What is antenatal and postnatal depression?

As part of the Clinical Psychology unit I am currently studying, we have done a fair bit on parental mental health. This week I thought I would talk about depression, addressing what antenatal and postnatal depression is. I hope this is useful for you and sheds light on new things you may not have considered before.

The Frugal Frenchie

Symptoms for antenatal depression

According to the diagnosis criteria (DSM-5)…

  • Chronic anxiety
  • Guilty
  • Incessant crying
  • Lack of energy- which lack of sleep doesn’t help
  • Relationship worries- will my partner leave once the baby is born?
  • Conflict with parents
  • Isolation – from friends, or due to not feeling the same as other mums
  • Fear to seek help – will my baby be taken away if I speak out?

Causes of antenatal depression

  • Physical

There are many physical changes during pregnancy. For some, body changes can be distressing: weight gain, swollen breasts, dizziness, nausea, exhaustion, heartburn, fainting etc. It can lower self-esteem and make normal, mundane activities suddenly seem unachievable or difficult, which can lead to isolation or feelings on inadequacy.

Hormonal changes and tiredness can also impact mental health – in fact, Ohayon & Roth (2003) found over 40% of participants reported symptoms of insomnia before developing a mood disorder, including depression and bipolar disorder. This was supported by findings showing that treating insomnia symptoms can be beneficial towards reducing/preventing depression (Londborg, et al, 2000).

What is antenatal and postnatal depression? Continue reading “What is antenatal and postnatal depression?”

What are mental health illnesses?

With people often misusing mental health terms, it can become difficult to truly understand the meaning of mental health. Are people just exaggerating? What can we do if people are truly struggling? Before answering these questions, I thought it’d be best to answer what are mental health illnesses? Let me know if this has been useful.

The Frugal Frenchie

What are mental health illnesses?

“Abnormal” behaviour

In the past, before mental health awareness, people would describe those, who showed “abnormal” behaviour as mad, crazy, or other derogatory words. This is something I’ve mentioned in a previous post about mental health stigma, so make sure to read that too.

Now, the sheer idea of “abnormal,” is controversial. What does this mean, exactly? Traditionally, it’d be defined as a behaviour or act that doesn’t conform to societal standards, expectations or norms. This is all subjective, however: whose norms are they? Who is establishing them? People’s behaviour, or judgements, are 100% subjective. Even our self-judgements are not necessarily fair representations, as our beliefs can be distorted.

As a matter of fact, in clinical psychology, “abnormal,” behaviour is not defined or measured according to how strange an act or behaviour is, how unjustified or irrational it may seem. It’s defined by the degree of interference the behaviour has on life, work and relationships. When somebody says “I love having my desk tidy, I’m so OCD about it,” that is not interfering with your life. It isn’t something that stops you working, restricts you doing activities you love and so on: that’s an incorrect and potentially offensive way of using the term OCD.

The degree to how a behaviour interferes with one’s life is an essential symptom for many mental health illnesses. Otherwise, it would be very hard to establish when somebody’s negative thoughts were just due to a bad week, or if it was associated with ill mental health.

Cultural and societal norms do not make the definition of “abnormal.”

Continue reading “What are mental health illnesses?”

Mental Health Stigma- does it still exist?

Mental Health Stigma- does it still exist? Perhaps a bold title and question to discuss, but it’s important to openly speak about it, out of fear of otherwise, subconsciously, becoming a silent supporter of this stigma. This is a different style of post, based on lectures that I have received during my BSc in Psychology. Hope you learn something new.

The Frugal Frenchie

Defining a stigma

First of all, do you know what is meant by a stigma? It can mean several things:

“a mark or sign of disgrace or discredit”
“disqualified from full social acceptance”
“negative effects of a label”

 

The Institute of Psychiatry actually described a stigma as having three components: that of ignorance (as a stigma is based on preconceived ideas and assumptions), prejudice and discrimination.

Note: discrimination and stigmas are not the same. Stigma focuses more on prejudice and ill-educated statements (a reason I’m writing this post today), whereas discrimination is more of an act. An act, preventing people from being treated equally or having equal access to opportunities or services. Continue reading “Mental Health Stigma- does it still exist?”

The Ultimate Money Saving Guide for Parents

I am all for money saving, but sometimes I  feel like money saving posts are always designed towards students? Not sure if others feel this way… anyway, I thought I’d do a different post, where you could find loads of money saving apps and freebies for parents all in one place. Hope this ultimate money saving guide for parents is useful for you!

The Frugal Frenchie

Baby clubs

Many shops and companies have apps to go alongside their “baby clubs.” Not only do they sometimes provide you with freebies, it’s also a great way to get first knowledge of sales, coupons and access to private events.

My Mothercare – advantages include:

  • £100 worth of discount vouchers
  • Early access to their sales
  • Exclusive events instore outside of opening hours
  • 20% off maternity clothing
  • 24/7 medical advice

The Ultimate Money Saving Guide for Parents

Tesco Baby Club – advantages include:

  • Offers specifically aimed for your baby’s age  
  • Told about sales in advance
  • Competitions  

Boots Parenting Club – you need an advantage card to join up. Advantages include:

  • Free Boots magazines
  • 10 advantages points for every £1 spent on baby items (higher than the normal “rate”)
  • The possibility of free gifts
  • Coupons

Continue reading “The Ultimate Money Saving Guide for Parents”

Photo Diary: Making bath bombs at Lush!

A few weeks ago, I had my first ever blogging experience at The Body Shop. Although that was a good evening, the event at Lush was so much more enjoyable! We tried out massage bars, made some buche de Noel and even got into making bath bombs!

The Frugal Frenchie

Photo Diary: Making bath bombs at Lush!

Photo Diary: Making bath bombs at Lush!

Honestly though, how creative is their Halloween range? My favourite is the monster one (“Monster Ball”) pictured above, I think it should totally be a feature in the next Monsters Inc movie if they have one!

Photo Diary: Making bath bombs at Lush!

The staff made us feel so welcome and I love how they had a little itinerary all prepared for us! They also (very sensibly as I still didn’t feel like I knew many people) did an icebreaker where we got into pairs and tried massage bars out on each other. There were some great ones and I particularly liked the gingerbread one.

Here are also just some of the photos I took whilst making the buche de Noel and bath bombs!

Photo Diary: Making bath bombs at Lush!

It was fascinating to see all the ingredients that went into the facial cleanser, and let me tell you, putting two moulds of powder together is not as easy as it looks! My stars were invisible so kudos to those in the factory who make them perfect every time.

Here is just a sample of their Christmas range. There was a whole wall full but it grabbed so much attention that I found it impossible to photograph it all! Above, you’ll see the fab staff showing us a demo of the “Shoot for the Star,” bath bomb. It smelt delicious and the gold stars gradually melt too, which I didn’t know!

Photo Diary: Making bath bombs at Lush!

Of course, the whole range in Lush is beautiful, natural and smells incredible, but I loved this table of all their fresh face masks. So insta worthy!

Photo Diary: Making bath bombs at Lush!

Photo Diary: Making bath bombs at Lush!

Lush has some absolutely genius makeup products! A lot of their products can be used on multiple different areas of your face, and they even have a range of eyeshadows that work like crayons and lipsticks that look like a paint pallet for you to create your own lipstick shade!

Photo Diary: Making bath bombs at Lush!

Here is my bouche de Noel, as well as the bath bomb I made! We were also given the opportunity to take home any product from the store, to which I chose the  ScrubBee body butter. It’s supposed to smell like honey but I thought it smelt so much like white chocolate- either way I loved it! Leaves the skin feeling super moisturised.

Thank you Lush Bournemouth for the brilliant event; it was super enjoyable!

Bold and daring makeup look: Shop with me!

As you can probably tell from the pictures (or lack thereof) of me, I am not one for photoshoots or bold makeup looks. In fact, this is the second time in my whole life that I’ve ever had a contoured face! Because I’m super happy with how the pictures turned out, I thought I’d share with you this bold makeup look in a “shop with me” way. Hope you enjoy a different type of post!

The Frugal Frenchie

Bold and daring makeup look: Shop with me!

All the following products are vegan and cruelty-free (which is so important to me) so let’s get into my transformation!

Preparation

I used my detox clay mask to get rid of any dry skin or blackheads that could ruin the texture of my makeup. There’s nothing worse than putting makeup on and then it being ruined by such an avoidable thing!

Bold and daring makeup look: Shop with me!

Bold and daring makeup look: Shop with me!

Bold and daring makeup look: Shop with me!

Face

After primer, the Arbonne foundation in the shade “Porcelain” was used, followed by one of my favourite products, the setting pretty powder. The foundation has got a vaccum pump, so there is no product wasted! I think that’s just so economically and environmentally friendly that it was worth mentioning.  Oh oh and I didn’t even need any concealer because the foundation just had such good coverage!

That was just for the bare basics, but Emily then added some blush in the tone “Dusty rose,” which I thought made my normally unexistent cheekbones look nice and distinguished. The last touch was, of course, bronzer which really helped my face gain definition in front of the camera. Continue reading “Bold and daring makeup look: Shop with me!”