February 2014

Mental Health Basics

Mental health is something I never thought about until I had to.

I was vaguely aware of depression because of my brief experience with it as a teenager, but I didn’t thoroughly understand why I had been so sad. I didn’t know to watch for a return of the symptoms later in my life.

So postpartum depression caught me unprepared and unaware, which is why I didn’t seek help and receive a diagnosis until a year after my second child was born.

I alternated between thinking my listlessness, brain fog, and sadness were normal for new moms and thinking that I was horribly broken, a failure, a loser. When I finally accepted that something was wrong with me—something that could be identified and fixed!—the next hurdle was finding out where or how to start looking for help.

This issue is about Mental Health Basics. Our goal is to create a one-stop-shop for introducing mental health concepts for the many women who, like me, never think about it until you have to.

If you’re struggling in life and think that a mental health problem may be part of your difficulty, I hope this issue will get you started on a path toward wellness. Your problem may be something that can be identified, named, and treated, and we want to assist you in figuring out where and how to get help.

Photo by Rebecca Phillips.

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