perinatal mental health

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    Community Voices
    Community Voices

    Medicated while pregnant

    I'm new to the platform and this week I'm feeling lost. My husband and I are ready to have a baby. I have a few mental health conditions ( #PanicAttacks #GeneralizedAnxietyDisorder #BipolarDepression ) that make is unwise for me to be off medication while pregnant.
    I want to make my body the safest place for a baby but I also feel like it's going to take forever to get my meds straight.
    does anyone have any experience being medicated while pregnant ?
    what resources did you use? were you able to work with a regular psychiatrist or did you got to a specialist?

    #medicationandpregnancy #PerinatalMentalHealth #Pregnancy #PsychiatricMedication

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    Community Voices

    Stalked, 7 months Pregnant, and never calm or aloneand never feeling safe or having any sense of privacy. #PerinatalMentalHealth

    I’m 43 and having a very welcomed and surprise Pregnacy after a terrible loss of my baby in utero after the worst breakup in my life when I found out ex was cheating with another woman w 5 kids all from different dads. He was trying to convince me to have an abortion cause “he wanted his life back...” and I almost did. But when it came down to it I refused and stopped communication after he changed number and said “ he lost feelings for me”. Note: he left me on our anniversary, while pregnant, losing my house ( I had just finished his insurance claim after his house burned down and worked so hard to get him full pay out and I did.... but as I was doing this I was gonna move to Dallas to be near him and couldn’t save my house cause I wasn’t paid for any of my work and he didn’t want to lend me $2000 to help me after I got him close to 90 or so thousand dollars.... go figure.) Nevertheless, having no money, storage, any way to pack and move, and a 8 year old I could lose....I somehow gathered myself together and made it to an interview with a man who had a heart and seriously saved me by hiring me and getting some of his workers to move me and an advance to get a very small apartment. So god was watching over me. Come 5 years later after never truly recovering from the previous relationship I moved on. Yet he was stalking me without my knowledge and cost me my career in sp education teaching after 12 years, my house of 10 years, my baby boy which I lost, and my self worth/sanity. July2019 I became aware of the stalking and hacking after I was about to go through medication stabilization cause all my meds stopped working, my cousin died and my new phone was being hacked as I checked “my yahoo” account trying to set it up. I was shocked to see that every person I had been communicating with was being researched, my credit and background had been searched, my resume was being used illegally for his new wife that he married cause he knocked her up as well and wasn’t 8 hours away, and so much identity theft, fraud, and more but under the guise of me. I was horrified and so confused. It was so hard to convince anyone that I was hacked cause it seemed no one wanted to believe it was so easy for hackers to take over your life though smart phones, smart TVs, stolen accounts, etc..... My fiancé was the hardest to convince because I was so sick and had lost thirty three pounds in less then three months and I stopped sleeping. Mania hit hard and was killing me. Nevertheless I never gave up discovering all and more then I wanted to know about my ex boyfriend. I thought of him to be exceptional, a great dad, professional, and outstanding Athlete with goals set in place. But I never knew him cause the person I was dealing with was a stranger now. He humiliated me by posting nudes of me and sending them to countless number of family and friends, put false warrant with falsified evidence to intimidate me and silence me. #mentaldistress #CPTSD 🤰

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    Letter to Northern Ireland Health Ministers About Postnatal Depression

    To all concerned, Let’s talk mental health! For the past year I have been blogging about my struggle with, and recovery from, postnatal depression. Statistics suggest that as many as 10-15 percent of mums also battle it, although I’d argue there are many more who are never officially diagnosed. That equates to thousands of women in Northern Ireland who struggle every year. On this journey I have met many people from all walks of life. Some who are currently struggling, some who are in recovery, some who have scars from past treatments, and others who are actively working and campaigning to help those in need. I have been inundated with women contacting me to share their stories. While we don’t all have the same experiences – the overriding message I have heard is  – more needs to be done. More needs to be done to educate our society about perinatal mental health (PMH). More needs to be done to educate those who are in a position to help, and more needs to be done to support mums, dads and families who are struggling. To put it succinctly, we need to increase awareness and understanding of PMH in Northern Ireland while also improving the support available. I thought it might be helpful for you to hear what I am hearing, from lots of different mums, on the topic. From listening to numerous experiences, let me share the common issues and problems women have faced. Addressing these would allow us to move towards increasing awareness and understanding and improving support. 1. Many women have noted the need to be educated themselves about PMH. I, like many other women who have gotten in touch, heard nothing before giving birth about how the experience could affect my emotional and mental health. I believe discussing this openly, and in appropriate detail, would be beneficial in antenatal classes. If this were to be the case, mums themselves could be prepared to deal with difficulties much quicker, and partners/family members/birth partners could also look-out for certain tell-tale signs. 2. It has also been suggested when health professionals are visiting the home after the birth, enough time is not always given to discussing a mother’s mental and emotional state, never mind actively looking for the signs. Many mothers have reported they were only asked these questions as, what they have termed, an “add-on.” They were rushed in giving answers, and their concerns were not followed up. Some felt “no time” at all was given to this issue. I have also heard from a selection of mums who felt the support was so lacking that it was further damaging to the their state of well-being. 3. Many women have complained that when they approached a health professional for help with how they were feeling, they got nowhere. On too many occasions, mums are dismissed as simply having the “baby blues,” when in fact it is something much deeper. This means there is a time lag in receiving appropriate treatment, which is not acceptable. Perhaps the question to be asked is  – do we need re-education about PMH and how problems present themselves? 4. Concern has also been noted, by mums experiencing problems, that the next step is not always known when a diagnosis is finally given. Many mums have been left for months on waiting lists for a service that was never going to meet their needs. Many have had to take to finding support and services for themselves, which is far from ideal. There are of course others, who, in not knowing where to turn, are left in misery, hoping someone will hear them and help them. This is not good enough – we need a clearer pathway, known by all, towards help, support and resources. 5. A number of mums have noted that medication alone is not the answer and yet felt that was all they were offered. These mums have suggested they would have also benefited from counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and peer support groups, but again, on many occasions, had to seek this out for themselves. Unfortunately, it can be location which determines how much support there is available. Some mums live in areas where there are accessible resources. Others feel isolated and alone as there are limited support outlets. 6. There is no one “go to” place where you can find information on the help and support for PMH. For example, a website that provided details of all types of organizations that offered support and resources by area, would be very welcomed by mums. Having centralized information would mean everyone could have access to the same details and could be informed of all the options. 7. Returning to work has also been a big issue for mums, who have recovered or are recovering from PMH issues. Many felt employers had no concept of the issues they were facing and made no attempt to accommodate or make their return simpler. It seems there could be more support available when struggling mums are returning to employment. From listening to stories, I would go as far as to suggest that many mums end up not working, as their return has been so difficult. Surely this is not what we want and is not in the best interest of anyone in our society? A campaign to raise awareness of PMH in general would go a long way to help with this. 8. Finally, as has been highlighted already in the media recently, mums have drawn my attention to the fact that we do not have a Mother and Baby Unit in Northern Ireland. Without this resource, treatment and recovery remains difficult for some mums; so there are many calls for this to be addressed. Since beginning my blog, I have also had contact with a number of charities and organizations in Northern Ireland, sharing with me what they are doing within the area of PMH. I want to go on record to say there is great work ongoing and much to be praised – a lot of it we just don’t know enough about. I have discovered mums are resilient, despite experiencing the horror and heartache of PMH issues. Many have taken to organizing peer support themselves. This is to be applauded. More needs to be done to encourage them in this role and to provide resources for any who might be interested in developing something in the future. The purpose of this letter is not to attribute blame, or complain about our health professionals – I fully recognize there is much great work and support given by many. My purpose and hope is to highlight the area of PMH and the need for Northern Ireland to do more on this issue. So, to any who are reading, I ask this simple question – Will you join me, and the vast number of others who are concerned about the levels of awareness and support for PMH in Northern Ireland, in promising to play your part to increasing awareness, understanding of the issue, and to improve the resources available for this immensely important area of mental health? I would be happy to discuss this issue with any of you further, should you wish – in fact, I would welcome the opportunity. Yours sincerely, Lindsay Robinson Please note I did receive a reply to this letter, from two health ministers/politicians, which are available on website Image via Thinkstock.