We need to talk about the postpartum anxiety that I see in my NYC therapy practice.
Postpartum anxiety is more than worry or nerves. Your anxiety goes through the roof, you’re more anxious than not, intensely worried or even panicked–not just because of the sleepless nights or the new demands, but because anxiety is at the forefront of your mind. The phrase “postpartum anxiety” is what many women–and some men–feel in the postpartum life. We need to make it more commonplace knowledge that anxiety can happen after your baby arrives. And it is something that we need to acknowledge exists and then, help those struggling with it get help.
On June 30th, an article “Postpartum Anxiety Might Be Even More Common Than Postpartum Depression (PPD)” by the Huffington Post’s Catherine Pearson made me think about how I approach postpartum anxiety in my therapy practice. Flooding social media feeds, the story focused on Jill Krause, a blogger who thought she had a stroke only to find out it was a panic attack and obsessive thoughts (aka postpartum anxiety). Taking Krause’s story as a starting point, Pearson opens up a larger discussion on the rise of perinatal and postpartum anxiety, suggesting that if we create more awareness we can help women–and their families–sooner.
The message from folks blasting the article on social media was: “Don’t go it alone!” Others are saying: “I went it alone and this happened to me–you don’t have to.” or “It took me months to seek help the first time this happened and for baby number 2, I’m ready.”