Tag Archives: PMAD

#PPDChat Topic 08.04.14: Getting Pro-active: Facing Pregnancy after a Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorder


Along with countless women, I have been in this boat. It’s an intimidating boat, let me tell you what. But, with some preparation, things don’t have to be quite that scary.

My first experience with a PMAD was frightening. I had no idea what was happening in my head in addition to trying to get myself adjusted to motherhood for the first time around. Talk about one helluva screwball. Thanks, life.

I survived. My daughter survived. Did we come out unscathed? No. But I definitely came out wiser. I view my first brush with PP OCD as one heck of a learning curve which prepared me for the second time I found myself in an even deeper valley than the first.

Halle Berry said it best on Oprah: “Once you’ve been through depression, it gets easier to get out because you have a road map.” Each episode, while it may have different nuances and causes, is essentially the same basic experience deep down. You get used to battling your way out of it and yes, you absolutely have a road map. You learn to recognize the curves and know how to adjust for them well before they even appear on your horizon.

Just as with a road trip, preparation is key. While even the best preparation in the world does not guarantee that a PMAD will stay at bay, it does empower you and enables you to seek help sooner rather than later.

I sincerely hope you’ll join us tonight to discuss the importance of preparing yourself and your loved ones for the possibility of another bout of a PMAD after the birth of a sibling. I have experienced both a planned and an unplanned pregnancy after my episodes so there will be lots of insight into both situations, including a very honest discussion about depression and other mental health issues during pregnancy.

Tonight’s chat is an important one. Don’t miss it. See you on Twitter at 830pm ET!

Announcing #PPDChat Guest for September 30, 2013 – @WalkerKarraa

PPDChat Walker Karraa Announcement

I am so excited about this upcoming chat with Dr. Walker Karraa. She is quite the force to be reckoned with in the Perinatal Advocacy world. If I had to pick one word to describe her, I would probably use “firecracker.”

I met Walker in 2010 (yes, yes, there’s a repetition to that this week, I know!) at the PSI Conference in Pittsburgh. We hit it off quite well. One of the things I love about meeting other advocates is how fearless we all are in discussing the nitty gritty about the Mood Disorders we fight to help others with every day. Why are we so fearless? Because we have been there and it is something we live and breathe. Telling our stories is how we live our lives now because we know that every time we tell it, one more person may be reached.

Another thing we have realized is the transformational power of Perinatal Mood Disorders. It changes you. I am grateful for my experience because it allowed me to grow in ways I may not have grown were it not for my fall from grace. In falling to the depths of hell, I managed to touch the very height of heaven on my way back up.

Dr. Karraa has been researching this general idea for over a year now and I am thrilled she’s joining us on Monday to discuss this with our community. I sincerely hope you will stop by and share your story with us – how your journey through a Perinatal Mood Disorder transformed your life. By the way, it doesn’t have to be for the better, everyone has a different story and there is VALUE in every single one, happy ending or not.

WalkerBio: Walker Karraa, PhD is a perinatal mental health researcher, advocate and writer. She is currently regular perinatal mental health contributor for Lamaze International’s Science and Sensibility, Giving Birth With Confidence, and the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) Midwives Connection.

Walker has interviewed leading researchers, clinicians, and advocates such as Katherine Wisner, Cheryl Beck, Michael C. Lu, Karen Kleiman, Pec Indman, Liz Friedman, and Katherine Stone. Walker was a certified birth doula (DONA), and the founding President of PATTCh, an organization founded by Penny Simkin dedicated to the prevention and treatment of traumatic childbirth.

Walker is currently the Program Co-Chair for the American Psychological Association (APA) Trauma Psychology Division 56. She is writing a book regarding her grounded theory study on the transformational dimensions of postpartum depression. Walker is an 11 year breast cancer survivor, and lives in Sherman Oaks, CA with her two children and husband.


Seeking Guests for #PPDChat

From the Desk Of

Hey, y’all!!!

Perinatal Mood Disorders are a lonely road to travel. We have all been there and we have all heard other mothers say the following phrase:

“I felt so alone.”

Thing is, we are not alone. So.NOT.ALONE.

With this approach in mind, I am expanding #PPDChat to include guests in addition to the regular supportive chats. So, in addition to using #PPDChat for support throughout the week, community members will be able to chat with experts, survivors, and advocates.

Guests so far have included but are not limited to:

Karen Kleiman, founder of Postpartum Stress Center

Claire, founder of Life With a Baby

Cristi Comes of Motherhood Unadorned & AFSP of Washington

Text4Baby and Board Member Colleen Craft

Kathy Morelli of Birth Touch

and many other knowledgeable and compassionate folks dedicated to supporting women and families as they navigate the perinatal period. It’s been a blast chatting with them and sharing additional insight and knowledge.

Are you an expert, an advocate, survivor, or representative of an organization supporting families through Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders? Know someone who would be a perfect fit?

Talk to me about chatting with #PPDChat. We are a volunteer run peer-based support chat, talking every Monday at 1pm and 8:30pm ET via Twitter. Read more about #PPDChat guidelines here. Typical guests join us in the evening but if day is better for you, we can accommodate your schedule. If you’re new to Twitter, we have a quick start guide and are willing to work with you to get you up to speed.

How to throw your hat in the ring:

Email me at mypostpartumvoice(@)gmail.com with #PPDChat Guest Request as your subject line and we’ll get the details ironed out.

Looking forward to this new chapter of #PPDChat with you!