Its time raise awareness. There are several bloggers posting about post partum for a women every where. This started because a woman lost life her life and as always the media ran with it. So I will share my story as well. In hopes to help someone else.
When we hear the word depression, we picture someone dressed in black, chains, sitting in a corner hating life. I did. I never thought depression would hit me. More like it beat me to my lowest point ever.
I was 18, married and about to deliver my first child. I was anxious. At the time, my husband was deployed and was on his way home for 2 weeks. When he got home things were great. Awesome. I was induced. Everything was happy. 2 days before Christmas I brought our daughter into the world. I noticed something off when I got extremely frustrated trying to do something simple. Like feeding her, or trying to get her dressed. I brushed it off as being a new mom and upset my husband had to go back.
2 weeks after she was born we had a home visit for her growth and for me. My husband was already back in Iraq. The nurse checked our daughter and she was growing fine. Just healthy as can be. She started asking me questions and the answers led to postpartum depression. She said every mother has it and I will "out grow" it. Not to worry. Ok great. I believed her.
About 2 months down the road I was not in my best place, but it wasn't like the depression you see on tv. Sad angry not motivated. I was all those things, but I was acting completely different. Didn't want to sit still. I wanted to be surrounded by friends. It wasn't good. I went and seen my doctor and again everything is fine. I will out grow these "baby blues". I am fine and normal.
My husband came home in November of 2007. He was gone a total of 15 months. I was not myself. I wanted to sleep all the time, not clean nothing. I had no motivation. I was in a horrible state and my family suffered. It was not right. I finally and went and got seen by a therapist. She explained postpartum depression is something that will not go away on its own. For a little over a year I dealt with this, as it got worse and worse and I was ignored.
I was diagnosed with severe recurrent depression. My husband being in the military, we move a lot. My therapist were changed, my meds changed. It was a struggle. I was eating my feelings. And I was worried of gaining weight. I developed an eating disorder. I would binge eat to make myself feel better, but then a voice in my head told me I would get fat and my husband would leave me. So I would restrict myself from eating. It would be anywhere from 1 meal a day to all 3. I was in a downward spiral that had no sign of stopping.
I was afraid to get help. Thinking they would tell me I was fine, or it was in my head. I was very afraid they would lock me up. That would of destroyed me. I would lose everything.
By the time I finally got help, I was so far gone you could see the bones in my neck and face. I just had skin hanging. My husband was deployed(his 3rd one) and we already had 3 children. I lost 15 pounds in a matter of a week or less. I was starving myself because I ate food. And food made you fat. My doctor put me on a medicine and I started to force myself to do things. Go outside even if it was to sit on the porch. I started to feel better.
Its an everyday struggle to eat. Its an everyday struggle to get up and move. I do it because I still remember the pain, the suffering, the feelings. I don't want to go back.
Its not something that you can heal over night, and with medicine its still a struggle. But with family and a good group of friends along with help, you can learn to struggle less.
Depression hits everyone differently. Not a signs they show are the same for everyone. Not everyone knows how to handle it. Its not a joke or something to make fun of. If you ignore it like I did and like I was, it leads to worse. Its like I have brains. One is the stable one. Telling me to eat, be happy, don't be sad. Push myself. The other is telling me I will never be happy so don't try. Don't eat because I will gain weight, this depression will never go away. And I am learning how to make both of them work together. The negative brain is right, but it needs my positive brain to help me overcome the negative. And vice versa.
Don't ignore any sign. Get help. If you are ignored, find someone who will listen.