I recently did a guest post for Vanessa Rapisarda at Running In Triangles. It was about my struggles with postpartum depression. To be quite honest I wrote it awhile ago but held on to it for a little while after I had written it because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to share it with anyone. Even as I was dealing with my postpartum depression I stayed to myself in my house. If I did have any visitors (which wasn’t very often) I wouldn’t tell them what I was really going through. It was very uncomfortable for me to talk about. Even explaining it to my husband had me in tears.
Reasons I Didn’t Share
1) Society has stigmatized mental health. People think that anyone who needs “help” or a therapist is CRAZY. Women with postpartum depression are often portrayed in a negative light. There are so many reasons people may need therapy. Therapy isn’t just for people with mental illness. It’s more about “self care.” However, instead of being offered help we are made to feel that something is wrong with us.
2) People think you can’t care for your child or that you are some how unfit. Even when I was writing my postpartum experience I felt the need to explain myself. “I’ve always wanted children, I’m in a very happy place in my life.” Honestly why does that even matter? It matters because I needed people to know I would never harm my son. That he has been a blessing to us even if I couldn’t control my emotions now.
3) I thought I could fix myself. My first thought wasn’t “oh am I suffering from postpartum depression?” Honestly, I didn’t really even know what it was. I had no idea why I was feeling the way I was. I assumed whatever IT was, would go away. That maybe I could focus on something else.
4) I was afraid of being judged. WE as people are so judgmental. As a matter of fact mom’s are especially judgmental. If you don’t believe me join a mom’s group in Facebook. Or look in the comments section on any baby/parenting forum. Everyone has their own opinions about what you should or shouldn’t be doing and what you should or shouldn’t be feeling. If you don’t agree with them then you are wrong. It makes it that much harder to share anything with people.
Sharing personal concerns or feelings with people is always hard because sometimes we get shut down
What I mean by getting shut down is, being told, “oh that’s normal, everybody goes through that.” They make you feel like your feelings aren’t valid. Or that nothing is wrong with you because all new moms struggle.
Postpartum depression is very real. According to postpartum support international 1 in 7 women suffer from postpartum depression. Since sharing my story I have heard from so many women about their own personal struggles with postpartum depression. It’s not something I ever thought I would have to deal with because no one told me about it.
My bond with my son now is amazing. I am in a better place and feel even better about what’s to come, and that includes having more children.
I encourage you to stop by Vanessa’s page to read about my postpartum depression story. She also has a ton of great resources for struggling mom’s! If you are struggling with postpartum depression just remember you aren’t alone. You didn’t cause it. And you are still a great mother!
Until Next Time!