By Subhana Chaudhri
By Jennifer Moyer
Praeclarus Press (2014)
In America, after a woman goes through childbirth, there is often a strong focus on her physical well-being, but the state of her mental and emotional health may be overlooked. In light of recovering physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, Jennifer Hentz Moyer shares her experience with post-partum psychosis in her memoir A Mother’s Climb Out of Darkness.
Moyer’s memoir takes readers from her dark days, where she had little knowledge about or control over her illness, to her golden days where she becomes empowered and able to help other women.
It took Moyer years before she found the right diagnosis and proper care, but she never gave up. From knowing nothing about her illness to becoming an advocate through Postpartum Support International, Moyer’s victory with post-partum psychosis is an inspiration for millions of women who deal with mental health conditions after giving birth.
With countless hospitalizations, doctors and expensive medical bills, Moyer’s recovery from post-partum psychosis took a lot of patience from both her and her family. They “went through hell,” but survived, and now Moyer lives well in recovery with the experience and wisdom to help others. She reflects on her illness and puts the puzzle pieces together to provide a source of guidance and hope for other women and their families.
After her diagnosis, Moyer strongly believed in becoming “whole” again. She took a holistic approach to her recovery process. In order to be completely healed, Moyer believed that she needed to look beyond her mental well-being: Moyer also tackled obstacles with her physical and spiritual well-being.
She explored many options to create a treatment plan that worked. She counts medication, her supportive family, therapy, exercise, nutrition, spirituality, Japanese meditation, advocacy and helping others as equal counterparts to her wellness today. Moyer regained control of her life and found the perfect balance to bask in the rays of recovery.
Many women may remain silent about any mental health symptoms after childbirth. Moyer eagerly urges readers to change that. Through her memoir she raises awareness, lowers stigma and speaks up for the women affected by childbearing-related illnesses. Moyer talks about signs and symptoms as well as how mental health concerns are preventable with the proper care and support.
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