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Support Groups Connect Women with Other Survivors
Letting women who are suffering from perinatal mood disorders know that they are not alone is a crucial piece of the "Speak Up When You're Down" campaign. Some women choose to join support groups, to connect with other PMD sufferers, as part of their own treatment.
Helen Jones, who facilitates a new mothers' support group at Hunterdon Medical Center in Flemington, N.J., invited the campaign to visit one of her sessions to see firsthand how the women help each other heal.
Shawna has two boys, a 3 1/2-year-old and a 6-month-old. When her second son, who was colicky, was 3 months old, Shawna began to experience anxiety and panic attacks. Between sleep deprivation and helping her older son adjust to the baby, she reached her breaking point -- she couldn't pick up her son and stayed in bed for two weeks -- and reached out for treatment.
After about two months of medication, counseling and support group meetings, Shawna began to feel better.
Kim says friends and family expect a mother to be able to handle things better with a second baby because she is experienced. The group talks about the pros and cons of experiencing problems the second time around. Is it more shocking because things went OK the first time? Or is it easier to recognize that there's a problem because you know it's different?
Christine, whose daughter is just 5 weeks old, talks about the difficulties she has had as a new mother.
However, because she has gotten into treatment so quickly, she is on the road to recovery and has a very positive outlook.
Amy has three children and a history of depression, which began in college. She experienced postpartum depression with the birth of each of her children. But she embraces her illness as part of her life.
Department of Health
P. O. Box 360, Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
Last Modified: Thursday, 12-Jul-12 11:44:56