Postpartum Depression

I have postpartum depression.

Whew! It feels good to get that off my chest. If you are a close friend or family member and are just now finding this out - I am sorry I didn't have the courage to tell you in person. But, yes, it is true. I have been struggling with unbalanced hormones, mood swings, anxiety, exhaustion. And I have also done a pretty good job of hiding it. Those of you who are closest to me may have witnessed small glimpses - but for the most part I have kept it all to myself. 

It was hard for me to admit to myself. At first I blamed it on pregnancy hormones. Then I blamed it on sleep deprivation. And then it was my gallbladder. But I reached a point when I needed to be bluntly honest with myself about how I was feeling.

It was a stranger's Facebook post that got me thinking. The words were there in black and white - everything I had been feeling since my daughter was born. And a message: "if this sounds anything like how you are feeling - this is not normal and you can get help."

It took me at least another month before I mentioned something to my husband. And then another week before I asked a therapist I knew about it - off hand, of course. Hoping they didn't know I was asking for myself. And then another few weeks before I emailed my doctor: Is this normal? I typed, full well knowing the answer but wishing for the "just hormones- nothing unusual to see here" response.

Instead my suspicions were confirmed. Her response was a prescription for antidepressants and referral to a psychologist to monitor medication and progression.

After I read her response - I gave in to the tears that signified both relief and frustration with the situation I found myself in. But, I wished I could go back in time and hope it all away. I didn't want to be that mom. I wanted to be the mom in the movies who didn't have a care in the world or a stretch mark in sight. Neither of those would be true for me.

I now have a few months of medication and therapy sessions under my belt, and I am starting to feel lighter. It takes me less time to find my way through the confusing and anxious thoughts into being present with those around me. 

I sleep better, worry less, and enjoy more. 

I am by no means back to 100%. I still have outbursts and bad moments - but I know that I will get better with time and attention to the disease. 

I also know that this is normal. According to the CDC, 1 in 9 women will suffer from Postpartum Depression, and that is only taking into account cases that were actually diagnosed. Through this experience, I have learned that many women go untreated. Chances are you have a close friend who is or has gone through this very thing. 

If you find yourself having any of the following thoughts, I encourage you to reach out to your gynecologist and get a referral to a psychiatrist who can help:
  • Anxious thoughts about the safety of you and your family - to the point of paranoia
  • Letting yourself imagine the worse case scenario wherever you are so you can prepare for it
  • Hopeless in your situation and stuck
  • Wanting to escape your situation
  • Wanting to harm you and/or your child
  • Extreme exhaustion
  • Extreme insomnia
  • Unjustified emotional outbursts
  • Overwhelmed
  • Inability to concentrate

There is a way to get out from under the cloud and enjoy the light. And remember, you are not in this alone. 


  1. GIRL! These two were TOTALLY ME for at least an entire year.

    "Anxious thoughts about the safety of you and your family - to the point of paranoia
    Letting yourself imagine the worse "

    I wish somebody had told me that was postpartum!


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