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Post Partum Depression - 7 months later

Aug 25, 2010 - 4 comments

My baby boy turned 7 months old on Sunday.  He still never ceases to amaze me...the constant changes, those grins that make me laugh every time.  And I am so happy to say that things have never been better.

PPD really knocked me for a loop. I had always considered myself very self aware, but I didn't see it coming until it hit me head on.  It has taken time, therapy and medication, but I am so happy to say I am feeling stronger every day.  Don't get me wrong, the panic attacks still happen, but every time I get better at working my way though them.  My family deserves a healthy mom and wife and I deserve to not feel this way.  I am getting better, I know I am.  I refuse to give into this.  I now have control, even when I don't feel like I do.

Someone on here pm'ed me recently about this issue.  She also suspects she is going through this.  So, I thought maybe it could help someone else if I told them about some of the "tricks" I have learned.

1. Recognizing it is an illness...knowing it is hormonal and you are not crazy is half the battle.  You can't help it, and it's not your fault.  I recite this when I feel a panic attack coming on.

2. Not feeling ashamed...so important.  I think as women we feel we have to be perfect mothers, and that having PPD makes us less so. Not the case. Very very few actually do something horrid like hurt their children. For most of us it is a sadness or in my case, extreme anxiety.  There is nothing to feel ashamed of.  Writing down your feelings, or talking to those that love you helps a great deal.

3.  Having what I call my "rational list".  I pull this out when I feel a panic attack coming.  On it I have written things like "my son is healthy and always has been". "There is no reason to worry or panic, he is and always has been fine".  I also have "this is an illness, it's not real". "I am a good mother and a good person".  I read it when I feel particularly anxious. It helps so much.

4.  Seeking help.  I am down to two sessions a month now as I am strong enough to make it through the rest of the time.  But I also have support line phone numbers I can call if things get rough.

And most importantly, recognizing it will get better.  

I know, really simplistic, but I am going to say that I am proud of myself.  Proud I am getting through it, and proud that I was not ashamed to admit I needed help.  It feels good to feel good again.



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by Sherri90049, Aug 25, 2010
That's so great to hear that you're feeling better! Thank you so much for posting and sharing your story! I have a girlfriend who just gave birth two weeks ago and got hit hard with PPD. I will copy and paste what you wrote and send it to her. Hope your recovery continues and soon you are 100%! :)

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by KarenDiane, Aug 25, 2010
Thank you for posting this. When I had my first 2, I suffered from PPD but I was too embarrassed to seek help. It was a terrible thing to go through in silence. With my 3rd, I got the help I needed and it was a tremendous relief. I'm glad that you are doing so well.

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by Michele, Katy, TX, Aug 26, 2010
Amen adgal!  I have 6 children and suffer from PPD every time I give birth.  It is terrible and I hate that part but I know it is coming each time and I prepare myself mentally and I leave the hospital with a prescription in hand.  And I always remind myself that it is only temporary, even if it feels like it will never end.  It will end and it is a sickness.

As you said, the most important thing is to get help and not put it off.  So many women do.  They are afraid of taking meds thinking they will become addicted or something.  Anti-depressants are not addictive and I only take mine until I feel like myself again.  I have even had many women tell me that their husband's don't want them taking meds.  I hate when I hear that one.  My husband wants me to feel better.  He does not want to see me suffer.

You said many key things.  Recognizing it, as you said, is important.  Once you do that, GET HELP!  Don't wait.  Help is just a phone call away.  I just can't imagine any OB/GYN that would deny any woman, that has just given birth, meds.

PPD is something I feel very passionately about.  It is very difficult for someone that has never experienced it to understand it.

I am so glad that you are feeling better!  

Michele

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by adgal, Aug 26, 2010
Thanks for the comments. I really feel strongly that women need to be bettere educated on PPD.  Most seem to think (myself included) that it pretty much only applies if you are feeling suicidal or something, and nothing could be further from the truth.  I had no idea it could manifest itself the way mine did...so anxious I almost couldn't function.  Once I was diagnosed I came to realize how much help is available out there and that it is fairly easy to treat.  I always was against Meds, but as my Dr. said, I would have no issue taking something if I had diabetes or another physical illness.  I think that PPD should be a standard conversation OB's and the hospital have with pregnant and/or just delivered women.  I know some do, mine didn't do a very good job though.  I think there are probably a lot of women out there who suffer in silence, and you just don't have to.  I have even had one women say..."if I admit it, won't they take my child away?"  What an awful thing to have to worry about...and no, they won't.  PPD is not and rarely does turn into Post Partum Physcosis.  It is an illness and thank God a treatable one!!

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