There have been a few blog post that I have done that I’ve been extremely nervous about; this is one of them. Postpartum depression is something one in seven women experience. I want women who are dealing with it to know you are not alone and there are resources that are available. Please don’t be afraid to ask for help. Many jobs have some type of Employee Assistance Programs that offer free and confidential counseling sessions, there are also a ton of programs offered in the community.
According to the website postpartumdepression.org: Postpartum depression (PPD) is a serious mood disorder. Women who develop PPD have feelings of intense sadness, worry and exhaustion following childbirth. PPD is extremely common. Approximately one in seven women can expect to experience depression in the year following childbirth.
The first thing I think I should mention is that I did not start experiencing any symptoms until my cycle returned around the 7 month mark. I have always been an emotional person when I’m on my cycle, but these emotions were magnified to the point where I felt like I could not function. I realized that I was emotionally unstable and could not cope with the stress of having an infant, sick father (he’s better now), and still having to function as a human. I would literally be at work sitting at my desk and start crying. I couldn’t pinpoint one thing that was wrong with me that made me feel all the emotions, but I knew something was wrong.
Here are some of the symptoms I experienced:
- One of the main things I experienced was sheer exhaustion. It didn’t matter how much I slept I was always tired. It was hard for me to get out of bed in the morning and I cried a lot because I felt physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted.
- The worst thing I experienced was the rush of emotions and heart palpitations. In the time that I have been dealing with this I have experienced extreme emotional instability. I would get intense waves of emotions and have panic attacks.
One of the worse things about dealing with postpartum depression is the feelings of inadequacy. I felt like I could not take care of my child the way she deserved and I felt like it was affecting her. That made me feel pressured to get better, but I did not have the tools or proper coping mechanics to do it on my own.
I reached out to the people around me for help first. It has to be said that you can’t expect someone to give you something that they are incapable of providing. I think a lot of times we look for what we are missing in things or people that can’t provide it or don’t know how to. I would encourage anyone who is dealing with any type of emotional or mental instability to strengthen their relationship with God and seek help.
My sister and a close friend encourage me to go to counseling. They were consistent with checking in on me and making sure I was taking the steps to become emotionally healthy. I was sent Bible verses that were uplifting and empowering and one of the most important things is that they listened. Emotional support has been one of the things that has helped me the most. I needed someone that I could talk to and that I trusted, thankfully I entered counseling and had a friend step up.
I encourage you to speak with your OBGYN and be open and honest about what you are feeling in some cases they may want to put you on birth control to balance your hormones, they can also refer you to a counselor. Whatever you are feeling there is no need to be afraid, you are not alone and there are people and organizations that can help.