Being a new parent comes with a whirlwind of new emotions….but could it be more than just the baby blues?
Celia Zisman is the clinical director at Thrive Wellness.
“I’ve noticed some of my friends went through similar experiences with neonatal depression and I realized this is the rule and not the exception,” explained Zisman.
That’s why Thrive Wellness launched their perinatal mood anxiety disorders program or P-MADS last year, it’s all about working with women struggling with mental health disorders during their pregnancy and after giving birth.
Stemming from Zisman’s own birth experiences, she also wanted to reduce the stigma associated with P-MADS and raise awareness that men also suffer from P-MADS too.
“I hated how there were no resources for that and i remember how lonely people we’re feeling and all the shaming that was going on where they felt if said something then they were a bad mother,” added Zisman. “So that is where i got that passion to start that program.”
A few symptoms of include heightened anxiety, extreme fatigue or intrusive thoughts that can start as little as three weeks and can persist up to a year.
“We’re looking for not just a typical adjustment where things are stressful and they’re not sleeping much but if they’re having a hard time with relationships or work,” said Zisman.
During this time, certain sessions are held in a virtual format to protect the babies and clients, but they still offer a wide range of support and process groups.
“I think the hardest part is you take a new parent and they’re on maternity leave and they’re away from friends or people they see at work and stuck at home adjusting to this incredibly new role,” explained Thrive Wellness CEO Kat Geiger. “We have not had to slow down our treatment because we know especially with COVID mental health treatment has become more important.”
The perinatal mental health group is free and held virtually on Thursdays at 10 a.m.
“Sometimes 3 or 4 hours of treatment a day sounds like so much but what we’ve seen time and time again is that the number one predictor for recovery is getting support,” said Zisman.
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