Washington Family Magazine : November 2014
washingtonFAMILY.com November 2014 23 Most moms have heard of the "baby blues," or postpartum depression, but the 'blues' are not the only challenges a woman may experience after child birth. Postpartum distress includes a range of symptoms and conditions, including: 1. BABY BLUES: Between 50-80 percent of new moms experience the “baby blues” within the frst three weeks of delivery. This hormonally-driven roller coaster of emotions is normal and does not require medical or psychological intervention. 2. POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION (PPD): In addition to depressed mood, a mom with PPD may feel overwhelmed, guilty and disconnected from their baby and everyone else in their lives, sufer from intense anxiety and have thoughts of death, dying or suicide. 3. POSTPARTUM ANXIETY: Women with postpartum anxiety often experience racing thoughts, an inability to relax or sit still and persistent fears and worries about parenting. Many women experience physical symptoms like lack of appetite, stomach cramps, headaches, shakiness, nausea or panic atacks. 4. POSTPARTUM OCD: Postpartum OCD includes anxiety symptoms and scary thoughts related to the baby. Many women fnd themselves afraid of things in their home and surroundings that could harm them or the baby, and may constantly check things (e.g., locks, oven, baby breathing). 5. POSTPARTUM PSYCHOSIS: Although rare, postpartum psychosis is a serious condition with rapid onset that requires immediate medical intervention. Symptoms include delusions, hallucinations, irritation, hyperactivity, paranoia and difculty communicating. THE PATH TO WELLNESS Psychotherapy is an excellent recovery tool during this difcult time. A therapist trained to work with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders can provide non-judgmental support to help fnd a way out of the depression. For some women, medication can accelerate recovery. Local support groups for postpartum mothers can also be a wonderful form of support. These groups are typically led by PPD survivors who share their experiences of distress, coping and recovery to help others understand they are not alone in this struggle. Postpartum Support Virginia (www.postpartumva.org) is an excellent local resource for women seeking more information on postpartum distress. In addition to providing valuable information, it maintains a current list of support groups and referral options for treatment professionals, and the "Moms on Call" program provides one-on-one support, encouragement and information about where to go for help. Often, women don't reach out for help for fear of being perceived as "crazy," of being labeled a "bad mom" or of the belief that someone will take away her baby, but a support system is crucial to recovery. Moms experiencing postpartum distress do not have to sufer in silence. Self-care is important for all women, but it becomes critical in the postpartum period. Dr. Elizabeth Hatchuel is a licensed professional counselor and owner of Evolve Clinical Services, a private mental health practice in Old Town Alexandria, VA. She specializes in the treatment of depression, anxiety, perinatal mood and anxiety disorders and maternal mental health. For more information, please visit www. EvolveClinicalServices.com, follow her on Twiter @EvolveClinical, or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Severe Irritability and Symptoms of ADHD? National Institute of Mental Health National Institutes of Health Department of Health & Human Services www.clinicaltrials.gov Protocol No. 02-M-0021 & 09-M-0034 Ellen Leibenluft, M.D. or Kenneth Towbin, M.D. Email: Irritablekids@mail.nih.gov TTY: 1-866-411-1010 FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL: 301 496 8381 At the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, research studies are being conducted into the causes and treatment of severe irritability in children. These studies are enrolling participants ages 6-17 into treatment and non-treatment studies on an outpatient or inpatient basis with visits that vary from a few hours to several weeks. All evaluations, research procedures, outpatient/clinic visits and inpatient/day hospital care are free of cost. Children and parents are compensated for participation. Eligible participants must: •Beages6-17. • Have irritability: difficulty handling frustration (severe temper tantrums and rages) and • Have "hyper" behavior (distractible, hyperactive, trouble sleeping). • Be able to perform research tasks that include neuroimaging, computer tasks and neuro- psychological testing. Parent and child must agree to the child's participation. Travel expenses are paid. www.nimh.nih.gov/JoinAStudy DOES YOUR CHILD HAVE Buy 1 adventure, Get 1 free. Limit 1 game. Valid 'til 11/30/14 with this coupon. Not valid with b'day parties.