|Postpartum Depression Blog|
In this Stress Log Mia writes about the day when her daughter, Emma was born. She identifies the intense emotions she has and her negative thoughts at the moment
Mia has challenged the thoughts in blue
Click on them to see her Thought Challenge exercises
Holding baby in the hospital, day after birth
I should be very happy now
I won’t be able to take care of her
Mia is having many thoughts that explain why she is feeling so depressed. The word "should," as well as rules in general, is a common thinking pattern in people with depression. Questioning these rules might be a very important part of their treatment.
Predicting the future is also a very common thinking pattern that can make people feel depressed. When Mia thinks "I won't be able to take care of her", she is predicting something that has not happened yet. When Mia learns to catch herself making these kind of negative predictions of the future, she will be able to question their validity and as a consequence feel less depressed.
It is Mia's first night at home after delivering Emma. Mia has woken up twice already to breast feed Emma, but she just started crying again.
In this Stress Log Mia reports how depressed, tired and irritated she was feeling. She was also able to describe several negative thoughts she had at the moment.
Trying to sleep, baby crying
I no longer have a life
I’ll be changing diapers and taking care of kids for the rest of my life
Obvious exaggerations, like "I don’t have a life" and "for the rest of my life" are often part of the culture we live in and not unique to people undergoing emotional stress, like Mia. Nonetheless, Mia would suffer less if she interpreted her situation in a more balanced way
Mia takes Emma to her first check-up with a pediatrician. Even before seeing the doctor her mind can't stop imagining all sorts of possible problems.
Took Emma to first pediatrician check-up, was told she needs to gain weight faster
Emma will get sick and have some permanent damage
Emma could die
It is all my fault
Being a bad person and being incapable of being a good mother are two of Mia's core beliefs. They make her prone to interpret situations like this negatively
Mia’s charged negative thoughts explain why she felt so depressed after the visit to the pediatrician. But it goes both ways. Her negative emotions also predispose her to think negatively. Challenging her negative thinking can help her break the vicious cycle