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Posts Tagged ‘Mental Health’

stress busting

Parents and stress…oh my this is such a topic.

Long hours…little recognition for all that parenting entails

No one can really tell you what it will be like…being responsible for a child

And when some one does try…their words may fall on our deaf ears

What it will be like if you decide to have more than one

I always say in my experience when it comes to children 2 was more than double 1

It is an exponential experience

Simply, stress is part of life and parenting

As parents, trying to manage stress is up to us

It is when we manage our stress that we teach our children how to manage theirs

So here are some of my personal suggestions.

  • Breathe…try to concentrate on breathing when things are particularly stressful at a given moment. This practice always helps me gain some composure and control.
  • Sleep…get enough of it…replenish yourself regularly…most of us do not allow ourselves to sleep enough…we consider it a luxury when it is a necessity…come on… we all know this…don’t we?
  • Exercisewalk…park your car farther away from the store…run when you could walk…I’m always surprised at the opportunities I miss to exercise even a little during each day.
  • Eat…when I watch what I eat I feel better…treat yourself once a day to something special…a piece of chocolate or a cup of tea. Take the time to savor whatever it is…eat it mindfully and really enjoy that moment.

Stress will follow us around unless we do battle with it.

I do battle with it every day.

It never gives up and I try not to either.

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POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION

Postpartum depression is a serious problem that can occur after having a baby…it can occur up to one year after delivery. Sometimes the signs and symptoms can just be an overall sense of anxiety and an inability to enjoy your baby.  As a new mom if you just don’t feel happy you can attribute it to many things especially lack of sleep and the many changes occurring over such a short period of time but you could be suffering from postpartum depression (PPD).

Personally, I did not experience PPD but there were days when I did not feel in control of all the responsibilities of motherhood. It was positively overwhelming. Back in the day…postpartum depression was somewhat overlooked and under treated.  A new mom was made to feel like she  “just had to suck it up” and get it together. Fortunately, since them that attitude has changed and most obstetricians screen for PPD at the time of the postpartum check-up.

I thought that I would post a list of symptoms of postpartum depression.  If you have more than one or two of these symptoms or are feeling generally depressed for more than two weeks you should check in with your doctor.

The symptoms of postpartum depression are the same as the symptoms of depression that occurs at other times in life. Along with a sad or depressed mood, you may have some of the following symptoms:

  • Agitation or irritability
  • Changes in appetite
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Feeling withdrawn or unconnected
  • Lack of pleasure or interest in most or all activities
  • Loss of concentration
  • Loss of energy
  • Problems doing tasks at home or work
  • Negative feelings toward the baby
  • Significant anxiety
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Trouble sleeping

A mother with postpartum depression may also:

  • Be unable to care for herself or her baby
  • Be afraid to be alone with her baby
  • Have negative feelings toward the baby or even think about harming the baby Although these feelings are scary, they are almost never acted on. Still you should tell your doctor about them right away.
  • Worry intensely about the baby, or have little interest in the baby

via Postpartum depression – PubMed Health.

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Mental Health Awareness Week
Depression, anxiety and panic attacks are NOT a sign of weakness. They are signs of having tried to remain strong for way too long. Would you post this on your wall, at least for one day? It’s Mental Health Awareness week. Did you know that 1 in each 3 of us will go through this at some point in our lives? Share the support! Let those who struggle know they’re not alone, they… are loved.
As a clinical social worker and registered nurse I consider mental health as part of overall health. Personally, I have had bouts with anxiety and panic attacks as a young adult and anxiety rears its ugly head every now and then. Mindfulness and yoga has been part of my lifestyle for a very long time and has seriously helped me in times of high anxiety.
Anxiety is worry about the future and depression is related usually to past events none of which we have too much control over.
If you are a parent or you have kids that experience depression, anxiety and or panic attacks…know that there is help available. Please find a mental health professional that you like and respect to help you. You can always start with the NASW (National Association of Social Work)…they will help you find professional assistance.
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NOTEWORTHY WEDNESDAY  THURSDAY!

This past Sunday was the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

The horror of 9/11 will remain.

This year the surviving  families, children and spouses showed us all how life goes on and how they have managed to remember and honor their loved ones who perished on 9/11.

The surviving children that honored their parents at the memorial were inspirational…some knew their parent others did not  as they had not even born yet.

Children are remarkable and in their own way resilient.

Resilience is a word that is used often, but in my opinion it is a characteristic that is not well understood.

Each of us has the capacity for resilient behavior but it has to be nurtured in us.

Resiliency is the ability to spring back from and successfully adapt to adversity. An increasing body of research from the fields of psychology, psychiatry, and sociology is showing that most people–including young people–can bounce back from risks, stress, crises, and trauma and experience life success.

via Resiliency In Action.

It seems that some children function well after traumatic events and this is related to the way their parents’ have reacted to such events and the way they have been brought up to use adaptive coping responses.

It has been found:

When families and mothers ‘did well,’ so did their children. Conversely, families and mothers who showed negative posttraumatic reactions had children who showed similar negative outcomes.

An array of protective characteristics or factors has been identified in resilient children. They are present at the individual, family, and community level and contribute, together, to adaptation following trauma during childhood:

(1) trauma characteristics;

(2) the child’s own resources;

(3) the child’s family characteristics;

(4) the community support (i.e. from teachers, peers, friends, mentors); and

(5) developmental path.

via Children’s Resilience in the Face of Trauma | Education.com.

So the remarkable children and spouses, we witnessed on the anniversary of 9/11 speaking of their lives now, are reflections of their surviving parents and those who perished in the attacks that day in 2001.

Let us all try to foster resilience in our children in this age of uncertainty so that they can call upon it when and if they need to do so.

References

1. Masten, AS (1994) Resilience in individual development: Successful adaptation despite risk and adversity. In MC Wang & EW Gordon (Eds.) Inner City Educational Resilience

2. Masten, AS, Best, KM & Garmezy,N. (1991) Resilience and development: contributions from the study of children who overcome adversity. Development and Psychopathology, 2, 425-444

3. Scheering, MS & Zeanah, CH (2001) A relational perspective on PTSD in early childhood. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 14 (4) 799-815

4. Hoven, CW, Duarte, CS, Lucas, CP et al (2002) Effects of the World Trade Center attack on NYC Public School Students: Initial Report of the New York City Board of Education. New York: Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York State Psychiatric Institute and Applied Research and Consulting, LLC

5. Ibid, p. 24

6. Terr, LC, Block, DA, Beat, MA et al (1997) Children’s thinking in the wake of Challenger. The American Journal of

Psychiatry, 154 (6)744-751

via Children’s Resilience in the Face of Trauma | Education.com.

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