turn to essential oils.

I used essential oils after a car accident I was in two years ago, especially doTERRA‘s Deep Blue soothing blend to combat the pain and discomfort of whiplash and for the lasting tightness in my shoulders and neck.

A few months ago, I suffered a mild traumatic brain injury after a concussion. Essential oils to the rescue! I employed an arsenal of oils to to help with the bruising, swelling, muscle pain, anxiety, stress, and headaches–still do.

And just a couple months ago, my daughter was stung by a bee just as we were leaving the funeral of yet another loved one, and within 30 minutes, a blend of spikenard and petitgrain essential oils had not only stopped her pain and misery; she excitedly showed me she could no longer see where the sting had even been!

Yes, essential oils work, and as a mother I love having these incredible options in my family health and wellness toolbox.

 

 

A Valuable Addition to your Family Health & Wellness “Toolbox”

That’s what family health and wellness are all about, right? Options. Having the tools in our physical and emotional health “toolbox” to turn to in times of need empowers us. These tools should include things like proper sleep, nutrition, and exercise; a willingness to examine our emotional health and wellness, to seek support and talk about these things. At times, outside help is part of our toolbox, including psychotherapy, faith counseling, doctor visits, and yes, medications. But is that all? No. At least, it doesn’t have to be.

 

Essential oils are an incredible addition to our family physical and emotional health and wellness toolbox. They’re not THE answer; they’re AN answer, an important one that can empower us as mothers, parents, and individuals with the options we need to increase our family’s physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual health and to help the entire family “overcome, become, and flourish!”

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That’s why I’m thrilled to share with you my newest venture: “Motherhood Essentials!” including FREE Webinars & Giveaway!

Enter “Motherhood Essentials“–my new essential oils education, inspiration, empowerment, and leadership team!

I am partnering with doTERRA to bring their high quality essential oils to you–to help you learn how to use essential oils so you can experience the incredible benefits for your family.

I’m even more excited to provide opportunities for you to work directly with me to share these incredible products, support, and free eduction with others, all while fulfilling your own dreams and goals–personally and financially!

I can’t explain why it’s taken me so long to reach out and share the education, research, and “how-to’s” of essential oils I’ve learned, loved, and used so often, with all of you. I did write a blog post on essential oils sharing my favorite health and wellness benefits for families several months ago, but it wasn’t until recently that I decided to make this a whole new venture.

FREE Webinar & Giveaway! How to Enter…"Motherhood Essentials" w/Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com www.MotherhoodEssential.com

And as part of this launch, I’m also doing a FREE webinar series (see more info below), and an incredible GIVEAWAY of a doTERRA Family Physician kit (over $130 value!)!

There are 3 Ways to Enter:

1) REGISTER for my FREE webinar series, here.

2) Join my “Motherhood Essentials” Facebook Group.

3) Subscribe to my Motherhood Essentials Newsletter.

If you do all three, you’ll not only get fabulous FREE education, recipes, “how-to’s” and more; you’ll also get three entries! Enter now!

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My Motherhood Essentials “Why”…

I’ve asked myself many times, “Why am I doing this?” I’ve long preached about the importance of having a strong “why,” and after months of thought, prayer, and pondering, that’s exactly what I have–a powerful “why.”

 

I chose to create “Motherhood Essentials” for this simple reason: I love essential oils, and I love sharing and teaching about them. As an individual and parent, I use them everyday. As a psychologist, I’ve come to appreciate not only the physical health benefits of essential oils we so often hear about, but also some more surprising benefits–like benefits to emotional health, sleep, hormones, in pregnancy, postpartum, and beyond (join my FREE webinar series on this!). I am passionate about educating as many people as I can so they can reap these benefits, too.

 

Yes, I created “Motherhood Essentials” because I believe in doTERRA essential oils, because I want to share them with all of you, and because this blends perfectly into the work I have already been doing for years–offering education, inspiration, and showing as many people as I can how to “overcome, become, and flourish!” Essential oils is just one more way to do this.

 

 Learn more about the surprising benefits of essential oils for emotional health, sleep, hormones, and pregnancy/postpartum in this episode of Motherhood TV!

 

 

Why doTERRA essential oils?

1) “Quality matters, folks!” That’s what one of the top researchers on infectious diseases stated at the doTERRA One convention a couple months ago [1], as sheEssential Oils-Why Quality Matters www.DrChristinaHibbert.com www.MotherhoodEssential.com shared fascinating new research on the remarkable ways essential oils can work. doTERRA is tops when it comes to quality. (Learn more about why quality matters here).

 

2) They’re safe for the whole family. Because doTERRA oils are such high quality, they are a safe alternative or addition to other preventatitve and treatment options and can be used for the whole family, when used in the prescribed ways. (Learn more about how to use essential oils here.)

 

3) They work. Period. And in more ways than you’d guess! Dr. Parish’s research is even finding that the same oils can work in different ways for different organisms. This means How do I use essential oils? www.DrChristinaHibbert.com www.MotherhoodEssential.comthe health and wellness potential for essential oils is endless! In fact, Dr. Parish’s latest research is finding that essential oils have “some of the most powerful antimicrobial compounds in existence, and with further testing and research, they could lead to a whole new class of medications.”[2] In fact, new research is looking into essential oils as a new alternative to antibiotics. “Various oils have also been shown to effectively treat a wide range of common health issues such as nausea and migraines, and a rapidly growing body of research is finding that they are powerful enough to kill human cancer cells of the breast, colon, mouth, skin, and more.”[3]

 

4) They empower parents. Yes, these little bottles of essential oils empower us. Or, they have the potential to, if we allow them. Like I did, you too can just give them a try. Add lemon to your water for flavor and detoxification benefits. Add lavender to a hot bath for a relaxing soak and more restful sleep. Diffuse emotional aromatherapy oils in your home What are Essential Oils? "Motherhood Essentials" www.DrChristinaHibbert.com www.MotherhoodEssential.comfor a more peaceful environment. Or, try some of the exciting new doTERRA products, like Serenity sleep-promoting softgels or the Onguard blend I love so much. The point is, with essential oils in our toolkit, we have more options to turn to when we need them. And that is empowering.

 

5) doTERRA is a stand-up company. I had the opportunity to attend my first doTERRA convention a couple months ago, and I was blown away. Not only by the research, presentations, and quality of the entire convention, but even more so by the quality of the doTERRA company. Here are just a few facts about doTERRA:

  • doTERRA gives back–The thing I am most impressed about with doTERRA is how it serves so many around the world. doTERRA’s Healing Hands Foundation, partners "Motherhood Essentials" Home Page w/Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com www.MotherhoodEssential.comwith wellness advocates like me to serve and provide financial support to needy communities around the globe. They were the first on the scene to help rebuild Napal after the devastating earthquakes of 2015, building the first new structures and schools, donating hundreds of thousands of dollars for relief efforts, and providing over 2,000 new jobs for families there. But this is just one of the ways doTERRA is making a global impact. They are involved in countless projects and efforts around the globe, in addition to providing jobs through sourcing facilities and contracts, and are also a part of Days for Girls, a non-profit that empowers young women and girls discover their potential and build self-worth through ensuring quality feminine hygiene products are available. I love what doTERRA is doing to serve. I am proud to be a part of this company.
  • doTERRA is a science and research– based company. doTERRA is also transparent in their testing of each bottle of essential oil and has even created a website where you can search the lot number of your bottle of oil and see the farmers, growers and GCMS report.
  • doTERRA sources their quality essential oils all over the world. With over 100 essential oils in its product line, doTERRA sources its oils from over 40 countries —more than half of which could be considered developing countries. To ensure that small scale farmers and harvesters in disadvantaged areas are treated ethically, dōTERRA has introduced an initiative called Cō-Impact Sourcing. It is remarkable how doTERRA has created a global network that empowers growers, developers, harvesters, and advocates around the world!

Join the 'Motherhood Essentials" Leadership Team & Work with Me! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com www.MotherhoodEssential.com

 

Join me, and see what we can Accomplish with ‘Motherhood Essentials!”

Bottom line: I want you to join me. I want you to be part of this “Motherhood Essentials” team and mission. I am sharing this new Motherhood Essentials team with you to empower you and invite you to join us–however best suits your family’s needs.

My threefold purpose with Motherhood Essentials (and I hope you’ll join me in this purpose) is to:"Motherhood Essentials" FREE Webinar Series! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com www.MotherhoodEssential.com #essentialoils for #sleep #emotionalhealth #hormones #pregnancy #postpartum #wellness

1) Educate. The research and education on essential oils is solid, and it’s growing every day. I’m all about education. I love helping others learn, grow, and discover new ways to help themselves and their families. That’s why I’ve already set up my new “Motherhood Essentials” Webinar Series! In this FREE, online series, you can learn more about essential oils and how to use them for family emotional health, better sleep, to manage hormones and women’s health issues, in pregnancy and postpartum, and beyond. Join me and register for this incredible FREE series today! You can also join me for educational classes, posts and discussions by joining my Motherhood Essentials Facebook group, following me and our Motherhood Essentials posts on Instagram . I can’t wait to teach you how to USE these fabulous tools!

 

2) Share. I want to share these oils with you–to help you learn how to use them for greater health and wellness in your life. I also want to help you share these oils with others. You can join me for mentoring, leadership training, education, and other powerful skills by working with me; or, if you’re not ready to work with me, you can join our team in other ways!

 

3) Expand and grow. I only take on new projects when I believe they’re essential (pun intended) to my own personal growth and development, and my family’s. I truly believe "Motherhood Essentials" w/Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrchristinaHibbert.com www.MotherhoodEssential.comsharing and educating folks on doTERRA essential oils is part of my personal growth mission, and if it’s part of yours, too, then I want to help you expand your horizons and grow with me, as well.

 

 4) Work with you! Even more exciting, I am also building a “Motherhood Essentials” Leadership Team, and I want you to join me! Whether you’re looking for your next adventure, wanting something new, or looking to educate and inspire others in health and wellness; whether you’re looking to supplement or even replace your income while you learn, grow, and work with me, then I am looking for you! That’s the exciting thing about this leadership team–it means I get to work directly with go-getters like many of you who are passionate about family health and wellness, too. Together, we can share essential oils, provide rockin,’ free education, inspire others on the “how-to’s” of essential oil use, and empower moms, dads, and families to fulfill their health and wellness, and even financial, goals and dreams! If you’re ready for this, then join me! Click here to learn more and to apply.

 

 

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That about sums it up…

I hope you feel inspired to get started with essential oils, and I really hope that if you are inspired, you’ll register for my FREE webinar series today.

The most important thing you can do is at least give essential oils a try. If you love them, then you’ll have some incredible new tools in that toolbox we talked about. If not, well, at How Do I Get Started with Essential Oils? www.DrChristinaHibbert.com www.MotherhoodEssentials.comleast you’ll know. Learn more about what essential oils really are, why quality matters, how to use essential oils, and how to get started by clicking one of these links. Then, join my Facebook group and follow our Instagram account and check out our posts. And, just see what you think.

I hope you’ll choose to try essential oils out, to give yourself, and your family, the option of essential oils. And I hope you will choose to do so with me.

Here’s to an exciting “Motherhood Essentials” Team adventure!

 

 

 

 

Listen to my Motherhood Episode “Motherhood Essentials: Support for Emotions, Sleep, Hormones, & Finances!” here, and for direct access to new episodes subscribe to us iTunes or watch episodes on YouTube or myNEW webpage, “Motherhood TV!.”

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Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

 

 

 

 

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Related Posts/Articles:

Essential Oils 101: My Favorite Wellness Benefits for Moms, Kids, & Families

Mom Mental Health Through Exercise: Pregnancy, Postpartum, Motherhood & Beyond

Exercise for Mental Health: How to Get (& Stay Motivated)

40 Physical & Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

Get Mentally & Physically FITT: How to create an exercise program that works

Exercise as a Family to Build Stronger Relationship, Mental & Physical Health

50 Fun Ways to Exercise as a Family

Exercise to Improve Self-Esteem

Exercise for Mental Health: Key 1, Make it Fun!

Meditation for Mental Health, Personal & Spiritual Growth: The Spirit Meditation

 

8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise

 

[1] doTERRA One Convention. (Sept. 15, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT). Live address by Dr. Nicole Parish.

[2] The Alternative Daily. “Essential Oils vs. Antibiotics.” http://www.thealternativedaily.com/essential-oils-vs-antibiotics/

[3] The Atlantic. (Jan 16, 2015). “Essential Oils Might Be The New Antibiotics.” http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/01/the-new-antibiotics-might-be-essential-oils/384247/

Anxiety & Women: Hormones, Sleep & What You Can Do

Anxiety & Women-Hormones, Sleep & What You Can Do; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #anxiety #women #hormones #sleepIt’s 3:30 a.m. I was simply rolling over to fall back asleep, when my brain switched on like a 100-watt light bulb, and now I’m flooded with stress, worries, and thoughts of what I “need to get done” or about “my overwhelming life,” when I thought I’d put those thoughts to bed hours ago. I know I won’t fall back asleep. Still, I try. I try belly-breathing, then progressive muscle relaxation, then letting myself think for a while, to tire me out. Then, I pray. I pray for sleep. I pray that this knot of tension inside me will leave, that the fatigue my body is feeling will overpower the thoughts that hold me hostage. Finally, at 5 a.m., I get up and begin to type. It helps to get these thoughts out of me and maybe do some good for others in the process. Finally, I sneak down to the basement and exercise; I know it’s one of the best things I can do to not only distract my mind, but to provide much-needed energy for the day and hopefully later, the ability to finally rest.

 

This is anxiety, and trust me, it’s miserable. I don’t know why I haven’t written more about it before. That’s one thought that was spinning through my mind while I wasn’t sleeping this morning—Why haven’t I written about anxiety, when it’s the predominant symptom with which I struggle? When it’s one of the most common issues for all women, for all people? (Read “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION (& Anxiety): Overcoming the Stigma”)

 

 

Anxiety & Women

It’s not only my predominant symptom: “Anxiety disorders include phobias, social anxiety, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, OCD, PTSD, and separation anxiety disorder, and are considered the most commonly occurring class of mental disorders (CDC 2015)” [2].”

 

Anxiety is the most common mental health issue in women. Yes, more common than depression. Anxiety will affect one in three women throughout their lifetime [2], and often, depression and anxiety go hand-in-hand. Women are also twice as likely as men to develop an anxiety disorder, and symptoms tend to appear earlier in life for women [1].

 

 

What is Anxiety?

So, what, exactly, is anxiety? Clients have described it to me as, “I’m on edge all the time.” “My mind won’t shut off.” “I can’t stop thinking about everything I need to do” or “worrying about everything that could Anxiety & Women: Hormones, Sleep & What you Can Do; www.DrChristinaHibbert.comhappen.” “I can’t relax;” “I’m on edge all the time.” Or, I described it, above, “I can’t sleep even though I’m exhausted: My mind is holding me prisoner.”

 

Anxiety is, first and foremost, a feeling. We need anxiety to warn us of danger or to make us to take action when something needs to get done. If something is wrong and we feel worried, stressed, or afraid, anxiety helps set off the sympathetic nervous system, raising our heart rate and blood pressure and setting off stress hormones, like cortisol, in the brain, preparing us for action, telling us, “You need to do something about this!” When we take action, or when we are able to relieve the stressor or resolve the situation, our mind is supposed to shut off, our parasympathetic nervous system returning our body to a calmer state, heart rate slowing to normal, stress hormones subsiding.

 

What is an “Anxiety Disorder?”

Chronic anxiety, like an anxiety disorder, however, comes from an overactive stress response. Instead of resuming a calmer state once the threat has been overcome, the parasympathetic nervous system doesn’t kick in for those with an anxiety disorder. Instead, the mind stays on, keeping the body on high alert, even when there is no actual present threat. This keeps cortisol coursing through the body, blood pressure high, and heart rate working over time. This, understandably, makes it very difficult to relax, for the brain to shut off, to sleep. In turn, poor sleep and little relaxation contribute to anxiety and depression, among other things, and the cycle continues. It’s exhausting just thinking about it!

 

Types of Anxiety Disorders
There are several forms of anxiety disorder, including: Generalized Anxiety Disorder (intense, pervasive anxiety), Panic Disorder (including panic attacks), Specific Phobias (or extreme fears), Social Phobia (or fear of social situations), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD, consisting of obsessive, stress-filled thoughts and compulsions to alleviate the stress), and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD, with a traumatic trigger, followed by re-experiencing the event, like in nightmares of flashbacks, numbing/avoidance of things associated with the event, and heightened state of arousal).

 

Additionally, as mentioned above, anxiety may co-occur with major depression or other mental illnesses.

 

Anxiety & Hormones

In women, anxiety is also a common component of hormonal shifts, like those in pregnancy, postpartum, with PMS, PMDD, or in perimenopause. In fact, many women experience the most anxiety during the years leading up to menopause; and many of these women have never experienced anxiety before!

 

In pregnancy and postpartum, anxiety is common, as well, with approximately 6% of pregnant and 10% of postpartum women experiencing a perinatal anxiety disorder. Approximately 10% will experience pregnancy or postpartum panic disorder (with associated panic attacks), 3-5% will experience pregnancy or postpartum OCD, and 9% will experience postpartum PTSD, usually following a traumatic childbirth.

 

Unfortunately, thanks to society’s “myths of motherhood,” many believe it’s “normal” for moms to feel anxious or worried, so too many mothers live with unnecessary anxiety that can make life miserable. The truth is constant anxiety is not normal, and it’s important for women to recognize their symptoms so they can seek and receive treatment to overcome the anxiety and to heal.

 

 

Anxiety, Hormones & Sleep

Anxiety is often associated with insomnia or other sleep issues. Again, this is a vicious cycle, as lack of sleep continues the cortisol and adrenaline in the body that only make anxiety worse, and vice Anxiety & Women: Hormones, Sleep & What You Can Do www.DrChristinaHibbert.comversa.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, women are much more likely report sleep issues than men, one reason being the many hormonal shifts women experience premenstrually, in pregnancy and postpartum, and during perimenopause. A few days or a week before a woman’s period starts, she may find she can’t fall asleep or, more commonly, can’t stay asleep, as I described above. As I’ve studied the link between sleep, anxiety, and hormones it’s become clear: women are much more vulnerable to sleep disturbance during times of shifting hormones, and each month those hormones shift twice! First, there’s a drop in Estrogen around day 14, or around ovulation, and then the bigger drop in Estrogen and Progesterone occurs a few days to a week before her period starts. This can make sleep feel impossible for women who are sensitive to these shifts, with terrible sleep one or more weeks every month. (For more on this, read myWomen’s Emotions blog series, parts 1, 2, and 3.)

 

What can You Do for Anxiety?

You don’t have to suffer, living with anxiety. Treatments are available and highly successful.

 

  • The “gold standard” for anxiety treatment is a combination of anti-anxiety medication (including antidepressants, which also reduce anxiety) and psychotherapy. The medication works to correct the overactive brain chemistry while therapy teaches techniques and skills for how to manage daily symptoms. Either one of these treatments on their own will likely be beneficial, as well, research shows. (More on “Antidepressant or Not?” here.)

 

 

  • Learning relaxation skills, like mindfulness, deep breathing, and meditation are also beneficial in treating anxiety. Research shows these self-help techniques allow you to train your brain and body to let go and relax. Additionally, anything that helps relieve tension and stress can help–like massage, naps, quiet time, a hot bath, reading, watching a television program (not a scary one!), or time with friends and family.

 

  • Exercise is another helpful treatmenteither alone or as an addition to these other options. The benefits of exercise are proven and extensive, and for anxiety, exercise can not only work out the tension and give the mind a way to let go; it also helps the body become tired, so you’re more likely to sleep better. Though some who struggle with anxiety find cardiovascular exercise difficult, because it may mimic the feeling of anxiety (heart rate up, shortness of breath), lifting weights, doing yoga or Pilates, or very mild walking have shown incredible benefits in rAnxiety & Women: Hormones, Sleep & What You Can Do www.DrChristinaHibbert.comeducing symptoms of anxiety. (Read more about this, as well as strategies to make exercise work for you, in my new book, “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise!” [See Coupon to save 25%, below!])

 

  • Realize anxiety is not you! Then, FEEL the anxiety. One of the most helpful things I’ve learned over the years is that I am not the anxiety. It is a feeling in my body, not me. Too often, anxiety takes over like it’s running the show—the show being your life! And too often, we let it run the show. We feel like we are the anxiety. We fight feeling it because it’s so uncomfortable and we don’t know how to handle it. Or, at least, we think we don’t. One thing you can try is to sit and FEEL the anxiety. Notice where it is in your body. Breathe as you feel it and recognize it is not you. I find it helpful to imagine the anxiety is slightly in front of me as I lean my body away from it. It reminds me I am in charge of my life; my emotions are not. As we FEEL powerful emotions, like anxiety, they truly lose their power. (Read How to FEEL Powerful Emotions & watch the related 3-Minute Therapy video, here.)

 

  • Treat the sleep issues to treat the anxiety. If your sleep is severely affected by anxiety, it may be better to start by treating the sleep. Temporary sleep aids, including melatonin supplements, can help you finally get some rest, and just getting some sleep can help the anxiety begin to decrease. CBT can also help in treat the thoughts associated with sleep disturbances. Sometimes, there may be another sleep disorder, mental illness, or physical illness in play that’s causing your symptoms, so it’s always best to get a full physical evaluation first and talk to your doctor about what’s right for you. (Read Sleep Better, Cope Better: 6 Insomnia Causes & Cures, here.)

 

  • Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is worth looking into for perimenopausal/ menopausal-related anxiety, and some women benefit from hormone therapies for perinatal anxiety disorders, PMS and PMDD. It can be tricky getting hormone therapies right, however, and many women are sensitive to hormone-based treatments, which may make symptoms worse, at least at first. It is therefore important that you work with a knowledgeable doctor about the best therapies for you. S/he can help monitor your mind and body’s response to hormone treatments as well as your progress. It may take some time to get it right, but when you find a treatment that works, it’s well worth it.

 

  • Avoid/limit caffeine and other stimulants. If it’s your routine to wake up with a heavy dose of caffeine and/or to keep it pumping throughout the day, you may need to tackle that habit first. Caffeine and other stimulants only exacerbate anxiety. If you want the anxiety to diminish, first the caffeine has to vanish.

 

 

 

You can beat Anxiety!

Bottom line: you don’t have to live with constant anxiety. Yes, it will take work. Yes, it will take time. Yes, it will take patience–with yourself, and with others. But anxiety is not a normal part of life—for women, for moms, for men, for dads, for kids, for anyone.

 

If you’re suffering from any form of anxiety, please seek help. Talk to your doctor or mental health provider and ask what treatments might be best for you. And if you’re not finding the right answers, keep searching and asking until you do.

 

Don’t let anxiety get the better of you. Start right now. Breathe. Deeply. In and out. And again–in and out. Then, repeat after me, “This anxiety is not me. If I seek help and let it in, I can, and will overcome this anxiety, one breath, one moment, one step at a time.”

 

 

Do you struggle with anxiety? What is most helpful for you in treating symptoms of anxiety? What lessons have you learned that you can share with others experiencing the same thing? Please leave a comment, below, and let us know.

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[1] Anxiety and Depression Association of America. (2016). Anxiety and Women: Facts. 

[2] Hibbert, C. (2016). 8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise. W.W. Norton Publishing: New York, NY.

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?
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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.

 

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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!

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  • And, most importantly, know what you can DO.

 

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

 

 

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Depression & Motherhood: Facts, Help, & How to Overcome

Depression & Motherhood-Facts, Help, & How to Overcome, www.DrChristinaHibbert.comDepression affects one in five women throughout their lifetime and is especially prevalent during the childbearing years. Pregnancy, postpartum, hormone shifts, sleep depravation, and the pressure of parenting and raising children while also dealing with life changes and stress, all combine to make depression in motherhood common.

 

Motherhood & Depression

In fact, motherhood does make us more vulnerable to depression. While the lifetime rate for women and depression is about 20%, the majority of these episodes occur in the childbearing years. 10% of women experience depression in pregnancy, 15% experience postpartum depression, and if untreated, maternal depression can last for months or even years. It makes sense, doesn’t it, considering the extreme stress, lack of sleep, hormonal shifts, and life changes that occur in the mothering years?

There are various types of depression in motherhood, including major depression, which is a clinical disorder and includes symptoms like:

  • sadness, crying

    Singing & rocking my youngest, Sydney. Though I was able to breastfeed her, I introduced a bottle early on. I knew I needed it to help me survive PPD.

    Singing & rocking my youngest, Sydney. Though I was able to breastfeed her, I introduced a bottle early on. I knew I needed it to help me survive PPD.

  • fatigue
  • hopelessness
  • feeling worthless
  • changes in sleep or appetite
  • lack of interest in things you used to enjoy
  • guilt, frustration, and/or anxiety
  • feeling overwhelmed
  • possible suicidal thoughts

Dysthymia is a form of milder depression that persists most of every day for most days, for two years or more. Seasonal depression, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, is also common in women of childbearing years, and is believed to be more common in women who are also vulnerable to PMS. Finally, situational depression may occur because of loss, change, or life stress. This type of depression may go away when the situation clears up, or it may persist, especially if it was never dealt with.

 

Hormones, Depression, & Motherhood

And then there are hormones. Hormone-related depression can come in the form of postpartum depression, perimenopause, and/or PMS (premenstrual syndrome). It’s estimated 85% of women experience at least one significant symptom of PMS each month, and PMS is most common and at its worst among women in their childbearing years.

Approximately 3-8% of women experience Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, or PMDD. PMDD most commonly affects women who have at least one child, are in their late 20’s-early 40’s, and who have a family or personal history of depression or postpartum depression. [1] These facts just speak to the role our shifting hormones and compiling life experiences play in the development of mood changes, and especially in depression. (More on hormones and women’s emotions here.)

 

How do we know when we’re experiencing depression, versus just having a bad day or week or month or year?

People often say, “I’m depressed,” but what they really mean is that they’re sad, stressed, overwhelmed, exhausted. True depression lasts for two weeks or more, and includes symptoms like those above, like: sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings; feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, or guilt. It also significantly impacts your daily life, your relationships, and your functioning. Major depression isn’t something you just wake up and “get over.” It’s something you must work to overcome. But, remember that, with help and time and work, it IS something that can be overcome.

 

The Impact of Depression on Kids, Partners, Family

The hardest part of depression in motherhood is often the fact that we moms can’t afford to be Depression & Motherhood- Facts, Help & How to Overcome www.DrchristinaHibbert.comdepressed. We have to be “on,” 24/7; we don’t want to feel depressed, and we especially don’t want our children to suffer as a result. All this can add up to some pretty hefty guilt, and sometimes, even shame.

The truth is that untreated maternal depression does impact our children. In fact:

  • Untreated maternal depression is the number one predictor of future behavioral and cognitive problems in the child.
  • It is associated with less positive parenting practices, like smiling, reading to, and talking with children.
  • It can affect social development, since children of depressed mothers often take on the low self-esteem their mothers tend to exhibit.
  • And untreated depression can negatively impact marriage and relationships as well, often leading to depression in one’s husband or partner, or too often, to separation or divorce.

Yes, the stakes are too high, moms. We can’t afford to let ourselves remain depressed. We can no longer kid ourselves by saying, “It only affects me.” It doesn’t. And even if it did, is that what we really want? To feel miserable? To feel unworthy? To feel so low all the time?

I don’t say this to add more guilt. Trust me, as a mother who struggles with depression myself, that’s the last thing I would want to do. I say this because it’s true. Motherhood does not mean depression. We can, and will, overcome depression, if we take it seriously and seek help. We can be happy, full of hope, and joyful as we raise our children. But first, we need to be honest with ourselves and seek help. We need to take action, to let go of the guilt that holds us captive. We must trust that we can, and will, be well again.

 

Help: What can we do about Maternal Depression?

There are many ways we can treat depression, including self-help, social support, and professional help like therapy and medication. In order to know what will work best for you, it’s important to create a game plan.

In this week’s episode of my “Motherhood” radio show, I spoke with Jennifer Peterson, mom of 5, writer, and creator of the blog “The JoyFinders.”  Jen has struggled with depression and is very candid about the lessons she has learned, and I share some of my own struggles and lessons as well. Listen to the episode on demand, on WebTalkRadio.net or download it for later. Or, watch it on my YouTube channel. Then, read how to create your game plan, below.

[stream provider=youtube flv=http%3A//www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DaSQrCikl660 img=x:/img.youtube.com/vi/aSQrCikl660/0.jpg embed=false share=false width=640 height=360 dock=true controlbar=over bandwidth=high autostart=false responsive=16:9 /]

 

How to Overcome: Creating Your Game Plan

One thing Jen shared was how important it is for her to have a game plan, and I agree, it’s crucial. How do we create a “game plan” for dealing with depression? Here are a few ideas:

  • Be honest about where you are. Before you can be honest with others, you need to be
    I started the "I am the FACE of Depression" campaign to get people talking. It's okay to admit you struggle with depression. It doesn't define you.

    I started the “I am the FACE of Depression” campaign to get people talking. It’s okay to admit you struggle with depression. It doesn’t define you.

    honest with yourself. It’s okay to say “I’m struggling with depression.” In fact, you may find it freeing. Sort of like an exhale—it can be a relief to just be where you are. Sometimes, your body is screaming at you: “Hey! I’m not doing so well. We need to be depressed for a while and figure some things out!” Are you listening? (Read “Women & Depression” for a new view.)

 

  • Find what you need. What do you need to overcome depression? This will look a little bit different for each person, but pay attention and see what things help you feel better. Your list may include things like, “I need to talk with a friend each day, to go for a walk, and to get to bed early.” It may include, “I need to give myself a break, to say “no” more for now, and to go out with my husband at least once a week.” What do YOU need when you’re in the throes of depression? Some common items include: sleep, exercise, activity, social interaction, doing less, alone time, time to rest, serving others, quality time with kids/partner/friends, a support group, therapy, massage, medication, etc.

 

  • Seek support. We need each other, especially in times of discouragement, grief, heartache, and depression. Yet, depression can make us want to isolate. That’s one of the hardest things about it. But healing comes through seeking and finding support. Search out those people in your life who make you feel comfortable, who “get” you, who understand depression and will be there for you. Sometimes, it helps to have a friend or family member who will check up on you, who will push you out of the house or stop by to make sure you’re taking care of yourself. Professional help is important, too. Therapy is a great place to start—to learn coping strategies and help solidify your game plan. If your depression is moderate to severe or if self-help and therapy don’t work, you may want to talk to your doctor about trying an antidepressant. (Read “Antidepressant? Or not? )

 

  • Schedule activity. Even one little activity each day that gets you dressed or interacting with people or out in the sunshine or out of the house can make a big difference on your mood. It’s one of the best things you can do to “treat” your depression. And getting in the sunshine is also excellent for lifting depressed mood.

 

  • Talk about it. Depression isn’t something to be ashamed of. The more we talk about it, the more we see we are not alone. I wrote about my battles with depression in this article. Jen shares her struggles in our Motherhood interview. Be honest with your family, with your partner, with your close friends. No, you don’t have to tell everyone you meet. But, explaining to those who love you most that you’re having a hard time and are working on it is very helpful. I encourage you to talk with your kids about it, too, in words they can understand. Many moms fear that telling their kids will make them afraid or worried. The truth is, they probably already know something isn’t “right,” and talking honestly with them about it can be reassuring, if it’s done right. Same goes for husbands/partners. My close friend struggled to even tell her husband she was suffering from depression and anxiety. She tried to handle it all on her own, and she eventually took her own life. Again, the stakes are too high. We can’t afford to remain silent. Talk about it. It is healing.

 

  • Write it down. Once you know your game plan, write it down. Post it somewhere you will see it often so it can remind you of what you’re aiming to do.

 

  • Follow your plan and adjust as needed.  It will take time to figure out what you need to become depression-free, just like it will take time to heal from depression. It’s okay to let yourself be where you are, to take the time you need to do it right. Make changes as you learn new elements of your plan for wellness. For instance, if winter hits and you suddenly realize how much sunshine has to do with your mood, you may make sitting in the sun each morning a part of your routine, or exercising outside a “must do.”

 

Remember:

  • Depression isn’t you.Motherhood & Depression-Facts, Help & How to Overcome, www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #motherhood #depression #mentalhealth
  • It’s doesn’t make you weak, and it’s not a character flaw.
  • Depression isn’t something to feel ashamed of; it’s something to work on.
  • While it’s normal to feel guilt when you’re a mom who’s depressed, it’s also only helpful if you use that guilt to help you grow. Let it guide you toward the help and plan you need. Then, let the rest go.
  • With honesty, openness, and work, your family will not suffer as a result of your suffering. They are resilient, and so are you.
  • You are not alone. Seek support and love. Then, let it in.
  • With help, you will be well.

 

What is the hardest part of depression in motherhood for you? What helps you overcome? What does your game plan contain? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment, below.

 

 

References:

[1] Premenstrual Syndrome Fact Sheet, http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/premenstrual-syndrome.html.

[2] More facts on Postpartum Depression: http://www.postpartum.net

 

 

 

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Link for this episode: Depression & Motherhood: What is it? And what can we do about it?

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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.)

[stream provider=youtube flv=http%3A//www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3D6kReyGHJMVo%26feature%3Dyoutu.be img=x:/img.youtube.com/vi/6kReyGHJMVo/0.jpg embed=false share=false width=640 height=360 dock=true controlbar=over bandwidth=high autostart=false responsive=16:9 /]

 

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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Be sure to check out Dr. Hibbert’s Amazon Bestseller, This is How We Grow
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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

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Postpartum Depression Treatment: For Dads & Partners

Postpartum Depression Treatment: For Couples

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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.**

“Perfect?” or “Fake?”: 8 Myths about Perfectionism & 8 Truths to Cure It

"Perfect?" or "Fake?': 8 Myths about Perfectionism, & 8 Truths to Cure It; www.DrChristinaHibbert.comAre you a perfectionist? Not sure? Well, do you…

  • Set unrealistically high goals/standards for yourself and/or others?
  • Judge yourself based on what you do/don’t accomplish?
  • Have a hard time stopping a project until it’s exactly how you want it?
  • Have trouble relaxing in even a small mess at home?
  • Feel like a “failure” if you can’t do things just right?

If you answered “yes” to one or more of these, you probably struggle with perfectionism.

 

“Perfect?” or “Fake?”: The Problem of Perfectionism

As a women’s mental health expert, I’ve helped my fair share of perfectionists. They don’t usually come in for help with perfectionism, though—more like help with underlying depression, anxiety, relationship issues, or overwhelming stress. Yes, these are all consequences of perfectionism, along with other things like poorer health, mental well-being, and overall life satisfaction.

That’s the problem with perfectionism–it isn’t what it appears to be at all. Perfectionism is a false exterior that covers up other, deeper issues. It’s a mask.

 

8 Myths about Perfectionism & 8 Truths to Cure It

Only once we identify perfectionistic behaviors and personality traits can we begin to do something about it. Let’s look at some of the myths of perfectionism, therefore, and some of the truths. Hopefully, these will open our eyes, educate us, and begin the perfectionism recovery process:

 

1) Myth: “Perfect” means “without faults;” with hard work and dedication, it’s possible to achieve this state of being.

Truth: “The Greek translation of the word ‘perfect’ actually means, ‘complete,’ ‘so good that nothing of the kind could be better,’ and ‘that which has attained its purpose.’” (This is How We Grow, p. 270) This is a much different ideal than striving to be “without faults.” Perfection isn’t possible; it isn’t real, and this makes perfectionism a real problem for many people, especially women. None of us is or ever will be “perfect,” or “without faults.” “Seeking to do right, to be complete, to live authentically, is the opposite of perfection.” (Ibid, p. 271) And doesn’t that sound so much better, anyway?

 

2) Myth: Perfectionists simply strive to be their very best."Perfect?" or "Fake?": 8 Myths of Perfectionism, & 8 Truths to Cure It; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

Truth: Perfectionism is actually the opposite of healthy striving. We tell ourselves it’s good to be a perfectionist; “I just like things to be the best they can be,” we say. But this isn’t true. In fact, research shows there’s a distinct difference between perfectionism and healthy striving:

  • Perfectionism is trying to reach an unrealistically high goal or standard—one that can never be reached.
  • Healthy striving is setting high but achievable goals/standards.
  • Perfectionism is seeing mistakes as evidence of unworthiness.
  • Healthy striving is understanding mistakes are part of the process, and being able to more easily get back up after setbacks/mistakes.

 

3) Myth: Perfectionism leads to success.

Truth: Research tells us perfectionism actually “hampers success. In fact, it’s often the path to depression, anxiety, addiction, and life-paralysis.”[1]

 

4) Myth: It’s good to desire positive outcomes, and that’s what perfectionists do.

Truth: Perfectionism focuses only on the outcome, and it leaves no room to feel “positive” about it. Life isn’t about achieving a perfect outcome—whether it’s a dinner you’re making, keeping your house spotless, or the vision you have for how your life will turn out. It won’t turn out perfectly. Trust me. Life is about curves and twists and surprises. If we want to be healthy and happy, we must learn to recognize the beauty in the process of life, not the outcome.

 

5) Myth: Perfectionists are just natural leaders, and that’s why they like to be in “control” of things and people.

Truth: Perfectionists actually feel out of control. That’s why they so desperately need to control everything around them. Deep down, perfectionists are terrified of being seen as they really are—as a real individual with strengths and weaknesses. Unfortunately, much of life is out of our control, and no matter how hard you try to control life, it’s never going to work. That’s why perfectionism leads to stress and unhealthy habits/conditions: it’s a never-ending pursuit of a false ideal.

 

6) Myth: Perfectionists are confident and secure, that’s why they work so hard and always look and act “perfectly.”"Perfect?" or "Fake?": 8 Myths about Perfectionism & 8 Truths to Cure It; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

Truth: Perfectionism, at its core, is all about insecurity. When working with perfectionists, I always end up working on self-esteem and self-worth. That’s the true cure for perfectionism—discovering your true, innate worth, getting in touch with and learning to love the real you.

 

7) Myth: Perfectionism is a strength.

Truth: Perfectionism is a weakness, and at its worst, an illness. That’s why I used the word, ‘cure,’ above. Though there are certainly some benefits to perfectionism–like the motivation and drive to, say, stick with an exercise plan or achieve a big goal–perfectionism is all about working to achieve an unrealistic standard. It usually involves holding others to that same standard, driving everyone crazy (yourself included) in the process. Perfectionism is a mask for the underlying problem—not feeling like “enough.” Those who struggle with perfectionism feel unworthy of love and attention, so they seek it through what they do. But this is a recipe for overwhelm, stress, poor health, and yes, failure. Thus, in the end, perfectionism acts more as a weakness than a strength.

 

8) Myth: If you’re a “perfectionist,” you’ll always be that way.

Truth: Perfectionism is a choice, and with education, hard work, and dedication, you can choose to cure your perfectionistic side. You can choose to let things go. You can choose to see beauty in the process. You can choose love—love of your life, your family, and yourself.

 

The Good News About Perfectionism

If you see yourself in any of these myths, please take heart in the truths. Let them open your eyes to another way of living–let them inspire you to begin today to kick the perfectionism habit. Take a searching look at how perfectionism treats you. Like a bad boyfriend, it tells you you’re never good enough, makes you work to receive love, and never lets you quit. “He’s no good for you,” I say. No darn good. Time to let him (or rather, it–perfectionism) go.

 

Check out my series on “How to Feel Self-Worth.” It’s a great place to begin to dump perfectionism and learn to love the real, beautiful, imperfect you.

Are you a perfectionist? Do you see yourself in any of these myths or facts? What stands out for you after reading this? Leave a question/comment, below, and let us know what you think!

#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!

 

"Perfect?" or "Fake?': 8 Myths about Perfectionism, & 8 Truths to Cure It; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

Join my  This is How We Grow Personal Growth Group!

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

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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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Related Posts/Articles

References:
Brown, B. (2010) The Gifts of Imperfection, p.56.

“This Is How We Grow” Book Giveaway, Book Club, & More!

This Is How We Grow Book Giveaway, Book Club, & More! www.DrChristinaHibbert.comWe have some exciting things happening with my recently released bestselling memoir, This is How We Grow, and I’d like to share them with you!

 

GoodReads Giveaway!

First, we’ve just started an exciting giveaway. I am giving away 10 Autographed copies of This is How We Grow through GoodReads.com! GoodReads does some amazing giveaways, and I’m thrilled to be part of it! If you’re already on GoodReads, I hope you’ll follow me, then click here or see the sidebar (right) for information on how to enter. If you’re not on GoodReads, check it out! Membership is free, and it’s a great way to learn about new books you will want to read. Entries will be accepted January 25-February 25, midnight, so go enter today! Good luck!

 

This is How We Grow Book Club

The reviews are in, and readers keep saying, “This is How We Grow is the perfect book club book!” To make help you in hosting a This is How "This is How We Grow" Book Giveaway, Book Club, & More! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.comWe Grow book club, I’ve added two new features to my This is How We Grow Book page: 1) a “Book Discussion Guide,” and 2) an “Interview with the Author.” Visit my book page for more information!

 

Book Club Visits & Skype!

I am also beginning my This is How We Grow book tour! I will be traveling each month to speak about This is How We Grow, and I hope to come to your area! (See my calendar of events for cities I’ve already booked.) I plan to attend as many book clubs as possible when I’m in different cities, starting with two book clubs in Phoenix, AZ, this week! If I can’t make it to your area or your club meeting, I’m also available to Skype in! Visit my book page for details, and I hope to see you soon!

 

Book Events & Live Webinars

As I mentioned, I will be speaking on the topics covered in This is How We Grow to as many audiences as I can manage over the next year. My events schedule is already taking shape, and if you have an event at which you’d like me to speak, please visit my speaking page, and contact me. Yes, my time is limited because yes, I’m still a mom of six kids. But, I hope to make as many visits as possible work!

 

For those who can’t attend an in-person event, I will also be hosting some live webinars on various This is How We Grow topics, including motherhood, dealing with grief, women’s emotions across the lifespan, personal growth, and many more! If you have a topic you’d like to see covered in a free webinar, please leave a comment, below, or email me. Otherwise, SUBSCRIBE, below, or follow my Dr. Hibbert Facebook Page and This is How We Grow Facebook page for updates on these exciting events!

 

This is How We Grow Personal Growth Group!

If you haven’t already, join us for my This is How We Grow Personal Growth Group! It’s free, online, and a wonderful way to learn the skills of overcoming, becoming, and flourishing! With monthly video lessons, an online support group on Facebook, and inspirational emails and posts, this group is one way to show your self some love. For more information, visit this post, and I hope to see you there!

 

More exciting news to come! Happy growing!

 

#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 the #1 Amazon Bestseller, This is How We Grow! 

Available now on Amazon.com!

 

This Is How We Grow Book Giveaway, Book Club, & More! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com
 Don’t miss a thing!

SUBSCRIBE, below, for updates, inspiration, and FREE giveaways!

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5 Skills of Overcoming…Depression, Grief, PPD, Hormones, Stress, etc., etc.

The Skills of Overcoming…Depression, Grief, PPD, Hormones, etc., etc., ; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

 

 

It’s important for all of us to learn the skills of overcoming–because life will test us. We will struggle and fall and have to learn to get back up. We will face hardships, loss, and physical and mental health challenges. And we need to be able to overcome these challenges, not only so we will feel again, but so we will be free to become our best self, experience the payoffs of personal growth, and flourish in life and love. That’s why my tagline is: Overcoming. Becoming. Flourishing.

 

5 Skills of Overcoming

Most of my professional work has focused on helping women, children, and men overcome something. Be it parenting issues, depression, anxiety, grief, relationship challenges, postpartum depression, adjustment to motherhood, hormone-related emotional struggles, etc.–there are five principles I’ve discovered that stand true no matter what we are overcoming. There are five skills of overcoming we can all begin developing today.

 

The Skills of Overcoming…Depression, Anxiety, PPD, Grief, Hormones, Stress, etc., etc.; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

1) You must accept your situation. No matter the “problem,” the first step in overcoming is always acceptance. How can the alcoholic get clean if he fails to accept he’s an alcoholic? How can a family in grief overcome it if they fail to accept their need to grieve? It’s simple, yet not always easy–accepting what is. But it’s a crucial first step in moving beyond the “problem,” in overcoming it.

 

2) You must be willing to change and–if you choose to–grow. Many people say they want to overcome their challenges but aren’t willing to change in order to do so. I recall a client who had been seeing me for moderate depression for three months. Sensing she was not making progress, I brought it up in a session. She replied she didn’t think what I was doing was working for her. “Okay,” I said, “then let’s try something different.” I then explained a whole new approach to her depression, and how, if she was willing to work hard and I was willing to work hard, I believed she really could and would overcome. It was a “Dead Poet’s Society,” standing on the desk, kind of motivational moment that moved me to tears on her behalf. I paused and awaited her reply. “No, I guess I don’t want to do that,” she said, and quit therapy that day. I was stunned, but it helped me learn a lesson: You have to want to change if you ever want to overcome your problems. Overcoming is change, after all. And,  you can not only change, you can grow through your struggles, too–if you choose to.

 

3) Create a plan for help, and incorporate outside support. Too many people just jump into the emotions of their problems and get lost, because they have no anchor, no plan, no support system. If you’re trying to make lasting change, you’re going to need a plan and support. Your plan might include self-help, like reading good books, taking courses on how to overcome your particular problem, vitamins and supplements, or talking with a friend or family member. It might also include outpatient professional treatment, like a support group, counseling, doctor’s visits or medication, or alternative treatment methods. More severe mental health struggles might include inpatient help in a hospital, treatment center, or other facility. Your plan should also include a strong support system, consisting of family, friends, community, and church members, who can encourage, teach, and be there for you. The important thing is to create the plan that is right for you, and use your supports. (More on Goal-Setting Success Skills, here)
*If you’re struggling with overcoming grief, watch this short video to get you started!

[stream provider=youtube flv=http%3A//www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DEgr690jSVMQ img=x:/img.youtube.com/vi/Egr690jSVMQ/0.jpg embed=false share=false width=640 height=360 dock=true controlbar=over bandwidth=high autostart=false responsive=16:9 /]

4) Work hard. Give it your all. And remember, “It is work, but it is worth it.” Overcoming, by nature, is work. Hard work. But remind yourself of the choice that lies before you–“Either I do the hard work and get better, or I give up and stay the same.” One day at a time. One foot in front of the other. One healthy choice. One changed thought. It’s worth the hard work in the end.

5) Reevaluate the plan as needed, and be willing to go back to number one and start this “overcoming” process all over again, as many times as it takes. Change is like a spiral staircase, through which we move up and down. As we make mistakes, we learn. As we learn, we can choose new options and make better choices that will enable our plan to eventually work.  The only “failure” is in giving up, or giving in to our troubles. Don’t let your troubles get the best of you. You’re better than that. You’re worth the work it will take to overcome. Someday, your overcoming will help you become your best self. And yes, if you stick with it, you will eventually flourish, too!

What helps you overcome, and what are you willing to give to become and flourish, too? I’d love to know what you think, so leave a comment, below!

 

 

 

For more on Overcoming, be sure to check out my bestselling memoir,

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com

Available now on Amazon.com!

 

 

The Skills of Overcoming…Depression, Grief, PPD, Hormones, etc., etc., ; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

Looking for inspiration & support as you overcome, become, and flourish?

Join my “This is How We Grow” Personal Growth Group!

FREE. Online. Growth.

 

Don’t miss a thing! 

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You may manage your subscription options from your profile

 

 

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Beyond “Happiness”: 10 Ways to Increase Joy

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Personal Growth & Self-Actualization

Invitation: Join My “This is How We Grow” Blog Hop!

 

An Invitation to YOU!

Join my This Is How We Grow Blog Hop!

(in honor of my new book, by the same name!)

Theme: “I choose to grow.” 

 

I’ve certainly had my share of life challenges, many of which I share in my new memoir, This Is How We Grow. From deathloss, and grief, to postpartum depression, to relationship struggles and questioning self-worth, my life has presented me with many opportunities to grow.

 

It is a choice, you know. Growing. As I write in This is How We Grow, “Life changes are to be expected, aren’t they? Seasons change, years come and go, and so do we… As a wise person once said, ‘Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.’[1] I choose to grow. What will your choice be?”[2]

 

Join my This is How We Grow Blog Hop and share your “choose to grow” moments with the world, as we inspire and show one another the way. Please read the instructions, below, then hop on over to my blog on or after Saturday, November 9, and join us! Let’s show the world that we can and will choose to grow, no matter what life brings!

 

 

Please Join Us!

Help me celebrate the release of my new book by joining my This is How We Grow Blog Hop! Write a post on our theme, “I choose to grow,” and be sure to follow the guidelines, below. Then, link it up with my This is How We Grow Blog Hop post, between November 9 and December 7th! It’s that easy. And, it’s a great way to help one another share our work and stories of inspiration! See the instructions, below.

 

 

Editorial Guidelines:

  • Name: Include your real name. We don’t promote people with online disguises.
  • Length: 500-1000 words.
  • Theme: “I Choose to Grow.” Keeping in the theme, we welcome posts on overcoming life challenges, sharing lessons learned, and tools to help you and others “choose to grow.”
  • Purpose: The purpose of this blog hop is to inspire, teach, and uplift. We therefore ask that you focus on messages of hope, recovery, and growth.
  • Post Type: You may write a new post or use one previously written, as long as it is on the theme “I choose to grow.”
  • Title: All posts must include our blog hop title, “This is How We Grow” Blog Hop, 2013. However, you may use whatever other title you would like, in addition. If using an old post, simply add the Blog Hop title to the top of the post so we know you’re participating.
  • Links: Posts will be linked up on my site, and all posts need to include a link back to the blog hop page. This is how we create the ‘hop’! (see below)
  • Disclaimer: Dr. Christina Hibbert reserves the right to remove any links to material that is unrelated or is deemed inappropriate for this blog hop.

 

 

How to Participate:

  1. Beginning Saturday, November 9, 2013,
  2. Write your blog post any time between now and December 7th, 2013.
  3. You may also share a post you’ve previously written, as long as it is related to the topic and includes the title, This is How We Grow Blog Hop 2013.
  4. Visit my site, www.drchrisitnahibbert.com, and look for my post, This is How We Grow Blog Hop 2013. At the bottom of my blog post will be the link up device. You will be able to link up on this page after November 9th.
  5. Link up your post to my blog post in the Linky provided at the bottom of the post.
  6.  Link your post back to the hop! Be sure to grab the “I Choose to Grow” badge code (in my right sidebar) and add it to the html or text section of your post and/or sidebar. This is how we create the hop–by linking your site back to mine and vice versa, so please do not skip this important step! (If the badge code will not work, you may also copy one of the images on this post and link it or create a simple link to the blog hop link up page.)
  7. We encourage you to copy the This is How We Grow photo in this post or on the link-up post, and use it in your post. You may also grab the code in my sidebar (right) for our This Is How We Grow badge and install it in your sidebar, if you so choose.
  8. Feel free to promote your blog and the blog hop on social media! I sure will!

 

Social Media Links:

  • #TIHWGBlog is the hashtag we are using to promote this event. #TIHWG is the hashtag for my book release and related events and giveaways (including my FREE Kindle giveaway, November 13th!)
  • Twitter: My handle is @DrCHibbert. Please follow me on Twitter and let me know when you promote a post. I will retweet!
  • Pinterest: Follow me on Pinterest, and re-pin images related to the blog hop! Create images for your posts, and we will pin and re-pin all month long!
  • Please join me on my Facebook Pages, to promote and discuss our posts!

 

That’s it! Can’t wait to get “hopping” with you!

 

Be sure to check out Dr. Hibbert’s new memoir, This Is How We Grow, on Amazon.com! 

Launch day and FREE Kindle Giveaway, November 13th!

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.drchristinahibbert.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/square-head-shot1.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Author, Clinical Psychologist, Mom of 6, Postpartum Couples DVD Producer, Non-Profit Founder, and expert on Parenting, Women’s Emotions, Pregnancy & Postpartum, Grief & Loss, and Personal Growth, Dr. Christina Hibbert loves songwriting, learning, and teaching what she learns. Her new book, This Is How We Grow is available November 13th on Amazon![/author_info] [/author]

 

Questions? Suggestions? Leave a comment, below!

Invitation: Join my "This is How We Grow" Blog Hop!; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

Don’t miss a thing!

SUBSCRIBE, below, and please “like” my Facebook pages (Dr. Christina Hibbert) (This is How We Grow), and follow me on Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagramfor giveaways, inspiration, and discussion on the topics that matter to you!


 

 

Join my This Is How We Grow Personal Growth Group!

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

 

 

Related Posts/Articles:

Introducing my This Is How We Grow Personal Growth Group: Free. Online. Join Today!

This is How we Grow: Understanding the Seasons of Personal Growth

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

Why I Feel Like a Loser Mom, and How I Know I’m Really Not

Let’s Get Real: 10 Confessions from “The Psychologist, The Mom, & Me”

In Memory of My Sister, on the 5th Anniversary of her Death

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How to Embrace Strengths & Weaknesses

The Positive Psychology of Flourishing: What is it? And Am I doing it?

 

 


[1] Karen Kaiser Clark, Life is Change, Growth is Optional (CEP Publications, 1998).

[2] Christina G. Hibbert, Psy.D. This is How We Grow, chapter 1.

Antidepressant? Or Not? 12 Facts on Depression & Medication

As I often tell clients who are depressed or anxious and considering taking a psychotropic medication, “When you need it, you need it.” What I mean is, if medication is one of the tools that will help you feel well again, it’s definitely worth considering.

 

But considering taking a medication can be tough for many people. Though I don’t prescribe medications (I’m a psychologist, not a psychiatrist), I am often the one helping clients decide what to do about taking an antidepressant, antianxiety, or other type of psychotropic medication. Here are a few of the things my clients and I discuss, in order to make their decision about medication a little easier. I hope they might shed a little light on depression and medication for you too.

 

 

The Facts on Depression and Medication

How Medication Works:

1)    Life stress and hormones literally alter brain chemistry and can leave us depleted of the neurotransmitters (like Seratonin) that make us feel “normal” and well. When these chemicals are out of whack, we end up with symptoms like sadness, fatigue, anxiety, panic—symptoms of depression, anxiety or other mental disorders. (For more on this, read my Women’s Emotions series.)

 

2)    Take depression, for example. Even people who aren’t struggling with depression have their daily ups and downs. It works the same for those who are depressed, except the lows are much lower and the “highs” are not so high. This is why depression can make it so challenging just to have a normal day.

 

3)    Antidepressants work to correct flaws in the brain’s chemistry, bringing functioning up to a more “normal” level.

 

4)    Antidepressants are not “happy pills,” as many people believe. They don’t alter who you are or affect your personality directly. They simply bring you from here ___ to here —. Then you do the rest.

 

5)    Therapy also works to correct the chemistry of the brain, but it can take 12 weeks, on average, to really see change, whereas antidepressants usually kick in within about 2 weeks to one month, depending on the type. In cases of moderate to severe depression, therapy alone often doesn’t work, because the client doesn’t have the energy or ability to fully participate. Considering how much energy it takes for a depressed person to just get through the day, there is often nothing left for actually working on the depression. This is why antidepressants and therapy work so well together. The medication gives just enough of a boost that you can focus on making change in your life—learning to cope, learning strategies to prevent depression in the future, and eventually, learning how to create the experiences you desire in your life.

 

6)    Because of this, according to research, the “gold standard” of care for depression (for most people) is a combination of therapy and medication.

 

7)    For moderate to severe depression, antidepressants can make the difference between a lengthy battle that seems to never end and a smooth recovery to previous functioning.

 

Tips on Taking Psychotropic Medications:

8)    If you’re considering taking a psychotropic medication, like an antidepressant, antianxiety, or other type, please speak to your doctor and make sure your s/he understands these medications. Many people turn to their primary care physician for mental health medications. Some of these doctors are well educated on psychotropic medications. Others are not. Make sure your doctor understands  your needs and offers the education, advice, and support you need.

 

9)    It’s okay, and even recommended, to seek a second opinion or get evaluated by a psychiatrist (a doctor who specializes in psychotropic medications) if you’re not comfortable with what your doctor recommends. This is especially important if your symptoms are more complex or it’s your first time receiving a diagnosis and medication.

 

10) Just remember, it takes a few weeks for most psychotropic medications to work correctly. It’s not always easy to find the medication that will be just right for you, so be patient. It’s not an exact science—more like trial and error.

 

11) There can be side effects to antidepressants and psychotropic medications, so make sure you ask your doctor about them and become educated before you start.

 

12) Most importantly, never “quit” antidepressants or other psychotropic medications, cold turkey. These need to be tapered off over several weeks in order to avoid negative side effects or the resurgence of your previous condition. Please speak with your physician about a tapering plan when you feel ready to come off the medication and heed their advice.

 

 

A Few More Things to know about Depression & Medication:

Not everyone needs a psychotropic medication, and I usually recommend trying therapy or alternative methods first, IF it’s okay with your doctor and your symptoms are not severe. In fact, research shows therapy should be considered a first line of treatment for most cases of mild to moderate depression.[1]

 

That being said, I repeat, “When you need it, you need it.” If your efforts in therapy or other forms of treatment don’t seem to be working, or if you are getting worse, it may be time to look into a medication. It’s one of many tools created to help you be well, and it may just be the one tool that makes the difference for you.

 

**The opinions presented here are not meant to replace proper medical care but are merely suggestions based on my work as a psychologist. I am not a psychiatrist, nor do I prescribe medications. For information on your own medication treatment or management, please speak to your physician.**

 

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.drchristinahibbert.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/square-head-shot1.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Clinical Psychologist, Mom of 6, Postpartum Couples DVD Producer, Non-Profit Founder, and expert on Parenting, Women’s Emotions, Pregnancy & Postpartum, and Grief & Loss, Dr. Christina Hibbert loves songwriting, learning, and teaching what she learns. Learn and Grow with Dr. Hibbert and her community of really great people![/author_info] [/author]

 

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To Take an Antidepressant or Not?: 12 Facts on Depression & Medication; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

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Related Posts/Articles:

[1] Stuart, S., O’Hara, M.W., & Gorman, L.L, 2003. The prevention and psychotherapeutic treatment of postpartum depression. Archives of Women’s Mental Health, 6[Suppl.2]: s57-s69.)

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