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So, how do you know you have PPD??

Nov 25, 2010 - 4 comments

I went to the doctor today for my son's 9 month baby well appt.  While there, I brought up the fact that I haven't been feeling "right" off an on since he was born.  By not right I mean that I'm feeling overwhelmed by the smallest things, experiencing mood swings, feeling downright crabby and irritable some of the time and feeling empty, finding little joy in things.  None of this is constant - I have my good days....usually when I busy, focused on other things...and especially when I have something to look forward to like an outing or something.

I have a history of depression and health anxiety which presented when my older son was just over a year old and I returned to work following my year long mat leave (I'm in Canada).  My doctor didn't use the term PPD when we talked today....he said "blues" - but I do feel that he's still taking me seriously.  He told me that I need to do more for myself.  Get out, exercise, etc.  And if I start feeling any worse (or this doesn't get better), I'm to call him.  He did say he could put me back on antidepressants (I was on them for a year when I experienced my last "blip"), but that as I wasn't experiencing these feelings 24/7, he wanted to see if it could be managed and helped with simply giving myself more "me" time.

DH is being really great, very supportive and says he'll do whatever I need....watching the boys more so I can do things that make me happy. NOT that my children don't make me happy.....sigh...it's so hard to explain without feeling like a pile of poo for being/seeming selfish.  Which makes me feel worse!!

I hope and pray that this works!!!!

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377493 tn?1356502149
by adgal, Nov 25, 2010
Of course your children make you happy, and you are certainly not selfish.  You cannot help the way you feel.

From someone who has been through this, if I may offer a bit of advice. First off, give yourself a break.  By that I mean stop beating yourself up for having emotions and feeling that many of us experience.  A small child and a baby has to be difficult under the best of circumstances.  It's not wrong for it to be that way, and it sure doesn't mean you love your children less, but let's face it...babies are tough sometimes all on their own.  I don't know why as women and mothers we expect ourselves to be 100% grateful all the time and feel guilty when we feel overwhelmed.  Honey, your human.

Combine that with a history of depression and the hormonal changes that come after giving birth and it's not surprising you are having days like you are.

So please stop feeling guilty (I know, easier said then done).

I think your Dr's advice is great!  I have gone off the medication, and I do this now under my pyschiatrist's advice.  One afternoon a month for a few hours is all about me time. DH takes Ryder (which is healthy for them) and I just go off shopping or lunch with a girlfriend or whatever. And you know what...I refuse to feel guilty about it. That child is my life, and he means more to me than anything.  But an emotionally healthy momma makes a better momma.

Take a bubble bath after the kids are in bed...do something small every day just for you.  It's not wrong or selfish.  It helps.

And if you continue to feel this way, you know there is no shame in asking for medication.  

I am so glad you have a supportive husband.  I do too, and it sure makes all the difference in the world.

Hang in there and stop being so tough on yourself.  You are a wonderful mother who loves her children.  PPD does not mean that you don't...not one little bit.

Hope I wasn't offensive being so blunt.  I just have read a couple times now where you called yourself selfish and your not. You truly really are not.

XOXO

470885 tn?1326329037
by Limonada, Nov 25, 2010
adgal.....No, you weren't being offensive in any way - I think I need straight shooting now, not sugar coating.

I don't know why it is that we moms are so hell bent on being all things to all people at all times, often at our own expense and happiness.  That guilt in myself comes from the numerous people (usually older women with grown kids who are far, far away from the baby/toddler stage) who tell me to just shut up and enjoy it because they grow up so fast whenever I vent about a hard day, etc.  Well, they don't actually tell me to shut up, of course - but you know what I mean.  After awhile, you just start to think that you're wrong for feeling the way that you do, that you're not doing a good enough job - because, if you were, you wouldn't be finding it so difficult.

I think your me time sounds great!  I will definitely be trying to make more of a concerted effort to do something just for myself each day, no matter how small.

My doctor (just a GP) was great with me the last time when I was having all my problems, really took me seriously and investigated all of the symptoms I was having, rather than just dismissing me or telling me it was all in my head or something.  I was really glad that he was so caring again this morning - as stupid as I know it sounds, I felt embarrassed bringing it up, admitting that I'm not doing so hot.

377493 tn?1356502149
by adgal, Nov 29, 2010
I have been away a few days, but have been thinking about you.  How are you doing with all of this now?

I am so glad your Dr. didn't trivialize it or brush you off.  It is a real issue, and in my opinion should be handled as any other medical issue is.  If all Dr.'s behaved that way, and society in general didn't judge so harshly, perhaps more women would come forward.  It seems so many are embarrassed (I was initially too) as there is such a stigma associated.  So many seem to think that those with PPD don't want their children, or might harm them.  I did a lot of reading on the subject when I was diagnosed, and nothing could be further from the truth.  Women that do that actually suffer from post partum physcosis, and that is very very rare.  For the majority of us it is minor to severe depression or anxiety.  And it is so treatable, but because of embarrassement, many don't speak up.  It's unfortunate because there is so much help out there.  And there is no shame.

Women seem to have reached a point where we think we should be able to handle everything without help. We not only take the majority of the responsibility for raising our children (most of the time), we also have taken on more of a bread winner role as well.  All of this is great, but when do we take a little time to take care of ourselves?  And to admit we need help seems to somehow translate to "you don't appreciate" or "you don't love" your children.  How is that exactly?  And do you know who is hardest on us?  Other women and other mothers.  I had no idea how hard we were on each other until I had a child.  The judgment is unbelievable.

I am glad you are speaking out and looking closely at this. Perhaps you will be able to get through it without meds, and perhaps you will need the extra help.  But you are very brave for speaking up....not only will it ensure you get any help you may need, but perhaps someone else reading this will also be inspired to get help.  Good for you!!!

1035252 tn?1427227833
by Ashelen, Nov 29, 2010
Oh Jen somehow I missed this but I'm so glad you went to get help...I know that it's frightening to consider having the PPD talk with doctors, but when you need help having the strength to ask for it is wonderful!

You are an amazing mommy and it makes me sad that ANYthing would make you doubt that....you are wonderful and your babies are blessed to have such a caring, attentive mommy.

*hugs* Gotta go rescue my daughter from the loop she's stuck in (walking in circles waving her arms in the air and singing..it's cute but she needs a diaper change lol)

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