The Fear Of Postpartum Depression
It’s a topic that is being talked about more and more and not because it’s becoming more common. It’s just becoming less taboo to talk about. Just like other mental illnesses; it’s becoming a less hidden part of society. More specifically a less hidden part of motherhood. There’s shame associated with it and that’s not fair. It doesn’t make you a bad mom or any less of a mother. It’s an illness. People aren’t shamed as much for having other illnesses that aren’t in the mental health field. But I have a feeling you already knew that, especially if you’re not a new reader to my blog!
Part of the reason I am going to therapy more often now that I’m pregnant is to work through my present thoughts and also those future thoughts I may experience. Thoughts related to Postpartum Depression... let’s abbreviate it to PPD for this blog. I also found out that Prenatal Depression (PD) is a thing as well, so my therapist is also checking in to see if I show any signs of that. Since I do/have suffered from anxiety and depression before pregnancy, I am at a higher risk of getting PD and PPD.
I’m not going to avoid talking about it just because there’s a chance that I may not get it. I did the same thing when I first started trying to get pregnant. Even knowing there was a chance that I may not get pregnant right away, I didn’t want to avoid talking about it. I shared my story because I wanted to make it less taboo to talk about. I was extremely lucky and got pregnant the first month of trying. However, I was very willing to share if that weren’t the case because I don’t see that as a shameful thing. I see that as a common struggle some women hide because of the fear of shame.
I’m going to talk about PPD because I have an underlying fear of it and to help that fear get smaller, I’m talking about it. I’m not going to hide it or pretend that fear is not there. I wonder if other pregnant women or even any women for that matter have had this fear as well. It’s important for women to also know bringing it up, especially during pregnancy, won’t increase your chances of getting it. It may even have the opposite effect.
I never really suffered as much from depression as I have from anxiety in the past. I actually thought I would be a little more anxious during this pregnancy than I have been. Just because I’m a naturally anxious person to new situations, but therapy has helped me tremendously. I have my anxious moments, but I would say (my therapist says so too) not more than the average first time mom! However, I have noticed that I have been having a harder time with depression and those thoughts. It’s been a little harder for me to shake those thoughts. Just because you’re growing another human inside of you doesn’t mean you won’t feel lonely or not good enough. It still happens and hormones only magnify those thoughts and feelings.
I’m not able to talk about PPD or PD like I can about anxiety because I don’t have experience with it. However, I do have my depressive thoughts to talk from. My therapist and myself don’t think I am dealing with PD, but I do have my depressive moments. Nonstop crying and loneliness, sometimes for a rational reason and sometimes not. I have moments of this, but PD would be much more than moments. It would be constant over a long period of time.
Recently, I’ve actually struggled with PTSD (according to my therapist) when I do have these depressive moments. They feel so much like how I felt before I was hospitalized. I’ve had flashbacks of those times which magnifies everything even more. However, these have only been moments for me. When I say moments I mean anywhere from like 10 minutes to a couple hours. I also started to question if this was just from my hormones or a warning sign for me that I’m going to crash soon. Luckily, my therapist reassured me, saying that it just sounds like pregnancy, especially because they are just moments and don’t last too long. It would be a different story if I was stuck in these feelings for more than two weeks. That would be a sign of PD.
Prental and Postpartum Depression give me fear, but I’m doing my best to stay on top of my mental health throughout my pregnancy. I truly hope that I don’t have much experience with PD and PPD, but if I do I know that I don’t have to be ashamed of it. I want any other women to feel this way too. Whether you have struggled, are struggling, or know someone who is. It’s another mental illness that doesn’t need to have a stigma attached to it.