Talk It Out

This is a sponsored post - however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
I mentioned in a post earlier this week that this is Suicide Prevention Week and that September itself is Suicide Prevention Month. Mental health issues can be a hard thing to talk about because there seems to still be a lot of stigma and misinformation about them. However, it's been encouraging to me to see so many people sharing information this year.

One thing that helps many people struggling with mental health issues is therapy. Talking over your problems with a licensed, caring professional can really make a difference. After the birth of one of my children when I mentioned to a doctor that I was having severe anxiety, she flippantly said, "You can have medicine or therapy, which do you want?" I had no idea. What medicine? What was therapy like? I was running on little sleep and was very stressed out. I said, "Therapy, I guess?" and she scribbled down the address. I made the appointment but did not really connect with the therapist. We just weren't a good match. I wish I would have reached out to see what other options were available then because I think it really could have helped me.

I also found it challenging carving out the time to actually physically go and see someone - getting a babysitter for my baby and other child and making sure we didn't have anything else scheduled then. Our time is valuable and I think most of us can find lots of really valid excuses - work, children, school - to keep from delving into the anxiety, depression, or self-doubt we're feeling.

TalkSpace offers an online therapy app that hopes to help with that. Their mission is to make therapy affordable and accessible to EVERYONE by offering licensed professionals that you can chat with via your mobile device or computer. It's secure, convenient, and 100% confidential - no judgment or stigma. You simply fill out a quick questionnaire and are then matched with a variety of different therapists. I took the questionnaire just to see how it was and was surprised by the amount of information offered.

It explained that a good therapist could help you tackle challenges and equip you with tools for good decision-making, helping you feel more capable or worthy, or understanding what's bothering you and then taking steps to fix it. It also shared how emotional stress can affect you in many physical ways - poor sleep, eating problems, lowered energy levels, etc.

After choosing a therapist, you decide which payment schedule you'd like. There are several options and most cost less than the insurance co-pay you'd spend on a traditional therapy appointment. You are then connected to your therapist of choice for daily check-ins and text therapy as needed.

I think TalkSpace is an excellent option to have. Anything that supports and promotes people getting the help they need is great in my book. I'd like to hear from you readers now - have you tried therapy? Did it work for you? What did you like or dislike? Let me know in the comments below!

What Postpartum Depression Feels Like

I'm not sure why this post didn't go through when I originally set it up to post. I apologize for the delay and am sorry to say the event mentioned is already over. However, I still feel the information is valid and important.

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and today is World Suicide Prevention Day. In memory of those lost to Maternal Mental Health Disorders, tonight between 6-9 PM I'll be lighting a candle for those lost to Maternal Mental Health Disorder. (You can join in too - here on Facebook and by using the hashtags in the photo above.) In addition to that, I wanted to share a post I've been working on for awhile but hadn't gotten around to sharing.

First off, here are the facts that you may or may not already know:

"While 80% of women experience some mild mood changes during or after the birth of a child, 15-20% of women experience more significant symptoms of depression or anxiety. With informed care women can prevent a worsening of these symptoms and can fully recover. There is no reason to continue to suffer. Women of every culture, age, income level and race can develop perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Symptoms can appear any time during pregnancy and the first 12 months after childbirth. Although the term 'postpartum depression' (PPD) is most often used, there are actually several forms of illness that women may experience including Depression, Anxiety, Pregnancy or Postpartum OCD, Postpartum PTSD, Bipolar Mood Disorder, and Postpartum Psychosis. There are effective and well-researched treatment options to help them recover - however many women don't immediately recognize their symptoms or they are brushed off as typical 'baby blues.' Women may not seek treatment because they feel ashamed or embarrassed." (Source: PPI)

Those are the facts about postpartum mental health issues, but how does it really feel? Here's one mom's thoughts on it: