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Postpartum Depression, Counseling and the Black Superwoman Complex

Postpartum Depression and Postpartum Blues is a real concern for many moms…even Black moms. Various forms of depression among black women is more common than you think. African-American women live with “multiple minority status” that places us at a greater risk for depression. We live in a majority-dominated society that frequently devalues our ethnicity, culture and gender. These realities can increase a woman’s likely of experiences difficulties after giving birth. The good news is that counseling can help. Remember that you are not alone. Postpartum Progress can be achieved. Check out how Kaleena, from Love and Hip-Hop Atlanta, on her journey to wellness.

Postpartum baby blues symptoms

Signs and symptoms of baby blues — which last only a few days to a week or two after your baby is born — may include:

  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Sadness
  • Irritability
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Crying
  • Reduced concentration
  • Appetite problems
  • Trouble sleeping

Postpartum depression symptoms

Postpartum depression may be mistaken for baby blues at first — but the signs and symptoms are more intense and last longer, eventually interfering with your ability to care for your baby and handle other daily tasks. Symptoms usually develop within the first few weeks after giving birth, but may begin later — up to six months after birth.

Postpartum depression symptoms may include:

  • Depressed mood or severe mood swings
  • Excessive crying
  • Difficulty bonding with your baby
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Loss of appetite or eating much more than usual
  • Inability to sleep (insomnia) or sleeping too much
  • Overwhelming fatigue or loss of energy
  • Reduced interest and pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
  • Intense irritability and anger
  • Fear that you’re not a good mother
  • Feelings of worthlessness, shame, guilt or inadequacy
  • Diminished ability to think clearly, concentrate or make decisions
  • Severe anxiety and panic attacks
  • Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide

Untreated, postpartum depression may last for many months or longer.

 

 

Women’s Trauma Group

women faces

Join our Women’s Trauma Group for women whose lives have been effected by sexual, physical, and/or psychological/emotional trauma. The group will focus on empowerment and wellness with the goal of helping women overcome feelings of guilt, shame and victimization. Women will be screened to determine their appropriateness for the group. Spots are filling fast, please call (832)792-2533 or email info@epsychhealth.com for more details.

You are not alone

“The conflict between the will to deny horrible events and the will to proclaim them aloud is the central dialectic of psychological trauma.”
Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recoverydepression

You are not alone. Essence Psychological Health Services is here to help. Get the support that you need to live beyond your traumatic experiences.  We provide trauma services for women living with challenges related to life altering experiences.

 

Psychotherapy 101: Understanding Psychotherapy and how it can help

In the first entry of our 5-day long blog series about psychotherapy, we discuss the basics of what psychotherapy is, what it isn’t, and when to consider psychotherapy as an option for healing.  

 

Day 1: The Basics

What it is?-Psychotherapy (aka counseling or talk therapy)is the process of helping people struggling with day to day, situational and psychological problems. In psychotherapy, a trained helper (i.e. psychologist, counselor, social worker, psychiatrist, marriage and family therapist) helps an individual, group, couple or family to: Read more

Curious about psychotherapy? Let us know what you want to know!

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Essence Psychological Health Services will be launching a 5-day blog series about Psychotherapy. The series will address psychotherapy, what it is, what it isn’t, and how it can help. We hope that the series will your address questions, debunk myths, and demystify the practice of psychotherapy.

If you have and questions about psychotherapy, we’d love to hear them. Post your question in the comment section below (or email your questions to info@epsychhealth.com) and stay tuned for our 5-day series entitled Psychotherapy 101: Understanding Psychotherapy and how it can help, coming this week.

 

Living Your Best Life NOW

Best Life Now

Are you living the life you want, NOW? Not tomorrow, not next week, but NOW is the time to live the life that you want. Too many people put off the life that they want until…the money is right, the kids are grown, they have the right people in their corner, the list can go on and on. But tomorrow may never come, the conditions may never be perfect. So start now! Just a few simple steps today and can get you on the path to your Best Life and a happier, healthier you!
Steps to Living Your Best Life NOW!
1. Recognize that your life does not start tomorrow (or next week, next year, or when this or that happens).

2. Figure out what you want. If you woke up tomorrow, with nothing standing between you and your Best Life, what would your life be like? What would be different? What would be same? How would you be different? Once you have a picture of your Best Life in your head, journal about it, write a song about it, draw a picture of it, create a vision board; whatever you need to do to get your vision of your life from your head on to a tangible object will bring you one step closer to living out your best life.

3. Identify the necessary steps it will take you to have the life you want. What simple, measurable, achievable and realistic timely steps can you take to actively move toward the life you want?

4. Identify some anchors of support that you can lean on when you get stuck, discouraged or off your path. These anchors can be loved ones, religious/spiritual texts, or works of art. Anything that grounds you in your purpose and reminds you of the importance of your working toward your Best Life.

All the best to you on your journey,

Dr. Burton

 

Lady Boss Blues

Being the boss can add to depression in women.

Power can be a downer for women in the workplace, but men tend to feel happier when they’re in charge, claims a study released Thursday. Women with the ability to hire, fire and influence pay seem more prone to depression symptoms — and their mood drops aren’t fueled by male-female salary disparities, researchers found.

“Women in authority positions are evaluated more stringently compared to women without job authority and male co-workers. Higher-status women are often exposed to overt and subtle gender discrimination and harassment. This contributes to chronic stress,” said Tetyana Pudrovska, lead author and an assistant sociology professor University of Texas.

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The most depressed group? Women ages 40 to 59. More than 12 percent of women that age say they’re depressed.

Contact Dr. Burton