Coping with tragedy while struggling with mental illness


Last night, all bleary eyed, I read a Breaking News Update from Huffington Post about Japan. A 7.9 earthquake had struck. I prayed and stumbled to bed.

I awoke to news of an even higher richter scale quake splashed all over the Internet. It was on my Facebook Page, at Twitter, and everywhere else. There was no escaping the tragedy which had occurred overnight. I felt my own anxieties ramping up a bit and then I worried for my #PPDChat Mamas.

If you need support, please don’t hesitate to find me on Twitter – I’m @unxpctdblessing. You can also email me at mypostpartumvoice (@) gmail (dot) com. If you feel yourself really adrift in anxiety and stress, do not hesitate to call your healthcare provider or therapist.

News and current events can strike fear and confusion in the heart of even the most normal of people. For those of us struggling with mental illness, those feelings are magnified. I stopped watching the news when I realized it was causing my anxiety to increase 100 fold or more.

Increased anxiety is not good for anyone, let alone someone with an anxiety or depression disorder.

While it is important to stay informed, it’s also important to take care of one’s self in the face of the ever increasing instant news society in which we live. One of the biggest things you can do for yourself is to turn off the evening or morning news. When was the last time you heard good news there any way? Read online. Sure, you may see some headlines that might trigger you but you don’t have to click on them. Go elsewhere. Or visit Happy News.

Your friends may post links to triggering news stories at Facebook or on Twitter. Again, ignore them. You can hide the post on Facebook. Twitter moves so fast that any news post may be lost before you even have a chance to click. If you struggle with the urge to click on news stories, then you may want to go find an online game to play – Tetris specifically has been proven to be helpful for those who struggle with PTSD. It distracts the brain and forces it to focus on solving a puzzle.

The APA also has a great page on how to manage during a disaster. While you may not have been directly affected, some of us have very vivid imaginations and have seen video of what happened in Japan. Sometimes this can affect someone almost as much as having been there, especially if they are already struggling with a mental illness. Go read the APA sheet. I strongly urge you to seek help if today has been overwhelming for you. Don’t suffer alone.

 

 

 

National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation – Webinar: Identifying and Treating Maternal Depression


National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation – Webinar: Identifying and Treating Maternal Depression to take place on December 9, 2009 at 1:00pm -2:30pm EST. Registration is free. Please click on the previous link for information and to register for this event.

According to NIHCM’s website,This webinar will explore the prevalence of maternal depression and the current state of screening for perinatal and postpartum depression. It will include a discussion of the recent recommendations from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American Psychiatric Association (APA) for the treatment of women with depression during pregnancy. The role of primary care providers in identifying and managing postpartum depression will also be discussed and a web-based training program to educate providers on screening, diagnosis, treatment and referral for postpartum depression will be shared. Finally, the session will highlight a current health plan program to identify and manage depression during pregnancy and coordinate care following a depression diagnosis to ensure healthy pregnancies and deliveries.”

Please pass this information on to anyone you may know that will benefit from this important webinar. I am planning on attending myself because the information to be discussed sounds absolutely fascinating. I am particularly interested in the discussion of the role of the primary are providers in identifying and managing postpartum depression as so many patients often first seek help from their primary caregivers rather than a specialist.