How Counselling helps

professional experienced counselling with Debbie Kelly MSc 07590 572866

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  1. pregnant woman, grey tones photo-1456427370572-34441f97a340

    Pregnancy (antenatal, prenatal) depression can affect around one in ten pregnant women. No doubt this has been around for a very long time but is only recently scientifically and medically being recognised as a significant issue for some pregnant women, perhaps even as common as postnatal depression. Pregnancy naturally causes peaks and troughs in general mood, due to hormones, physical changes and stress associated with the pregnancy, but if you feel that your mood is low more than you are feeling happy and you are feeling particularly anxious, you should talk to your GP or midwife. The earlier you are able to seek help and put support in place, the better you will feel moving into the birth and postnatal phase. Counselling at this stage can be helpful in talking through your anxieties and putting into place coping mechanisms.

     

     Postnatal Mood Disorders

    In general terms, ‘baby blues’ is a common experience for new mums and tends to occur soon after birth and up to 10 days after baby is born. ‘Baby blues' is generally associated with the hormonal changes following birth and can lead to low mood and tearfulness. head_in_her_hands

     

    Postnatal depression, however, is where the low mood lasts for weeks or months, and is often associated with other ‘symptoms’ such as anxiety and  OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). Postnatal depression is said to affect approximately 1 in 8 women and can occur any time in the year after your baby is born and can continue into the second year after birth.

     There are several risk factors that may increase the likelihood of postnatal depression:

     

    • Any trauma associated with the current pregnancy/birth,
    • Or previous birth trauma  
    • Pregnancy loss
    • Relationship difficulties or lack of social support
    • Previous history of depression or pregnancy anxiety
    • Low self esteem or being overly self critical

     

    Some of the symptoms associated with postnatal depression are:

     

    • Long lasting low mood
    • Lethargy, difficulty sleeping, (often difficult to quantify with a baby to look after)
    • Tearfulness
    • Feeling withdrawn, not wanting to go out
    • Panic/anxiety attacks
    • Low self esteem, feeling guilty
    • Feeling overwhelmed
    • Thoughts of suicide and self-harm

     

    This is by no means an exhaustive list and not everyone will experience the same symptoms, you are the best guide as to how you feel. Sometimes, it is hard for the woman to realise they are feeling depressed and you may need to rely on feedback from those who know you, such as your partner, family and close friends.

     

    Talking to your GP, midwife or Health Visitor about any concerns you have is vital in putting into place the help and support you may need. Sometimes having someone to go with you to the GP can be helpful.

     

    Postpartum (Puerperal) Psychosis

     

    This is a serious but rare postnatal disorder that occurs in the days and weeks after baby arrives. The symptoms tend to be extreme, whether it is low mood, mania, hallucinations and thoughts about harming yourself or your baby. This is a medical emergency and usually requires hospitalisation. If you or your partner/family have any concerns please seek help from your GP immediately.

     

    Counselling for pregnancy and postnatal depression alongside any medical input can be beneficial as it provides the opportunity to talk through how you are feeling and to put into place coping mechanisms. Counselling can be used as a form of therapy along side medication from your doctor; it is important to discuss this with your doctor and counsellor for an effective collaborative approach. Debbie Kelly also offers individual and couples therapy for spouses experiencing relationship difficulties after the arrival of a new baby.

    Please visit my links page for details of further online support and information.

    Debbie Kelly MSc is an experienced counsellor working in Basingstoke  in North Hampshire.  She sees clients experiencing life challenges concerning anxiety, depression, work stress, grief and bereavement, relationship difficulties and miscarriage/pregnancy loss.  

    Contact Debbie on 07590 572866 or email to arrange a free 30 minute introductory session.

     

  2. If you are waking up this morning to peace and quiet, a full fridge and tidy lounge and wondering what has happened, might it be that the kids have gone (back) to University?. If you are one of those parents whose child/children have just Bird flies at sunsetstarted or returned to University is this space/peace welcome? Of course, grown children leave home for all sorts of reasons and it needn’t be University, it might just be ‘the right time’ to spread their wings. Whatever the reason, are you happy being an ‘empty nester’?

     For some, the answer will be whole heartedly a somewhat relieved yes, a sign that the job of parenting has been done well enough to see your child(ren) through to the next phase of their development and growing up. This can be a welcome opportunity to focus on your needs and your relationship and this can make the transition an exciting one. Plans that you have been making over the past few years can now be put into place, holidays can be taken outside of the school holiday times and as a couple rather than a family group each time.

     However, if you are the type of mum who sheds a tear when the school holidays are over,(you are not alone in this)  or wonders what you’ll do to fill the space and spare time when the kids are away, this transition can be problematic. If you find that your spousal relationship hasn’t weathered well during the last 18 years or so, or that the children have been the ‘glue’ keeping you together and you don’t recognise yourself in any other role outside of the parenting role, this new found space can feel daunting and unwelcome.

     Naturally, the age at which the children leave home can coincide with other changes that women in particular are experiencing such as menopause and this can exacerbate any negative feelings around the children leaving home.

     If you find yourself looking around and wondering ‘who was I before I was so rudely interrupted’ by motherhood/fatherhood or ‘who were we as a couple’ or if parenting has been a substitute for personal growth, with resources channeled into the children at detriment to yourself or your relationships, then counselling with Debbie Kelly,  either as an individual or as a couple can offer a safe and non-judgmental environment in which to explore these issues and feelings.

     

    Debbie Kelly MSc is an experienced counsellor working in Basingstoke  in North Hampshire. She sees clients experiencing life challenges concerning anxiety, depression, work stress, grief and bereavement, relationship difficulties and miscarriage/pregnancy loss.

    Contact Debbie on 07590 572866 or email to arrange a free 30 minute introductory session.