This is about my daughter, who gave birth at the age of 19. She was excited about going to college to study business and was a very good artist. After the baby was born, it all changed. My daughter didn’t want to bond with the baby, she was always crying or sleeping, and she wanted someone else to watch the baby so she could be alone. She started just sitting at home with the shades down and lights off–never wanting to go anywhere or take the baby outside. Years went by and she couldn’t work because of anxiety and panic attacks, and she sat at home doing nothing. Her child had no one to talk to, and every time I called, my grandbaby would tell me mommy was sleeping. Neither my daughter nor my granddaughter had friends.
Eventually, my daughter started having bad dreams and talking to herself. One night, she ran out of the house, barefoot and in her pajamas. She crossed several busy streets and was screaming and banging on people’s windows asking for help. She couldn’t remember what happened when the police and ambulance showed up. After getting her to the hospital, they put her on antidepressants and admitted her to a mental facility for 10 days.
Within 2 weeks, she also started hearing voices and was talking to herself about dying. I tried my best to help, but had a very difficult time finding her care. I finally took her to a hospital and begged for someone to listen to me, and she was put on medication. Although she is doing better now, she still struggles immensely.
My advice to any parent out there is to listen, try and understand, and do what you can to help. Don’t let them be alone. Go over and open shades, go take a walk with them to get fresh air, help them contribute to the community, or find community classes. Just don’t let them stay home alone where they feel sad, tired, and overwhelmed. Keep looking for a professional who knows about postpartum issues. Please go in and get help with the first signs you see–don’t let it turn into something bigger. Finally, please know that a lot of women have this; don’t feel ashamed to get help. You can be proud of yourself that you overcame this and became the mom you want to be.