Postpartum Depression and Postpartum Anxiety are two conditions that people are aware of but don’t get spoken about enough. People tend to shy away from talking about emotions or mental illness because of fear of what others think.
Disclaimer: I am not a licensed physician, this post is strictly about my experience and the information my physician gave me. What I have experienced may not be the same as others. What has helped me may not be the best for everyone.
If I am able to help just one person I will be happy.
Prior to my diagnosis…
Towards the end of 2019, I was short tempered, crying frequently, anxiously worried, and angry. I thought my body was trying to regulate my hormones after having Iyla. I knew there had to be something more occurring. To be brutally honest, I was in denial I had developed PPD because I never experienced it with Alina.
Everyday I would feel swamped with emotions and stress. I was struggling mentally and I just didn’t feel like myself.
My breaking point was I was emotionally crying in my office and immedicately called my doctors office while crying. I knew I needed to get in to see my OB ASAP. At the time I was scheduling, it was slightly before Christmas so the next available was in January.
During this time I didn’t tell anyone that I was struggling deep down. I was going through it alone because I was worried about what others would think. I didn’t want how I was feeling to be brushed off as something that it wasn’t.
Daniel could see the negativity shining off of me but he didn’t notice it all the time. Learning how to hide how I was feeling was easy in the beginning but started to boil over quickly. Instead we encountered a gigantic blow up and I erupted with how I was feeling.
I told him everything I was struggling with mentally. Once he was aware, he had a better understanding of my mood fluctuations, attitude and anger.
Looking back now, I regret not voicing to him how I was feeling sooner.
If you are experiencing feeling similar to myself or your spouse is portraying these symptoms ensure to talk about it and contact your doctor!
The feelings I was having were not good, the depression was not only affecting myself, but the way I was parenting and my relationship.
PPD and PPA are serious mental illness’ that can cause terrible feelings and thoughts. I know now that if I would have waited any longer, something serious could have happened.
There were days where dark thoughts would go through my mind and I would have to snap myself out of thinking that way.
My Appointment with my OB…
I was screened by my nurse who I became very close with during my pregnancy. During this screening, I was asked several questions about why I felt like I was suffering from PPD. They were along the lines of whether I was feeling like harming myself/others, rating my sadness on a scale of 1-10, rating my sadness from moderate to extreme, etc.
Background: My OB is very familiar with who I am. I have been a patient of hers since Alina was an infant.
Once my nurse completed the initial screening, my OB came into the office and asked me what was going on. At that point I immediately broke down into tears explaining how I had been feeling for the past few months.
She immediately looked at me and said, “I know you and I know that this is not normal for you.“
At this point I definitely knew my diagnosis.
The plan that we reviewed was to begin taking an antidpressent that is suitable to take while breastfeeding. I was prescribed 50 mg Sertraline which is a generic form of Zoloft.
She informed me that it would take a couple of weeks to begin working. Because of this, she asked me not to get discouraged if I felt like it was making a difference. She also wanted me to come back in for a follow up after a month to touch base.
In the words of my OB: PPD causes physiological changes in your brain. The antidepressant is used to assist our brains by stimulating functionality prior to pregnancy.
In addition to taking the medication, she also suggested I see a therapist that specializes in PPD. If your new here, my Dad passed away about 4 months prior to me getting pregnant with Iyla. So seeing a therapist would help me to go through any lingering grief that I may carry.
One Month Follow Up…
I was feel much better than when I first went to see her. There was a significant change in my moods.
Being more mindful of when I saw a shift in my moods towards emotional, angry or stressed was key. Then I would try to calm myself and think more positively.
I was no longer crying for small reasons. I stopped feeling so unhappy and sad. AND most importantly, I stopped being so angry.
During this visit, she recommended I continue taking the medication for another five months. I was prescribed a low dose, so if I felt like I could stop taking it that it would be fine.
I finally feel more like myself. Regular mental and positivity checks have been important parts of my day.
Motivation to work out has been renewed. It has been such a great stress relief and act of self love for me personally.
Like I said before, I wish I would have told someone about how I was feeling sooner. There is no shame in asking for help. PPD and PPA are serious conditions and it is so important to constantly check on your new parents!