Postpartum Depression

1 in 8 Women Suffer from Postpartum Depression

I don’t know why I am, or even why I should have a reason to be, but I am… terrified.

I am terrified of slipping back, being right back where I was 13 months ago. 13 months ago is when I was at my lowest low, the deepest, darkest place I have ever been (as an adult). 13 months ago I was terrified of what was happening all around me and to me. 13 months ago I also took hold of my courage and got help for what I now know was (is) postpartum depression.

I feel like I’ve been on this journey for a long time now, and I still believe it happened for a reason – that reason being to become a voice for those who haven’t found the strength in themselves to talk about postpartum depression. I also feel like I have been on anti-depressant medication for a long time, although my doctor assures me not to feel like a year is uncommon. She has told me that many people take several years before they are at a point where they can become medication-free.

But I am still terrified.

I went to my doctor a couple weeks ago to talk to her about weaning myself (sounds a lot like breastfeeding – ha! – but oh so different!). I know that I can’t just stop taking my meds cold turkey. That would for sure send me into a backwards, downwards tailspin. I was afraid to even schedule the appointment, but my prescription had run out so I had no choice but to schedule something.

Things are going a lot better now with “normal” household life and the boys being a little older (they’ll still always be my little snugglebug babies) and getting a little easier. External circumstances are still what they are, but I’m able to deal with them on a more rational level and I’m able to focus, concentrate and get things done. All things that 13 months ago I couldn’t even think about, let alone talk about. I know that I’m better.

But I am still terrified.

I’ve had debates in my head about why it’s so important for me to get off my meds. And really I can never come up with a clear winning reason. I am one of the lucky rare ones (hey, that just means I’m unique, right?) who suffers from adverse symptoms of taking my medication: constant ringing in my ears – both ears, 24/7 (fun, NOT); frequent headaches; and fatigue. My doctor is hoping that these symptoms will all go away once I am off my meds. If not, well then we have a whole other set of problems to explore. For now, though, we discussed weaning off my meds just to see if those symptoms disappear.

On the opposite side of the debate, we are heading back into winter and if it’s anything like it was last year (so much snow I couldn’t see out my windows or my sliding glass door – not so much fun with a newborn and a 3-yr old). I for sure wasn’t the only one who was depressed! I am geared up with all kinds of support this winter – and again just the shear fact that the boys are getting older and a little easier to tote around – but I just don’t know if it’s “smart” of me to try weaning in the throws of winter.

So here I am, confused, overwhelmed and genuinely happy (something I’ve been practicing, regardless of circumstances – another post, another day…), but still terrified.

What am I terrified of, you ask? I am terrified of falling back into a depression, the kind I was in 13 months ago before I started taking medication. I am terrified of talking to my husband about this (why? who knows! He is the most supportive, loving, caring man I know). I am terrified of what if I’m not ready? What if I have to be on this medication forever? What if I become addicted? What if I get worse? What if I get better? – Yes, that’s a big one, huh?

What if I get better? That would be great, wouldn’t it? Am I afraid to be okay, to not have anything to fall back on as an excuse; To have to own up to everything and take full responsibility for all my actions (well, don’t I do try to do this already?). I’ve heard of people having fear of success. Could this be similar? I don’t know…

Maybe all of this fear is a sign to me that I’m not ready to go off my meds? I don’t know that either…

What I do know… I am terrified.


About pamelazimmer

Pamela Zimmer is a #1 bestselling author and speaker, transforming her personal pain and experience of Postpartum Depression into her purpose and passion. Through her #1 bestselling book, Reclaim The Joy of Motherhood, and her mentorship program, The HAPPY Mommy Method™, Pamela guides mothers on a healing journey from battling their own Postpartum Depression to embracing motherhood with joy.

Posted on November 27, 2011, in The Post Partum Period and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. weaning of meds is a difficult decision made more difficult by the fact that if they are working, you feel better and think that it might be ok to stop taking them. personally i discontinued one of my meds and lowered the dose of my anti-depressant and it was a total disaster. now that i am back on what i was before things are going better, not perfect, but better. people have had problems with the med they were on losing it’s efficacy once they stop taking it and then try and go back on it, not me, but i have read the blogs of people that it’s happened to. if i were you i would stay on the meds a little longer, but i’m the type of person who is ok being on meds for a long period of time if they actually help. good luck 🙂

  2. New to your blog and I must say I am proud of you…proud that you are able to recognize your fear and postpartum depression symptoms. The main “key” is trust yourself. This is not an easy road nor are you the only one. Your med’s are there to assist you ,make sure you are taking them accordingly….missing one dose can alter your system. Teach yourself to think of “Happy Thoughts” and breathing technics like inhaling and exhaling when you begin to fill that way. You will make it,trust me! Best wishes and Please join me too if you like….we welcome everyone!.

  3. Sounds like you need to take some pressure off of yourself. I have a friend that is going through something similar, and wants to stop taking her meds. My advice to her is, just try. It’s not like you can’t take them again if being off of them doesn’t work. Lean on your husband, he will feel distant if you don’t. Use your blog. I was so bored and depressed until I started mine. It has really helped to connect with women who actually understand what you are going through and don’t judge you. I’m so glad you found me today, so we can connect in the future! Keep your head up!

    Jessica @ Mom 4 Real

  4. Are you also talking to a therapist? I went to a psychiatrist for depression a number of years ago and didn’t end up pursuing the meds route, but mine wasn’t for post partum. I ended up going to a therapist to talk about my fears and stresses and anxiety. I went for over a year and it made a world of difference. From time to time I think about going back even though I have the tools to address the issues now…life keeps going and new things come up that we might need help dealing with. So for me it was talking about it and not feeling like I had to deal with it on my own. Kind of like a brain dump, which my blog ends up being for me! Hope it gets better!

    • Went to a therapist once. I know it would probably help, especially since now I’m pretty sure I’m over the worst of the postpartum stuff, and now it’s just stress and anxiety. It’s a battle with time & money and finding a regular time that works for me to have time to heal myself. Isn’t that always the case huh? Yep, my blog often works for a brain dump for me too. Writing tends to be my therapy right now!
      It’s getting better, I just have to trust myself… ha! 🙂

  5. Been there, been there! For me, the answer turned out not to be getting OFF meds, but getting ONTO different ones… An idea to explore anyway–it’s kept terror in the *past* for me. Best wishes!

    • Thanks Kana. I keep feeling like I should be fine, but then if I’m having these thought, I probably should listen to them. I’ve been on this particular med 7 months, it’s worked the best for me so far out of the 2 I’ve tried, but it’s definitely looking into changing it up again. 🙂

  1. Pingback: Happily Healing Out Loud « Stories of a Mom

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