PPD is also known as Postpartum Depression. It is something I'm becoming all too familiar with, unfortunately. This post has taken me a long time to write. It has taken me a long time to get the courage to write, and a long time to figure out how to put into words this silent affliction. I hate this post. And all too often I find I hate myself.
Did you know anger is a symptom of depression? I didn't until about five
months ago. I didn't even think about that, even though I had been so angry for
months. It wasn't until after I thought
"Man wouldn't it be nice if the world really did end at the end of 2012!?!
Then I wouldn't have to deal with everything anymore" that I thought maybe
I was depressed. That thought passed
through my mind as I sat in my rocker feeding Maizy. That was the first time I
really let myself think that I might have PPD.
I think I knew long before that, but for some reason I was in
denial. After all, three different
health care professionals had already asked me if I thought I had PPD. Every time I said no, I'm just tired, or
stressed. But I the back of my mind I
though, yeah probably. Why in the far
reaches of my mind I thought yes, but no followed by an excuse came out of my
mouth is beyond me. I wish I'd said yes
the very first time someone asked me, when Maizy was only 6 weeks old. Instead I suffered, and my family suffered
for four more months.
Even after I thought about how everything would be easier if everything
ended I still did not fully admit to myself that I was depressed. It took a week of that thought itching in my
mind for me to consult good old Dr. Google.
As I typed in the search bar "is anger a symptom of..." it
guess bipolar disorder. My heart about
stopped. My Dad is bipolar. I was terrified. Part of me wanted to click on that, but I was
too scared and I continued typing depression.
I was amazed to find out that anger IS a symptom of depression. I thought about my childhood with a father
who has a mental disorder. I thought
about my children. I called my OBGYN and
made an appointment for the next day.
After a few days I worked up the courage to Google bipolar disorder. The relief was palpable as only symptom of
bipolar I seemed to have was anger. I do
know mental disorder is no more my fault then the fact I had gestational diabetes,
or how others have heart problems. And in that sense there is no difference
between bipolar and depression. But I do
think managing bipolar would be more difficult then depression. It is also more of a life long battle where
as depression can be worked through and over
come. It made me thankful to "just
I've experienced depression before, at 18 after I moved out, escaped the
abuse. I sought help with a councilor
and my bishop. The atonement is real and
healed my broken heart and spirit. After
I weaned Croix I had a bit of depression.
Exercise, eating right and doing good things for myself kicked it pretty
efficiently. Neither of those times had
I been angry. The intensity of my anger
scared me. I am not exaggerating when I say everything Brent did or did not do
made me angry. I was angry with the kids
all the time. How and why I was angry
with my newborn, my infant is beyond me but I was. There were moments I just wanted to throw her
across the room. And my sweet Croix I
literally pictured beating him. And then
I hated myself. I prayed he would not
remember when I turned into a monster. I
prayed and still do pray that those six months of unmediated depression have
not scared him for life. Have not put a
scratch in his trust for me. I felt
nothing but anger all the time. I was
angry with everyone, especially myself.
As I was thinking about my upcoming Doctors appointment I wanted to talk to
someone who had experienced PPD and gotten on medication for it. I could only think of one person I knew for
sure had. Another friend I though probably
had and felt comfortable enough asking her.
She had. Two people that's
it. I was grateful I was not completely
alone but of all my friends in the world I could only think of two people who
had been on antidepressants. Not that I'm
saying the whole world should be on anti depressants but I wondered if there
really were only that few people that I knew.
As I sat and told the doctor about my
depression, got a prescription and left I did not feel hopeful. I did not feel relief. I thought I would have, but I did not.
Christmas Eve I took my first little blue pill. I laughed that it really was a little blue
pill. It took a while, a couple weeks
before I felt like I started to notice a difference. About six weeks before I started to feel a
little more like myself.
I felt, and at times still feel so alone.
When I was depressed after Croix I turned to Brent, and found the love
and support I needed. It's hard to turn
to someone for love and support when you are constantly mad at them. I felt ashamed of my feelings of anger which
makes it hard to turn to friends. The
shame led to more self hate. It's very
easy for me to have negative, self defeating self talk. That's what I grew up with inside my head so
it's familiar and easy to go there again.
I worked very hard years ago to overcome those thought cycles and successfully
built a good sense of self esteem and self worth. I gradually came to love myself as an
invaluable daughter of Heavenly Parents.
I became a confidant, happy, outgoing woman. Depression has taken those attributes away
from me. I no longer feel like the
person I was. I miss the person I
was. I miss the mother I was, the wife,
the friend. I miss me. After talking to a good friend with
depression I have come to realize that is a blessing. At least I know what it's like to be happy,
and normal. Some people don't have that
to remember who they are, not who the disease is, the depression.
I'm so thankful for my Wellness Challenge.
There are days I feel like it's the only thing helping me keep my head
above water. Being "forced" to
do things that are good for me and helpful in fighting depressing is just what
I needed. Reading my scriptures,
exercising, eating right, doing things for myself.
I don't think my depression is circumstantial, meaning I don't think if
Brent were nicer, my kids were better behaved, my house was bigger, we had more
money, if something in my life were different I wouldn't be depressed. My life is wonderful! I love my life. I really feel it is entirely caused by hormonal
and chemical imbalances. After being on
antidepressants four months and still not feeling like myself I decided that
although my depression is not circumstantial perhaps I would do what the doctor
suggested and talk to a councilor as well.
I'm hopeful that will help.
Although I do not feel this over whelming anger any more I still find
myself unjustifiably angry. I still feel
completely overwhelmed. I still have
days I hate myself and feel like a failure.
I still feel sad. I'm not one to
sit around and wallow in my misery. I'm
a doer, I'm proactive. I'll do whatever
it takes to find myself again. I think
at this point the hard part is going to be being patient with myself knowing
that depressing, hormonal, chemical depression is not always something you can
just fix. I just have to wait for my
body to find homeostasis again. It
will. I will feel like myself
again. It just the in between time
that's going to be hard. Thankfully I'm
not alone, I have Brent, and my Savior, and some good friends.