Educational Program Day 31

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Educational Activity: Several research studies have shown that certain ailments and conditions affect men and women at different proportions. Some diseases are more likely to occur in men, while others are more likely to affect women. Among these conditions it has been found that women are slightly more likely to suffer from TMS/PPD than men. In a blog post called Why Does MBS Occur More Commonly in Women, Dr. Howard Schubiner gives his opinion on the subject. This article has great insights into the causation of PPD. To access the article click here.

For the previous two days you have focused on your personality traits. Hopefully you gained some insight into how they contribute to your symptoms. Today, you are going to shift gears and free write about any current stress or anxiety in your life. As you go through this process, attempt to bring in any insights you may have learned about your personality. How does your personality increase or decrease stress in your life currently? If you feel comfortable enough, post all or part of this journal entry in thread in our Structured Program forum. This will allow you to receive encouragement and insight from other people.

PPD and Motherhood: Going along with the topic of gender and PPD is the question of how motherhood contributes to a person's chronic symptoms. This question was featured in a forum thread on the wiki. The following are some of the responses. Feel free to post your own comments or feelings.

Pandamonium: My TMS kicked off even more once I became a mother, being a perfectionist I put a lot of pressure on myself.

Also children work to their own timetable and their own agenda, both of which can be hard to adjust to when you are a control-freak like me!

Dave Clarke on another thread talks about what makes us TMS-prone, he suggests that "a child that knocked their self-esteem down on a long-term basis" can develop coping strategies by " by trying to be very good, responsible and detail-oriented " As a TMSer and a Mum I'm very aware of tying to break the cycle in my family.

Flutterby: I [nursed] my eldest and my youngest but for some reason it just didn't work with my middle daughter and yet she grew up perfectly healthy and she and I have remained the closest.

But when my first grandson was born, my eldest daughter was under huge pressure, from the Health Visitor and from her husband, to [nurse], in spite of enormous difficulties. I hated to see her suffering and reminded her that her sister had thrived on bottle-feeding. But she persisted for quite a while because of 'pressure'. I was so relieved when she finally gave up and everyone, including the baby, was much happier as the whole issue was causing a lot of quite unnecessary, IMO, tension in the family!

Forest: I just remembered another thread from a while back where motherhood came up. I thought that one mother really cut to the heart of it when she wrote, “I just read your profile and saw that, like me you have three kids, only yours are grown up and mine are 4y, 2y and 3m. Perhaps you understand where some of the rage is coming from despite the fact I live for them-bless their little white socks-I'll **&^)**($%"!! them.)))” (

It just seems like there is all of this tension between loving your children so much but at the same time having to deal with them so much. You don't get enough of a chance to express your own frustrations because you are supposed to be "the adult," so you must repress any very justifiable rage that you feel. Further, no one is perfect, but we tend to be goodists and perfectionists, so we can feel an awful lot of guilt when we aren't perfect (... like with the [nursing]). After all, what you are doing *is* incredibly important to the little life that you are parenting.

Pandamonium: It's incredibly frustrating at times because you feel like raging at them but you can't. As my 5 year old tipped her breakfast down herself for the seemingly-millionth time this morning I could hear my DH explaining patiently that "if she leant over the bowl it couldn't possibly land on her school uniform" but he's said that a million times and I could feel his frustration seeping upstairs lol.

And her sweet little Angel voice "ok daddy, I will lean over from now on" when you know she'll forget in a nannosecond.

I now remove myself from the situation and go and "breathe"

marjrc: Ah yes, TMS/PPD and motherhood. Definitely a strong link for me! Wanting to be the 'perfect' stay-at-home mother, I tried to do everything with our first two kids in spite of back pain and shoulder pain. (I sprained my lower back a month before getting pregnant with our first 21+ yrs. ago and it's been chronic pain ever since).

The pressure I put on myself was huge and so was the repressed anger and the pain. I had quite the temper and was definitely expressing my feelings, but I surely didn't express to others or to myself that maybe, just maybe deep down I was blaming the kids for all the pressure. That I was resentful of DH for working outside the home and enjoying air conditioned offices, business trips, lunches out and a world outside of finger painting, changing diapers and being Family Manager. I took on that role with ease, being first-born, a goodist, controlling and very sure of myself. I was an early childhood educator, so obviously, I was the right one for this job! lol I took it all on with gusto!

Anyway, fast forward several years, with 3 kids and full-blown Fibromyalgia, chronic shoulder pain and lots of limitations and my anger, guilt, resentment and worry was through the roof! I HAD to severely limit what I did with them and on my own, and was depressed from the constant pain and insomnia/exhaustion and so parented quite differently.

The guilt from that today (kids are now almost 21, 19 and 16) is huge! I am working on it with a psychologist and on my own. Raising them as teens was and still is a challenge and letting go of controlling how they grow up (so they can be the best they can be in MY views) is my #1 priority. I worry about everything and feel very guilty that I 'robbed them' of having the best mom they could have. Being able to express that and accept it and move on is likely what is missing in my solution to TMS/PPD.

Click here to read the full thread

Question To Ponder
How are your professional relationships right now? Has the program had any affect on your career? If you feel comfortable sharing, then post your response in a thread in our Structured Program forum. We would love to hear from you.

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