Anxiety is a big issue these days for many people. Now that we as a society are a lot more aware of various mental health issues, we are all regularly encouraged to speak up about any problems that we might be facing so that we can find the help and support we need. One issue that seems to still be swept under the carpet and hardly ever discussed is mum anxiety.
Mum anxiety is something that many mums deal with and is quite common in the first few months after giving birth. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the reasons why it’s so important that we all open up a lot more about this devastating anxiety.
I speak from experience as well, having suffered from anxiety – and a long time after I had my children as well. It is JUST about post-natal depression, or as issue for those with younger kids. Mum anxiety can strike at any time, and is a real problem that we NEED to be more open about.
What is mum anxiety?
First of all, let’s take a look at what mum anxiety actually is. It is sometimes referred to as postpartum anxiety and is can be experienced alongside postnatal depression. However, it isn’t just about PND. I experienced anxiety after health related issues, and it manifested in fears about my children, as well as social anxiety, and general anxiety around other issues, such as driving. More often than not, anxiety manifests itself as excessive worrying. It’s perfectly normal to worry about a new baby, or your child, but excessive worrying that turns into panic and ends up affecting your daily routine can extremely be detrimental to your health. In some extreme cases, this anxiety can even cause panic attacks.
For me, my anxiety stopped me from going out, even from contacting friends, because I was so worried about what people thought of me. It even affected my home life too.
So if your worries are taking over – then don’t be afraid to open up to your GP. Doing so was the best thing that I ever did. As a result of reaching out, I was given a course of Cognitive Behvioural Therapy (CBT) on the NHS, and it helped massively.
Why it’s important you talk about mum anxiety
Talking about mum anxiety is always good whether you suffer from it or not. Even if you don’t deal with it yourself, simply talking to your other mummy friends about it could really help them if they are having problems at the minute.
Here are some great reasons why we need to start opening up about it:
Get the help you need
Talking about mum anxiety will help you admit to yourself that you do need to seek out help. Help can come in many different forms. If you have some serious issues with anxiety and it is affecting your health, you should see your family doctor. If your anxiety is mild, then even just opening up to a close friend will help you to feel like you’ve taken a weight off your shoulders.
Talking about mental health issues is necessary as it can really help to spread awareness of them. I bet there are some mums out there who suffer with anxiety without even realising it. If awareness about mum anxiety increases then it won’t be a condition that is constantly misdiagnosed and missed as it is so often is right now.
Encourage others to speak up
By being more open about our mental health needs, it encourages those who are suffering to also speak out and get the help they need. Even though society is a lot more accepting of mental health issues, there is still a slight stigma attached. So, some mums might need a little encouragement so they can speak up and move forward with their mental health.
For your child
Talking about your mum anxiety won’t just be good for you. It could also be a big help for your baby / child as well. Some mothers find that their anxiety is all-consuming and that they struggle to stay on top of their regular childcare tasks and duties. It could also mean that they don’t give their child the attention that it deserves. So, talk about your anxiety and let them know that you aren’t having a great time at the minute. Your friends and family will be more than happy to help out with looking after your baby so that you can get the help you need.
Stop feeling guilty about mum anxiety
I’m sure that if mums talked a lot more about their anxiety, they would find that a lot of their peers feel exactly the same. Mum anxiety affects the majority of mothers at one point or another! By seeing that other people are in the same boat, you should find that you can feel less guilty about how you do feel. It’s always worth chatting and checking in with your other mummy friends. That way you can all let each other know how well you are all doing. That should help people deal with their anxieties and overcome any feelings of guilt.
We really do need to start talking more about mum anxiety as there are lots and lots of mothers affected by it. Their kids will be indirectly affected too. So, let’s commit to talking more about mum anxiety so we can overcome any kinds of stigma. This will help more women feel that they can reach out to others when they need any extra help and support in their lives.
Anxiety can affect our kids too, and we have a few resources to help then to chat too including:
- Printable worry tree, to provide an opportunity to think and talk about our worries,
- Friendship bookmarks to help kids to understand how important friendship is in sharing our worries,
- Various kindness resources to show how important kindness is to help others to get through their worries,
- Ideas for a positive bedtime routine, and finally
- Our thoughts on raising resilient kids.
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