Antenatal and Postnatal Depression/Anxiety
Pregnancy and the transition to becoming parents and/or extending your family often brings to the forefront mixed and conflicting emotions. Along with the excitement and anticipation of your pregnancy, most couples will also experience some fear and apprehension with what will be one of the most significant transitions you’ll make in life.
Women have a particularly heightened vulnerability in their emotional and mental health during this critical period. Around 10% of women in Australia experience antenatal (while pregnant) depression and/or anxiety and up to 16% of women suffering from postnatal (after birth) depression. One in twenty dads can also experience postnatal depression.
Starting a family is an exciting time for most couples. However, one in six Australian couples experience infertility. It can be confronting and distressing to be told that you or your partner have a fertility issue that could prohibit you from becoming pregnant.
Infertility is diagnosed when a couple have tried unsuccessfully to conceive for twelve months. This time period can place enormous strain on both individuals and the couple. Individuals may feel a range of different emotions about their fertility issues, such as shame, disappointment, grief, worry, fear, and confusion about what options to try next. Some couples may have experienced pregnancy loss in their pursuit of a family and can feel further isolated in their grief by their infertility.
Pregnancy and Neonatal Loss
The anticipation and excitement of a pregnancy with hopes and dreams for the future, can change in an instant with the news that your baby has died. Although one in four women experience a miscarriage or stillbirth, pregnancy loss remains a taboo topic.
The end of a pregnancy or the death of your newborn baby represents the loss of a dream, and the grief that accompanies that loss can be overwhelming and painfully difficult to navigate. Women have a particularly heightened vulnerability in their emotional and mental health during pregnancy, which can become further complicated when a pregnancy has ended unexpectedly with no live baby to claim socially and relish in parenting.
Anxiety, Depression and Sexual Health
Over three million Australians are living with anxiety or depression. These conditions can impact on your thinking, behaviour, mood, relationships, physical health, sleep, appetite and sexual functioning. Counselling provides an opportunity for you to develop insights into your thoughts, behaviours and feelings, and enhance your existing coping skills for managing your condition.
There are many different factors that can impact on one’s sexual functioning, including anxiety and depression. At some point in their lives, most people experience difficulty with desire, arousal or being able to orgasm. This can be very distressing and may involve painful intercourse and an active avoidance around sexual activity. Counselling allows you a space to talk about sensitive issues of a personal nature with someone objective who can listen and provide some suggestions on how to best manage your condition.