Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Postpartum Depression Sucks a Bag of D*cks


I know a lot of people don't talk about postpartum depression. And a hell of a lot less talk about needing medication to treat it. But, hey, I have already told you that at one point my vag looked like Mickey Rourke and that I poop with my feet on a stool, so why stop the self-humiliation there.

When I had The Quiet Contemplator, my postpartum experience was a shitstorm that I never want to go through again. Not only was I extremely depressed (baby blues my ass) but I also had a cancer scare, developed a thyroid problem, got two bacterial infections and found out my mom had Parkinson's Disease. 

Needless to say, I went down and went down hard. I never really recovered. Que the after-effects of having a baby in an already depressed person, throw in the obstacles that were thrown in my path during it, take away all things that resemble sleep and add an infant that cried from about 3 pm to 8 pm, and you had me: one hot fucking mess of a mama. Let's just say, it was not pretty. I lost friends, alienated the ones I loved, lost all sense of self-worth, etc. The only thing I managed to do right was to be a good mom. But that is all that I was. Outside of being a mom, I was a shadow of my former self.

I even went to therapy right before I got pregnant again because I didn't want to start meds since we were planning another baby and the jury is still out on what the effects of being on anti-depressants while pregnant are. Therapy helped and things evened up a bit when I actually got pregnant, but I was never really there. I participated in my life but didn't really have an active role in it. I didn't realize it then, but I hadn't actually experienced true happiness in years.

This time, I decided to take control before The Crazy Train of postpartum depression even left the station. I started anti-depressants in the hospital right after I had The Cool Cucumber and had a prescription filled for when I got home. So far? Best. Decision. I. Have. Ever. Made.

Now that I am actually on medicine, I feel something I haven't felt in a long time: happiness. I didn't know how far out of control my depression had gotten until I actually did something to fix it. Now, not only does the medication (Lexapro) not sap me of all emotion, but it has actually helped me feel real emotion again. I actually feel like I am someone again. I feel joy, sadness, relief, anxiety, love. I feel everything. I am not just a passenger on the back of the bus that is my life anymore. I am actually driving again and it feels fantastic.

Now are meds an easier choice for me because I am a formula mama? Sure as hell are. Is there something you can do even if you are not? Yep. Talk to someone. A friend, your Dr, your priest, your mom. Hell, talk to me. Having a baby is hard. Having a baby while struggling with real depression is impossible. It is not your fault and you are no less of a mom for having it. Just get help. I did this time and I feel real again. I feel whole. I feel strong. I feel like me.

15 comments:

  1. Good for you for getting help and medication. The hardest part about depression (I think for me anyway) was to admit I was depressed and something was wrong. I suffer from panic/anxiety attacks so I made sure to get my prescription filled right away. I do both formula and breast milk but I can still take my meds. It really really helps. I'm a first time mom with a 6 day old newborn :)

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  2. I don't know what it feels like to be depressed, but I am close to a lot of people who do. And all I can say is good for you for realizing it, accepting it & having enough courage to do something about it! & to share it on the world wide web - you must be one tough mama! Go you! =)

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  3. I appreciate this post. I had horrible post-partum depression with my son. I tried to tough it out but now realize it followed me for a long time. The anxiety was unbearable, especially with a baby who cried a lot. I am expecting my second son in April and am going to talk to the doctor at my next appointment about breastfeeding and meds. Thanks for this post. It helps.

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  4. Yaay! Thank you for this post. It's hard to feel alone on TOP of depressed and overwhelmed, so I think getting it out there helps a lot. The best thing I have learned from antidepressants is that the world I see when I'm depressed isn't real, and if I hang on, I will get back to the real world soon where I am loved and valued.

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  5. I have a history of severe depression and the idea of PPD terrifies me. My Husband will be deploying shortly after our first child is born so everyone is telling me the chances of it happening are greater than... This post means a lot and gives me the courage to ask for those meds right away. Thank you.

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  6. Thanks for honestly sharing your struggles with us. It's a brave thing.

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  7. Thank you for sharing your experience with this. I am a FTM one month PP. Everyone is on high alert watching me for signs of PPD (history of depression/anxiety) and it makes me feel like it's inevitable some days. I went off a low dose of meds when we started TTC, but they never really made me feel happy anyway. It's good to know that I have a supportive husband and therapist, but at the same time, just feeling that they're all scrutinizing my every action is adding to the new mom anxiety I'm already fighting!

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  8. Thank you so much for this entry. You make PPD so much less trivial. You are one. amazing. woman. Did I do that right? ;-)

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  9. Yay for you! Taking the meds and enjoying the baby rather than suffering in silence. I was also a formula mom and have to say for me it was the best decision. Took a lot of crap for it, but also did it for my second. Both healthy, happy teenagers now. I had slight depression with no meds needed but I could see how it could have changed quickly. Happens so much more than people talk about.

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  10. Thank you Thank you. You are strong.

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  11. I think new moms are just too the hell out of it to sometimes decipher what behavior/feelings are normal, what's a little wonky and what's downright batshit crazy. I know I cried at every little thing for a good month to six weeks after my son was born. Granted, he arrived nine weeks early and was hospitalized for five weeks. But, strangely, it wasn't his hospitalization or health that sent me into fits of tears. None of my mom friends ever talk about the dark hours of new motherhood, so to this day, I don't know how normal it was. I kinda wish we were a society where women weren't ashamed of their feelings and physical maladies post-birth ... it'd help all of us, for sure. Glad to hear you were able to diagnose yourself and figure out a medical plan that puts you in a good place, merely 3 weeks after giving birth!

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  12. I didn't have PPD with my first so it took me by surprise with this one. I made it to 5 weeks before I knew I needed to talk to my dr.

    I am breastfeeding and I can still take Zoloft and am starting to feel better again!

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  13. I am just coming across your blog now. Come over from one of the Domestic Enemies posts. I was never officially diagnosed, but I'm sure I had PPD after having my son 3.5 years ago. I also never fully recovered. I just couldn't pull myself up, and my husband was dealing with anxiety and depression following a car accident. Between looking after my son and my husband, I never got around to making MYSELF feel better. I also wasn't diagnosed because I never told anyone... I didn't know that that inner, red-hot, RAGE i was feeling was "depression" because i didn't feel "sad. I wish I had told someone.

    Now that my husband is medicated and emotionally under control again, and our son is, you know, a big boy now, i finally went to my doctor and broke down. He prescribed a medication, and I have been feeling wonderful ever since. Like you, I feel the ups and downs, but thats ok, cause there were no ups before.

    I'm so glad you figured out the problem and got it sorted. I'm so glad you are feeling good again, and that you can enjoy your baby. Sending lots of hugs your way!

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  14. you wrote this a week before my son was born...and a week before my hell of ppd and anxiety began. I wish I read this. I'm grateful that almost for months in I'm truly happy....like you said for the first time in years. I start to blog about it but never finish. I want to remember how far I have come but at the same time I kind is want to forget those first couple of months and that"other" me. I do know my husband is up for sainthood, though. poor guy.

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