This is Our Life
Motherhood

Sharing my battle with Post Partum Depression

One of the hardest things to do is to admit that there is something wrong. But I finally did. During my last pregnancy and even now, nearly a year and a half later, I have experienced one of  the most severe bouts of depression and anxiety I have ever felt. It is a dark and scary place to be. There are women out there who don’t look like they are suffering at all so it makes it harder for others, also suffering, to admit they are going through a hard time.

“All it takes is a beautiful fake smile to hide an injured soul and they will never notice how broken you are”

If I tried to pinpoint a time when I first experienced anxiety and depression…hmm…well it could quite possibly have started all those years ago when I hadn’t yet been diagnosed with PCOS and my struggle to lose weight seemed futile and my self-esteem was at an all time low. Or during years and experiences with loss and infertility. One thing is for certain though; it has always been because of a constant struggle with my body, whether it was to be skinny or it was to be pregnant.

Even harder than admittance is finding the courage to seek help. There seems to be a certain stigma with mental illness. Women feel ashamed of sharing their experiences. Making an appointment with a therapist to me was both hard a little embarrassing. So much so that I shared my experience with very few people. It’s a very vulnerable place to put yourself. You wonder how people will react. Sharing sort of reiterated my thoughts of feeling alone when all I really got in response was the sound of crickets from those I told. But it’s ok.

What I’ve learned so far:

It’s ok to see a therapist – I did and it seemed to really help.

It’s ok to take medication – For me, this was hard. I have tried 4 medications since my son was born and all have had greater side effects than benefits so I have been really hesitant to start a 5th.

It’s ok to ask for help when you need it. Some days, even the simplest tasks seem daunting and I get anxious and frustrated really quickly. My husband is always up for taking something off my shoulders so that I can refocus. Sometimes all it takes is 15 minutes alone in my room.

 

What has been the hardest:

Admitting I am “sick”

Having the ones you love see the behaviors you exude, but don’t see. The first medication made me feel the best I’ve felt in years, but it gave me extreme anxiety while driving. About 4 weeks in, my son said “Mama, I haven’t seen you laugh like that before.” That made me want to be better, but at the same time it made me sad. I don’t want my kids to remember me as depressed.

Having my husband and sons see me at my worst and often times get the brunt of my anxiety and anger.

Trying to find something that helps. Its an iterative process.

 

What I look forward to:

Being genuinely happy and laughing like I mean it.

Not being so anxious all the time. Simple things like driving, getting a facial, and being in an airplane have sparked severe panic attacks that I’ve never had before.

Allowing myself grace. I’m only human, not superwoman.

Working out – I love the gym. Even though I pack my bag everyday, I just can’t seem to find the motivation no matter how hard I try to get back to my healthy place.

My boys are what keeps me going and because…..

13 Comments

  • Reply
    Travel Pockets
    Monday, September 11, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    Stay strong, Steph! I know it’s hard to ask for help as I’ve been there myself this year. Seeing a therapist definitely helps and I will be thinking of you!

    • Reply
      thisisourlifebloggy@gmail.com
      Friday, September 15, 2017 at 7:52 pm

      Thank You for your kind words.

  • Reply
    Virjinia
    Monday, September 11, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    As someone who used to be on antidepressants, I would say to just take it one day at a time. It’s tough and sometimes there doesn’t seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel. However, you have so much love surrounding you so don’t be afraid to speak up.

    • Reply
      thisisourlifebloggy@gmail.com
      Friday, September 15, 2017 at 7:53 pm

      It’s been such a trial and error to find one that works. I have sort of given up hope at this point as far as medications are concerned.

  • Reply
    Nancy
    Monday, September 11, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    Thank you for sharing. So many women suffer from this! I’m glad you are getting help.

    • Reply
      thisisourlifebloggy@gmail.com
      Friday, September 15, 2017 at 7:54 pm

      Thank You, Nancy.

  • Reply
    Alexandra
    Monday, September 11, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    The “crickets” you hear are likely because a lot of us aren’t so fast on our feet to say the right thing and are afraid of saying the wrong thing. We’re not mean, just dumb. Please forgive.

    • Reply
      thisisourlifebloggy@gmail.com
      Friday, September 15, 2017 at 7:57 pm

      My advice for those who do not know what to say would just be to show you care. You dont have to outright ask about depression, but you can send a quick email, text or even a phone call saying “Just thinking of you and hoping you are well.” That goes over a lot better than staying silent.

  • Reply
    Crystal // Dreams, etc.
    Monday, September 11, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    It’s so hard to ask for help when you need it, but I’m glad you are. I love that you’re sharing what you’ve learned so far, too. It’s important to talk about these things so that others know they’re not alone and that it is okay to see a therapist, take medication, and ask for help when needed.

  • Reply
    Julie Borm
    Tuesday, September 12, 2017 at 10:26 am

    Thanks for sharing your story. I know it will help lots of mamas who are feeling the same way.

  • Reply
    hanna - platforms and pacifiers
    Tuesday, September 12, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    I am so so sorry you have to deal with this. I too have PPD and it is such a battle. I wish I had advice to “Make it All Better” but I don’t. I’m sorry doll.

  • Reply
    Julie I Aloha Lovely
    Tuesday, September 12, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    Being able to talk about it is probably the hardest first step. Thank you for sharing your experience, you never know who it might help!

  • Reply
    Rachel
    Wednesday, September 13, 2017 at 2:17 am

    Girl, I’ve shared my experiences with PPD/PPA over on my blog too. It’s hard. Like, REALLY HARD. I agree that having my husband see me in such a vulnerable (and aggressive) state was… unsettling. But asking (and accepting) help were key in my recovery process. Don’t get me wrong — I’m still being treated for anxiety and depression; but the PPD/PPA are (finally!) gone!

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