Thursday, March 17, 2011

PPD: an unspoken struggle

Post-partum depression.

We'll go over this topic more than once.

A friend wrote me a heartfelt post illustrating her struggle with post-partum depression, and I am more than happy to publish her words. It's a topic that needs more light, more understanding. PPD is more affecting than I think people want to believe, but we never talk about the constant paradox of believing with our whole hearts that we should, and can, be happy, yet never quite make it there...something always gets in the way, which my friend speaks to very well.

After the birth of a child, there is a lot of talk about the baby blues and postpartum depression. I always was very confused by this. How could you be depressed after the birth of such a beautiful, wonderful little angel! What an amazing experience. This is true but what you don’t think about is all the stress that goes with balancing your perfect little angel and the rest of your life.

After the birth of my last baby, I felt everything was fine. I had 6 weeks off of work and I enjoyed my time with my baby and my other children. What a great feeling it was to just be a mom and enjoy my children! After 6 weeks leave, I had to go back to work. We could not financially afford for me to stay home any longer. I was tired and exhausted but figured in time it would all work out. I just needed to adjust and I did adjust to the day to day but I was still exhausted.

As the weeks and months progressed, my relationship with my husband has been becoming more strained. The baby is almost 6 months old and there is little intimacy in our relationship. Some may think, well that is normal in a busy household with multiple young children and a full time job, but it isn’t normal for us. I have a complete lack of interest in sex, to the point where I can’t even pretend that I’m interested. We don’t talk like we used to. I am able to talk to other people but struggle to talk with my husband whom I love and have always been able to communicate with freely. We just go through the day to day together but feel no real connection.

When any little thing happens around the house I may just get extremely upset. It may really be nothing but to me it seems huge. A child not keeping muddy boots on the carpet may be enough to put me over the edge. My husband not doing a very small favor for me may result in a complete argument. Why? Am I just over reacting? Is there something wrong with me? Am I a bad person? Why am I so irritable?

I look at my life and realize that I have everything a woman could want - a wonderful husband and children, supportive parents, the career I dreamed of having since I was a little girl, a great place to live, and wonderful friends! How can I not be happy?

This past week I realized that I am probably suffering from postpartum depression. I really don’t want to be medicated and want to try to deal with this in a natural way. I will be starting an herbal supplement soon and hope that it will help with the feelings I have been having and help me work on my relationship with my husband again.

As I talk with other friends, I realize this is much more common than I have ever realized yet I have a really hard time admitting that I am dealing with it. If there are others dealing with these feelings/situations know that you are not alone. Talk with friends/family that you trust and seek medical help if necessary, but know there are plenty of herbal/natural remedies that may be able to help your imbalance also. It is amazing how much better it makes me feel to simply talk with others about it and hopefully my herbal formula will help with the imbalance in my body.

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