Saturday, May 27, 2006

The website launched today

This is the first post. This is where weekly updates about meeting times and news about resources will be posted.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Contact Us

For more information about our monthly meetings contact us Monday through Friday.  We will do our best to get back to you in a timely manner, but please keep in mind that we have young children and are running this service in our free time.  

Melissa Paschke
Email: melissapyoga at gmail dot com
Phone: 718.781.0363

For telephone support contact:
Chris Lindsay-Abaire
Email: motherthemother.chris at yahoo dot com
Phone: 917.771.6359

Join Our Mailing List

There are two ways you can join our newsletter and receive weekly email notifications about upcoming meetings:
  1. Subscribe to our group's list by sending a blank email to: BrooklynPPDSupport-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. You will receive a confirmation message shortly after you send your request. Just reply to this message and your subscription will be complete.
  2. If you have a username on Yahoo you can visit our newsletter page on Yahoo to subscribe. If you are not signed in, you will be asked to enter your Yahoo ID in order to subscribe.
Please note that your personal information will not be shared with any other individuals or groups.

You will be able to unsubscribe by clicking a link at the bottom of any email you receive from the group, sending a blank email to BrooklynPPDSupport-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com or managing your subscription at Yahoo's site.

Helpful Websites

The Complete Guide to Postpartum Depression: Information, FAQs, resources

Postpartum Resource Center of New York: Information, resources, links, helpline

Postpartum Progress: "The world’s most widely-read blog dedicated to maternal mental illness"

Postpartum Support International: International clearinghouse for education and support

Online PPD Support Group

Postpartum Stress Center: Information, self-assessment, resources

Birth Day Presence: Birth and postpartum doulas, childbirth education classes

Drugs and Lactation Database

Local Mental Health Practitioners and Other Resources

The following mental health practitioners are experienced in treating PPD and are available for individual psychotherapy and/or psychiatry.

Melissa Paschke, LCSW (social worker)
Brooklyn, NY (Carroll Gardens)
(718) 781-0363
melissapyoga@gmail.com 

Psychology Today:  https://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/prof_detail.php?profid=293007&sid=1478260749.8975_26291&zipcode=11231&search=11231&tr=ResultsName


Mechelle Chestnut, MA, MT-BC, LCAT (Licensed Psychotherapist, Board Certified Music Therapist)
Manhattan/Brooklyn/Online
646.505.8632
therapyinmusic@gmail.com

Kari Groff-Denis, MD (Psychiatrist)
10 Plaza Street, Suite 1C
Brooklyn, NY (Park Slope)
(646) 469-9209
kgroffmd@gmail.com

Beth Halpern, Ph.D. (Psychologist)
Brooklyn (downtown / Brooklyn Heights)
718.595.0578

Sarah Hartman, MD (Psychiatrist)
249 Garfield Place, 1st Floor
Brooklyn (Park Slope)
347.457.6144


Park Slope Inspired Psychiatry
Ching Yi Lynne Tan, M.D
Brooklyn (Park Slope)
347.931.1440
lynne.tan@ymail.com


Jennifer Rhodes, MD (psychopharmacology and/or psychotherapy)
26 Court Street, Suite 710
Brooklyn NY 11242
718.841.7461

Melanie Schwarz, MD (psychiatrist)
Brooklyn (Park Slope)
372 Fifth Street
212.477.0158

Elyse Weiner, MD FAPM (psychiatry, psychotherapy and psychopharmacology)
Manhattan and Brooklyn (Brooklyn Heights)
212.674.2447





The following mental health clinics accept patients with Medicaid. If you do not see a clinic in or near your neighborhood, call 1-(800)LIFENET to speak with an operator who can help you find one.

Bay Ridge Counseling Center / Jewish Board (accepts patients of all faiths and religious backgrounds)
9435 Ridge Blvd (Bay Ridge)
718.238.6444

Brooklyn Psychiatric Centers, Inc
clinics located in Williamsburg/Greenpoint, Flatbush/Sheepshead, Canarsie, Bushwick, and Brooklyn Heights
718.875.5625
www.bpcinc.org

Dyker Heights National Neighborhood Counseling Center
7701 13th Avenue
718.232.1351

Park Slope Center for Mental Health
348 13th Street
718.788.2461
www.parkslopecenter.org

Psych Inc.
1669 Bedford Avenue (Prospect Heights)
718.467.7200
_______________________________________________________

Other Local Resources for Pregnant Women and Mothers

Carriage House Birth ("It Takes a Village" - community support for new and expecting moms)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
http://carriagehousebirth.com/#
347.699.0816

Megan Hondru (Chiropractor)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
http://drmeganhondrudc.com
347.746.1560
dr.megandc@gmail.com

Local Mental Health Practitioners and Other Resources

The following mental health practitioners are experienced in treating PPD and are available for individual psychotherapy and/or psychiatry.

Melissa Paschke, LCSW (social worker)
Brooklyn, NY (Carroll Gardens)
718.781.0363
melissapyoga@gmail.com 

Psychology Today:   https://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/prof_detail.php?profid=293007&sid=1478260749.8975_26291&zipcode=11231&search=11231&tr=ResultsName

Mechelle Chestnut, MA, MT-BC, LCAT (Licensed Psychotherapist, Board Certified Music Therapist)
Manhattan/Brooklyn/Online
646.505.8632
therapyinmusic@gmail.com

Kari Groff-Denis, MD (Psychiatrist)
10 Plaza Street, Suite 1C
Brooklyn, NY (Park Slope)
646.469.9209
kgroffmd@gmail.com

Beth Halpern, Ph.D. (Psychologist)
Brooklyn (downtown / Brooklyn Heights)
718.595.0578

Sarah Hartman, MD (Psychiatrist)
249 Garfield Place, 1st Floor
Brooklyn (Park Slope)
347.457.6144


Park Slope Inspired Psychiatry
Ching Yi Lynne Tan, M.D
Brooklyn (Park Slope)
347.931.1440
lynne.tan@ymail.com


Jennifer Rhodes, MD (psychopharmacology and/or psychotherapy)
26 Court Street, Suite 710
Brooklyn NY 11242
718.841.7461

Melanie Schwarz, MD (psychiatrist)
Brooklyn (Park Slope)
372 Fifth Street
212.477.0158

Elyse Weiner, MD FAPM (psychiatry, psychotherapy and psychopharmacology)
Manhattan and Brooklyn (Brooklyn Heights)
212.674.2447





The following mental health clinics accept patients with Medicaid. If you do not see a clinic in or near your neighborhood, call 1-(800)LIFENET to speak with an operator who can help you find one.

Bay Ridge Counseling Center / Jewish Board (accepts patients of all faiths and religious backgrounds)
9435 Ridge Blvd (Bay Ridge)
718.238.6444

Brooklyn Psychiatric Centers, Inc
clinics located in Williamsburg/Greenpoint, Flatbush/Sheepshead, Canarsie, Bushwick, and Brooklyn Heights
718.875.5625
www.bpcinc.org

Dyker Heights National Neighborhood Counseling Center
7701 13th Avenue
718.232.1351

Park Slope Center for Mental Health
348 13th Street
718.788.2461
www.parkslopecenter.org

Psych Inc.
1669 Bedford Avenue (Prospect Heights)
718.467.7200
_______________________________________________________

Other Local Resources for Pregnant Women and Mothers

Carriage House Birth ("It Takes a Village" - community support for new and expecting moms)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
http://carriagehousebirth.com/#
347.699.0816

Megan Hondru (Chiropractor)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
http://drmeganhondrudc.com
347.746.1560
dr.megandc@gmail.com

Books

This isn’t What I Expected: Recognizing and Recovering from Depression and Anxiety After Childbirth
by Karen R. Kleiman (1994)

Beyond the Blues: A Guide to Understanding and Treating Prenatal and Postpartum Depression
by Shoshana S. Bennett, Pec Indman (2003)

Postpartum Survival Guide
by Ann Dunnewold and Diane G. Sanford, Paperback (1994)

Mothering the New Mother: Women's Feelings and Needs After Childbirth. A support and Resource Guide
by Sally Placksin (Revised 2000)

Postpartum Depression: Every Woman's Guide to Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention
by Sharon L. Roan (1997)

Conquering Postpartum Depression: A Proven Plan for Recovery
by Ronald Rosenberg MD, Deborah Greening MD, James Windell (2003)

The Mother-to-Mother Pospartum Depression Support Book
by Sandra Poulin (2006)

When Words Are Not Enough : The Women's Prescription for Depression and Anxiety
by Valerie Davis Raskin (1997)

Laughter and Tears : The Emotional Life of New Mothers
by Elisabeth Bing and Libby Coleman, Ph.D. (1997)

Overcoming Postpartum Depression & Anxiety
by Linda Sebastian (1998)

How You Can Survive When They're Depressed: Living and Coping With Depression Fallout
by Anne Sheffield (1999)

What Am I Thinking? Having a Baby After Postpartum Depression
by Karen Kleiman (2005)

Sleepless Days : One Woman's Journey Through Postpartum Depression
by Susan Kushner Resnick (2000)

Down Came the Rain : My Journey Through Postpartum Depressionby Brooke Shields (2005)

Low-Cost Ideas to Aid in Recovery

GET A BREAK FROM YOUR BABY

Ask another mom (or moms) to do a babysitting coop with you: ask a friend to watch your baby so you can get out on your own for an hour or two to exercise, meet a friend, return a phone call, or just do a crossword puzzle without being interrupted. You may not feel that you have the energy or interest to do any of these things, but it is important that you try to get your mind off of the baby for a little while. You may also want to consider hiring a “mother’s helper” for a few hours every week. A mother’s helper is younger and often less experienced than a babysitter or a nanny, so she is paid significantly less money per hour. If you are able to hire a mother’s helper, try to spend the time when she is at your home in another part of your house or apartment, where you won’t be able to hear your baby. Put in ear plugs if necessary – the helper can come and get you if you are needed. To recover from PPD, it is essential that you find some uninterrupted time for yourself away from your baby.

Once your mood has begun to stabilize and your symptoms are subsiding a little bit, consider joining a local gym that provides inexpensive (usually $5 - $10 an hour), on-site childcare so that you can exercise. In more severe cases of PPD and other perinatal mood disorders, psychotherapy, often in conjunction with medication, is necessary to become well enough to begin (or resume) exercising. The idea of exercising may seem daunting, requiring more energy than you could possibly muster, so start small and set realistic goals for yourself – a short bike ride or a walk, for example. Exercise stimulates seratonin levels in your brain, which elevates your mood. Studies have found that exercise is at least as effective as antidepressant medication in relieving symptoms of depression and anxiety.

GET SOME SUPPORT & FIGHT THE URGE TO BECOME ISOLATED

Consider joining a support group to help you feel less alone. If you are not comfortable with the idea of joining a group, try an online group by searching on Yahoo! or Facebook. These groups should be free of charge.

Familiarize yourself with resources for new moms sponsored by your church, synagogue, local library or university. Check out bulletin boards for flyers advertising free or low-cost activities such as knitting circles or writing groups.

Remember that you will not always need as much help caring for your baby as you do now. This is not the time to be too proud to accept help. Your emotional and physical health is essential to your baby’s development and overall wellbeing.

PAY NOW OR PAY LATER

There is a wide range of options when it comes to the cost of psychotherapy. On one end is psychiatrists (MDs), who can prescribe medication in addition to providing therapy, and also tend to charge the most for their services. On the other end is social workers (LCSWs), who often charge on a sliding scale (that is, you and the social worker agree on a fee based on what you feel you can afford). Typically psychologists fall somewhere in between. If you or someone you trust suspects you may be suffering from PPD or another perinatal mood disorder, it is essential that you are assessed by a licensed mental health practitioner. Unfortunately, if you don't pay for professional help now, you could end up having to pay more later, whether it's in the form of hospital bills, plane tickets for out-of-town family members to help out, or other expenses that may have been avoided if more immediate action was taken.

Please email us if you have other ideas to add to our low-cost recovery list.

Emergency Resources

If you fear you might harm yourself, your baby or anyone else, it is necessary to call your healthcare provider, dial 911, or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.

Help is available 24-hours a day:
 
Suicide Prevention
 National Hopeline Network: 1.800.SUICIDE or 1.800.784.2433

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1.800.273.TALK or 1.800.273.8255

Baby Safe Haven: Do Not Abandon Your Newborn
AMT Children of Hope Safe: 1.800.796.HOPE Haven Program: 1.800.796.4673 www.amtchildrenofhope.com/safehaven.html
 
Child Abuse Prevention
Childhelp USA National: 1.800.4.ACHILD Child Abuse Hotline: 1.800.422.2253

Could I have Postpartum Depression?

Do You…
  • Have trouble sleeping?
  • Find you’re exhausted most of the time?
  • Notice a decrease in your appetite?
  • Worry about little things that never used to bother you?
  • Wonder if you’ll ever have time to yourself again?
  • Think your children would be better off without you?
  • Worry that your husband will get tired of you feeling this way?
  • Snap at your husband and children over everything?
  • Think everyone else is a better mother than you are?
  • Cry over the slightest thing?
  • No longer enjoy the things you used to enjoy?
  • Isolate yourself from your friends and neighbors?
  • Fear leaving the house or being alone?
  • Have anxiety attacks?
  • Have unexplained anger?
  • Have difficulty concentrating?
  • Think something else is wrong with you or your marriage?
  • Feel like you will always feel this way and never get better?
Many new mothers will experience some of these feelings. If you answered yes to more than three of these questions, you may have postpartum depression (PPD). PPD affects 20-30% of all postpartum women. It is a real illness. It is very treatable. Do not deny yourself the opportunity to feel good again. Do not let misinformation, uncertainty, shame, finances, embarrassment, or denial get in the way of you seeking the help you need. Talk to your doctor. Talk to your husband. Once you decide to seek treatment, you will be on the road to feeling better…

Reprinted with permission from The Postpartum Stress Center, 1062 Lancaster Avenue, Suite 2, Rosemont, PA 19010. Phone: 610-525-7527. www.postpartumstress.com  

What is PPD?

Postpartum Depression (PPD) has become an umbrella term for a spectrum of postpartum mood disorders affecting mothers within the first year of the birth of a baby (or later if a breastfeeding mom weans after one year). The spectrum of what is often referred to as PPD includes Baby Blues, Postpartum Depression, Postpartum Anxiety, Postpartum Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Postpartum Psychosis. A woman’s symptoms could fall neatly into one of these categories or she could exhibit signs associated with more than one disorder.


Many women who do not develop postpartum mood disorders feel weepy, sad, overwhelmed, isolated, resentful, guilty, and anxious within the first few days of giving birth. These feelings can be surprising and scary to a new mom, who is often led to believe she will be nothing but happy, if a bit sleepy, in the postpartum period. Many of these negative feelings are hormonally driven, but can also stem from lack of practical support, evidenced by the emotional adjustment adoptive parents can experience. These Baby Blues usually resolve themselves within a couple of weeks as a mom adjusts to new demands on her time, builds confidence in her mothering skills, begins bonding with her baby and reaches out for practical help. Up to 80% of mothers experience some form of Baby Blues.

10% - 20% of mothers will develop a more serious postpartum mood disorder.

Postpartum Depression symptoms include:

  • Frequent crying
  • Feeling sad most of the time
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Inability to enjoy pre-baby hobbies and activities
  • Lack of energy
  • Insomnia
  • Feeling like a failure
  • Lack of appetite – everything tastes like sand or an aversion to texture of food
  • Sugar and carbohydrate cravings, compulsive eating
  • Inability to laugh
  • Hopelessness about the future – thinking that she will always feel this bad
  • Feeling that partner and new baby would be better off without her
  • Aversion to caring for the baby
  • Lack of sex drive
Postpartum Anxiety Disorder symptoms include:
  • Racing obsessive negative thoughts
  • Inability to sit still
  • Fear of leaving the house
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Fear of being alone with the baby
  • Shaking, trembling hands
  • Bursts of anger
  • Impulse to run away from home or to hide
  • Inability to comprehend what she reads
  • Gastrointestinal pain, diarrhea, nausea
  • Panic attacks
    • Pounding, racing heart
    • Thinking she is dying or having a heart attack
    • Feeling like she is choking

Postpartum Obsessive Compulsive Disorder symptoms include:

  • Recurring thoughts and images of doing harm to herself or her baby
  • Recurring thoughts and images of outside harm inflicted on her baby
  • Preoccupation with cleanliness and germs
  • Doubts about her ability to care for the baby
  • Excessively elaborate routines to complete common, simple activities

Postpartum Psychosis affects 1% of postpartum women and is considered a postpartum emergency requiring immediate medical attention from her doctor or a visit to the hospital emergency room. Onset of symptoms typically occurs within the first six weeks postpartum and includes:

  • Delusional thoughts and hallucinations
    • Thinking the baby is evil or Satan
    • Feeling that some external force is compelling her to harm herself or her baby
  • Rapid mood swings (irritability to euphoria to depression)
  • Having a concrete plan for harming herself or the baby and a timetable for acting on it
  • Loss of touch with reality for extended periods of time

Risk Factors for Postpartum Depression and/or Anxiety include:
  • Postpartum depression or anxiety with previous pregnancy (50 to 80 percent risk of recurrent episode)
  • Previous depression or anxiety (personal or family history)
  • Depression or anxiety during pregnancy
  • Abrupt weaning
  • Social isolation; few social supports
  • History of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)
  • Mood changes while taking birth control pill or fertility medication
  • Thyroid dysfunction

Risk Factors for Postpartum Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) include:
  • Personal or family history of OCD

Risk Factors for Postpartum Psychosis include:
  • Personal or family history of psychosis, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia
  • Previous postpartum psychotic or bipolar episode*

Remember, “Risk factors do not cause depression.
They merely set the stage or create an opportunity for it.”**

A woman who is experiencing symptoms for any of the postpartum mood disorders described should get a complete medical exam to rule out other possible sources that have similar symptoms (such as a thyroid condition). A mental health professional is also essential in diagnosing and treating postpartum mood disorders. Please see our link to mental health professionals in Brooklyn.

*Bennett, Shoshana S., Ph.D. and Pec Indman, Ed.D., MFT. Beyond the Blues: A Guide to Understanding and Treating Prenatal and Postpartum Depression. San Jose: Moodswings Press, 2003.


**Kleinman, Karen, M.S.W. The Postpartum Husband: Practical Solutions for Living with Postpartum DepressionThe Postpartum Husband: Practical Solutions for Living with Postpartum Depression. Philadelphia: Xlibris, 2000. 
Who We Are

Brooklyn PPD Support was started in 2006 by Molly Peryer and Chris Lindsay-Abaire, two moms of young boys who each struggled with Post-Partum Depression and Anxiety. They both made full recoveries. PMADs have the following symptoms: insomnia, loss of appetite, nervousness/hypervigilance, suicidal thoughts, escape fantasies, feelings of worthlessness, anger, guilt, sadness, grief, hopelessness, agitation, inability to concentrate, joylessness. You may experience one or some of these symptoms over a period of time.

In Spring of 2014, Brooklyn PPD Support was joined by Melissa Paschke, LCSW. Her intention was to bring a new voice, experience and professional model to the peer support group. Melissa is an LCSW who has been practicing medical social work since 1994. She is also a mother of two boys and a certified yoga instructor. Melissa offers individual, partner and group therapy, crisis intervention, family support, health and wellness counseling, and yoga for the pre-natal and postpartum woman. She is a graduate of Yeshiva University, Wurzweiler School of Social Work and holds advanced clinical training certificates from the NYU Silver School of Social Work and Seleni Institute.

Please contact Melissa for information about group participation or individual therapy.

See Melissa on Psychology Today: https://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/prof_detail.php?profid=293007&search=11231&ref=10&sid=1492869015.7836_3799&zipcode=11231&tr=ResultsName
What We Do

If you are a pregnant or post-partum woman experiencing Stress, Depression, Anxiety, and/or other mood challenges, you are welcome to join our group. We advise that you also reach out to your medical provider to be assessed for any psychopharmacological needs. Group can also be used as a complement to any private psychotherapy you may be receiving, or you may inquire about private therapy with Melissa Paschke, LCSW in addition to Brooklyn PPD Support Group.

Brooklyn PPD Support is currently offering groups in Manhattan and Brooklyn. There is a suggested fee of $35 to attend. It is our wish to remove as many barriers to treatment as possible, so if childcare or added financial burdens are preventing you from attending, please reach out to Melissa. You are encouraged to attend as many meetings as you wish. This is a closed group; only women experiencing symptoms of a perinatal mood disorder will be allowed to participate. Graduate students, researchers and well-meaning friends and partners may not sit in on meetings.

Emotional support from empathic listeners is one key part of expediting a woman's recovery from PMADs. Ours is a safe, confidential, nonjudgmental environment where women can share their experiences. Women in all stages of stress, illness and recovery are welcome. Even if you aren't sure or formally diagnosed with a PMAD, you are welcome. We are here to share, witness and validate each others experiences. We can also facilitate referrals for any additional treatment or supportive services that may be needed.

Postpartum Support International's Universal Message:

You are not alone
This is not your fault
You will feel better