The other day while crying through yet another lunch break, I googled postpartum depression.
I had talked about this with my doctor at my 6 week checkup and didn’t have any problems and felt totally fine. Yet here I am at 11 weeks, crying my eyes out at least once a day.
I wondered, do I have postpartum depression?
The National Institute of Mental Health has a list of postpartum depression symptoms and unforunately I was experiencing a lot of them, including:
- Feeling sad, hopeless, empty, or overwhelmed (I felt them all)
- Crying more often than usual or for no apparent reason
- Worrying or feeling overly anxious
- Feeling moody, irritable, or restless
- Having trouble concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
- Experiencing anger or rage
- Losing interest in activities that are usually enjoyable
- Suffering from physical aches and pains, including frequent headaches, stomach problems, and muscle pain (all three of these unfortunately)
- Withdrawing from or avoiding friends and family
- Thinking about harming herself
That’s a whole lot of not normal things to be feeling, right?
When I read the list I realized… oh crap. This is probably why I feel all of these super confusing things. This is why even though I have a super happy and pretty easy baby… I feel miserable.
Unfortunately the feelings I’ve had were so much worse than the baby blues right after birth. Like the website says, the baby blues are very different and they do go away on their own. These feelings weren’t going away. They were intensifying. I could feel myself falling deeper and spiraling without being able to control it. I was telling myself logical thoughts and they were not combating the things I was feeling.
Do I have PPD? Do I have regular depression? Do I need help?
After calling my doctor, I’m getting treatment with medication and plan to start some type of therapy. I am hopeful that this won’t last forever and that I won’t spiral further. And maybe I don’t have PPD exactly since it’s been longer post birth than it normally takes to show up. Maybe it’s just regular ole depression. I haven’t gotten a formal diagnosis yet.
All I know is I’ve got something broken in my brain right now and I’m working on fixing it.
I wanted to share this experience because as embarrassing as it is… it happens. I have a long history of anxiety and mental health issues. Maybe hearing from other people who have gone through it and come out the other side will help me feel better. And maybe sharing will help someone else who feels so terrible when it happens to them.