I had my first baby just over a year ago, and was concerned about postpartum depression because my mother had experienced it. Fortunately, my doctor was familiar with my mom’s history, so we discussed postpartum depression at my visits and he helped me get the information I needed to feel prepared before the baby was born.
In spite of my preparation and knowledge, I still struggled after my baby was born. In fact, I didn’t even recognize that I had postpartum depression. I couldn’t control my emotions at all. I would cry if I was upset, happy, or angry. Additionally, I became fixated on things that previously didn’t bother me at all. My appetite was out of control as well. I wanted to eat chocolate constantly. Finally, I got anxiety about going out and seeing people, which was unusual.
After talking with my doctor, he put me on an antidepressant medication, which I’m still taking a year later. My doctor was kind to inform me that postpartum depression might last a long time, and might even lead to struggles I would cope with for my entire life. There was no quick fix for what was happening; it was something I would have to manage.
Finding out I had postpartum depression was hard for me. At first I was happy to know there was something I could do about it. Then, I began to feel discouraged that I had to take a medication to feel like myself. It took a while for me to change my perspective from feeling bad that I had to take medication to being glad that it helped me so much. Not every woman is so lucky to have found that help. I hope my story can inspire others to get the help they need. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help. You are helping both yourself and your family by seeking help.