Post Partum Depression
Post Partum Depression is real. I have it.
I had it before with my first son (I didn’t know it at the time), but this time it has decided to show itself much later, and I believe with more symptoms. It’s something I have been aware of (because I had it before) and have tried very hard to keep myself from spiraling down into a depression, but I now know it’s not something I can control by myself.
What’s hard about believing I have PPD is that at various times throughout the day I feel just fine. What I know, however, is that part of PPD is mood swings – and those I have. I also have many other symptoms – irritability, extreme fatigue, sleeplessness (despite pure exhaustion), crying, lack of desire to do anything (including getting dressed or even brushing my teeth), feeling numb or empty inside. And then there’s even the physical symptoms – those I never had the last time. I thought I was having a heart attack the other night when my chest starting hurting as I was nursing my son for the 3rd time in the middle of the night. After much research, I read that chest pain can be a symptom of depression. I was relieved, sort of, that I didn’t need to call 911 or go to the hospital for an EKG. But what that made me realize is that I need to get help for my PPD.
Where do I start? Who do I talk to? What do I say? I haven’t even told my husband.
I know I shouldn’t feel ashamed. But I can’t help feeling that I should be able to take control of it and just be happy! I feel guilty for having this, as I don’t want to burden my family with something else – as if there’s not already enough stress in my life to deal with. I guess this is where I have to be the strong woman I know I am deep down inside. I know I’m not alone. I know I need to pick up the phone and call someone. I just have to keep telling myself that.
And now my son is awake, and I must dive back into caring for him. I love him dearly. He is the most precious little angel on earth…