Token #6 Token of Expression

Token of Expression Inventory Read each statement and check the ones you feel are true for you. Put a circle around the boxes which reflect those you need to work on. I am able to express myself with clarity, with words and without words, without provoking my partner. I feel confident that my partner understands […]

Journalists, Doctors, Everyone: Let’s Get it Right

Let’s get it right. Lives depend on it. There are, to be sure, tons of complex theories and contradicting explanations when it comes to mental illness and diagnoses. Discussing maternal mental health is no exception. Definitions are blurry, research is not always consistent with what we see in clinical practice, experts challenge existing classifications, and […]

Dads and Depression: Should We Call it Postpartum Depression?

Yesterday, Katie Couric talked about postpartum depression with Dr. Craig Garfield and Craig, a father who experienced paternal depression. The research study carried out by Dr. Garfield was groundbreaking and brings attention to the needs of dads during the postpartum period. We discussed this “together” in the article in The Atlantic, “Postpartum Depression Can Happen […]

An Open Letter to Postpartum Therapists Treating Women With Scary Thoughts

Women have been telling me, for almost 30 years, what they need, what they want, to help them recover. Most of what has been written in my books, came directly from their voices and their experiences. Postpartum women are very tuned in to what works, what doesn’t work, their sensibilities are often on hyper alert […]

4 Things You Must Do If You Have Postpartum Depression

1) Name it. If you have been given a diagnosis from a doctor you trust, accept this so you can begin to move forward. Acknowledge it.  PPD is a real illness that has a name, a treatment course, and an end to it, called recovery. Do not let your fear convince you that things are […]

“Postpartum Stress Syndrome?”

The most common postpartum emotional reaction is what we call “postpartum stress syndrome” (Kleiman & Raskin, This Isn’t What I Expected), also known as adjustment disorder, which falls between the relatively mild baby blues and the relatively severe postpartum depression.  Although common, these women may get lost in the shuffle when describing postpartum adjustment reactions, […]

Be Your Own Best Advocate

Doctors do not agree on a definition of postpartum depression. Some are misinformed. Some may miss the symptoms. If doctors really understood that postpartum emotional illnesses are the most common complication of childbirth, would they continue to dismiss the symptoms? Family members may or may not understand the seriousness of postpartum depression. Some are naïve […]

Talk About Your Postpartum Depression

We hear a lot about postpartum depression these days. What it is, what it isn’t. Not everyone agrees on the definitions, even healthcare providers demonstrate variable degrees of knowledge in this specialized field. If you are pregnant or if you recently have had a baby, and are not feeling well, try not to focus on […]

Are There Still Gaps in Screening?

Published on October 29, 2013 by Karen Kleiman, MSW, LCSW in PSYCHOLOGY TODAY This Isn’t What I Expected In healthcare or clinical settings where women are presumably in the care of providers who are well-equipped to provide relief, women who harbor scary thoughts remain reluctant to reveal what they are thinking.  When women are asked specifically if they […]

10 Reasons Why You Should NOT Suffer in Silence

Every time there is media attention to postpartum psychosis, I am approached by journalists with the same question: Does this attention help get the word out, or does it make it worse for postpartum women? It does both. Recently, there seems to be better, more responsible, well-researched attention placed on postpartum tragedies, in particular, naming […]

Why You Must TALK BACK to Your Doctor!

Women have a special relationship with their Obstetricians. The reason may be apparent to many, but once you can talk to someone about your vagina, not to mention, surrender to the medical necessity of invasive inspection, and expose your most vulnerable body parts to essential scrutiny, it often lends itself to, shall we say, an […]

Moms and Children Are Still Dying: It’s time for everyone to get involved

I just hung up the phone with Randy Turner, reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press. Last week he wrote this piece, on the disappearance of 32-year old Lisa Gibson and the death of her two children, 2 year old Anna and 3 month old Nicholas.  On Friday, the news turned even more tragic when they […]

Antidepressants During Pregnancy: Never an easy choice, but…

“Women with prior experience of taking antidepressants and greater illness insight were more likely to use antidepressants during pregnancy.” Interesting, don’t you think? In reviewing the article, Factors Impacting Decisions to Decline or Adhere to Antidepressant Medication in Perinatal Women with Mood and Anxiety Disorders, Deborah Crowley, MD acknowledges the difficult decision to weigh the risks […]

A Postpartum Woman in Crisis: Don’t Call it Therapy.

  Let’s take a look at what we are really doing when we treat a postpartum woman in therapy.  Most therapists who are interested in pursuing private practice work have been trained with a clinical emphasis during their academic preparation. We were exposed to the conceptual psychodynamic framework and time-honored therapeutic traditions that have proven to make […]

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