Monday, May 25, 2015

Postpartum depression and anxiety

This post is one that I was unsure of writing, but I'm hoping that sharing my experiences can help another new mom. Please, if you are feeling anything like I describe, reach out for help. I will be here to talk to anyone who needs it. Postpartum depression and anxiety are caused by chemicals in your body. 

I've lived with depression and anxiety for many years. I've had cycles of taking and stopping medication. I will feel "better" and then stop the medication. Sometimes, I'll be okay for awhile, or I'll think I'm okay. It'll take a few weeks or months  for the depression and anxiety to come back and completely take over my life. This recently happened to me again. I was on medication during my pregnancy and it was helping. I continued after birth until a few weeks ago. I was feeling better, handling the adoption really well, and ran out of the meds. Instead of calling the doctor, I just stopped. I've lived with this for so long that I should know better, yet I still did it. 

A few days after mother's day, things got pretty dark. At first I thought it was just a "mother's day hangover". All of the emotions that I didn't feel on Mother's Day hit me all at once. I was depressed. I didn't want to get out of bed. I woke up crying for no reason and everything felt hopeless. I didn't think it was going to get better, and I would randomly get so angry for no reason. After talking to some friends I realized that I probably had PPD. That's when I called a therapist to get help and I started feeling a little hope.

That night the postpartum anxiety set it. I had panic attack after panic attack. I finally got myself to sleep, but woke up early. I had to go to lunch for my new job and I dreaded it. I really just didn't want to go. My social anxiety skyrocketed and I was terrified. I finally agreed to go and sat there in dread the entire time. I was in tears, texting my BF and some close friends. I really thought about quitting. I kept telling myself that I just had to get through that hour, then I could leave and I never had to go back. After the lunch was over I hurried out, even though BF wasn't there to pick me up yet. I called a family member, and that conversation didn't really help. By the time BF got there, I was an anxious mess. I called my doctors on the way home, but no one wanted to give me any fast acting anxiety medication. I felt like there was no hope. As I was getting out of the car I thought about how easy suicide was. Not that I wanted to do anything, just that it was easy. That's when I told BF that I needed to go to the hospital for a psych eval and some help. I know that those thoughts can come on fast, and it's scary.

I got to the hospital and had to wait awhile. I was calmer knowing that I was safe from my thoughts, nothing would happen to me there. By the time I was put in a room and the doctor came in, I was feeling better. I knew that it could get bad again though, so I stayed. I talked to multiple people and received the help that I needed. I was given some medication to have "Just in case". Knowing that it was available to me has helped me so much. I know that before it gets out of control, there is help. 

I have felt so different from everyone else since this all set in. It's as if being a birth mother separates me from everyone else, and it's hard to handle. I feel like a mother, but my baby isn't here. My worries are so different than those of my peers. Instead of worrying about getting caught drinking or partying, I refresh my email or instagram multiple times a day, hoping to get a glimpse of the beautiful baby I created. 

Please, get help if you need it. You don't need to suffer. You are strong and you can get through this.