Blog Archives - PANDAS Foundation UK

It’s OK Not To Be OK

It’s OK Not To Be OK – by Heather Ness

Originally Posted Jan 19th, at The Imperfectly Perfect Parent

 


Not too long ago, I hugged a stranger. This lady probably even younger than myself, was quite clearly distressed. I tapped her car door to which she opened and burst into more tears. She was sitting with a letter on her legs, which I could only see was NHS results of some description. I tried to console her and ask her what was wrong. From the floods of tears emerged a slight description to her pain – she had gotten terrible, terrible news. In that moment I didn’t have a word to say and for me, that does not happen often if ever. I had no answers to give this girl, no way of helping her other than reaching out and holding her. Something in that hug told me not to ask anymore questions, it told me not to say anything, it was enough to know she wasn’t in control of this news. I cannot get her out my head. I offered to give her my number, to take her somewhere or to stay with her but she just continued to say ‘Thank you, it’s OK, I’ll be OK.’

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PANDAS grass
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Fear and Parenting

Fear and Parenting – by Amy Dear, for PANDAS Foundation

Fear is something that, as parents, we are constantly bombarded with. Just had a baby? Congratulations, both on your new child and your new state of constant terror. It’s nearly constant, from the moment you take your child home from the hospital and think ‘Really? You’re just letting me leave?’. Fear becomes your constant companion. Unending, primal, and best described as the sense that we are all (despite the baby books and manuals and well meaning advice from friends and relatives) getting it horribly, horribly wrong.
You only have to look at the absolute plethora of baby books out there to see how common fear is. From books about co-sleeping, whether or not to cry-it-out, reward charts and naughty steps and not using the word ‘naughty’ at all, it turns out there are a million ways to parent (and despite angry arguments on forums across the land, parenting differently to someone else won’t, in fact, end up with your child irreversibly damaged. You’re doing just fine).

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Kerry and Edith
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My Journey – by Kerry Webb

I’m a mental health nurse, so you think I would recognise the signs and be able to know when to act? Unfortunately not…

 

In February 2015 I had my first daughter, Amelia Alyce. I had some symptoms I brushed under the carpet during my pregnancy for quite some time, I now recognise these as panic attacks, dark intrusive thoughts and rumination.

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Invisible

Mental Illness is invisible.

When someone is ill, or hurting, or injured, they go to the doctor. They’re not too ill to get up, they don’t need the hospital or an ambulance. They can still carry on the basic daily functions – but they just don’t feel very well.

Maybe they have a temperature – a runny nose, a cough. Maybe they’re feverish. Or perhaps they were injured somehow – a cut, a graze, a sprain. At worst, broken bone. They might need a bandage, a cast. They might even just need a plaster.

Perhaps they need medication to fix it. It might be antibiotics, or pain relief while their body heals itself. They’re given a clear timeline – two weeks, a month, a couple of months, and you’ll be better. If you’re not, please come back.

So they come home from the doctor to their loved ones and they say “This is what happened, this is what’s the matter. I’ll be better soon.” They might have a day or more off work, or just need to sleep for a bit. Maybe (if they’re very lucky!) they get a card, or flowers, or chocolate. Read More

Relaxation – PANDAS Advent Blog

‘Relaxation’, by Charlotte Saker

 

For many people the Christmas season is a time of joy, family and celebration.  But for a lot of us it’s also a time of stress, anxiety, and disappointment.  There are high expectations over the festive season of happy families, cooking a big meal, buying and giving lots of presents and generally having that Christmas card perfect holiday.  But not all of us can live up to those ideals.

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The Rollercoaster of a Stay-At-Home-Mum

 Guest Blog post, by Rachel Baldwin

My decision to start this comes after one of those days where (and I’m sure I’m not alone) has ended in me feeling like- is this it?

Being a Stay-At-Home-Mum is one of the hardest jobs (of course arguable by many), but to the stay at home mums and the mums who have experienced it, I don’t think there is anything quite like it.

I am 6.5years into my Mum life.

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Food For Mood Guest Blog

Food for Mood

Written by Justyna Prawdziwa from Justyna Nutrition Coach 

 

For most women, pregnancy is the time when they start to think about nutrition and supplements. Sometimes they change their previous diet habits for better and think about macro and micronutrients and how important they are for healthy baby growth. Sometimes they eat twice as much as have great appetite, they drink a lot of water, eat 5 portions of vegetables a day and try green smoothies every morning… Sometimes…

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#MumBag PANDAS Guest Blog
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Show us your #MumBag

SHOW US YOUR #MUMBAG AND RAISE FUNDS FOR PANDAS FOUNDATION 

Guest Blog by Mrs Yellow

 

Someone I really admire came out about their PND on Facebook the other day and it really threw me.  (And I can’t not mention the amazing Adele which has happened since writing this.)

Not because it’s still taboo (it is) or I think she should keep the darkness from the positive PR machine that is social media (I don’t) but because if you asked me who had it, she would be on the absolute bottom of my list.  She is a great character and is super hot and happy and funny on social media even with a small baby in tow. It just surprised me.

I admire her even more now.

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We Know What Good Looks Like – by Sally Hogg

Mums and Babies in Mind: We know what good looks like but how do we get there?

by Sally Hogg, Strategic Lead for Mums and Babies in Mind

(taken from original content available here)

It’s great to be writing this, the first blog post for the Mums and Babies in Mind (MABIM) Project. We hope that our blog will be a key part of the project; a useful source of information, ideas and inspiration for anyone who is working to try and improve services for mums with perinatal mental health problems and their babies.

At least 1 in 10 women will experience a mental health problem during pregnancy or the first year of life, and – if untreated – these problems can have serious and long term consequences for the woman, her baby and her family, as well as bringing costs for public services. Perinatal mental health problems are not homogenous, and neither are the women who are affected by them. Preventing, identifying and addressing these problems in a timely and effective way requires a range of services to be in place in each local area, across maternity, health visiting, mental health and children’s services. It often involves driving changes in culture, practice and skills in existing services as well as creating new ones. Ensuring that the right care pathways are in place is complex. This work requires commissioners and providers to have a shared understanding, strong commitment, and effective partnerships to secure a joined up, coherent and comprehensive offer.

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Yoga and Wellbeing Evening – Shireen Watson

With Postnatal Depression (PND) affecting a staggering 1 in 10 women, I wanted to organise a fun and restorative Yoga and Wellbeing Evening for mums to take time out to recharge, whilst highlighting the plight of those suffering from PND and helping to dispel the stigma attached to mental illness as a whole – given that 1 in 4 of the general public also experience a mental health problem each year. I felt PANDAS really encapsulated this message and that their strap line “It’s ok not to be ok” so powerful, since often the shame and taboo surrounding mental illness makes it harder for sufferers to seek help.

 

Motherhood is such a precious gift but it is so easy to neglect your own wellbeing whilst responsible for another human being. It can also be a lonely time, which is why I wanted to bring mums together (with kids of all ages) to become acquainted and help support one another. The aim of the evening was to rejuvenate and relax the mums whilst providing an information/ support hub on community resources, childcare, activities and wellbeing therapies available for local mums and children, to also help enhance the joys of motherhood.

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