There are a lot of issues that mothers of newborns face that many people are hesitant to speak about. Mental illnesses - particularly postpartum depression - are very common issues that new mothers experience. These issues need to be addressed more often, so that more mothers can be aware of the potential risks and issues that they may face after giving birth.
The Dangers of Ignoring Mental Health Issues
Many people would rather ignore their mental health issues than face them up front. Many people find it easier (at least in the short-term) to push their issues to the back burner instead of acknowledging them.
This might sound simple, but it’s actually a disastrous thing to do. Mental health issues don’t just go away, and if you pretend that they’re not there (which is known as repressing the issue), then they’ll come back tenfold later in life. Maybe you’ll be better equipped to deal with them then, but most likely you won’t.
This means that, at the first inkling of a mental health problem, it’s important that you check in with yourself to see if you’re developing something that could be more serious. That means that if you’re sad, or upset, or irritable, or confused, spend some time sitting down and thinking about it.
It’s quite possible you’re not struggling with a mental health problem. Maybe you are just sad, or angry, or whatever. But the point is, it’s better to make sure that you don’t have a serious problem, or that you’re not repressing emotions that could one day lead to a serious problem.
It’s better to be too concerned about your well-being than not concerned at all.
What to Do About Postpartum Mental Health
All mothers are susceptible to postpartum mental health problems, so it’s a good idea to prepare for it. This will make sure that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to deal with a mental health problem if it should arise in your life.
The first and most important thing to do is to enlighten yourself about mental health. This means that you should educate yourself as much as possible, particularly in the area of postpartum mental health. Educational websites like ecounseling have a wealth of information on postpartum depression and depression in general. The Postpartum Support International website exists solely for this issue. Understanding your (potential) condition will have a number of benefits.
- You will be better equipped to handle any mental health issues that you experience after giving childbirth.
- You will have knowledge that could be valuable to other mothers that you know going through similar problems.
- You will be educated about mental health issues that your children may go through, so you will be able to educate them and help them manage these issues should they arise.
It’s still possible that you’ll experience some mental health ‘turbulence’ after giving birth. These are some other ways to boost your mental health and ensure healthy living.
- Seek therapy. There may be some stigma surrounding the use of therapy, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s the most powerful and effective tool for strengthening mental health. You don’t even need to have a problem for therapy to be beneficial: it will teach you the skills and techniques that you need to grow with a strong, healthy mind.
- Communicate with others in similar situations. One of the best things to help people through postpartum depression is talking about it with other mothers who have experienced similar things. This can help you learn and share advice and experiences that can encourage the growth of both of you.
Being a new mother is tough, but it doesn’t have to lead to serious mental health problems. Getting the proper education and being willing to accept therapy is a sure way to help ensure that the mental struggle of being a new mother is as easy as possible.
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