In this episode, I am talking to Autumn from She’s a Wreck.
***Updated, November 23, 2019. Autumn has rebranded and has a new website, L. Autumn Co.
I wanted to talk to her about something that we, as moms don’t talk much about. You love to talk about your kids, but when is the last time you were honest about your mental health?
I have been following Autumn’s blog, She’s a Wreck, and I felt that she would be the perfect person to talk about mental health. But before we start talking about mental health, I am sure you are probably wondering what is behind this name, She’s a Wreck.
It means literally that some days I’m a literal mess as an imperfect woman, wife and mom and business person. I find that we in society, we get caught up in just being perfect all the time and sometimes it’s okay to just not be everything. As I embarked over the last year and a half on my journey of self-care and rediscovery, She’s a Wreck also means She’s a Woman Rediscovering and Embracing Change and Knowledge.
How cool is that?!
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Moms battling depression and anxiety
Autumn has a remarkable story about how she struggled with depression and anxiety and has found ways to overcome it. There is a mental health series on her blog that caught my attention.
When I asked Autumn why mental health is so important to her, she told me, “mental health is important for me, especially as relates to motherhood because for a long time, it was my reality. I suffered through postpartum depression with my son without really knowing what was happening.”
When Autumn said this to me, it got me thinking. How many moms were suffering from postpartum depression and didn’t even know it?
Later, Autumn explained that after talking to her husband about what she was feeling he told her that something wasn’t right and encouraged her to talk to her health care provider. From there, postpartum depression was identified.
Even though the postpartum depression had ended, Autumn had other battles to fight.
Long after postpartum depression had ended, I also started to just have these feelings of anxiety and depression and suicidal ideation and just all these different things that were a combination of me not really knowing who I truly was. It’s just been kind of been a part of who I was since becoming a mom. And I know that there are other mothers out there who suffer in silence and who don’t know about the resources that are out there available to them or who feel shame or guilt because they may not be in a joyous place when their, when their baby is first born. And it might be something that they can’t shake. And I don’t want that shame to just continue to be associated with it. And I want to use my platform to bring awareness.
On October 10th many people observed World Mental Health Day. This is a day that people come together to bring awareness to mental health issues around the world.
A few days before recording this episode with Autumn, I was listening to Amy Porterfield’s podcast. I saw on the list of episodes that there was an episode about depression as an entrepreneur with Jasmine Star. Honestly, the title intrigued me. So I decided to listen.
The podcast episode was amazing. One of the things that I learned from that episode is that we all deal with depression. Sometimes it is situational and we get over it quickly. But then there is clinical depression that requires time, treatment and possibly medication to treat.
I also realized that depression and anxiety is something that we just don’t talk about much.
After learning all of this, I had to know how Autumn was able to overcome depression.
First, Autumn identified that something wasn’t right and reached out to her physician.
I remember back in high school, early days I would suffer from panic attacks. I didn’t know what they were. I just felt like I would feel like a heavy elephant was sitting on my chest and I couldn’t breathe. I knew that I’d had those experiences, but I was beginning to have them a lot more. I was also in a constant state of fear and worry and sadness. And so I spoke to my physician and she was like, ‘Hey, maybe you should speak to the psychiatrist and then try some some therapy as well.’
Then, she followed through seeking out help. After doing some research and testing some people out, she found a therapist that works for her.
This is a really important point that I noted with Autumn and in the interview with Jasmine Star. It may take several therapists before you find the right one for you.
So don’t give up! Try someone new. But make sure to give it a few sessions before saying that it is not going to work.
I also noticed that having support from your husband or family member is a HUGE help. But don’t depend on it.
Know that you have to do this for you. Even if you feel alone, seek out the help you need to overcome this.
And sometimes medication is needed to treat depression and anxiety. I honestly believe that there are individuals that are suffering from depression and anxiety due to imbalances that medication can help treat it.
Do your research and talk to your health care provider to find out what works for you.
What NOT to do when dealing with depression
Autumn has dealt with depression and anxiety for several years. As a result, she knows what not to do.
Don’t ignore the signs
So, make yourself aware when you first become pregnant. Possibly read some stories, read some articles and get some information from your physician and online. There are lots of websites online as well where you can go to learn about those symptoms for postpartum depression and make yourself aware.
Don’t feel ashamed
Don’t feel ashamed if the moment comes on when it feels more than just your regular sadness about something. Like you keep crying or you keep having what you feel to be crazy thoughts in your head about certain things that are happening in your life. Know that it’s not shameful and you’re not the only one. And it doesn’t mean that you don’t love your baby and that you’re not going to be a great mom.
Don’t cover it up
Make sure that you don’t just let them go by. You speak to someone about it. Whether you’re not feeling comfortable in the beginning speaking to a physician, but go to a friend or go to a family member and tell them that you’re having these feelings. And then begin to work through that and then go speak to your doctor because it’s really important to just be open about it.
Things that moms can do to help with mental health
As a mother, self-care is something that we must practice daily so that we can give our best to those we love. Like Autumn says, self-care is more than just a manicure and pedicure. Taking care of your mental health is huge. Here are some ways that Autumn suggests:
- Find an exercise you enjoy doing. Like running, yoga, or spinning.
- Take care of yourself from within by taking care of your spiritual health. Try prayer, meditation, or reading.
- Write in a journal. Even try a gratitude journal.
- Repeat affirmations. Have them written around you, in your planner, around the house, and at work.
- Incorporate meditation to help control your breathing and your thoughts.
- Read self-help books. Some of my favorites are “Girl, Wash Your Face” and “Battlefield of the Mind.”
- Reach out for help.
If you are having suicidal thoughts and need help, call National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 to speak with someone confidentially and get the support and resources that you need.
- We all deal with depression in our lives. Sometimes it is situational, but there are times when it is critical and requires treatment or therapy.
- If you are struggling with depression, you are not alone!
- If you think that you are dealing with depression, don’t ignore the signs, don’t be ashamed and reach out for help.
- Exercise can be just as effective as medication for treating depression. So get moving!
- Remember to do some self-care daily to help maintain your mental health.
Links mentioned in this episode
- Autumn’s blog – She’s a Wreck
- Mental Health series
- Amy Porterfield’s Podcast episode about mental health
- Study about exercise and depression
- Autumn’s Instagram
- Autumn’s Twitter
- Autumn’s Facebook
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