Ever wonder how you get through postpartum depression and anxiety? Well, everyone does it a little bit differently. The Postpartum Mood Recovery Series puts a spotlight on the unique ways in which each parent finds their way through.
How would you describe your postpartum experience?
Isolating, then once I found help relief, community building. Before help – terrifying. After help, normalizing and oddly empowering.
Did you receive a formal diagnosis of a postpartum mood and adjustment disorder? If so, how did you receive that diagnosis. If not, did you seek one?
Yes I was diagnosed with PPA with my second child from <a Toronto hospital>. I self diagnosed with my first child (when he was 9ish months old) and did not seek help (massive mistake)
I hated being a mom a lot. I felt the days would never end and had constant guilt of not being good enough. I wouldn’t leave my house or engage with others as my anxiety left me feeling worthless, ugly, etc. I was thrilled to go back to work but also racked with guilt. I hated mat leave and there were many dark days of feeling my life was over and things would never get better. Also sleeplessness even when my child napped, constant exhaustion, didn’t enjoy any activities, etc.
When I knew what was wrong and that it was okay, and that others felt this way. When I found non-judgemental support things took a turn. And the meds really helped too,
My partner didn’t really know what to do. He did get to the point where he said “you need help” and once I sought help was supportive of that. My family and I don’t really discuss mental health at all. My friends were incredibly supportive, available, present.
Meds, talking with others and realizing that I am in fact not abnormal but this is a shared experience. Sleep training my child and also buying the occasional / semi regular babysitter really, really helped. Yoga, walks, swimming.
Platitudes, “enjoy it – is passes so quickly”, moms who clearly stand in judgment/relish in appearing to have it all together.
Friends, west end drop in (hells yes!), continuing meds, babysitter