Postpartum Depression and Anxiety: Swallowing the Pill Pt. 2
The topic of postpartum depression and anxiety has gotten quite a bit more attention recently than it ever has before. It is something that should be talked about and acknowledged because it is very real, and women need to know that bringing it up is not taboo or embarrassing! This is my story and experience with it. I share solely to hopefully provide the support or push that another mother might need to find her way through! *This is the fourth post in this series: first post, second post, third post.*
After the reassurances and support from my husband, I took my first anti-depressant and went to bed. I hadn't ever taken a prescription like that before so I had no clue what to expect and was a little nervous. I was truly afraid that the thing that had the potential to help me feel more whole and present would mess me up.
I didn't wake up feeling like a superhero per se, I didn't even really think about the fact that I had taken anything all day. When my husband came home, he asked if I had felt a difference that day, and as I thought about it, I had! What had I felt? Just pretty normal, and I had never been so happy to feel normal before!
As time has gone on, I have had days where I still feel some of the gloom, but it is much less overbearing than before. I have been able to much more rationally maneuver through hard parenting moments that would have sent me into an emotional spiral before. I don't spend hours of my day in crippling fear of things that I have no control over. I have been able to absolutely adore my brand new baby!
I vividly remember a few times, after having my first baby, where I was listening to moms talk about how obsessed they were with their babies. I always claimed to feel that way, but deep down, I felt disconnected. Even though I know it is pointless because you can't change the past, sometimes I get so sad that I didn't get the help I needed with my first baby. I wish that I would have known more so that I could have enjoyed her first six or so months of life much more than I did. I guess now I am just so grateful it hasn't been the same this time around.
I am not saying that I think that everyone should run to their doctor and ask for a medication. I also respect and understand that many people find other ways to help themselves. This is just what has helped me the best! Regardless of what method you choose to help yourself through, find something that helps you and stick to it! If you know that you won't stick to something, or even ask for help for yourself, you need to find someone that will force you to.
Don't go unheard. Don't go un-helped. Please, please, please know that you aren't just stuck and doomed to suffer for the rest of forever.
Does any of that sound familiar to you? Have you (or the person you are thinking of) acknowledged the gravity of the situation? I truly think that I didn’t acknowledge what was going on partially because I wasn’t educated enough about PPD and PPA, and it wasn’t talked about a whole lot three years ago. It is amazing to me how much more awareness is out there now than just three short years ago--such needed awareness! Mamas need help and mamas need to feel safe and unashamed when they seek help! Keep your eye out for the next post in this series coming next week!
Written by: Alyssa Liston