the healing journey counseling fl

healing, anxiety, loss, grief, depression, ptsd, self-care, suicide prevention, post partum depression


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Interview with Dr. Christina Hibbert, Author of Who Am I Without You? 52 Ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Breakup

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I have been reading several of Dr. Christina Hibbert’s books and her writing is valuable for all women both young and old. She is a clinical psychologist who has a vast amount of experience on Women’s Mental Health, Grief & Loss, Motherhood, Parenting, Perinatal Mental Health, Self-Esteem, & Personal Growth. Link to purchase book and learn more about the author: http://www.drchristinahibbert.com/

I am so thrilled to share my interview with the Award Winning Author of This is How We Grow. The following questions were asked:

Annmarie: Question 1. What do you fun?

Christina:   Answer:  I love to write, read, love outdoors activities and travel a lot with my family. I  also loves music and currently working on a new song. I play the guitar and piano.

Annmarie: Question 2. Do you experience writers block?

Christina:  Answer:  Yes, I do experience writers block. For instance, while writing “This is How We Grow” this was a long process. I had to rewrite it and I was stuck for months. In addition, life got the best of me due to loss of a dear friend and son heading to college for the first time. I wrote the 3rd book within two months though I don’t recommend doing this.

Annmarie: Question 3. Where do you get your ideas?

Christina:  Answer:  Most of my ideas comes from personal experiences and I am always reading and sharing with others through my books. For instance, “Who Am I Without You?” was written to exam yourself and how to get through hard time.

Annmarie: Question 4. What’s the favorite part of this book?

Christina:  Answer: My favorite part is the 2nd part of the book that talks about “Building Unwavering Self-Esteem, Moving On and Uncovering The Real You.

Annmarie: Question 5. Any advice to give aspiring writers?

Christina: Answer:  I attend writing conferences which has helped me a lot. It’s hard to write a book when it is a personal story, but one advice I would like to tell you is that writing is a long process. For example, I started in 2008 and some of my writings comes from my journals. I also set a timer for 10 min after the kids are asleep and write. I also increase this to 20 minutes a night and I develop a writing process.

Annmarie: Question 6. Anything you would like to say to readers and fans?

Christina: Answer:  I am truly grateful for everyone that reads and does the work in the books. I like to share what I learn and I am a real person who goes through stuff too. I am grateful to you can flourish and its a gradual process.  Finally, know that “you are not alone.”

 

 

Enjoy a book trailer created by the author’s daughter Kennedy and see what this book is all about. Here is the link :

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Review of Tokens of Affection:Reclaiming your Marriage after Postpartum Depression

Tokens of Affection Amazing contribution by Karen Kleiman and Amy Wenzel who wrote “Tokens of Affection: Reclaiming Your Marriage after Postpartum Depression”. As a clinician, I am particularly impressed with the emphasis on giving one partner permission to use the tokens of affection to work on their marriage, even if one partner is not ready. We mostly see women in therapy who benefit from the skills mentioned in this book, but it will enlighten their perspective on their marriage. It is so important to note that the author addressed the fact that working on your marriage is not easy, but there is hope and with the right support and commitment your marriage will be much better. The tokens mentioned in the book included Esteem, Compromise, Selflessness, Sanctuary, Expression, Tolerance and Loyalty which provides guidance for couples to work on forgiveness, resentment and frustrations. As couples, we must be gentle with ourselves and each other. Each person’s perspective will mislead us into a turmoil of frustrations. We all have a choice to be mindful of our thoughts and behaviors. We must protect ourselves and our significant others. The ripple effect of life and the unknown circumstances that creeps up on our lives are never-ending. However, we must adapt to the changes that comes our way. I would definitely recommend this book for couples who are simply recovering from the aftermath of postpartum depression and need to reconnect their relationship. Annmarie Wilson L.P.C-IT https://thehealingjourneycounselingfl.com/


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5 Lessons as a Military Spouse

I was inspired to write about my own lessons learned while being a military spouse. The following 5 lessons can be helpful for others to be aware of what really goes on in a military life.

  1.  Be careful of what you say about a military spouse and never underestimate them.

(a) We may never have a stable career, but over the years I have volunteered, assistant teacher and counseled others. My main job is a stay-at-home mom with 3 children 2 boys ages 20, 16 and 13-year-old daughter who has downsyndrome. During the first couple of years of marriage, we have been separated three occasions which is a rare for those familiar with the military.

After we relocated overseas, I actively participated in spouse clubs et. My family always come first and I did everything by myself. If you saw me in action, you will be amazed so don’t judge someone for what you see on the outside, you will run the risk of never learning about their inner character and strength.

  1. Things are still the same

(a) Deployments haven’t changed for a very long time and it’s still a short notice, long and frequent. The time spent away from your loved one is very painful and lonely. I realized that I had to take on 2 roles of a mother and father and we missed our wedding anniversary which was not spent by myself, but with family. Being a mom is a very important job, but when you are raising your military children through a war this is challenging. Overseas assignments reminded me of the absence of family such as your parents who missed the growth and celebration of their grandchildren.

  1. Acceptance you didn’t marry a banker.

(a) Let’s be clear, when we said “I Do” that also took into account the to roll with the punches regardless of what career move my husband had. I would support him and at time he would work long hours or several weeks at a time which meant that he would miss school activities, sports etc. But he deserved a pass and its unfair to blame him due to the frequent moves every 3 years or so. We are almost near our retirement so until then, i will just let it flow.

  1. Expect the unexpected

(a) Oh yes, we do have a number of unexpected events, but there are sacrifices that come with the life of a military spouse. One thing that I have done when we relocate from one place to another is to plug into the community and reach out for some encouragement as I face these challenges. I also plug into a group of other military spouse who are family and we support each other. With that said, there may be some drama, but when women are together what else do you expect. Just make the best of it and move on.

  1. Make the best of life

(a) Life is what you make of it and with that it helps to keep your attitude in check. Life is an adventure, never a dull moment, but it is worth it. The life of a military is challenging, but we travel to various places around the world and we meet people who enrich our lives. Take full advantage of your life because no one is promised tomorrow. So surprise a military spouse the next time that you see her/him.


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You are not alone

She is sitting at the side of her bed in her pj’s  and its past 2’o clock in the afternoon. Where did the time go? Her hair is not comb and she has no makeup. On her face she looks sad and deep in thought. Suddenly, she begins to cry again which is a usual occurrence throughout the day. She recently gave birth to her daughter and something is drastically wrong with her. She doesn’t understand why she feels this way and begins to question herself. Why do I feel alone, sad and miserable? The baby cries and she simply don’t have the energy to fed the baby once again. Some may see this as a signs of postpartum depression which isn’t the same for all mothers. The following is a list of signs to look for in postpartum depression:

  1. Anger-  Becoming angry at everyone that includes your baby, your spouse or even your older children. You have been throwing things or yelling at everyone. You can’t get a handle of this anger that is built up inside. You are mad all the time and you have no control over it.
  2. Brain Fog-  You tend to forget  things from time to time. It’s all a misery to you.  You try your best to remember the right words, but nothing comes to mind. Then you try to multitask, but you cant do this. You find yourself in the middle of the intersection and realize that you flew pass the stop sign.
  3. Scary thoughts- Your thoughts are interrupted by “what if”, which begins to take over. What if something terrible happened? These thoughts are known as intrusive thoughts that interrupts your daily life which are a sign of postpartum anxiety and OCD.
  4. Numbness- Here I go again, I cant feel anything but just emptiness. You are going through the motions but yet you are not feeling it inside. You feel disconnected from everyone.  You couldn’t care less about things and you don’t want to mention this to your doctor.
  5. Insomnia-  Ahh…the little one is fast asleep and they say take a nap but nothing happens. You lay there at night wondering when will I get some sleep. You should be exhausted after one week of taking care of the little one, but still you lay awake at night wondering when will I fall asleep.
  6. Physical symptoms-  My stomach doesn’t feel good again and my head hurts really bad. I begin to panic once again and I feel like I am having a heart attack. You feel aches and pain all over your body and you know that you don’t have a cold or flu.

I was inspired to write this blog on behalf of a fellow colleague Dr. Christina Hibbert who is a psychologist, mother and author of “This is How We Grow.”  Dr Hibbert shared that she was a expert evaluator on a postpartum case for over five years.  The woman is a 23 years old mother who has been sentenced to 40 years without parole for child abuse. How or Why? is this happening?  According to Dr. Hibbert the woman is suffering from postpartum mental illness which included  postpartum posttraumatic stress disorder (due to a horrible experience with childbirth),  postpartum obsessive-compulsive disorder, postpartum depression and later postpartum psychosis.  The baby at the time was adopted after recovering from injuries and the 23 year old woman parental rights was severed.  The woman also had an emergency hysterectomy during childbirth so she was childless.  During her trial she was not evaluated for mental illness, but this incident was considered a child abuse case and she was the abuser.  The prosecutor of the case sentence her to four back to back 10 years sentencing which total 40 years imprisonment.

Presently in 2014, she served 13 years in the state prison system and through several help by attorneys, advocates and experts that worked pro bono, she received “clemency”  of her current 10 year sentence.  Recently, she had an hearing and after a total of six hours and after drilling Dr. Hibbert and other expert witness her clemency was denied.

Postpartum psychosis is a very real issue “that affects 1-2 of every 1,000 births in which  the mother becomes detached from rational thinking” (Hibbert, 2014). The symptoms of postpartum psychosis includes the following:

  • Delusion or strange beliefs
  • Hallucination
  • Feeling very irritated
  • Hyperactivity
  • Decreased need for or  inability to sleep
  • Paranoia and suspiciousness
  • Rapid mood swings
  • Difficulty communicating at times

It is important to know that there is help out there and the sooner someone gets the help the better life will become for you.  If you know of anyone that may be suffering from this illness, please encourage them to speak to a professional.

 

References:

Hibbert, C. (2014). Postpartum psychosis + Mental Health Stigma = 40 years in prison: Its time to speak up! Retrieved from http://www.drchristinahibbert.com/blog/

Postpartum Psychosis. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.postpartum.net/Get-the-Facts/Postpartum-Psychosis.aspx