Climb Out of the Darkness

Original file date: Tue, 24 Jun 2014, ID:q6lck4

The birth of her new daughter should have been a happy time. Instead, it was a dark and scary period for Alicia Glascock, locked in the grip of post traumatic stress disorder following potentially life-threatening complications during childbirth. Everybody knows that soldiers may experience PTSD — but new mothers? It was a surprise to Glascock, although she knew something wasn’t quite right. “I thought I was going crazy,” says the South Ogden mother of two of her flashbacks, panic attacks and frequent bouts of crying. “I’m usually a happy, carefree person and that wasn’t me anymore.” Thanks to a nudge from a concerned teacher at her nursing school, Glascock saw a counselor and found out her symptoms had a name. “It was good to know there was a reason for what I was going through,” the 26-year-old registered nurse says. Now, two years later, Glascock is passionate about raising awareness for maternal mental heath issues as a leader for the Ogden team of Postpartum Progress, an international organization that offers women support and information about disorders like postpartum depression, psychosis or post traumatic stress. “I want to be a voice, let people know they are not alone,” Glascock says, because she adds that “alone” is exactly how she felt. “That was the most crushing feeling,” she says. Hike to healing On Saturday, Glascock and a group of 17 others participated in the first Climb Out of the Darkness in Ogden. Five women and their families hiked the Wasatch Mountains above the 29th Street trailhead to symbolize the women’s recovery from postpartum mood and anxiety disorders. “We are climbing out of our darkness that we were in,” Glascock said in an interview before the hike. “We can be bigger than the disease that’s taking over.” Having a mood or anxiety disorder doesn’t make anyone less of a mother or less of a person, she says: “We will survive … We can overcome it.” Besides gathering women who have had a shared experience, the hike was a fundraiser to provide more education about mood and anxiety disorders related to pregnancy and childbirth. One in seven women will experience such conditions, Glascock says during an interview at her South Ogden home, yet only 15 percent of them will seek help. “A lot of it just has to do with the stigma of mental health in general,” she says. Also, women must live up to so many expectations surrounding motherhood, Glascock adds. “You’re supposed to be happy, you’re supposed to be enjoying your baby,” she says. “There’s all sorts of pressures on what it’s like to be a mom — (and) you’re not fitting in the box.” Glascock said she had heard of postpartum depression, but her symptoms following childbirth and her unexpected uterine inversion didn’t really fit that condition. She found little information as she searched for answers about her own feelings until she stumbled upon the online resources of Postpartum Progress. Then, she says she realized, “It wasn’t just me that couldn’t get over my birth.” Shedding light Katherine Stone, the Atlanta founder of Postpartum Progress, says The Climb Out of the Darkness began last year and has become a “rallying cry” for women who often suffer through postpartum depression alone. “They can stand on top of the proverbial mountain and shout and say, ‘We need to do something about this,’” she says in a phone interview from Georgia. Climbs were held in 40 states and seven countries, raising more than $150,000. Women hiked mountain trails but, since idea of “The Climb” is symbolic, they also walked along beaches or on paths in state and national parks, Stone says. The 2014 event was held on the day of the summer solstice — the lon…

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