The Everlasting Impact: PMADs Leave Lasting Effects

  • August 14, 2023

Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs) are not merely transient conditions that end once the perinatal period is over. While they often begin during pregnancy or postpartum, their effects can persist long after and influence various aspects of an individual’s life. Understanding the depth and breadth of PMADs' impacts is vital for both those experiencing them and for the broader community, so support can be holistic and long-lasting.

PMADs: More Than Just a "Phase"

PMADs are a group of disorders that encompass a wide range of mood and anxiety symptoms. From depression and generalized anxiety to panic disorders and postpartum psychosis, these conditions manifest in myriad ways. Their onset might be rooted in the perinatal period, but their implications extend far beyond. Although rooted in the perinatal period, the first step towards holistic care is recognizing that PMADs are not just a temporary "phase", but rather, they can leave lasting impacts. 

The Ripple Effect

  1. Relationships: PMADs can put a strain on relationships. Watching a loved one go suffer without fully understanding or knowing how to help can be harrowing. Partners might feel secondary trauma, battling feelings of helplessness, confusion, or even guilt.
  2. Career and Ambitions: PMADs can diminish one’s confidence, making re-entry into the professional world daunting. 
  3. Parent-Child Bonding: While many parents with PMADs bond well with their children, some may face challenges. Feelings of detachment, anxiety, or overwhelming sadness can create hurdles in forming that deep connection.
  4. Social Life: PMADs can lead to social isolation. The struggle to feel “normal” or the fear of judgment can result in reduced social interactions, leading to feelings of loneliness.

Building Awareness and Resilience

Understanding that PMADs are not just a “phase” but can leave a lasting imprint is the first step toward holistic care.

  • Continued Therapy: Ongoing therapy can offer tools and coping strategies, helping individuals navigate the complexities of their emotions even years after the onset of PMADs.
  • Community Support: Building a community of understanding can make a world of difference. Support groups, both online and offline, can be spaces of shared experiences and mutual encouragement.
  • Open Conversations: Normalizing the discussion around PMADs can reduce stigma. Encouraging open dialogue in families, workplaces, and social circles can foster understanding and empathy.

Our Shared Commitment

PMADs are not fleeting challenges tied to childbirth. They are difficult experiences that can shape lives, relationships, and futures and leave lasting impacts on parents, caregivers, children, and families. Recognizing this and creating a world that offers support, understanding, and empathy is our responsibility – a collective commitment towards fostering thriving parenthood journeys.

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