The Truth About Postpartum Depression and the Resources to Help You

I’m not sure why I’m just making this post now, but it’s better late than never, right? I know that I talk a lot about my struggle with postpartum depression, and I talk about other postpartum issues, and now I will talk about the truth about postpartum depression and the resources to help you.

 

The truth about postpartum depression and the resources to help you

 

 

If you’re not familiar with my story, I struggled with postpartum depression after my second son was born. He is now 15 months and I am, slowly, getting over it– but it’s been no easy journey.

I kind of knew that something wasn’t right, but for many many months, I pushed those feelings aside. I thought that it was the baby blues hitting me at full-force and eventually, I would feel better again but man, was I wrong, because what I was really dealing with was postpartum depression.

 

You can read my post on the differences between the baby blues and postpartum depression.

I wish I knew a lot sooner that I was really going through postpartum depression.

The Truth About Postpartum Depression and the Resources to Help You

 

I’m here to reach out to other mamas that may be going through the exact same thing that I went through.

Postpartum depression is a very serious condition that, when treated early enough, can be treated fairly easily. However, if treatment is delayed, it can take much longer to overcome the postpartum depression– again, I’m speaking from my own personal experience.

Maybe you are unfamiliar with postpartum depression and have no idea what it even is, because let’s face it– postpartum issues, along with mental health, aren’t talked about nearly as much as they should be. I want every mom to know what postpartum depression is, and the truth about it, because you can potentially save a life.

 

The Truth About Postpartum Depression and Resources for Help

 

Not sure what the signs of postpartum are? Here are the 8 common signs:

 

The Truth About Postpartum Depression and the Resources to Help You

Now that you know the common signs to look for, let’s get to the truth about postpartum depression.

 

 

What causes postpartum depression?

Postpartum depression is caused by all of those crazy hormones fluctuating after baby is born. Unfortunately, there is no preventing postpartum depression, but the good news is, the sooner that PPD is diagnosed, the faster it can be recovered.

The Truth About Postpartum Depression and the Resources to Help You

 

 

Postpartum depression is a serious condition.

If you are displaying the signs listed above, and they aren’t fading away within 2 weeks, then there is a strong chance that you do have PPD.

Postpartum depression IS a serious condition that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later– the sooner you can get help for it, the better!

As soon as you have ANY thoughts of extreme sadness or even harmful thoughts, that is when it’s time to seek the help that you need.

 

There are so many resources out there.

Going through something as scary and isolating as PPD may have you feeling like you are alone in this but I want you to know, you are not!

There are so many more women out there that have been through this then you think.

There are A TON of resources for mamas, just like yourself, that are going through the exact same thing.

Here is where you can find some great resources for postpartum depression, along with other postpartum issues (such as PPA or postpartum psychosis.)

 

Included are lists of helpful websites, articles, facebook groups, telephone numbers and more.

The Truth About Postpartum Depression and the Resources to Help You

If you have thoughts of harming yourself or your baby, PLEASE reach out to these resources immediately, you can also reach out to me. I am here and I will listen.

 

The Truth About Postpartum Depression and the Resources to Help You

 

The Truth About Postpartum Depression and the Resources to Help You

 

My favorite resources on postpartum depression.

 I have listed some of my favorite websites that I go to for support on PPD. (these resources are included in my post above, but to save you some time, I listed them below. If you would like to see the full list of resources, you can find them here.)

 

The Truth About Postpartum Depression and the Resources to Help You

The Truth About Postpartum Depression and the Resources to Help You

The Truth About Postpartum Depression and the Resources to Help You

 

Postpartum depression is NOT the same as the baby blues.

Like I stated above, there is a BIG difference between postpartum depression and the baby blues.

If your extreme sadness and anger are NOT going away, then you don’t have the baby blues. Please let someone you trust know this!

There is a big misconception about this and it needs to be fully addressed– postpartum depression is way more serious then the baby blues so if you believe that you have PPD, trust in yourself and get the help you deserve.

 

Postpartum depression doesn’t mean you’re a bad mom.

The mom-guilt that comes along with PPD is fierce and unforgiving– but it doesn’t make you a bad mother and it especially doesn’t mean that you don’t love your baby.

Don’t let the monsters in your head win the fight– you are an amazing and strong mama that can overcome this!

Please remember mama: there are SO MANY women out there that will understand and support what you are going through, so please now this and reach out.

I want to hear about your postpartum depression journey– share your story with me, and other mamas. I offer a safe platform to get your brave story across to mamas that are going through the exact same struggle as you. <3

 

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Why Self-Care is Important for Every Mom

It can be something as small as making sure you drink enough water and take your daily medication, to going to your yearly dental exam.

Not sure where to start?

Trust me, mama, I now all about not making enough time for myself. It’s tough when you’re a busy mom! I have two toddlers to chase after…I can barely go to the bathroom alone!

Since I became a mom, I strongly believe now that self-care is important for every mom.

I’m an example of why self-care is important for every mom.

I’ll use myself as a good example of why every mom needs some self-care in her life.

After I became a mom, I stopped taking care of myself. I would feel guilty if I did ANYTHING just for ME. Yes, true! I would consume all of my time and energy into my newborn baby boy…and when I would practice self-care, well, the guilt would be so unbearable that I wouldn’t do anything else for myself months and months later.

This was a CRAZY thought in my head, but– I believed that doing things for MYSELF made me a bad mom.

After my second son was born, I was diagnosed with postpartum depression. I would literally be running on E, yet I would STILL be giving my family every last bit of my energy and happiness. That was the ultimate recipe for disaster, and it made me a very moody mama!

I started taking care of myself and I was slowly brought back to life….I began to make MYSELF a priority again!

 

Self-care can be easy.

I will tell you that self-care is easier than you may have imagined, mama.

Are you stuck and need some self-care inspiration? Or, maybe you need that extra nudge to start doing something for yourself.

 

I put together a list of some really great ideas for self-care.

It’s totally free!

Start taking care of yourself and find out why self-care is important for every mom.

After you tried my ideas, please let me know what you think!

 

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I Am 1 in 5: The Truth Behind Postpartum Depression And Anxiety {Cara’s story}

Cara’s Story

{previously featured on A Purpose Driven Mom}

 

 

I was sitting in my therapist office one day and we were talking about guilt and shame and why I always feel like if something goes wrong, it’s automatically my fault.

“Well, that’s the depression talking”, she said so calmly.

Wow.

We had talked earlier on in our sessions about my anxiety and it was very clear that I was struggling with Postpartum Anxiety (PPA) but we had never talked specifically about Postpartum Depression (PPD).

To me PPD felt so much more real, so scary, and it honestly just made me feel so much more broken.

I felt like I could ‘deal’ with having PPA, I mean isn’t everyone just a stressed out mom? But PPD was so foreign to me. I felt fearful that people would think I was a bad mom, that I couldn’t take care of my kids, that there was something wrong with me. I mean I didn’t feel depressed. I wasn’t under the covers crying and unable to get out of bed (which was my previous experience with my depression when I was in high school) and I felt like I was getting better.

But there it was, clear as day and right out of my therapists mouth. I was a woman who had Postpartum Depression and Anxiety.

Did you know that 1 in 5 women suffer from either PPA or PPD? And so many moms out there just suffer in silence. They are afraid, just like I was and sometimes still am.

“What will people think of me?”

“Am I really crazy?”

“Why can’t I just get it together?”

For me, my anxiety isn’t always panic attacks or heavy breathing like they show so often on  TV but more of a mental tug and what we refer to in my home as my ‘spiral’.

It starts with the smallest trigger, mostly connected to me feeling like I’ve made a mistake or am inadequate in some way and it turns into spiraling thoughts that I struggle to shut down. Something as simple as getting the wrong thing at the grocery store can become catastrophic.

“Ugh, I don’t have time to go back out”

“I always do this”

“I am so forgetful”

“See this is what happens because you never pay attention”

“Why are you so stupid?”

“Ugh, why are you thinking like this again?”

“See, now no one wants to talk to you because you’re crazy and ruined dinner.”

This spiral is followed by some tears on my part, my family looking confused because they don’t know what to say to me, and me feeling even more guilty because I ‘ruined it again’.

It wasn’t until this pattern had happened for a few months in a row, and a LOT more crying on the middle of my kitchen floor that I realized I needed help. I told my husband I had to do something, I was tired of feeling so tired, and life was just exhausting me. As a life coach, I felt like an even bigger fraud because I felt even less together than I ever had been, and I knew that it was going to have bigger repercussions for my family if I didn’t get help.

So one day, I bravely walked into a therapist office and just said it “I think something is wrong with me”… followed by those ever flowing tears.

After a few sessions, she had diagnosed my PPA (and later my PPD) and we had come up with some coping techniques that have helped me get through my days better. I share them openly with my husband, though honestly I sometimes worry that I am TOO vulnerable with him, and they help him help me with my anxiety when it gets really bad.

In the 5 months since I realized that I needed help, I am proud to say that many of the techniques (from counting, to breathing, to reframing, and more) have really helped me when I am in a spiral. And while I would love to say that my spirals are gone, at least I can say that when I am in the moment, I can self identify what’s happening and bring myself out of it much quicker.

So many of us are afraid to speak our truths because we don’t want to be judged. We don’t want to admit that something is wrong with us. We love our kids and want to be seen as a ‘good mom’. But in keeping our struggles silent, we not only harm ourselves but our family and other women who are suffering in silence.

In that vain, I’ve had a few amazing women be willing to speak out on their struggles and share their personal experiences with PPA/PPD. Because the things is, it affects everyone so differently, which is why it’s also hard to identify right away. We might just think we’re stressed or hormonal or just having a bad day. But mama, if you feel off, if you’re struggle lasts a bit, if you know something just doesn’t feel right, can I encourage you to go and talk to someone, be it another mom, your doctor, or a family member? Because you don’t have to feel stuck, you don’t have to feel alone, and you don’t have to feel lost. Because YOU are not alone!

 

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Mother’s Day: Last Year & Now

Happy Mother’s Day to all of my mom readers!

I wrote up something on my facebook last night and I wanted to share it here:

Happy mother’s day to all the hard-working, sometimes under-appreciated, dedicated and loving momma’s.
Our job isn’t easy. We’re grossly under-paid and can never call in sick.
We fight monsters, kiss boo-boos & try our hardest to keep it together when we feel like falling apart.

Happy mother’s day to all the grandmother’s that give themselves so tirelessly for their family.
Happy mother’s day to all the momma’s that lost a child. I hope you can somehow find comfort today.
Happy mother’s day to all the momma’s that hold their baby in their hearts instead of their arms.
Happy mother’s day to the step-mothers that love their step-children like their own.
Happy mother’s day to the dads that play both roles.
Happy mother’s day to the ones that have to get through today without their own momma here on Earth.

I see you all and I appreciate every one of you.💓 Not just today, but every-day!

 

 


Before I became a mom, I never knew the special connection that I would share with not only my children, but with other mothers. I feel that connection even more-so with strong mothers that have/currently are struggling with their own battles. As mothers, or just humans in general, we can be our own worst critic but we truly are doing the best that we can.

Mother’s Day 2017

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I was just shy over 1 month postpartum and feeling so much inside….

i was overwhelmed. we had two kids under two.

i was lonely. i was with my kids all day every day but i felt such an isolating and lonely feeling. like nobody knew what i was going through.

i had extreme feelings of sadness that i urged myself to forget about.

i lost who i was as a women. who i am besides a wife and mom?

i lost all interest in things that made me happy. i only cared about making it through the day.

i had so much guilt. like i wasn’t enjoying my babies 100%.

i just felt like a failure.

On the outside, I may have looked happy and like I had it all, but on the inside I was deeply depressed and I couldn’t hold it together. Ricky snapped this photo of us on our chair and I remember thinking “I probably look like a busted can of biscuits but I know I need a picture to capture this moment because maybe next year…..It will get better.”

it did get better.

Mother’s Day 2018

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To the mommas that are currently fighting in the storm, hold on. A year from now, your life will be so different. So hold on because it’s worth looking back on that picture and seeing the storm behind you.

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The Day I Wrote My Suicide Letter

*DISCLAIMER: SUICIDE TRIGGER WARNING

 

It’s been a terrible couple of months and I’m finally ready to do it. I’m finally ready to leave this world behind. I’m not sure how I’m going to do it yet, but all I know is that I’m ready. I don’t even know if I’ll be missed, sure, maybe for a few months. People will probably cry when they find out what I did, cry at my funeral, cry for the first couple of weeks, but then it will stop. Pretty soon, I will become a distant memory. People forget. They can only grieve your loss for so long before they move on. And so they will move on. Eventually, every-one will get over it.

What will I be remembered by? Well, hopefully, people will think that I was a good mother; a mother that loved her boys with every fiber of her being…a mother that gushed love and compassion and was caring. Will I be remembered as a good person? I would hope so. I know that there will be a lot of people that will say otherwise. I would hope that there is someone out there, somewhere, that I have made an impression on. I’m not sure though. I know that I’ve made some friends but I’ve also made some enemies.

Will my husband cry? How will he react? I’m sure he will  be distraught because chances are, he will find me. It will ruin him and he will probably hate me. For a while, at least. I just hope that one day, he can forgive me for what I’ve done and see that my pain was too much to handle. I hope he can realize that this wasn’t some selfish act, but a way to escape from all of the pain…and all the horrible thoughts. I hope he can realize that I loved him so much that I had to do this. I was becoming too much of a burden for him and he deserves to be with someone better. Someone happy. Someone not so depressed. Someone that could love him and treat him the way he deserves. He will continue to be the best father to our boys and hopefully he will keep my memory alive. Will he remarry? I would actually hope that he would. I wouldn’t want him to be alone for the rest of his life; I would want some type of mother-figure in my boy’s lives. They deserve that. I couldn’t give that to them, so hopefully, someone else will.

What will my boys think? They are too young. They won’t even miss me. I’m sure that my oldest will wonder where I am, but after a few weeks, he will forget. He will stop asking for me. He may see my picture and say “momma”, but pretty soon, I’ll become a distant memory for him, too. Just like everyone else, I’ll be a memory. My kids will grow up without a mom and wonder why I did what I did. Will they blame themselves? I’m sure that they will. I would hope that they wouldn’t. Will they struggle? Can they make it without me? Of course they will. They are better off without such a sad, depressed and angry mother; they don’t deserve that. They need a mom that is together and happy and full of life. They deserve that. They will be fine. There are enough pictures of me around for them to know who I was. I hope their dad will always remind them how much I loved them.

Will my mom miss me? Will she blame herself? How will my family react? They will say things like they can’t believe this happened. They never saw the signs. On the outside, I seemed like a happy women; like I had my life together. I had a blessed life. I was a mother, for Christ’s sake! With 2 healthy, handsome little boys! Why would I do this? I’m sure there will be anger. There will be tears. But people will forget. They will move on.

Pretty soon, I’ll just be a memory. My picture will be hung up then taken down. My obituary will be clipped out then shoved into a shoe box. My birthday will come and go. Some people will cry while others will ask why. My clothes will be donated and that dusty picture frame of me with my family will be replaced with a new picture of some different woman with my family. My kids will grow up and my husband will move on. My mom will die with a broken heart of not being able to save her little girl. My friends will question the signs and wonder if they could have done anything. I will soon become another statistic…. a warning to others.

My life will be over before it truly began. People will comment on how young I was and what a shame, but it won’t last. Pretty soon, people will talk about the next person or the next thing and I’ll be an old topic thrown out like yesterday’s newspaper. It won’t last and therefore, I feel okay doing this.

This is what I’m feeling as I’m about to write my last letter on earth; with tears streaming down my face and my hand trembling. I’m not sure how I got here but I just want it to end. This isn’t what I wanted…this isn’t what I envisioned my life to be like. I can’t handle it anymore. The loss. The pain. The remorse. It can all stop. I want to make it stop. So I will.

Except I won’t.

What if I told you that every single one of those thoughts has crossed my mind a time or two. Yes, I have contemplated suicide and even in my darkest days, planned it out…up to the part on making sure I’d do it so my toddler wouldn’t find me. I even thought of what I would write in my suicide letter; that’s pretty heavy stuff, don’t you think? It’s all true. I’m not here to bullshit you or to lie about my life….to paint some oh-so happy and perfect life. I’m here to talk about the UGLY stuff, the HARD stuff. The truth is, I wanted to die. I was so sick and tired of feeling sad, depressed and broken that I just wanted to leave everything behind. I had the feelings of sadness that just felt like they would never go away. It was terrible. And it was lonely.

I literally thought about EVERY SINGLE THING- yeah, people might miss me, but they would get over it; my boys won’t remember me; my husband will remarry and move on…. I thought of that all. But the truth?

My suicide may not affect everyone that knew me, but it would certainly affect those that LOVED me.

My husband. My boys. My family.

They will all miss me. They will all cry and wonder. They will blame themselves and question life. It will happen. They won’t be fine. They will NEVER get over my loss.

I will be pain free but instead I will be bringing so much more pain to those around me. They may never understand why I did it. They will never get over me.

I have lived through this from both sides; I’ve been so broken that the only form of escape seemed like leaving. I’ve also seen the pain that suicide causes. Both are extremely painful. No side has it worse and no side has it better.

If you have lost someone from suicide and you don’t know how to comprehend what they’ve done, I want you to know that they weren’t being selfish; they were literally fighting a daily battle in their mind and it became too much to handle. Suicide is not the easy way out–it’s a scary and lonely road. The thoughts are frightening. A person that is struggling WILL have every thought (they are better off without me) go through the mind. Over and over. Sometimes, a depressed person may feel like their only option is to just leave.

I’m here to tell my story. There’s a reason why I didn’t go through with it and for whatever reason, I’m so very lucky for that. I want to be around for my boys. I want to see them grow up and prosper. I want to stay by my husband’s side…through the good and the bad. I want to continue to live this life. It’s not always easy and at times it can be painful. But I promise you, it is beautiful and so WORTH IT.

LIFE IS WORTH IT and if you are struggling with depression, postpartum depression or any other form of mental illness, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

 

If you or a someone you know is having a medical or mental health emergency, please call 911 immediately.

Suicide

If you are currently having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Non-U.S. citizens can visit IASP or Suicide.org to find help in their country.

Postpartum Depression (PPD) or Postpartum Anxiety

If you think you might be suffering from postpartum depression or anxiety, or need some extra support, call womenshealth.gov at 1-800-994-9662. Check out the womenshealth.gov website for more information and resources.

Mental Health Crisis

If you or a loved one is having a mental health crisis, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), or call the NAMI Help Line at 1-800-950-6264.

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