So trying something different this week.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. I have friends and loved ones that span the landscape of mental health illnesses and struggles, so I often spend this month in reflection and deliberately checking in with those I love. May 4-8 was Maternal Mental Health Week, an awareness campaign from The Blue Dot Project, to bring awareness to those living with perinatal mental health disorders (PMAD) and erase the shame and stigma associated with them. It's estimated that 1 in 5 women/ birthing persons and 1 in 10 fathers will experience symptoms of a perinatal mental health disorder (Blue Dot Proj.) I thought my story about postpartum anxiety, prenatal and weaning depression, and now postpartum in the time of COVID-19 would be better served in a vlog, as I struggle knowing where to start. In this vlog I talk about the PMAD umbrella (perinatal mood anxiety disorders), my experience living with generalized anxiety pre- and post diagnosis and how it affected my second pregnancy. Later I'm joined by my husband as he describes what its like from the partners perspective, as well as his own struggle adjusting to fatherhood. Can you imagine in the video thumbnail I was at one of my lowest points in my life? But as a Black woman we're told to be strong, get it together. So here I was, smile plastered on my face, trying to be the best mommy possible. But you don't have to be strong. Admitting you need help is not weakness. I hope my story and the many others similar to it help someone else. Take care of yourselves.
Infographic Source: The Blue Dot Project- Citations
Resources on PMADs:
Postpatum Support Interational- www.postpartum.net
2020 Mom- www.2020mom.org
The Blue Dot Project- www.thebluedotproject.org
Find a Therapist:
Psychology Today- www.psychologytoday.com
Therapy for Black Girls- www.therapyforblackgirls.com