I spoke to the doctor on the phone the next day, and tears came rolling down again as I explained to him how overwhelmed I felt, how alone I felt, and how sad I felt. He made the decision to up the dose on my postpartum depression meds.
The call is so scary to make. I know. It took me a very long time to call the doctor in the spring when I was first diagnosed. I held out, thinking I was just overwhelmed with the twins (who wouldn't be?), and I just wasn't making myself happy. I tried working out, I tried shopping, I tried hanging out with friends. I finally cried as Elliot hugged me and as I told him I thought I had postpartum depression, and that the sadness wasn't going away. I called my doctor, finally, the next day and I was put on a low dose of antidepressants.
Flash forward to now, I'm here at home on my own. I'm taking care of a 4 year old and twin babies all on my own, with the occasional help of babysitters. I'm up if anyone is up every single night. I never sleep all night. I stay up late in an attempt to talk to Elliot after every game, and I get up early when the twins are ready for breakfast. I was handling it, and then it just started to get overwhelming again. I'm unhappy that I'm not with my husband, I feel lonely because I don't get out. Lots will contribute to the depression, and I feel like I have the trifecta. This time, I didn't wait as long. I called the doctor and will now get to get back into the light.
There is a stigma with depression. You'll see all over pinterest people telling you to "choose happy," as if I hadn't tried to find the joy in parenting. I LOVE my kids. That doesn't make my job easy. I can't just choose to get sleep when I need it. I have little people to take care of. It's something people don't talk about, and I think that's really sad. Once I was diagnosed, I started opening up to friends about it. Half told me that they had been on antidepressants at some point in their lives as well.
According to the APA, 9-16% of women deal with postpartum depression. Thats 1 out of every 10 girlfriends you have.
I am not ashamed of the fact that I have postpartum depression. I am disappointed that I have it, because I wish I could just choose to find the joy in parenting. I guess I am still choosing joy, though. While I may not be able to just make that decision, I did make the decision to get help, and that does help me see the joy in parenting.
I mostly wanted to write this post to tell women that are concerned they have postpartum depression to get help. I know that phone call is so hard to make, but I promise that your doctor will be more than understanding, and will help you through this. Tell your friends and family, they will have your back. My sister and my parents are my biggest supporters.
Just don't let the fact that you don't "want" to have postpartum depression stop you from getting the help you need. Nobody "wants" it. It takes an admirable individual to seek help when it's needed. If you don't do it for yourself, do it for your family. Your anxiety and moods are always taken out on those you love the most. They don't deserve that. Your kids deserve the fun mom that you know you are. The one that wants to go swing on the swing set with them, not the one that is crying on her bed everyday.
For more information on postpartum depression, as well as the signs and symptoms, please check out the APA website here.
If this helps just one woman find the help she needs, I have done my job.