This is a story about Lisa—an entrepreneur, runner and a mother. She was as excited as any new mother at first. But after a few weeks, her energy gave way to anxiety and insomnia, and she found herself crying often. “I was feeling very overwhelmed,” Lisa remembered. She couldn’t process much of what was going on. A single visit with a therapist didn’t seem to help. Her symptoms worsened quickly, and she started having suicidal thoughts. She felt as though she was losing her mind.
Lisa’s family became concerned, to say the least. Her husband recognized some of the warning signs of postpartum depression. Eventually, he convinced her to go to an emergency room for treatment for her growing anxiety and paranoia. Lisa spent 10 days receiving inpatient psychiatric care. She was also diagnosed with postpartum depression and psychosis. After the hospital, her therapist recommended the Maternal Outreach Mood Services (MOMS) program, an intensive outpatient mental health program to treat postpartum depression.
For six weeks, Lisa met with the group of six to eight other mothers. There, she felt safe and finally understood. The group included other working professional women she could relate to. Lisa said, “It was great finding a honest community that’s not Instagram polished, one where I didn’t need to be perfect or buttoned up. I quickly felt safe to open up about what I was experiencing. And it was a huge relief to find out I wasn’t alone in my struggles.”
Today, Lisa and her daughter are healthy and doing well. She has recently been recognized as one of a hundred most influential women leaders empowering women entrepreneurs. She is a co-founder of Mindfulness Based Achievement, a program that helps women to lean in without burning out. When she isn’t working, she does what she really loves: spending time with her daughter and husband, running and meditating.