Please listen to this interview about post natal depression in response to the terrible case of a woman who killed her children and is now in a psychiatric hospital under indefinite care.
“An awful lot of women get fobbed off, patted on the head, ‘It’s just the baby blues, Mummy.’ ”
In many ways therapy exists because day to day interaction permits very limited conversations. Upbeat enthusiasm is rewarded and anything else very quickly becomes annoying, the supremely normal complexity of individual life takes too much time and thought to engage with until all we’re capable of is soundbites. Mothers experience this very directly being expected to enjoy our children totally and unconditionally – we’re permitted some mild opinions about being tired but chocolate and wine have become the remedy for all tired women.
Part of my day today will be spent checking the handouts and Powerpoint for a presentation on stress that I’ll be giving on Friday at the Guildhall Business Library. I offer mentoring there too where people can explore their experience of stress in a very straightforward, businesslike manner, and the promotional material includes the word ‘Stress.’ Yet the majority of people who come to discuss their stress find it strikingly difficult to say why they’ve visited.
We’ve become so profoundly conditioned to describe everything challenging as an ‘opportunity’ or ‘exciting’ that many of us literally can’t find the words to describe genuine feelings unless it’s in response to something everyone recognizes as difficult, like a death or divorce. The trouble is, when those feelings remain unaddressed they will demand attention by making us ill.
Stress has become such an issue in the UK that legislation has been created to deal with it and it costs £26 BILLION in absence, presenteeism and staff turnover every year.
In purely economic terms we are in dire need of finding the right words to discuss our experiences.
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