I AM PREGNANT OR HAVE A BABY UNDER 1 YEAR AND THINK I MIGHT HAVE DEPRESSION OR ANXIETY...
Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs) are related to mood and anxiety symptoms that occur during pregnancy or up to one year postpartum. You will sometimes see a similar term in literature, "maternal mental health". They refer to the same ideas. Despite the fact that PMADs have long been known, many experts believe they are not being properly diagnosed. As knowledge grows and physicians and legislation leads the charge for greater screening, more health care providers are looking for risk factors in their patients as early as their first prenatal care visit. If a woman is at risk, her health care provider can evaluate her moods throughout the pregnancy. After a woman gives birth, she and those close to her should watch for signs and symptoms for her and her partner. Her health care provider should look for such signs at her six-week postpartum visit, as well.
If you experience the symptoms of postpartum depression, your health care provider will evaluate the severity of your symptoms. Your health care provider will also ask about other mood-related symptoms to determine whether you are suffering from postpartum depression or another condition, such as anxiety, bipolar disorder or postpartum psychosis.. Your thyroid levels also may be checked to make sure it is functioning normally. Hypothyroidism can cause the same symptoms as postpartum depression. Learn more about Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders at Postpartum Support International.
Two of the assessments your health care provider might use are included, below. These are not meant to diagnose yourself at home, but instead to enhance the conversation with your health care provider about your concerns.
Postpartum depression (PPD) sometimes goes away on its own. But if it interferes with your relationships, sleep, ability to work or care for yourself or your child, or if "the blues" lasts longer than two weeks, do yourself a BIG favor and call your OB. A history of depression or anxiety, a traumatic birth story, sleep deprivation, relational stress, lack of support and infant feeding issues are some of the triggers for Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders. About 90% of women who have postpartum depression can be treated successfully with medication or a combination of medication and psychotherapy. Participation in a support group may also be helpful. In cases of severe postpartum depression or postpartum psychosis, hospitalization may be necessary.
It is best to seek treatment as soon as possible. If it's detected late or not at all, the condition may worsen. Also, experts have found that children can be affected by a parent's untreated PPD. Such children may be more prone to sleep disturbances, impaired cognitive development, insecurity, and frequent temper tantrums. Here are a list of resources that might help.
While you are recovering from postpartum depression, you will probably see an improvement from month to month. Be aware that your symptoms may flare up before a menstrual period because of fluctuations in your hormones.
HOW WILL THERAPY MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
You may be coming off a disappointing experience trying to get help or just be suspicious in general. I'm honored that you have made it this far into my website. I will also say that many people like you who feel burned by a past experience might well be cautious. But, I will counter with this logic. If you walked into a store, would you buy the first sweater you saw without trying it on? And if you did buy that sweater, and found out at home that it didn't fit, would you NEVER buy a sweater again? Therapy and coaching are similar in that you have to "try on" the provider to see if they fit your personality and what you need. Each provider has different strengths and preferred approaches to working with clients. My FREE consultations help you and I determine goodness of fit. Read more about how to choose the right therapist for you.
Because each person has different issues and goals, sessions will be different depending on the individual. In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous session. Depending on your specific needs, our work together can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development. It is most common to schedule regular weekly sessions in the beginning. Many clients choose to move into a bi-weekly or monthly schedule as they progress. It is important to understand that you will get the best results from our work together if you actively participate in the process. The ultimate purpose of therapy/coaching is to help you bring what you learn in session back into your life. Therefore, beyond the work you do in sessions, I may suggest some things you can do outside of sessions to support your process – such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals.
CAN'T I JUST READ A BOOK?
Sure you can! However, if you are like me, that shelf of self-help books is collecting dust under the stack of parenting books, investment guides and workout DVDs. Real accountability and encouragement require people, not books. It helps if the people in your corner have an understanding of maternal mental health and what will effectively motivate you in the direction you want to go. If you are still convinced you can read your way to change, click below.
WHY DON'T YOU ACCEPT INSURANCE?
"Deciding to start therapy is a huge milestone in life. I’d even say it’s as big as getting married or starting a new job. I mean, think about it. What could be more important than committing to work on yourself and become the best version of you? Who you are and who you become influences every part of your life.
That’s why choosing the right therapist is SO important. It’s essential you and your therapist are a good fit and that the person you choose has the experience and expertise to get you to the next level in life, whether you’re working on career goals, relationships, self-exploration or all of the above.
One of the considerations you might take into account when looking for a therapist is whether that therapist accepts your insurance. For many people, this is a deciding factor when choosing someone..." Read more
If you plan to seek reimbursement from your insurance, health savings plan or Employee Assistance Program (EAP) after receiving services, please clarify with your insurance/employer the following before starting sessions:
• Benefits and scope of coverage
• Annual deductible
• Number of sessions allowed under coverage and process to appeal for more sessions
• Coverage amount per session
• Whether pre-authorization is required and whether referral is necessary
If you are hoping to get some money back for sessions, as allowed by certain insurance providers, funds and healthcare programs, I can provide a "superbill" to assist you. A superbill is an itemized form which details services provided to a client. It is the main data source for creation of a healthcare claim, which will be submitted by the client directly to their healthcare program for consideration for reimbursement of part or all of the session fee.
Unless you are enrolled in auto-pay, you must pay in full online at the time of meeting/session or registering for a workshop. Why? Think of the last big purchase you made. If you spent a significant amount of money on something nonrefundable, what did your mind do afterward? You may have second-guessed the purchase, but you felt compelled to follow through with the action. The fact is, when you invest your money, you invest yourself, a first step in being accountable to getting the support your deserve. If extenuating circumstances arise after booking a service, contact me, but please be advised that I generally keep to a 48 hour cancellation policy.
HOW IS COACH DIFFERENT FROM COUNSELOR?
There is a debate on this. Psychotherapists are bound by rules of state licensing boards, which require certain levels of education, experience, supervision and continuing education, as well as certain ethical and professional standards. For example, I had to complete six years of college/graduate school, more than 3000 hours of supervised clinical practice and pass two exams just to get started. Coaching is still in its infancy and unregulated, so "anyone can do it". A therapist can provide coaching, but a coach cannot and should not provide therapy. That doesn't mean that coaching is not valuable. It means a client has to know what they need, their expectations of a helper and whom to engage in the helping process.
I have heard it said that therapy is about uncovering and recovering, while coaching is about discovering. Ultimately, your experience will guide you to the answer.