Tag: Mental Health

This MAJOR symptom of Postpartum Depression is often overlooked

7 Comments

My Story

In July of 2014, our beautiful Rainbow Baby was born.  My husband and I had waited years for her, and she was finally here.  A healthy baby girl.  I left the hospital thankful and excited.

After being home for about a week, I started feeling really agitated.  I assumed it was the lack of sleep and changing hormones and brushed it off.  Within a few weeks, I was experiencing what I could only describe as RAGE.  Full blown, seeing red, clenching teeth until it feels like they will shatter, rage that lingered just under the surface and would be set off so easily it was terrifying.

This was NOT me.  I’d never in my entire life felt this type of anger before.  I’ve never been good at asking for help, but I knew at this point that I really needed it.  I made an appointment at the local hospital’s clinic for Postpartum Moms.  My appointment arrived 2 weeks later. The appointment started with an intake process where they asked me all the typical questions about postpartum depression (PPD). “Are you experiencing:

  • Frequent crying
  • Feelings of sadness, anxiety, worthlessness or hopelessness
  • Lack of energy for everyday tasks
  • Trouble sleeping even when the baby is asleep
  • Sense of stress that interferes with daily life
  • Loss of interest in food or preoccupation with eating
  • Loss of interest in self-care
  • Loss of concentration
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Lack of pleasure or interest in most or all activities
  • Excessive anxiety about the baby
  • Lack of interest in or feeling detached from the baby
  • Fears of harm coming to the baby or thoughts of harming the baby
  • Thoughts of suicide or harming yourself “

My answer was no.  I wasn’t sad, I was angry.  I was more than angry, I was enraged.  My rage wasn’t towards the baby, it was towards everyone else in my family.

The intake nurse said it didn’t sound like I had postpartum depression, but she’ll send me in to talk to the therapist anyway.

When I went into the therapists’ office, she asked all of the exact same questions as the intake nurse.  I again repeated “No, I don’t want to hurt the baby or myself.  No, I’m not sad.  I am just experiencing blinding rage for no apparent reason.”

She too told me that she doesn’t think I have postpartum depression.  She said I was just “situationally enraged” and sent me home.

I went home and continued to live this way.  I mean, that therapist is a licensed and trained person and she told me I didn’t have PPD. I was scared.  I was scaring my family.  The rage was ALWAYS there and I didn’t know what to do.  At 6 months postpartum, I got pregnant again.  I was still experiencing rage daily, throughout my entire pregnancy.

The birth of our second daughter was VERY traumatic.  Baby and I were not doing well and nobody knew why.  Luckily, she was born healthy.  We were kept for observation for 3 days and then sent home.

I still had the rage, and now I had the sadness too.  I told every adult I came in contact with about it.  Just in case someone knew something I didn’t.  Maybe someone had a recommendation. I was so overwhelmed.  I begged family for help with my babies so I could keep up with our disaster of a house.  I was promised help that never came.  My mental health was on a steady decline, and I didn’t really know.  When baby #2 was 6 months old, we decided to move across the country to the Northeast,  I just kept ignoring all of my symptoms and ‘sucking it up’ for 2 more years.

One day I was standing in our garden working the soil and preparing for planting.  The sun was shining. The little ones were playing happily nearby.  I wasn’t ‘stressed’ about anything, and suddenly I couldn’t breathe.  My neck started feeling like it was tensing up so much that my head would just explode.  My heart was pounding fast and hard. My arms and legs were tingling and twitching.  I was sure I was having a heart attack or a stroke (at 35 years old). I, of course, ignored it.  I didn’t want to be told I was fine and sent home.

For two weeks I felt this way.  I finally decided on an appointment with my doctor.  Turns out, I was having panic attacks.

panic attack is the abrupt onset of intense fear or discomfort that reaches a peak within minutes and includes at least four of the following symptoms: Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate. Sweating. Trembling or shaking. Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering.

She gave me some Zoloft and followed up with me every few weeks.  This was the first time I’ve felt like anyone was actually listening to me.  Generally, I’m not a fan of medications, but the Zoloft has helped me so much.  I’ve also found a great therapist to help me work on ALL of these things I’ve been bottling up.

I wish I had the energy to reach out for more help in the beginning when I was experiencing Postpartum Rage. I wonder how things might be different now.  I am working on it though.  This IS my self-care.

Postpartum Rage is REAL

If you are experiencing rage and anger postpartum, I encourage you to contact a therapist and your doctor for help.  Don’t suffer for years like I did.

For you new mamas: your feelings are valid and real. There are moms out there who have gone through this and we are here to help you through.  You deserve to be listened to and cared for. But most all, your feelings are real and more common than you realize.

You are not alone, and it’s going to be okay.

❤ Rebecca

Signup below to join our exclusive Facebook group for moms and keep the conversation going.

Please follow and like us:

3 small and (mostly) free things to do when you are DEPRESSED

1 Comment

 

Depression.  Honestly, this is a word I’d never have thought would apply to me, but here I am.  I’ve struggled with depression for a long time, even though I didn’t realize that’s what was going on.  There is so much stigma around mental health that I just assumed this is how I was supposed to feel –FOR YEARS.

Some days I do really well.  I can function, get dressed, complete tasks, and some days I just want a quiet dark place to sit quietly and be alone.  I’ve really been working hard on those darker days to pull myself out of it.  I really want to be a great mom for my children and depression often makes me emotionally unavailable.

Lots of well-meaning people suggest working out, hanging out with friends, going for a walk etc.  They don’t realize that when depression sets in, everything seems like too much effort.

Below are 3 small things I do to try to get myself out of that funk.

Take a long shower/bath

Allow the warm water to soothe and relax you.  If you have the energy, pamper yourself in whatever way you can.  Use your favorite soaps.  Shave.  Give yourself a facial.

As a stay at home mom, my showers are usually quick and to the point.  On low days, if I have time, I will get the ‘good’ conditioner out and use it and I will shave my legs.  Small, simple little things to show myself some love.

Side note: Freshly shaved legs and fresh sheets on the bed feel awesome! It’s one of my favorite things.

Get some sun

No, you don’t have to go outside.  If the sun is shining, sit near a window, turn your face towards the sunlight and feel the warmth on your skin.

I live in the Northeast and we don’t get tons of sun during the winter.  My therapist suggested a sun lamp.  This isn’t a free option, but it could be helpful and there are several available for a wide range of prices.  They are also useful in helping you wake up if you have to get up early or are just tired in general (depression can be exhausting).

Color or Draw (no talent required)

Adult coloring books are really popular right now and for good reason.  Coloring or drawing is a really mindful task.  Coloring books aren’t necessary.  Any paper (old bill envelopes are my go-to) will do.  Just enjoy the motion and allow this small task to hold your attention.

I was pretty resistant to coloring and drawing at first.  I’m not artistic in that way and it felt, well, kinda childish.  Once you start though, it’s seriously pretty relaxing.

Depression is really complicated and can be super rough.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

I hope these 3 things can help you on a hard day.  I hope you can find some sun and create a little love and peace for yourself.  You deserve love and good things.

 

Please follow and like us:

Lost

1 Comment

I feel lost anymore. Like I’ve been buried alive and I’m so desperate for a breath of air but I cant quite get one.

I hear my heart pounding away. I know I’m still alive.

I reach my hand up out of the dirt occasionally to a passerby, but I can’t connect. I need to connect.

I dig all day, trying to escape this pit, but I make little progress. I’m tired.

Its lonely here. The dark can be so paralyzing.

I’m unsure when I first started feeling this way. I think it was sometime after my 3rd child was born and I left work…but maybe it was long before that even.

I have talked to people about it. Family, Friends, Professionals. Been told that how I feel is normal. Been offered help, then bailed on.

My own mother doesn’t even call anymore. No arguments, explanation or reasoning…she just doesn’t call (or answer my calls) In my mind I say “She’s Abandoned Me”. Different articles I’ve read about this suggest that its not abandonment of you’re an adult. So, now I don’t know what the word is for it. She is my mother, I thought we had a somewhat close and good relationship, and then suddenly we don’t.

I dunno the point I’m getting at. I do know that I’ve let this blog get away from what I intended. I’ve been trying to do what everyone says should be done and “monetize” and build a business…but that’s not what I want. I just want a place for my thoughts and ideas. Maybe a space to connect with others. I might occasionally post some things for sale…but it’s not my focus.

Crochet has become like mediation to me. Its relaxing and mind clearing. I don’t get tons of time to do it with toddlers and teens and a husband and all that comes with them. I mostly craft for gifting, but sometimes I see something I just need to make and then it’s just sitting here.

So anyway, thank you for reading. If you are also in a dark dark pit. Keep digging!

PS. I’ve recently found a therapist that listens. I think she’ll help me move the dirt.

Please follow and like us: