I am 30 years old with two young boys, and I have suffered from anxiety and mild depression since I was 15. When I first got pregnant with my son, I experienced depression and anxiety before he was even born. I had horrible thoughts about my unborn child, but then I would cry and cry because I loved my baby so much. He was going to make me a mom for the first time ever, which was literally like a dream come true for me.
During the pregnancy, I remember I would feel stable for a couple of days, but would then experience a panic attack or obsessive thinking about things I never had control over. I lost 14 pounds due to my anxiety disorder, and I eventually called my mom and asked for help. Although I debated checking myself into a hospital, my mother helped me find a specialist nearby. This doctor was my saving grace, and he helped me become human again. He helped me realize that it is okay to ask for help, guidance, and support from those around me.
Later, I gave birth to a beautiful boy. Although the obsessive thoughts still came, I had learned coping mechanisms to help. One thing I do know is that no one wants to feel this way. I still struggle and it’s not easy – it just becomes something that I can control better with exercise and medications. I know I will always have some form of anxiety and depression throughout my life, but I also know that I have been helped through some of my hardest trials.
I am so thankful for my religious beliefs and faith, which help me put one foot in front of the other even on my hardest days. As someone who once felt like I couldn’t get out of deep, dark depression, having loved ones around really played a part in my healing process. As mothers, we are all doing the best we can, and I commend us all!