episode 99

The Root Cause of Postpartum Anxiety & Depression

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The cause of anxiety and depression postpartum is not just hormones.

If that’s what you’ve heard and believe, keep an open mind while listening to a more functional approach to your mental health. The root cause and solutions are pretty simple. You might find yourself pleasantly surprised by how much power you actually have, to show up and feel how you want to in your motherhood. To do this work, book a free 60-minute consult below.
Show Notes

Hello, hello, everybody! Welcome back to the podcast! Today’s episode is going to be short and sweet. Before I dive in, I wanted to tell you I got the CUTEST dresses from this website called Poppy & Dot, and I just wanted to make sure you guys knew about that. I have no affiliation with them, I just think they’re so cute! And they change out their stuff all the time, and I just love it. So Poppy & Dot, go check them out. I love the party dress, if you’ve seen that one. I love it in the light pink. So many cute ones. I’m going to be wearing one of their dresses in an upcoming photoshoot for new photos.

One other thing I wanted to tell you, is that my website was just totally redone! Actually it looks a lot the same, but there’s completely new writing on there, and copy. I have some really important things to tell the world, to tell you guys. So please go check it out, and there’s some brand new testimonials. It’s just lizzielangston.com and you can check out all the new testimonials! I’m just gushing looking at it, my clients are the BEST. 

And you know, this work takes on a form of it’s own. So I have my process, and I have me and my understanding and knowledge. And then there’s the women that I bring it to and teach it to, and something magical happens in the in between of me and them. That is the ooey, gooey, inside of a donut feeling, you know, with coaching. It’s so beautiful, so hopefully that makes sense to you, but you get what I’m saying, it’s so good.

Okay. Today I wanna talk about the root causes of postpartum anxiety and depression. I’m a really big fan of treating anything from a root cause. In fact, something you might not know about me, I see a functional nutritionist and I see a functional healthcare practitioner. And functional medicine is somewhere between eastern and western medicine, and really likes to get to the root cause.

We’re not, you know in functional medicine, we don’t mask symptoms, we don’t treat symptoms. I mean maybe temporarily but we’re always searching for the root cause, which is often wrapped into lifestyle and diet and things like that. So take that and apply it to my approach with postpartum anxiety and depressiveness.  

I don’t take a singularly medical approach, I also don’t take a singularly emotional approach. I do a lot of mind body work. And I believe, after a couple years of helping just dozens of women with postpartum anxiety and depression, after having lived it and experiencing it myself so much, I believe that anxiety and depression are on the same spectrum, just at different spots.

Anxiety comes first, depression comes next. Sometimes you can just skip anxiety and just be depressive, other times you can not ever get into depression and just be anxious. A lot of times they’re comorbid, they kind of dwell and exist together. So that being said, that means if they’re on the same spectrum, then they have the same root causes.

And that’s what I want to teach you about today so that you can be your own expert in your own healing. That’s really what I want for anybody that I work with and whoever I teach, I want you guys to become your own experts in your own healing. Which breeds a mind body connection inevitably.

So today I want to teach you about what those root causes are, and then what the solutions would be to those.

Like I said, anxiety and depression are on the same spectrum. And I already said that anxiety comes sooner on the spectrum than depression but they often present together, right? So after so long of having postpartum anxiety, then you can get numb, and fuzzy, and apathetic, and kind of burnt out. That anxiety can really lead you into depression if you’re not treating it in a way that gets to the root cause. So let’s talk about the root cause.

The root cause of both of these, ultimately, is emotional pile-up in the body, that has not been addressed by you. Might not even be known or witnessed by you, let alone regulated by you and released by you. And by “you”, I mean your mind that is consciously aware of what’s taking place in your body, and that is treating it or taking care of it.

So for example if you had a bruise on your knee, and you know you didn’t bonk your knee on anything, you might get curious about, “Ok what are my iron levels like? What’s my blood platelet count like? How is my skin tone?” You know, or whatever other things that can go into creating bruises from the inside, when you haven’t actually bumped yourself at all. This is what, you kind of play detective when it comes to anxiety and depression. It just so happens that I am really good at finding these things and helping you discover these things. But everybody can do this, it’s just a matter of being connected to yourself. 

So going back to the root cause: emotional pileup in the body that has either not been witnessed or regulated and released by you. Which means it’s not in your awareness. Or if it is in your awareness, you don’t know what to do with it. And so you kind of push it away, avoid it, etc. Now the only reason that happens, that we’re pushing away or avoiding, is ultimately if there’s not a good connection to yourself. So to the extent that you are connected to yourself, that determines how susceptible you are to anxiety and depressiveness. 

Now I wanna be clear that this even applies to grieving. What I’m not saying is that if you’re depressive after grieving, that you’re doing something wrong. What I’m not saying is that if you’re depressive right now, or anxious right now that you’ve done something wrong. So as I unravel this to you, and as I give you this awareness, I want you to hold the space for yourself, k? I do not want you turning against yourself. That is the last thing that you need. In fact, belittling your own emotions, minimizing them, invalidating them, being mean to yourself, criticizing yourself, these are all things that create a disconnection from the emotions that are there.

Not only does self criticism, in any of its forms, disconnect you from the buildup of emotions that needs to release in order to feel better, but it also adds MORE at a very fast rate. It piles up. So I find that women who are really hard on themselves internally, emotionally very constricting and restricting, and mean to themselves and critical of themselves, they are at the most risk for anxiety and depression postpartum. I was one of those women. I have had to learn, over about two years, a different way of talking to myself. I think I really learned it very quickly, it was just a matter of learning to practice it and apply it. And taking it to newer, and deeper levels, ok? 

So to review, the root cause is emotional buildup in the body that’s not being addressed, and that hasn’t been released. And there’s just more, there’s a quicker rate of incoming emotional buildup than you are releasing it. That tips you over the edge into anxiety and depressiveness. Hopefully that’s clear and easily understood. So if that comes down to a lack of a connection with yourself, then the solution, the really funcional, the really root solution is being connected to yourself. So let’s talk about how to do that.

There are two ways, two parts, I should say, two parts to being connected with yourself. There is your mind and your body. And bridging your gap between the two. Now I just wanna say a little side note here, I believe in mind, body spirit, that holistic. I believe in the spirit, in the spiritual aspect, but I find that when women are really connected to their body, they are simultaneously connected to their spirit. Those two are sort of two birds with one stone. 

I don’t say that to minimize the spiritual, and I encourage all of you, you know, to definitely consider the spiritual. What I’m trying to say is that the body and the spirit, there’s a connection there that is very whole. And so when you attend to, and get very close to your body, I’ve just noticed that it’s very natural that your spirituality progresses and flows as well.

Ok so in motherhood, we tend, this is how we kinda get in trouble in the first place. I want to go over that so you can identify where you are in that process. In motherhood we get so spread thin because we’re so devoted. It’s this devotion, which is a good quality, but sometimes we take it too far.

So we get so tied to helping, and working for, and contributing to our family, our job, our babies, maybe our business, that you get out of connection with yourself. And there’s a precious cost that we pay when we are disconnected from ourselves. And just bringing it full circle, that is where anxiety and depressiveness are the symptoms, is that self disconnection.

So today I’m gonna teach you how to reconnect yourself. This is like “Reconnect with Yourself 101”. This IS the solution to healing postpartum anxiety and depression. All the work that I do in my three step process, with women, as they come out of depressiveness and as they calm their anxiety, this is the foundation piece.

Yes there are other tools that are bright and shiny and cool, and you’re like “Woah!” and they blow your mind. And there are tips and tricks, but this is essentially what they’re all getting at is this connection with yourself, ok? 

So here are three ways you can be more connected to yourself postpartum. The first is understanding that there are two languages and how to connect them.

So the language of your mind, and some of you may have heard me say this, the language of your mind or your brain is words and images. Imagination, you can literally think of pictures in your mind, and then physical words. Well not physical, you know, but in your brain. Language.

Then there’s the language of your body which is sensation. In this moment, as I say this, your brain might want to disconnect a little bit and here’s why: You might want to be like, “That’s weird, ok? This is a little woo.” Here’s why though. 

Because your brain loves, your lower brain specifically, loves to do what’s easiest and most familiar. So when you hear new stuff, your brain’s like, “Oh it’s gonna take work to learn that. We’re gonna have to do things differently. I’m out.” And the way that you’re “out”, the way is that you disconnect, right? Disconnect. Disengage. Put it down. Walk away. Stop listening.

That is literally just your brain’s response when it’s trying to conserve energy. So hang with me if this is totally new to you, and it’s like, “Oooh I could see my life being very different if I believed that.” Just know that it’s worth it. And so just at least hear it out, ok?

Ok so now that we understand that literally there are two different languages that we have to be able to understand and interpret between, how do we do that? So the second thing we can do besides understanding the different languages is we can begin to get familiar with them and work between the two, to be able to connect mind and body. So that when you are noticing sensation, you can put it into words in your mind. 

Like for example, let’s say I feel a heaviness, and your mom’s like, “You just seem down, what’s wrong?” And you’re like, “I don’t know, I just feel this like, heaviness”, right? Your mind could interpret that for you, if you learn to notice the sensations and connect it with the language in your mind. Your mind says, “Oh, I’m feeling sad”, like there’s a word for that, right? So the words are important because they help us identify and be able to articulate ourselves, and communicate with the outer world. 

If we can put a word on the sensations in our body, we can get the right medication or the right pain, you know, help from the physical therapist. We can seek out the right resources. So that is really important. And one thing I find that helps people do this is getting a list of all of the feelings, like a words list, and having it available to you.

So if you really struggle to articulate yourself, try getting a feelings list and keeping it nearby. Especially in those moments where you’re hanging out with people, and you tend to get a little tongue tied, or not just be able to identify what you’re feeling. 

If you ever are like confused at your behavior with your kids. If you’re like, “Woah, that was crazy, I just yelled really loud.” Normally that’s when we go into self criticism. But what you can do instead is close your eyes, and go into the language of sensation. What is your body telling you? And if you can figure it out, use a words list.

Another thing you can do are body scans. Now I plan to create some postpartum body scans, but what you can do is if you just Google “body scan for anxiety”, there’s one, or not google it, YouTube search it, there’s one that comes up on YouTube that’s yellow. And it’s just a few minutes I’m pretty sure, maybe she speaks in like a British accent, and it’s really good. 

And this is what I do with my clients all the time. So my clients get to hear me  walk them through this all the time. But you know, you close your eyes, you connect with your breath, and once you’re really connected and grounded into your breath, you go from your head to your toes. You know, one little body part at a time. And you scan for sensation. Start to learn the language, at least listen to the language of sensation.

Once you listen to sensation, you will be able to speak your body’s language. You will be able to then not just notice the sensations are there, but you’ll start to be able to figure out what they mean. And just like any relationship, right, if you have a relationship with your husband, or your child, it takes time.

It takes patience. And it’s a skill. And it takes, you know, effort to build a connection. So just be patient as you start to bridge the gap between your body’s language of sensation, and your mind’s language of words and images. Be patient. 

So first you’re just going to be noticing. And then from noticing, hypothesizing and getting really curious. And that’s when you can start articulating and then taking action from there. I hope that helps, k? So I hope that through these steps you can connect your mind and body, which will connect you to yourself, which will get to the root cause and immediately start to disintegrate anxiety and depressiveness.

I do find that once the body mind connection is there, it’s so good, you can get a lot of emotional releasing done, but there are specific ways to process emotion just in the body. Process sensation in the body. And there are specific ways to just work on your mind that are beyond just the mind body connection. 

This is such a great foundation, like I said this is the root, but there’s so much else there. And if you need more help or want more help, I wanna invite you on a consult with me. Just come, call me, I call you actually. It’s a free hour, and we talk about all the things that aren’t working and you can go deeper in my process.

Or if you just wanna see it visually, just go to lizzielangston.com and check out the process page. And don’t forget to read my beautiful clients’ testimonials, they’re so inspiring.

Alright you guys, talk to you next week! Bye!

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