Let’s talk hormones during the critical times for women:
• post partum
You don’t hear me go about these too much and there are reasons for this, some of them:
✔️Women’s mental health has been historically labeled and dismissed as “hormonal” and “hysteric”
✔️Postnatal depression has been overwhelmingly researched through the Biomedical framework and limited to hormonal shifts
✔️PMS has been vilified by culture and women themselves and tackled as “the hell which needs to be gotten rid of”, medicated, and put away.
Rather than exploring all of the above as … 🤔I wonder what else contributed to my state?
Was I feeling safe?
Did I have a home? Job security?
Are my children able to access schooling? Can I provide for them?
Can I afford to exercise?
Is my sleep disrupted because of DV, worrying about the state of the world, poverty?
Am I able to access healthcare?
Am I able to afford healthy food? Medication? Rest? Support?
Hence, I have been careful when bringing yet another piece of evidence that ‘confirms’ the biological nature of distress.
Yet, a holistic approach means we integrate knowledge, sensation, lived experience, medicine, environmental, social, political, cultural, and personal factors when we explore, explain, and seek healing.
Hormones have a role to play and the narrative can be widened by asking What came first?
❓The dysregulated mood or the lack of support? The social pressure of being a new mother or the symptoms of a hormonal storm?
This Review of evidence provides some clarity around the link between PMS (especially severe levels of it) and Postnatal Depression.
Other studies add to this conversation, linking these 2 with earlier perimenopause for women.
I believe knowledge is power! Especially the knowledge that takes you to explore outside of your comfort zone of opinion.
Once you know your risk factors, you can approach Selfcare and seek resources to put in place.