Let’s clear one thing up straight away – nothing is wrong with you.
Postnatal depression affects at least 1 in 10 women It is important to recognize and appreciate that it isn’t about the other nine women, this is about You and how You are feeling.
Sometimes, when you are struggling with understanding your emotions after having your baby, you may keep going, putting on a ‘brave face’ and yet behind closed doors you feel everything but brave. This may be the first time that you are allowing yourself to acknowledge that things are not how you expected it to be.
Your friends and family’s excitement with your new arrival, leaves you questioning yourself further, along with photos of smiling parents and babies on packaging for nappies, wipes, etc. This may cause you conflict within yourself and you may find yourself asking yourself, how is it that I am different to other mums, why am I not filled with joy?
The feelings that you are experiencing may start off quite subtle, you may have a lack of energy or constantly feel tired, which anyone could dismiss as part of giving birth and having a new baby to look after. Other signs such as a feeling of sadness, difficulty bonding with you baby and lack of enjoyment or engagement with others may seem more harder to ‘justify’.
Because postnatal depression can develop gradually, you may not realise this is what is happening to you, but you do realise that something isn’t ‘quite right’. Now is the time to ask for help. In the first instance you could talk to your GP or health visitor, they will be trained in recognising and understanding postnatal depression and have techniques that can help.
The first thing to do is start talking to people, to your friends and family about how You are feeling – if you notice your partner is struggling, encourage them to seek help.
It can also be really hard for a partner to see how the affects of postnatal depression is having on their loved one and so if that’s You then you may find it beneficial to see help, or at least talk to someone about how it is for You and the concerns that you have.
It is really important to know that having postnatal depression doesn’t make you a bad parent, or that your baby will be taken away, this is not your fault and there are plenty of support options for You.
If speaking to someone you already know feels too difficult then you may prefer to seek counselling where we can look at what is happening for You. You may choose to work through this with me, where we can understand exactly how this is affecting you and put in place practical ways for you manage on a day-to-day basis, one step at a time.
It may be that you would prefer to have some support from me with regards to contacting your GP or Health Visitor or even other support groups. This can help you not feel like you are tackling something else on your own.
Why not contact me to see how we can work through your postnatal depression – together.
Remember it’s not your fault you’re depressed.
Due to 24/7 access to the world, whether it’s social media, emails, the internet or BBC Newsflash alerts we are now a generation known as ‘Always On’, and at times it can seem impossible to turn off!
Being “always on” can be tricky and cause anxiety, constantly waiting to see if someone “likes” what you have said, or wondering why you don’t appear to have been invited to a night out. Whilst it may feel like you are connected to lots of ‘friends’ at times it can also feel incredibly lonely which may affect our self-esteem.
It is important to find a balance between the amount of time you spend on-screen and the time you spend off-screen. It can be really easy to feel that the internet is real life, but often what we see on the internet doesn’t always reflect the true picture.
From the 30th April-6th May, its ‘Screen Free Week’, this is an opportunity to ‘rediscover what is beyond the screen’.
I wonder if you were to really think about your relationship with your mobile device and how ‘attached’ you are, what would you say? I check my phone a few times a day, I feel lost without it, I am comfortable going out for the day and leaving it at home? If you were to ask someone who knows you well, I wonder what they would say about your relationship with your phone?
If I were to ask you to turn your phone or tablet off for half an hour, how does that feel? Does it feel like an impossible task? Will you be worried about what you might miss? Or would you feel a sense of relief and relish the peace and quiet?
It might feel too much to not be able to see what’s going on, or difficult to give yourself permission to simply let go of your device(s).
If you have read some of my other blogs, you will know that I tend to put a challenge in my blogs, so here is this months challenge. Now, I would like you to commit to this challenge for five days – gulp – yes I did just say FIVE days!
Ok, this is what I would like you to do:
Day 1 – I would like you to pay attention how often you check your phone or tablet a day (that’s it).
Day 2 – I would like you to notice how often you check your phone or tablet a day and really think about what it was that you were checking or using your phone for.
Day 3 – If possible, I would like to place your phone at a distance away. So if you’re at work, put it in your drawer. If you are at home, place it in another room. On this day, I would like you to notice how it feels to not be ‘attached’ to your phone, or to not be able to physically see it or use it.
Day 4 – I would like to try a re-run of day 3, because I imagine day 3 was probably pretty tough. How did you feel? Could you physically detach yourself? What did you think you were going to miss out on? Or were you surprised by the relief of not ‘carrying’ your phone everywhere you go.
Day 5 – This is going to be another tricky day (but it’s the last day) I would like you to not use your phone to fill time. So if you are waiting to grab a coffee, or sitting on a bus or train, instead of reaching for your phone, I would like you to just be You wherever you are, because you know, its ok to not be ‘Always On’, even computers and TV’s have standby mode.
Well done You! This wasn’t an easy task but You did it!
If you feel that you are ‘living’ through your mobile device or you feel anxious about what is being said on your favourite social media why not contact me to see if we can look at you having a healthy relationship with your mobile device, where You are in control.
Remember it’s ok for You to switch off.
Generally when we purchase something, such as a TV or new item of clothing, we hand over our money and walk away with something tangible, something that has by definition a ‘physical presence’. Counselling is an intangible product. You see your counsellor for 50 minutes, pay for your session and leave with nothing to physically show for your money.
You may even think why would I go to counselling? How will I know if it’s working? Because you don’t have anything physical to walk out with it may prove challenging to see how the effects of counselling are actually benefiting you.
However, there is a physical side to counselling that I have noticed. When I check in with my clients towards the end of their sessions to see how they are they say they feel lighter, calmer, happier, relieved, glad to have ‘got it all out’. So in those instances there has been a physical change but its still not tangible or perceptible to touch.
That’s where the camera comes in. When you have completed your counselling and feel you no longer need to attend any more sessions for the time being (sometimes a top up session can be helpful every once in a while) I suggest that you get someone to take a photo of you and put a note in your diary for say 3-6 months time saying ‘compare photos’.
If you look at a photo of yourself taken before you started counselling and compare it with photos taken since finishing counselling I believe you will notice a difference in yourself, it could be the way you stand, the way you are holding yourself, you may notice you look more confident or relaxed or genuinely happy.
As a counsellor, I see my clients evolve over the sessions and grow into themselves, I see them learn to love themselves and realise how important they are. I also notice how their posture changes and how they enter the room more confidently.
I remember once talking to a client who was ready to leave counselling and they evaluated how they had changed and I had said if I showed you a photo of yourself on your first session and one today you would be really surprised as to how far you had come. My client said she wished I had taken a photo, but I think walking through the door for your first session with a counsellor is hard enough without me popping out a camera!
Are you curious to see how beneficial counselling may be for you?
You can contact me for an initial conversation or to arrange a session,
My private practice is based in West Sussex, where I will offer you a safe and confidential space for You to talk about whatever You feel you would like to talk about.
Not everything is tangible but unlike a TV or item of clothing that tends to need replacing – counselling gives you tools for life!
Sorry this competition is now closed… please like our Facebook page by clicking here to make sure you don’t miss future competitions!
I am currently running a competition on Facebook to win a Hotel Chocolat Large Chocolate Hamper!
For your chance to win Follow these two simple steps:
1. Find Your Space Today on Facebook and Like my page
2. Like and comment on this Facebook post by clicking here
I will draw the lucky winner when I get to 100 page Likes! Good Luck!
Terms and conditions:
- By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions
- There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition
- The prize has no cash value and cannot be exchanged
- Winner will be chosen at random via a draw
- Winner will be contacted via Facebook
- Winner has 7 days to provide their details and claim their prize
- In the event of an unclaimed prize, a new winner will be drawn
- This competition is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Hotel Chocolat or Facebook
- In the event the chocolate hamper is out of stock or no longer available a similar hamper of equal or greater value will be chosen as the prize.
- Competition is open to UK residents only
- Competition is open to entrants aged 13 and over (entrants between 13-17 must have parental or guardian permission)
- Entry into the competition will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions
Whatever word you choose: testimonials, feedback, comments or reviews, hearing what other people say about a person or product will often assist you in making a decision whether to use them or not.
Although it can feel strange to share the good things that people have said about you, sometimes it is important to “blow your own trumpet”. I am proud of the feedback I have had from my clients during my time as a counsellor. All of my testimonials are anonymous due to confidentiality, but they are all genuine and exactly what clients have said. On my About Me page, I talk about the importance of trusting that your counsellor is right for you and I continue to uphold that. Deciding to see a counsellor can feel difficult enough, but with the right one, it can feel less painful and hopefully a place where you can feel safe and comfortable enough to talk about what is going on for you.
Choosing your counsellor and feeling confident with them is as important as choosing your dentist or hairdresser. You wouldn’t keep going to the same hairdresser if they didn’t listen to what you wanted. When you have a dental appointment, whilst you may not actually enjoy going to the dentist, you need to trust them and feel confident that they know what they are doing. This could be in the way that they reassure you, or talk through what they are going to do.
You may not feel comfortable asking a friend or colleague for a recommendation for a counsellor, in the same way as you would for a hairdresser. So internet searching is likely to be the first place you start.
Browsing www.counselling-directory.co.uk may help you draw up a shortlist of possible counsellors – I’m on there too! Counsellors have different techniques and methods. As you will see from the testimonials I have received my approach has really worked for my clients, perhaps it could for you too?
So what have my clients said about me….
Sophie is: Approachable, compassionate, helpful, listener, professional, reassuring, supportive, understanding.
And how was counselling for them, when working with me….
Comfortable, gave me confidence, helped me through, important in my life, invaluable, listened to, taken seriously.
For more read my testimonials by clicking here, or watch the video below.
If you would like to see if I am the right counsellor for you, why not take advantage of my free introductory twenty minute session and contact me. My private practice is based in West Sussex, where I offer a safe and confidential space.
Having the right counsellor is important because You are important!
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“I was apprehensive at first but Sophie made me feel at ease and comfortable and throughout she helped me believe in myself again and get the confidence and strength back. My time with Sophie was invaluable.”
Click to read more testimonials…
Your Space Today is a private counselling service providing a confidential, supportive and safe place to talk.