Three and a half years ago, as a Mother, past-sufferer of postpartum depression, and advocate of mental health... I pondered the idea of Awareness for Postpartum Depression. Wondering why our great country had no awareness for this illness, and why Moms were still struggling to find resources, support and understanding when it came their mental health, preyed on my mind.
I had been through it, all of it... depression, anxiety, OCD, during pregnancy and for years postpartum. During which I felt judged and stigmatized, and had so much trouble locating pertinent help.What made this worse was living in one of the coldest cities in Canada... Edmonton. A beautiful city in the summer, but when the 6 month long Winter sets in, with average temperatures of -10 to -40, record breaking snowfalls, lots of darkness, and anxiety provoking driving conditions, it is a very hard place to exist. To live in these conditions and also try and care for a baby or multiple children, is not an easy task. Even more difficult, if you are a Mom affected by a perinatal mood disorder. How can one care for their mental health when housebound in the land of Winter with a crying baby and energetic toddler...? This is the situation for many many Moms... and the reason January became Postpartum Depression Awareness month.
As this Awareness period becomes more and more recognized across Canada, as we share our stories, talk more openly about it, and educate others, stigma will be reduced, and Moms will more easily be able to reach out for the help, support and understanding they need.
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