Today’s show revisits my 2009 conversation with Leah Deragon of Birth Roots about her struggles with postpartum depression and anxiety. As a doula and a birth educator, it was hard for Leah when motherhood turned out to be so difficult. She discusses the pain of not feeling an instant emotional attachment to her baby, her anxiety over his breastfeeding difficulties, and her insomnia. We talk about the many unrealistic expectations new mothers face, and how normal it is to struggle in ways that aren’t often discussed.
We conclude our series on living with anxiety with three segments on different topics related to the subject. First up is a conversation with philosophy professor Peter Hallward about the connection between anxiety and existentialism. Then author and book reviewer Reeve Lindbergh discusses Susan Cain’s take on introversion in the 2013 book Quiet. We close with a comparative review of apps for reducing anxiety by Rob McGinley Myers of the blog Anxious Machine.
Ten-year-old Maiya takes us into the world of childhood phobias, describing what it was like to live with overwhelming anxiety about sickness, and how she found help. Now she is creating a website of fear-reducing games to help other kids who suffer with anxiety.
Musician and educator Monica talks about how the intense insomnia that began in her 40’s led her to a diagnosis of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. She talks about several habits, including skin picking and intrusive violent thoughts, that suddenly made sense after this diagnosis, and about the combination of medication and therapy that has allowed her to sleep better and live with less anxiety.
A conversation with therapist and mother Valery about how she grew to understand her daughter’s difficulty with social situations as the result of severe social anxiety, and her seemingly excessive internet use as a positive and healthy adaptation.