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TODAY is Bell Let’s Talk Day

charity, FAM, health By February 12, 2013 Tags: , , , , , 2 Comments
1 in 5 Canadians will experience a form of mental illness at some point in their lives.  I was one of those 5.  Hospitalized for depression during my undergraduate degree, I lost friends and people spoke in whispers as I walked by.  I became a liability to know, and a burden for those who visited.  But my experience also made me realize how common mental illness can be.  Also in the ward were three other people I knew from university including the spouse of one of my professors.  I began to accept the condition as being akin to a heart murmur or broken achilles.  Mental health is just another medical condition that needs attention.  When I was well I took some time off and thrived.  Truly happy, fulfilled and strong, I made the decision not to go back to my original university.  Too much stigma.  Too many obstacles I didn’t need. Several years later, a few things have changed – but not enough.  TODAY is Bell Let’s Talk Day!  Read on..
One of the biggest hurdles to overcome for anyone facing mental illness is the stigma associated with it. It is the leading reason two-thirds of all of those living with a mental illness do not seek help.

To drive progress in reducing stigma, a campaign called Bell Let’s Talk is opening the national conversation about mental illness and its dramatic impact in all parts of the country. Stepping forward as Bell’s spokesperson for Bell Let’s Talk Day and our campaign to effect change is six-time Olympic medalist Clara Hughes. As a community leader and philanthropist who has come to know and inspire Canadians, Clara has seen the impact of mental illness and understands how important it is to get people talking about it around kitchen and boardroom tables.

So, TODAY… for every:

– Text message sent*
– Long distance call made*
– Tweet using #BellLetsTalk
– Facebook share of the Bell Let’s Talk image

Bell will donate 5¢ more to help fund mental health initiatives across Canada.

* By a Bell or Bell Aliant customer.

So tweet! Call!  Reach out and start some conversations.  Our kids need to know that it’s ok to share, to talk and to ask for help.

The Baby Blues vs. PostPartum Depression – How to Tell the Difference

FAM, health By September 15, 2011 Tags: , , , , , , 1 Comment

After birth, every woman feels…well, a bit out of sorts. There are all kinds of changes going on in your body, there are emotional, mental, and physical stressors everywhere…it’s a difficult time. Practically every new mom experiences some version of the “baby blues,” a normal reaction to the chemical and emotional soup that has become your bloodstream and all the stuff that’s going on around her, but some actually find that their baby blues slip into something more serious: post-partum depression. What’s the difference between the two, and when do you know you need help?

“The Baby Blues”

Depression after Delivery, which is a US postpartum depression support organization, saying that “baby blues is a biological response to a woman’s rapidly changing hormone levels after pregnancy. Symptoms include tearfulness, irritability, impatience, restlessness, and anxiety.” Yeah, tell me about it! A new baby’s arrival brings a disjointed schedule, a sore and changing body, and lots of crying—and then there’s the baby itself to consider! Everyone is allowed some leeway here: no human being is impervious to these things. The baby blues hits around 50-75% of new moms in the weeks after birth, and there’s no shame in it.

Baby Blues Symptoms:

(Source: Postpartum Support International):

Physical Symptoms:

  • Lack of sleep
  • No energy
  • Food cravings or loss of appetite
  • Feeling tired even after sleeping

Mental States:

  • Anxiety and excessive worry
  • Confusion
  • Great concern over physical changes
  • Confusion and nervousness
  • Feeling, “I’m not myself; this isn’t me”
  • Lack of confidence
  • Sadness
  • Feeling overwhelmed

Behavioral Reactions:

  • Crying more than usual
  • Hyperactivity or excitability
  • Over sensitivity
  • Feelings hurt easily
  • Irritability
  • Lack of feeling for the baby

Post-Partum Depression

However, post-partum depression is a different thing altogether. This is a clinical condition that is the baby blues multiplied. Women with PPD find they feel hopeless, doubtful, exhausted yet unable to sleep, they have mood swings, violent thoughts (of hurting themselves and others, including their babies), and a feeling of being disconnected or disjointed from life. If you find yourself constantly angry, sad, and depressed after the first couple of weeks, you may need some help from a professional—and there’s no shame in it.

Post Partum Depression Symptoms

(Source: Postpartum Support International):

Physical Symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Numbness, tingling in limbs
  • Chest pains, heart palpitations
  • Hyperventilating

Mental States:

  • Despondency or despair
  • Feelings of inadequacy
  • Inability to cope
  • Hopelessness
  • Over concern for baby’s health
  • Impaired concentration or memory
  • Loss of normal interests
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Bizarre or strange thoughts

Behavioral Reactions:

  • Extreme behavior
  • Panic attacks
  • Hostility
  • New fears or phobias
  • Hallucinations
  • Nightmares
  • Extreme guilt
  • No feelings for baby
  • Over concern for baby
  • Feeling “out of control”
  • Feeling like “you are going crazy”

Seek help first from your OB/GYN or family doctor, who will likely run some blood tests to rule out physical causes of your problems, like a thyroid disorder, which can produce many of the symptoms of PPD and is often present after pregnancy and childbirth. If he or she diagnoses you with PPD, you may need some therapy, a course of antidepressants, and a lot of help remembering how to love and nurture yourself.


Top Songs for Crying

LIVE, nourish By July 6, 2010 Tags: , , , , , No Comments

Girls might just want to have fun, but sometimes we just have to shed a few tears and dig into a tub of Ben and Jerry’s.  It’s healthy to cry, but if you’re having a bit of trouble turning on the waterworks, try the UrbanMommies playlist.  And of course, if the tears don’t stop, you might want to read about breaking points and postpardom depression.

1.  Because of You (Kelly Clarkson)
2.  My Immortal (Evanescence)
3.  How to Save a Life (The Frey)


With a Newborn, time Stops

FAM, self By August 19, 2009 Tags: , , , , , , , , , No Comments

As summer slips into crisp and busy autumn, we have always been taught to switch gears. When we were in school, this time of year meant new outfits and funky pencil cases. Time to learn. Time to re-aquaint with the friends who were at the cottage all summer. And then you got older. Don’t you remember pouring over the thickest Vogue of the year to master that year’s trends? Tweed? Chocolate brown?