Episode #9: When your mind is not your own – One mother bravely shares her experience with Postpartum Psychosis

Episode #9: When your mind is not your own – One mother bravely shares her experience with Postpartum Psychosis

When your mind is not your own – one mother bravely shares her experience with postpartum psychosis

“I felt that my daughter wasn’t actually my daughter”

Right off the bat, I want to let you know that the conversation in this episode of The Tough Mothers Podcast and Tough Mothers TV is different.

On this program we talk about many topics that are taboo, but postpartum/ postnatal psychosis is something we really don’t talk about.

Today Liz, a mum of boy-girl twins, and GP, is going to change that.

Liz very bravely shares with us her experience with postpartum psychosis after her children were born. She delves deep into how it felt and looked for her and why she had to manage her two years of psychosis alone.

I feel incredibly privileged to bring you this conversation. Not only because it is very personal for Liz, but because it gives us a first-hand insight into the mental health struggles mothers can experience, and so often don’t talk about.

I hope we can all take from Liz’s story the reminder that we must look out for ourselves and each other during motherhood. Always.

Please keep asking mothers if they are ok – some mums’ struggles are so internal that we have no idea what is going on inside them.

In this episode of The Tough Mothers Podcast and Tough Mothers TV you will:

  • ✓ Learn about postpartum/ postnatal psychosis and how it can manifest.
  • ✓  Be intimately privy to Liz’s thoughts and feelings during this time.
  • ✓  Discover how to support yourself if you are experiencing postpartum mental health concerns.
  • ✓  Understand how to ask for help, and help others.

Hear the full episode. Simply click on your favourite podcast app below.

Or hit play and watch the full episode on YouTube.

When your mind is not your own – one mother bravely shares her experience with postpartum psychosis
The important take-aways from this episode are:
  • Just because you wanted to a baby doesn’t mean you MUST love being pregnant, or enjoy it Podcast [10.20], TV [9.50]

There is no right way to be or feel during pregnancy. It is what it is for you, and you feel how you feel. And that is OK.

“It is ok to speak up about how you feel in pregnancy, even if it is not what society wants you to say”

  • Ensure you find professionals during pregnancy and motherhood that have your best interests at heart, and truly hear you and your needs Podcast [6.56], TV [6.26]

If the professional you are seeing does not resonate with you, or has different values or beliefs, PLEASE find someone new.

“She said: It was my own fault I had postnatal depression”

  • Mental health is as important (if not more important!) as physical health Podcast [13.13], TV [12.43]
  • Liz felt a slight onset of postpartum psychosis almost as soon as she brought her children home Podcast [18.10], TV [17.40]

“I still loved my daughter… I had very mixed feelings in me”

Psychosis is defined as losing touch with reality.

Postpartum psychosis is: a severe mental illness. It usually starts within the first 2-4 weeks after having a baby. Symptoms vary, and can change. They can include high mood, depression, confusion, irritability, decreased need for sleep, hallucinations and delusions. There are very effective treatments available.

Postpartum psychosis is not: a mother who has become crazy or “psycho”. Or is running around the streets wielding a knife, or any other such nonsense.

  • You don’t have to be in the grips of psychosis to have thoughts about harming your baby Podcast [23.10], TV [22.40]

Many mothers can relate to fleeting thoughts about doing something that will just “stop the noise”, but would never act on it.

  • Sometimes pharmaceutical medication is the first thing you need to get you on a path to wellness Podcast [24.30], TV [24.00

There is incredible stigma associated with pharmaceutical medications in motherhood. However, in situations like Liz’s, and other severe cases, finding a suitable medication is an excellent first step. If the mother is OK with it.

“Suddenly everything changed. It was like a magic pill”

  • The importance of speaking up and sharing your thoughts and feelings with family, friends or professionals Podcast [27.25], TV [26.55]

Speaking up is a major part in supporting yourself through your motherhood journey, and also to allow others to support you.

“I really wish I had told someone about it years ago”

  • Liz shares her advice for mothers who may be struggling with abnormal thinking or feelings they don’t want to share with anyone Podcast [31.50], TV [31.20]

Liz tells us how she brings up the topic in her practice with mothers who are struggling. And how this is a way anyone can bring up a topic with mothers too.

liz-harding-holding-baby

  • Liz reveals her silver linings of going through her difficult time Podcast [34.40], TV [34.10]

Hint: there are many!

  • We must start motherhood conversations. We must be the first to say how we truly feel Podcast [37.59], TV [37.29]

We must squash the taboo around mental health in motherhood.

“We are afraid that our thoughts and feelings will label us as a bad mother”

If you have concerns about your mental health, or are just not feeling yourself, please speak up.
Please please please!

I would love to hear from you

What insights did you have when you watched this episode?

How could these potentially change your motherhood experience and life?

Leave a comment below and tell us about it! Many mums come here to find support, and your experience or story may help one of them.

Who is one person that would benefit from watching this episode? – Share it with them through the icons at the top of this article 😉

SUBSCRIBE, REVIEW and WIN

Be sure to subscribe to The Tough Mothers Podcast or Tough Mothers TV .

And YOU CAN WIN!

Leave a review for the podcast  or on my YouTube channel, as I draw a random reviewer each month to win an amazing Tough Mothers gift.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Get all the motherhood support at our village.

Mentions In This Episode

For neuropsychological support to thrive in motherhood check out Dr Jen’s personalised courses.

Liz is a keen and very accomplished long-distance runner. Our conversation started on a long training run and I am so honoured Liz shared her story with me, and now with you.

Starting conversations about our journeys in, and through, motherhood are of utmost importance to squash the motherhood taboos, and support each other.
Thank you, Liz!

 

Mental Health Support Services

If the topics in this episode are triggering for you, or if you feel you need support, please contact you doctor or local mental health line.

In Australia: www.healthdirect.gov.au
In New Zealand: www.mentalhealth.org.nz
In the USA: www.mhnational.org
In the UK : www.mind.org.uk
In Ireland: www2.hse.ie

In South Africa: www.safmh.org.za

If your country is not listed please search “Mental Health Line” in google in your country.

Want every episode of The Tough Mothers Podcast and Tough Mothers TV straight to your inbox as soon they are released?

Episode #8: Who am I now? – Your new identity in motherhood

Episode #8: Who am I now? – Your new identity in motherhood

Who am I now? – Your new identity in motherhood

“Losing myself [in motherhood] was my big thing – where had I gone, who was I now, why did nobody see me for who I was anymore?”

We’re shouting matrescence from the rooftops!

After starting the matrescence conversation in episode 4 of The Tough Mothers Podcast and TV, I had so many emails from mums saying they loved it and wanted to hear more about this topic (you can re-listen to the original matrescence episode HERE).

So, in today’s episode I bring you the matrescence marvel Linda Anderson. Linda is a life coach whose focus is on mothers during their matrescence transition, including their identity in motherhood. She is as obsessed with matrescence as I am, so together we are going to shout it from the rooftops!

Matrescence – the transition from woman to mother
– is one of the most life-changing transitions a woman will ever go through. We are changed – physically, psychologically, emotionally, socially and spiritually.

Becoming a mother is an exciting time!
So much happens to us as women – some things we are prepared for, but most things we are not.

Matrescence is a time of great change. Sadly, we are still not speaking about this transformation as often and openly as we should. Consequently, women are caught off-guard by motherhood. They feel there is something wrong with them, when really it is just matrescence.

In this episode of The Tough Mothers Podcast and Tough Mothers TV you will learn:

  • ✓ What matrescence is, and how it is viewed in society.
  • ✓  Answer the question: who am I now I am a mother?
  • ✓  Why we must talk about matrescence openly with mums before they have their baby.
  • ✓  The things you must know to navigate the split that comes with matrescence

Hear the full episode. Simply click on your favourite podcast app below.

Or hit play and watch the full episode on YouTube.

Who am I now? – Your new identity in motherhood Youtube
The important take-aways from this episode are:
  • Matrescence happens to every woman when she becomes a mother. Yet, because we are all unique – biologically, physiologically and psychologically (just to name a few) – our experiences of matrescence are unique  Podcast [3.30], TV [3.00]

“I thought it was just me. I thought there was something wrong with me”

  • It is important to normalize the conversation around matrescence. It needs to become part of our everyday conversation. Not just for mothers, but every person should know what matrescence is. So, we can better support women as they become mothers  Podcast [5.38], TV [5.08]
  • Society tells us to “suck it up”. Just carry on like you did before, but now with a baby. Yet we are transformed.
    It’s like we have been denied the transition
     Podcast [7.15], TV [6.45]

We are setting women up with this false expectation of what motherhood is and what it will be.

  • Matrescence is similar to adolescence in its transformation. However, unlike adolescence, matrescence is not finite. It is an evolution within us  Podcast [6.56], TV [6.26]

“The world is letting us down: we need to speak about this massive experience”

  • The motherhood split!
    There is a feeling of being split in two when we become mothers – one half has gone into motherhood and the other half is the pre-baby us.
    This split feeling can carry on through life.
    Linda shares tips on how to deal with this split and relieve the disconnect and yearning of the “old me”
     Podcast [12.48], TV [12.18]
  • How to embrace our new life, and let it be what it is. The importance of striving for doing rather than doing it perfectly  Podcast [15.35], TV [15.05]
  • Matrescence is a real thing!
    Women need to be educated so they know about matrescence and don’t feel like they are alone in their experiences 
    Podcast [18.30], TV [18.00]

Knowing about matrescence offers women a language to express themselves

  • Why are we not talking about matrescence?
    What might be different in our life, and our experience as a mother, if we had the knowledge of matrescence before we have our babies?
     Podcast [19.38], TV [19.08]
  • Linda shares her tips on how to best prepare yourself for matrescence. (Make sure you also check out the links to Linda’s blog in MENTIONS IN THIS EPISODE for more tips)  Podcast [19.38], TV [19.08].23.50

“If you are struggling, don’t silence it. There is nothing wrong with you, please just reach out!”

I would love to hear from you

What insights did you have when you watched this episode?

How could these potentially change your motherhood experience and life?

Leave a comment below and tell us about it! Many mums come here to find support, and your experience or story may help one of them.

Who is one person that would benefit from watching this episode? – Share it with them through the icons at the top of this article 😉

SUBSCRIBE, REVIEW and WIN

Be sure to subscribe to The Tough Mothers Podcast or Tough Mothers TV .

And YOU CAN WIN!

Leave a review for the podcast  or on my YouTube channel, as I draw a random reviewer each month to win an amazing Tough Mothers gift.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Get all the motherhood support at our village.

Mentions In This Episode

1. Order Dr Jen’s book: I Wish Someone Had Told Me – unspoken truths about what really happens to women during labour, childbirth and the first few weeks of motherhood

2. Watch or listen to the original episode on matrescence that sparked this conversation here

3. Find out more about Linda Anderson aka Linda On The Go www.LindaOnTheGo.com

4. Read Linda’s blog about matrescence for more tips here

Linda Anderson

Mental Health Support Services

If the topics in this episode are triggering for you, or if you feel you need support, please contact you doctor or local mental health line.

In Australia: www.healthdirect.gov.au
In New Zealand: www.mentalhealth.org.nz
In the USA: www.mhnational.org
In the UK : www.mind.org.uk
In Ireland: www2.hse.ie

In South Africa: www.safmh.org.za

If your country is not listed please search “Mental Health Line” in google in your country.

Want every episode of The Tough Mothers Podcast and Tough Mothers TV straight to your inbox as soon they are released?