Postpartum Anxiety Update

It’s been a couple months since I talked about being diagnosed with Post Partum Anxiety, so I thought I would give a little update and reflection on how I’m doing now.

In two words, much better.  But it was definitely a journey to get to this point.  I was already in therapy at the time, but that continues on a regular basis.  I was also put on medication, which I continue to take.  And I incorporated meditation and regular exercise (either walking or yoga or both some days) into my routine.

While I think the conversation around mental health is getting better, there is also a stigma still surrounding the topic.  But mental health is just as important as our physical health.  I find it interesting that if I was diagnosed with diabetes or cancer, taking medication, adjusting lifestyle, and going to doctors on a regular basis doesn’t seem out of the ordinary.  But if I’m dealing with depression or anxiety, it’s a different story.

In fact, something I still feel weird talking about is the fact I was diagnosed with PTSD while I was pregnant with my son.  I always thought PTSD was reserved for “real trauma” – war veterans, physical or sexual abuse, things like that.  But I did go through real trauma with my daughters.

Anne Bogel, a blogger on modernmrsdarcy.com, shared a post she wrote last year about her experiences on 9/11 and the panic attacks she had following those events.  And how she didn’t get help right away because she felt like her situation wasn’t as bad as others.  In the infertility and pregnancy loss world, a comparison can be just as detrimental.

Even now, when I’m asked if Sam is my first, I say that I had two stillborn daughters before him.  If I say I had miscarriages or pregnancy loss, they ask how far along was I in the pregnancy.  As if to say that if it wasn’t far enough along, then I’m not entitled to my grief or to even talk about them. In fact, I still struggle to talk about my first miscarriage, before my two daughters, because it wasn’t “as bad.”

I know that it’s hard to talk about what’s going on inside our heads and our hearts.  Sometimes even we aren’t able to process everything fully and with clarity.  And it’s easy to compare our situation with others and write it off as nothing.  But it’s not.  If you found a lump in your breast, even if it wasn’t as big as someone else’s lump, you would still go to the doctor to get it checked out, right?  In the same way, going to a professional therapist to talk about the things you are experiencing is just as normal.

No matter where you are in life, and what you are feeling, you are not alone.  To be honest, I think everyone should include mental checkups in their annual routines.  So if you are experiencing anxiety or depression, or even just think a mental checkup would do you good, I highly encourage you to seek out a good therapist or talk to your doctor.

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Turtles All The Way Down: A Review

Turtles All the Way DownTurtles All the Way Down by John Green

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the first fictional book I have read in a long time that I cried at the end. In short, it’s amazing and I highly recommend it.
The story follows Aza Holmes, a teenager with possible OCD. It doesn’t outright say it in the book, but the story details her thought spirals and fears of dying from the microbes in her stomach taking over. To the point that it affects her daily life, and it can even be harmful to her health.
Aza and her best friend, Daisy, see on the news that a billionaire is missing. A billionaire who the police want to bring in on embezzlement charges. A billionaire whose son was once a friend of Aza. This reconnects Davis (the son) with Aza.
I truly thought this was going to be a detective kind of story, but it was more than that. It was other than that. It was a beautiful story about mental illness and how it feels on the inside and how it looks on the outside. The analogies, the struggles, the anxiety are all painted so perfectly in this story. It’s approached with honesty and a sense of realness.
I don’t have OCD, but I do have anxiety. And I related so much to those thought spirals. I related to Aza, to the frustration of not always being in control of thoughts, of not being able to just let a thought pass you by if it’s not productive or constructive.
I would recommend this book to everyone. I feel like it can open so many conversations about mental health and respect and understanding. As a side note, there is some profanity here and there but it’s not overused. There aren’t really any violent or sexual scenes either, though there are a few kissing scenes. Still, a beautifully written book. I can not speak highly enough about it.

I also wanted to let you know that I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.  These are all things I have used personally.  I wouldn’t recommend something I haven’t tried myself.  Thanks!

And Now Part Two

I like being busy.  I like experiencing life.  I like that adrenaline rush jumping from one thing to the next, while still planning future “jumping” at the same time.  In my culture (meaning where I have grown up, which could be very different from the person living next to me), busy-ness equals productivity.  It equals living.  If you aren’t busy, and you don’t have anything to show for it (*cough cough* aka pictures *cough cough*), then you aren’t living. Continue reading “And Now Part Two”

Spring Cleaning Part Seven – Undress Your Stress

My mom bought me this book, I think, in college during one of those gift giving times, like birthdays or Christmas.  I’ve always dealt with anxiety in one way or another, and I try to incorporate ways to handle the tension on a daily basis.  I haven’t picked this book up in years, and I thought I would spend a week revisiting some of the author’s ideas, only to find that I already had a lot of them in my routine already. Continue reading “Spring Cleaning Part Seven – Undress Your Stress”

Spring Cleaning Part Two – Focusing on the Task

So last week, I started the challenge of not multitasking for one more hour each day, working up to seven hours by the end of the week.  I have to say that this one was rocky, especially at the beginning of the week.  My weeks tend to get busier as the year continues, so there were moments (and hours) that I would completely forget the challenge altogether. Continue reading “Spring Cleaning Part Two – Focusing on the Task”