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Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs) is the term used to encompass many symptoms that present in pregnancy and within the first year after the birth of a baby. Symptoms of PMADs can include low mood, anxiety, panic, intrusive thoughts, obsessive and compulsive symptoms and post-traumatic stress.
Did you know? While many women experience some mild mood changes and increased stress during or after the birth of a child, 15 to 20% of women experience more significant symptoms.
For every family with a new baby, there is period of adjustment characterized by role shifts, fatigue and increased levels of stress. It can be difficult, for mothers and their partners, to differentiate between the normal process of adjustment and something more serious.
Many women struggle to seek support for a PMAD due to feelings of shame and guilt that are often rooted in personal, familial, societal and or/cultural expectations of motherhood . It is difficult for woman to talk about feeling irritable, weepy, anxious, down, agitated and angry because of the perceived deviation from the ‘ideal pregnancy’ and the ‘ideal image of a mother’. Feeling ashamed, alone, and different can result in a spiral into deeper feeling of depression and anxiety.
If you are concerned about how you, a partner, a friend, or a client is feeling during the postpartum period, please seek guidance, advice or reassurance. If left untreated, postpartum depression may increase in severity or lead to chronic episodes of depression.
Post –Partum Mood and Anxiety disorders are treatable. Therapy will assist women to address expectations of parenthood and to alter thoughts and beliefs inherent in mood and anxiety disorders. A variety of coping skills and behaviours will be introduced to assist her to reduce her distress and recover. Our clinicians provide a supportive and empathic space where uncomfortable physical or emotion symptoms are normalized and hope is offered.
At the Therapy Centre, our clinicians can assess the symptoms of postpartum depression, provide differential diagnosis, offer effective treatment options to help women recover and mothers enjoy their time with their child.
Depression is characterized by symptoms that persist nearly all day every day for 2 weeks with difficulties taking care of one’s self, children, home and/or work. Symptoms include:
Mothers struggling with postpartum depression may experience:
Perinatal and postpartum difficulties often present themselves initially by specific thought patterns, which are often characterized as scary, worrisome, intrusive and unwanted and are hard to disclose. Examples of thoughts include:
Or can be about:
What is anxiety and excessive worry?
Worries, doubts, and fears are a normal part of being pregnant and a new parent. Excessive worrying differs from normal worry in that it is:
For example, after hearing about someone having a miscarriage while pregnant, the average person might feel a temporary sense of unease and worry. Excessive worriers, however, might be up all night, seek reassurance by researching symptoms, then continue to worry for days about how a lack of morning sickness indicates a miscarriage.
|Normal Worry:||Excessive Worry:|
|Your worrying doesn’t get in the way of your daily activities and responsibilities.||Your worrying significantly disrupts your job, activities, or social life.|
|You’re able to control your worrying.||Your worrying is uncontrollable.|
|Your worries, while unpleasant without distress.||Your worries are extremely upsetting and stressful.|
|Your worries are limited to a specific, small number of realistic concerns.||You worry about all sorts of things, and tend to expect the worst.|
|Your bouts of worrying last for only a short time period.||You’ve been worrying almost every day for at least six months.|
At The Therapy Centre, our clinicians can assess the symptoms of perinatal and postpartum difficulties and offer effective treatment options to help women recover and mothers enjoy their time with their child.