Myth

Women with Perinatal Mood disorders are sad and cry constantly.

Fact

According to Meltzer-Brody, “Women with PMDs usually have low mood, prominent anxiety and worry, disrupted sleep, feelings of being overwhelmed, and can also feel very guilty that they are not enjoying their experience of motherhood.”

But this disorder can look different in every woman. “Perinatal Mood disorders are not a one-size-fits-all illness,”  Women frequently don't even realize that their symptoms fit the PMD criteria.

Indeed, some women do feel sad and cry nonstop, some feel numb, while still others mainly feel irritable and angry.

Many women appear to function just fine but struggle in silence. They still work, take care of the kids and seem calm and polished. That’s because most women experience more moderate symptoms of PMDs. They are able to function in their roles but have significant anxiety and mood symptoms that rob them of the joy of being a mother and interfere with their ability to develop good attachment and bonding with their infants.

Myth

 Perinatal mood disorders are less severe than other types of mental health issues.

Fact

This is untrue and it is in fact,  as serious as other types of mental health problems.

Myth

Perinatal Mood disorders only affects women.

Fact

Research has actually found that up to 1 in 10 new fathers have some sort of PNMD after having a baby.

Myth

Perinatal Mood disorders occur within the first few months of childbirth so that can't be the problem

Fact

Most women tend to recognize their symptoms after three or four months post-childbirth, however, you can have a PMD any time in the first year postpartum.

Many women finally get up the courage to go see the doctor in the second half of their baby’s first year and are told that they ‘can’t have a PMD.’ So then the woman goes back home and wonders whether she should have asked for help in the first place and why no one can help her. But this is untrue.

Myth

Perinatal Mood disorders are here to stay in my life forever.

Fact

You will get better! Some women will bounce back from PMDs in a matter of months. Others may have a longer journey ahead of them, filled with relapses or times of struggle. With the proper support and skills, every woman can feel better. No matter how dark your life may seem right now, you will feel happy again

Myth

Having a Perinatal Mood disorder is somehow your fault.

Fact

Women often blame themselves for having PMDs and experience guilt over their symptoms because they’re not basking in some magical bliss of motherhood. But remember that a PMD isn’t something you choose. It’s a serious illness that can’t just be willed away. Hormones play a substantial role in PMDs susceptibility. Some women are especially susceptible to rapid fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone, which occur at childbirth. It’s likely that genetics predispose women to mood symptoms during these fluctuations. 

Again, PMDs area real illness that requires expert help. Dismissing it can negatively affect both mom and baby. Don’t be casual about PMDs, and don’t hope for the best. Instead, find real hope and recovery with professional treatment.

Myth

Women with any Perinatal Mood disorders will hurt their kids

Fact

Almost without fail when the media reports on a mom who hurt her kids, there’s mention of PMDs. Women with PMDs do not harm kids, and they’re not bad mothers. The only person a woman with PMD may harm is herself if her illness is so intense that she has suicidal thoughts.

PMD is often confused with postpartum psychosis. But, again, they’re two different illnesses. Postpartum psychosis is rare, about 1 in 8 new moms gets postpartum depression whereas 1 in 1,000 suffers from a PMD.

Myth

Perinatal Mood disorder will go away on its own

Fact

Our society views PMDs as something to rise above and overcome. PMDs get dismissed as a minor issue, fixed with a mere attitude adjustment. Again, PMDs are a serious illness that requires professional help. It’s highly treatable with psychotherapy and medication. The medication part worries some women, and they avoid seeking help. However, treatment is individual, so what works for one woman won’t work for another. Don’t let such misconceptions stop you from seeking the help you need. All experts underscored the importance of prompt treatment. 

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