"Postpartum Depression" typically comes to mind when one mentions mental health and parenting. It may leave you wondering where your experience fits in the grand scheme of it all. Let's reframe this term for clarity.
Postpartum is only a piece of the puzzle. Perinatal, by definition, spans from conception to the first year of life. Each stage carries its own bout of mixed emotions, challenging decisions, uncertainty, effort, and grit.
A perinatal lens reveals a spectrum of people whose mental health is affected by the very notion of parenthood. Mothers. Fathers. Adopters. Surrogates. Those who are not yet parents, but are yearning to manifest this identity.
Depression seldom comes without anxiety when experienced in the perinatal period. Dissecting it further, mood isn't always unipolar during this period either (this concept is a post within itself). To better capture this experience, the term "depression" should be replaced with "mood and anxiety".
"Disorder" is merely another way to describe "getting in the way of daily functioning".
Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADS)
Where do you fit in this spectrum? Are there wounds from your perinatal chapter that need healing?