May marks the start of Maternal Depression Awareness Month.
The Maternal Depression Awareness Month is an awareness campaign that is extremely close to my heart.
After having my baby, I lost control of my mental health. My depression came back with a vengeance on top of the severe anemia that I was already facing. I physically and mentally could not take care of my family as I wanted.
My doctors quickly put me on several antidepressants after an episode of PPP (postpartum psychosis). Despite the fact that the psychosis episode ended, my PPD (postpartum depression) remained. Somedays I was happy, and I was able to appear happy, while other days I was sad and struggled to mask it all. How could I feel so empty after finally getting what I’ve always wanted–a beautiful, happy baby?
Some days I was happy, and I was able to appear happy, while other days I was sad and struggled to mask it all. How could I feel so lost after finally getting what I’ve always wanted–a beautiful, happy baby?
I convinced myself that I could change this through sheer will. I became angry whenever I took my pills feeling like I was a slave to my depression. I felt robbed of my son’s first-year experiences.
I fought like hell to get out of my depression. It took an entire year, an army of friends, the most patient husband, and loving family.
I wish the words that my family and friends were saying could permeate that fog that had fallen over me.
Though I felt alone, despite all of the support, I never could fathom that there are thousands of women out there going through the same thing as I.
As people became more aware of how widespread maternal depression reaches, the more people began understanding me. People started knowing what to say–and that made all of the difference.
If you’re at a loss for words, read part two on May 8: “What Your Friend Going Through PPD Needs to Hear.”