I have it! It’s nothing to be ashamed of. I wouldn’t be ashamed if I had frequent headaches either, which is just another medical condition like PPD. My mother was a psychologist. My brother and I had the privilege of having her in our lives, and were also privileged to grow up without attaching stigmas to psychological conditions *or* their treatment.
I got tired of feeling overwhelmed all the time. I wasn’t ashamed of having PPD. So what was keeping me from doing something about it? PPD itself. Depression of any sort can make you feel indecisive, listless, unable to do anything.
What woke me up was reading this:
Please remember that untreated depression – including untreated postpartum depression – is the number one cause for suicide.
Whoa. It sort of knocks your socks off to realize that you could have a potentially fatal illness. That you were purposefully not or under-treating and treatment is available. I deserved to feel better. My 3.5-month old daughter deserves to grow up with me. My husband deserves to have a long and happy marriage. Why should I let this go on any longer?
So I got help. I’m very happy that my condition isn’t severe enough to warrant medication, because we are breastfeeding so it is always best to avoid any medication, period. But if I needed it, I’d take it. For my treatment I have prioritized for medical reasons:
*Getting regular exercise with enough intensity to get the feel-good hormones switched on
*Eating well and a wide variety of colourful, whole foods
*Seeing friends at least once a week
*Practicing good sleep hygeine by going to bed at a regular hour
*Going out for fun at least once a week
*Learning to say YES to myself, rather than becoming a mother-martyr
And so I finished my knit skirt (photo to come). It was a THRILL to wear something that’s not maternity, since my pre-pregnancy trousers and skirts are still too small for me to wear now. It was NOT baby sewing! Yeah!
I also bought an expensive nursing top. I now have a total of 4 tops to wear for nursing. Not nearly enough! I need to say YES to myself more and get more nursing tops. Maybe even a dress. Nursing dresses are so extravagent. Especially since I’m on extended parental leave. But that’s fine. ‘Cos what is the price of a dress compared to the price of more serious treatment should my condition worsen? It was worsening. And you know what? Feeling pretty is a much more FUN way to spend your money than to spend it on insurance copays. But if I needed more formal traditional medical treatment, I’d get it.
Depression is a very common illness among women. If you or someone you know has it, please get treatment.
Sending out good vibes worldwide.