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Welcome to the Second Edition of Mental Health Monday here at A Broken Compass.  (In case you missed it, here is the inaugural edition.)

I started this weekly series in an attempt to build mental health awareness and to take a bite out of the stigma that has cloaked sufferers and their families in shame for years and years.  In my great zeal for this topic, I failed to consider that many, many talented and knowledgeable – and, let’s face it, medically degreed – people have taken on this mission long before I named it as My Cause.

So, in my bull-in-a-china-shop way, I’m going to jump in, and start with postpartum depression.  I stumbled upon a wonderful website that would have helped me so, so very much back in the summer of 2001.

Postpartum Progress:  http://www.postpartumprogress.com/weblog/

Why I like it:  It’s no-nonsense, and yet shows a particularly insightful balance between compassion, facts, and resources.  Further, it differentiates between postpartum depression, postpartum psychosis, postpartum OCD, postpartum anxiety, etc.  This site is astute enough to remember fathers, as well.

A few parts I found particularly helpful:  The left-hand column, where the authors list some amazingly helpful info, including 6 Things Every New Mom Should Know About Postpartum Depression, 6 Things You Should Avoid if You have Postpartum Depression or Related Illness.  [I would include links to those two lists, but clicking on those website links automatically prompts you to download a word doc.  By all means, go and check it out.]  I love that level of directness and accessibility.  Also, the authors use what they call “plain mama English,” which is exactly what it sounds like:  a clear description of what is often only described in medical terms.  [Those medical terms, I found, weren’t exactly helpful when a person’s brain is muddled with depression, in pain from the physical aspects of bodily recovery, and sleep-deprived to a torturous point.  But that’s just me.  I could barely make sense of something like “See Spot run” back then….]

What surprised me:  The section where you can get a badge (to place on your website) in commemoration and celebration of surviving these illness.  I honestly never once thought of myself as a “Survivor.”  That perspective, that term brings me a sense of peace I would have never, ever thought possible nine years ago.  And I’ll be reminded of that feeling every time I glance at my site and see MY badge over there on the left.

I fully recognize that I cannot be comprehensive about mental illness on this site.  I am not an expert by any means, nor do I EVER want any reader to see me as such.  But I’m going to keep throwing little flower baskets of mental health awareness blossoms (just go with the metaphor, OK?  It’s all in the name of an excellent cause) your way, hoping that you will find the flowers of knowledge important, valuable, and useful at some point in your life.

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My Multi-lingual Daughters

September 24, 2010

Recently, Kate, my first grader, was telling us all at the dinner table how excited she was to have Spanish class this year.  Hubby and I were being encouraging and telling her how great it was going to be, that she’d be learning another language already. Our resident know-it-all (aka Claire), was interrupting everyone, trying […]

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Silly Bandz Craze

September 23, 2010

Have you heard of these things?  I had seen Silly Bandz in passing at Wal-Mart a couple of times, but until this week I didn’t realize they were the equivalent of gold bars in elementary school. Claire has been hinting around about getting some of these for days, but she has really stepped up her […]

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My Dirty Little Secret

September 18, 2010

Today’s post is a little different than the typical account of my crazy little life.  OK, well, it is, and it isn’t.  Whew, this is kind of tough to write about, knowing it’ll be “out there” forevermore.  Deep breath in, exhale slowly.  Here goes. So… I have a dirty little secret: Clinical depression and anxiety […]

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Of Homecoming, A Plane, and A Play

July 19, 2010

After lying low for so many days, we made up for our week of inactivity today.  And then some. My girlies are home.  They had a blast at Grammy’s, of course.  Further, I heard from quite a reliable source that not one cross word, nasty look, or “accidental” kick happened between the two sisters over […]

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