Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA) Week - November 2018
This week in November marks Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia (PANDA) Week. PANDA, now in it’s 18th year, is all about supporting the mental and emotional wellbeing of expecting and new parents.
Pregnancy and parenthood is a time of great change and for some the challenges can be overwhelming. Anxiety and depression affects more than 1 in 5 new mums and up to 1 in 10 new dads in Australia, with many parents experiencing anxiety and depression at the same time.
Some common signs and symptoms can include:
Crying for no reason, difficulty with attention and focus, feeling constantly sad or low, losing interest in the normal things that bring joy (such as spending time with friends or partner), panic attacks, persistent worry (often focussed on the health of the baby), sudden mood swings and withdrawing from friends and family.
It is important to recognise these signs and symptoms and, as a general rule, if problems persist for more than 2 weeks it is important to see a health professional. It takes courage and honesty to seek help, and the longer the problems last, the worse things can get.
Asking for help is the first and most difficult step. Confiding in your partner or close friend can be a good start. It is important to also speak with a health professional such as a Child Health Nurse, counsellor, GP or psychologist. PANDA (Peri-Natal Anxiety and Depression Australia) provides the only National Helpline Service that can be contacted on 1300 726 306 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finding time for self-care is especially important for new mums and dads - One should not underestimate the significant contribution that diet, exercise and sleep can have upon mental well-being.
Recovery often involves more than one kind of approach, and advances in the understanding of mental health have led to revolutionary new drug-free treatments for anxiety and depression such as targeted brain-stimulation and brain-training therapies - some of the approaches that are used successful at The Perth Brain Centre.
The Perth Brain Centre has been helping new mums and dads with anxiety and depression for over 10 years. All treatment programmes are personalised using brain imaging and delivered by a team of experienced, caring and qualified healthcare practitioners. If you or someone you know are looking for help telephone (08) 65003277 or visit www.perthbraincentre.com.au.