#PPDChat 04.25.16: Babies after PPD

ppdchat 4-25-16Any one of us who has experienced an episode of any of the Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders has asked ourselves if we should have any more children.

Do we want to put ourselves through the emotional hell once more? Put our loved ones through it? Put our child through it? It’s a tough question – and one only you can answer.

Some go on to have more children while others join the “one and done” club. There’s no right or wrong answer here. You do what is right for you and your family. But there is grief. There is heartache. There’s the mourning of the child you wanted but won’t meet because you know, deep in your heart, you simply cannot tread back down that same path again.

I know because I have been there, at the mouth of that gaping path, trying to decide if I dare step foot upon it again. I did, and the first time back didn’t end well but the second time ’round (when I found myself on the path accidentally), didn’t go so badly. It’s different for every person and for EVERY pregnancy.

I sincerely hope you will join us tonight as we discuss the ups and downs of making the very personal decision to have another child after the roller-coaster of Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders.

See y’all at 9pm ET!

4.18.16 #PPDChat: Books for Moms

books for momBooks are powerful things. Within their pages, there is wisdom. There’s wit. There’s whimsy. There’s sheer magic. Books are answers. They’re hope. They’re stigma busters. They’re the shimmer of light at the end of a tunnel.

This is why, today, #PPDChat is proud to announce the development of a Book for Moms program. Here’s how it will work – through Amazon, #PPDChat will purchase books related to Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders for any mom who requests it and can’t afford to make the purchase on her own. No mom should have to go without access to a book that may just help her see the light at the end of a very dark tunnel.

We need your help, though.

I’ve signed #PPDChat up for its very own Amazon account. The email associated is ppdchat(@) gmail (no dash between ppdchat). How can you help? Amazon now allows you to send allowances to people – so if you want to donate funds to help with these purchases (and I will provide documentation regarding purchases on a quarterly basis), all you have to do is send an allowance to #PPDChat using the email address above.

Right now, unfortunately, this isn’t a charitable donation but I hope to have 501(c)(3) status within the next 12 months at the very least so that in the future, this sort of thing will be a full charitable donation and we can expand the program even further.

Also, if you have written a book about Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders that is available through Amazon, let me know so I can add it to our list of available books.

The chat will focus not only on the new program but also on the value of books in the healing process, and what books have helped our current community members.

Let’s get going!

See you tonight at 9pm ET!

#PPDChat 04.11.16: Power of Peer Support

#PPDChat 4.11.16: Power of Peer Support 9pm on TwitterIn honor of National Volunteer Week, tonight’s #PPDChat will highlight the power of peer support in the lives of women and families journeying to heal from Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders.

Peer support matters. It’s the “me, too” we hear when we can’t hear anything else. It’s the “you’re not alone in this” when you can’t find any hope anywhere. It’s the hand reaching toward you as you fight against the darkness threatening to swallow you whole. It’s the sunshine that breaks through when you need it most, washing your soul in hope.

Every story matters, every voice matters, every experience matters. Peer support validates so many aspects of the fight against Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders. How powerful is peer support?

Look at the #PPDChat community.

Check out Postpartum Progress, Postpartum Support International, and so many other volunteer based support programs for Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders literally changing the landscape of what support looks like for women and families on a daily basis.

Tonight, we talk about all of it. So please, join us, as we celebrate the uniqueness that makes us all matter on this journey.

#PPDChat 04.04.16: Navigating Myths & Stigma

Navigating PPD Myths & Stigma 9pm ET Twitter“It’s the happiest time of your life!”

“Why can’t you just get up?”

“Sleep it off.”

“Get over it.”

“You’re just being lazy.”

“It’s all in your head.”

“Oh, I didn’t have time to be depressed when I was a mother.”

These are just a few of the myths and stigmas we hear as mamas who struggle with Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders. Things we need to battle against in addition to our already exhausting battle just to get our basic needs handled for ourselves and our families.

Tonight, during #PPDChat, we’ll be giving you a platform to exhale and let all of this out – to show what we fight against isn’t just all in our head. That it’s real, it’s frustrating, and we aren’t choosing depression – it’s more like depression wrapped itself around us and is slowly choking the life out of us.

So bring your myths. Bring the stigma you’ve encountered. Bring it ALL. Let it out and we’ll address all of it, together.

See you tonight at 9pm ET on Twitter, you strong mamas, you!

#PPDChat 03.28.16: Dance Party!

Dance Party! Join us to share your favorite groovy happy tunes! PARTY PEEEEOOOPPPPLLLEEEE!!!!

You do NOT want to miss tonight’s #PPDChat because we are gonna be grooving!

Tonight, we will be collectively putting together a groovy playlist on Spotify just for #PPDChat! Have songs that get your heartbeat going? Suggest it. One that brings you up out of a funk? Share it. One that you just like to dance to in your kitchen while no one watches? ABSOLUTELY tell us ALL ABOUT IT.

Oh? And if you have a Spotify account? The playlist is collaborative so you can add tunes beyond tonight!

We’re gonna party like it’s 1999 tonight. Why? Because music moves mood. Always has. We will not only be creating the playlist, but exploring the science behind how music moves mood. Can’t WAIT to see you there!

Tonight, 9pm ET. Be there or be square!

#PPDChat 03.21.16: Self-Care with @HonestlyMamaG

Self-care discussion with @HonestlyMamaGYou know I am a HUGE proponent of self-care. Huge. So when I run into someone else who is actively creating a community around this concept, particularly for mamas, I have to get them involved in #PPDChat. Because self-care is at the core of our philosophy here.

Today, I’m so thrilled that Graeme of @HonestlyMamaG will be joining us. I had the pleasure of meeting her at last year’s first maternal mental health patient centered conference held by Postpartum Progress. We’ve kept up via social media. Every Saturday, Graeme would post Self-care Saturday posts. My self-care, particularly on the weekends, has increased because of these posts. (I am also a huge proponent of walking the walk so if I post something, better believe I’m going to do it!)

She’s recently started Periscoping and a separate community specifically for self-care. When I asked if she’d be willing to do a #PPDChat to talk about it, she enthusiastically said YES.

I hope you’ll join us tonight as we discuss the importance of self-care as a woman, as a wife, as a mother, heck… as a human. See you on Twitter at 9pm ET, y’all!

#PPDChat 03.14.16: Fighting the Rage Monster

Fighting the Rage Monster, #PPDChat Topic 3-14-16. 830pm on TwitterRage.

It happens to the best of us. It is also one of the symptoms of a Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorder which finds many moms and surprises them. The intensity. The depth. The sudden onset, as if it is a cat waiting around a corner to pounce at any moment.

Tonight’s chat will focus specifically on the issue of rage. How to recognize it as a symptom, what you can do to handle it, and how to educate those around you about this symptom which isn’t discussed nearly enough.

Whenever postpartum rage is discussed within our community, there is typically an overwhelming response. This response is a predictable “Me too!” or “I had NO idea the anger I experienced was a symptom of depression!” This is why it is important to discuss.

For me, rage attacked often. I found myself snapping for no reason at everyone around me – at my kids, my partner, the dogs…not even knowing why I was suddenly filled with this unstoppable flow of red hot rage. It went as quickly as it arrived most times. Sometimes, it hung around for a bit and faded slowly like a sunset. But whenever it was around, I found myself exhausted by its very presence. I wouldn’t say I tolerated it as much as I endured it. Slowly, I learned how to push it away as soon as it popped so much as a toe through the door to my brain but it took quite a bit for me to get to that point.

I sincerely hope you will join us tonight for this important discussion. I look forward to shining a bright light on the symptom that is rage and hearing how everyone approaches it and sends it on its merry way. See you this evening at 830pm ET, y’all!

#PPDChat 03.07.16: PPD Around the World

PPDChat 03-07-16Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders affect women all around the world. Today, we’ll be examining motherhood, Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders, and how they are handled on a global scale.

Why is it important to consider a global understanding of Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders? It is important because in understanding how various cultures treat and handle this issue, we may pick up methods to treat Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders in our own lives.

Tonight’s chat has been pushed back to 8:30pm ET. See you on Twitter!

#PPDChat: 02.29.16: The Great Medication Debate

PPDChat 2-29-16No, we’re not going to tell you if you should medicate or not. But we will be discussing the various methods women use to treat their Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders. Everything from natural to pharmaceutical medication. The methods vary just as greatly as the women who end up in battle with a Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorder. Yet, many of these women still find themselves judged for whatever method they choose. You know what? It’s all about finding what WORKS for you, not what works for those around you and makes them feel better. They’re not the ones inside your heads.

Please join me tomorrow evening for this chat. We’ll let it all hang out – vent away about any judging you have received, how stigma may or may not have kept you away from a certain method, or what kind of surprising support you received – we’ll be there to hear ALL of it. Because in the end, we’re all just moms who want to get back to living and loving our lives.

See you on Twitter at 8pm ET, y’all!

#PPDChat 02.22.16: After PPD

PPDChat 02-22-16, PPDSo much focuses on how to get through PPD.

But what about AFTER.

After the storm has cleared.

After you’ve stopped fighting every day for your mind to function properly.

After the fog of this stage has lifted and you’re no longer in survival mode.

What happens then?

When does the fog lift? What if it doesn’t? What about explaining why you crawled into a hole to people who ask what happened or where you have been? How do you adjust to your new normal?

Tonight, we’ll talk about all of this and more. What happens if you face further diagnoses after coming through a Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorder, making friends after PPD, parenting after PPD, having kids after, lessons you’ve learned – we’ll talk about ALL of it.

I sincerely hope you’ll join us tonight at 8pm ET on Twitter for this very important chat. See you there!