Two years ago today, my husband helped me check myself into a psych hospital with symptoms of mania, severe insomnia, panic attacks, and racing and delusional thoughts. Our daughter was three months old.
With no previous history of mental illness, I was suddenly suffering from postpartum psychosis - a condition that affects more than 40,000 women a year.
You can read more of my story in a non-fiction piece published at Literary Mama called "White Noise." Or, you can watch me read it in the video below.
In a culture that offers paltry support to new parents and stigmatizes mental illness, millions of women with postpartum depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, psychosis, and other perinatal mood disorders suffer in isolation and shame.
One place that I found help was Baby Blues Connection, a non-profit organization located in Portland, OR, dedicated to offering support and resources for families struggling with perinatal mood disorders. Postpartum Support International also offers excellent information and resources.
Mental illness can feel dark and scary, especially in a time with a new baby, when you expect to feel overwhelmed with love and joy. If you, or someone you know is struggling with pregnancy or postpartum mental health, know that you are not alone.
I now offer support to mothers as a Philosophical Coach because I saw such a need to help women during this time. Even without mental health complications, the transition to motherhood can be so incredibly challenging—from missing your pre-baby life, to losing connection with your partner or friends, to struggling to accept and even to dress your new mom body.
If you would like to have a conversation about your transition to motherhood, and to integrate your intellectual and creative sides with the physical and deeply emotional experiences of motherhood to create an identity as a mother that feels powerful and whole, please contact me or see my page for moms.