9 Ways To Beat Back The Winter Blues For Moms With Postpartum Depression

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seasonal affective disorderIf you recognized yourself in my story about winter blues, seasonal affective disorder and postpartum depression this weekend, then my goal is to be able to offer you some hope.  Here are nine things that can help you fight against seasonal depression in winter:

1. If you do see sunlight, try to get outside, even if for only a few moments.  We do know that vitamin D and sunlight can lift the winter blues and so if you see it, I encourage you to pocket some of it if you can.  Or, if it is too cold to be outside, stand or sit by a window and soak up whatever rays are available to you.

2. Consider a way to get movement and exercise while at home.  Yoga or exercise DVDs can be a great way to bring your movement home to you.  Or dance!  A mom who I have been seeing in my office uses the long winter months to turn up the music that she loves and boogie with her baby.  If they are little enough they might just love the movement, too.  And watching you may just be the entertainment that your little one needs! Plus exercise can help with your postpartum depression, too. [Read more...]

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Winter Blues: What You Need To Know About Seasonal Affective Disorder And PPD

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winter bluesOn seasonal affective disorder, what the symptoms of SAD are, and how it may impact moms with postpartum depression …

It has taken me a while to get this post to all of you.  Each time that I have tried to sit down and put thought and experience onto paper, I have felt stumped by lacking creativity.  Perhaps it is the transition back from the holidays, I have wondered.  Or the demands of a developing tw0-and-a-half-year-old.  Or a busy practice and paperwork on my desk.  Or the driving desire to get out of my office and release some steam outside only to be reminded that it is wet and gray and too cold out there for my running preference.

Or, as Katherine reminded me, it might just be that it is the middle of winter.

Winter.  It can be a tough time for all of us.  The days get shorter and colder, the weather often chaotic, the roads sometimes dangerous, the gas bills go up.  Fresh fruits and vegetables can be harder to find and usually become more expensive in these long months.  Runny noses abound and the flu seems to be around every corner.  The air gets drier, our skin cracks, and we often are not drinking enough water.  Children tend to go stir crazy when the playtime outdoors is limited.  And, if we do attempt to get those little ones outside, the efforts at managing struggling kiddos into appropriate layers can feel for naught when red-cheeked toddlers decide that they are cold and wet after only a few minutes of play.

Winter tends to be a time when our neighbors are rarely seen, when communities are harder to access, and when we find ourselves spending more time at home.  We tend to loose our patience more.  We tend to have a harder time concentrating.  We often have less energy.  We feel less creative.  We might, even, suffer from a bit of Seasonal Affective Disorder. [Read more...]

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Mom Searched Two Years For Diagnosis of Postpartum OCD

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Every now and then I get an email from a mom that reinforces why we need so much more awareness of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, even among physicians.  I’ve reprinted the email here, with permission:

I reached out and reached out again and again, but was told that I do not have depression.  Because I took care of my household (a little too much, by the way … I cleaned and cleaned) and because I felt close to my daughter, my family physician said I didn’t have postpartum depression and that I should not worry about my visions and thoughts.

I thought I was going crazy. Maybe it was just in my head. It felt to me almost like I needed to know my own diagnosis to find the right doctor. I eventually talked to my OB/GYN — by that time my little girl was more than two years old — and he misinterpreted what I was telling him. I told him without sugar coating it what I visually saw (intrusive thoughts).  I told him the truth because I was so desperate for help and thought I had nothing to lose, and the truth landed me in a closed psychiatric unit. [Read more...]

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Join Me In A Live Chat on Postpartum Depression Tomorrow

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On Wednesday January 25th, I will be hosting a live chat on postpartum depression at The Motherhood.  The chat is at 1pm Eastern and I really hope you’ll join me!  We can chat, I can answer your questions, you can share your thoughts about postpartum depression, anxiety, antenatal depression or anxiety, postpartum OCD or PTSD … whatever you want!  I hope you can make it!  To join in, please register (it’s free) here.

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