Recently we saw actor Sameera Reddy speak up about her experience with Postpartum Depression, and she truly set an example for a lot of women out there who are often told to keep mum about their mental health.
Post Natal Depression is a mental health concern that is just as important as other aspects of mental health and deserves to be treated with utmost care and seriousness. Hence, we've got a list of PPD confessions by women you can read through, just in case you'd like to know more about it.
1. I stayed in touch with friends and family. I also went to therapy once a week and she referred me to sources online, which helped a ton! I had postpartum anxiety with some depression, so that lasted for about a year.
2. Don't just try to cope! Get a therapist, and if you're not breastfeeding look into medication. Trying to deal with it on my own was a nightmare and almost killed me. It's nothing to be ashamed of, so there's no reason to hide it. Be up-front about the issue and get help! Also, yoga and meditation were beneficial extras.
3. I had it for almost the entire first year. Looking back, I'm pretty sure I was depressed during the pregnancy too. I went largely untreated, so I just muddled through. I didn't feel any love for the baby until he was nine, maybe ten months old. I took care of him because I had to, not because I loved him. And people around me kept saying things like, "Oh, don't you love being a mom? Isn't it the best thing ever?" And, no, it wasn't. I felt we'd made a big mistake and wanted to give him back. Now, he's in middle school, and he's awesome and I'm so glad we have him. He and I are very close. But PPD is a huge reason why he's an only child.
4. I wish I did more to manage mine after the birth of my first child. I was there, but not present and involved myself in other things to help my mind escape from all the crying I heard at home. Because I wasn’t emotionally as present as I should have been, I think it affected my relationship with my firstborn. She’s 4 now and sometimes I feel if she was just with her dad she’d be happier. That’s probably just my guilt talking, but it does hurt me to know that maybe I could’ve had a stronger bond with her if I had tried harder when she was a baby.
5. I called a Psych NP and got on meds and therapy. She literally saved my life. I purposely called on an off hour to get the voicemail, but she answered the phone. I told her it’s the only thing she ever did wrong.
6. It feels like a bottomless pit of despair. Like I couldn't care for my own child. He felt like an outsider to me. I didn't feel bonded to him in any way. He could have been switched at birth for all I knew, I didn't feel like he was mine. But of course, he is. I didn't want to care for him, I didn't want to feed him, and I wanted him to sleep all the time. He took my husband's time from me. I felt so selfish. There were days my husband would be feeding him a bottle because I refused to feed him (he's a breastfed baby). I would lay in a ball on the bed sobbing because I couldn't bring myself to feed him. I felt like I was a terrible mother. I felt we made a mistake. One that couldn't be corrected. Now I was stuck with this baby forever. I knew in my heart we wanted this baby. We planned for him. Suddenly I regretted all of that planning. I was angry with this innocent baby. It's terrible.
7. You feel alone. Really alone. I didn’t want to tell anyone what I was feeling as I was afraid to even admit aloud what I was thinking. I wanted to die. I was scared that someone would tell me that I would have to stop nursing my baby and it was the only thing that was keeping me alive. If I would have been told that, I am fairly confident I would not be alive today. I am a fairly bright person. Life has had many trials, but nothing was as bad as that prenatal and postpartum depression that I went through. It took all of life's trials and magnified them twenty times. I wish that someone would have told me that I could get medication and still breastfeed. I wish someone would have directed me to a postpartum depression support group. I wish I would have known where to look for one. I ended up finding a mom’s support group which really helped. It got me out of the house, even when I didn’t want to. I found a place for my children to go once a week, so I had a quiet evening alone. I started exercising, just even walks around the block and practising a little more self-care. Those things really helped. Most of all, I started to focus on eating a more balanced diet with essential nutrients for living and taking good supplements. Those things will not generally cure or completely help PPD, but it can help some if you are not to the point of hurting yourself or someone else. Please do not be afraid to tell your doctor or midwife how you are feeling. You can be a good mom and get help for PPD. This is not something you are to blame for.
8. I would constantly have thoughts about leaving my daughter somewhere. They were terrifying fantasies that often crowded themselves into my dreams, and did for years even after I got treatment. I still have nightmares every once in a while wherein I left her someplace and couldn't find her. Guilt, suicidal thoughts, homicidal thoughts... More guilt. It's awful. You feel like you made a mistake, not because you had a child but because you forced the child to have YOU. You feel like no one deserves to have you as a mother, that you're better off killing the child and yourself and ridding her of the burden of growing up with your toxicity and then two seconds later feel like you deserve to be set on fire for even thinking such a thing. As for overcoming it you either get medical help and work through it or... You don't.
9. I went through severe postpartum depression after my first child. I thought I had been burdened with too much and that I could not keep up with the workload of raising a baby. I felt she asked for milk too often. I felt I would never be able to sleep properly. I did not like her presence between my husband and me. Luckily, my husband realized what I felt without my explicitly telling him. He stepped in as a nanny. He would take her from me when she was bawling for milk or from colic pains. He would get up at night, pick the crying baby up and ask me to go to sleep. In short, he was both my therapist and therapy. Weeks later, I discussed the mess I had become with my doctor. She looked up, and asked me why I didn't come to her for meds earlier. Postpartum depression can be relieved by family members if you are lucky to have some good ones. Otherwise, you must consult your doctor.
10. Hi! Longtime suffer of postnatal depression here. It feels like you’re empty. Everything is hard and you just don't have the energy to do it - even simple tasks like getting out of bed take everything you have. A lot of people think it means you don't care about your baby but this isn't mostly the case - a lot of woman with PND worry excessively about the health of their child. A lot of woman are consumed with the feelings of being a rubbish mum and think their baby will be better off with out them.
11. Hi all. I’m 2 months pp and hoping to hear from others. it went well for about a month and then I crashed HARD. I’ve had anxiety and depression issues intermittently throughout my life. I lost my milk supply due to anxiety which ended up making it worse with a rush of hormones and guilt that I wasn’t giving my daughter the best. I ended up in in-patient for a few nights as I thought I couldn’t do it anymore. Since then I’ve started on Citalopram and Trazedone for sleep. I believe the SSRI started to help a little bit but I feel like I can’t wait one more day to feel normal again. I love my daughter but every day is so hard. Getting out of bed is hard. Getting clothes on is hard. Washing bottles is hard. One of the worst things? I can’t sleep. As soon as I lay down I get a rush of adrenaline and heart palpitations. It makes taking care of my daughter even harder on a few hours of sleep a night. A couple of nights I didn’t sleep one minute which required me to lean on my parents to take care of my daughter as I laid there like a zombie. Has anyone been here and have success stories? I keep thinking there are so many women that do it why can’t I? why am I struggling so much? Will I ever sleep normal again? I’m so desperate.
12. It does get better. I'm 4 and a half months in with my second. I had it a little with my first but my second was something entirely different. It didn't just creep up on me, it crept then pounced. I would wake up multiple times thinking she was dead. Not just a "I'll just check she's breathing" like most mums think, but a full on panic she'd died. I cried, sometimes full on sobbed, daily. And sometimes more than once. My mum started to come over twice a week to help me get my first to nursery and I was just filled with this unexplainable, inexplicable guilt. I got put on something or other but it would make me sleepy so I'd wake up and instantly fall asleep, even when breastfeeding. It was dangerous so I came off them. I would have anxiety attacks at the thought of leaving the home but at weekends I would force myself to go for a walk with them, even if just down the road. It was such a small feat but I was so proud. Then lockdown happened and my boyfriend, their dad, had to stay home and it helped immensely. It took so much pressure off. And one day it was like the dark clouds had lifted. I dread to think how things would have gone without lockdown though. I couldn't have done it all without him though, he was an amazing support and hopefully you have that same support. But it does and will get better. It might not feel it right now, but it does. My thoughts are with you during these shitty times and you'll be absolutely fine
If you are going through this or know anyone else going through PPD, please get professional help, there is no shame in it.