Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Close to my heart

This post has been long time in the making. I want to be very careful how it comes across and what you all get out of it. This issue I am about to blog about has recently become very close to my heart. I feel like the judgment and guilt we feel from it are completely unnecessary and we need to change our thinking.
So here it goes...
A few months ago I was diagnosed with severe postpartum induced depression. It was explained to me as a chemical imbalance in my brain that has been laying dormant and triggered by the extreme hormone changes that come from being pregnant 6 times in 6 years. I can't say I was surprised by the diagnosis but what I was surprised by was the feeling that I was a complete failure. At the time I looked at depression as a weakness, something I am not good at handling. I was embarrassed and ashamed about a disease I had no control over. Instead of seeing the strength I had in going to the Dr and getting help I could only see judgement that I thought would lay ahead. My Dr put me on an amazing, fast acting anti depressant with very few common side effects and within 10 days I was beginning to feel human again. As my chemicals slowly got their selves back on track I began to feel very passionate about this problem so many mothers are facing. I know my readers are mostly mothers and I felt like this was my opportunity to reach out and tell you, you are not alone. The first day I felt better was bittersweet. I was absolutely terrified looking back at just how awful I had felt before. It is very common for people who suffer from depression to not realize what they are feeling is not normal. It is usually such a gradual progression we forget what it feels like to be happy. I am not writing this post for sympathy in any way. I really feel a change needs to be made in the way we view this disease. It's easy enough to ask some one how they are but actually listening to their answer is what is really needed. I have been very open to most of my friends and family about my struggles and for the most part have found no judgement only love and support. I think through my openness I may have opened a few eyes around me to their own struggles and need for medical intervention. I am not a pro or anti drug advocate but I do believe in getting help where help is needed. All in all I want you to know if you feel like this bite the bullet and talk to someone. I guarantee you will be amazed by how good you can feel. Also if you have a friend or relative you think may be struggling this is the time to be assertive and let them know your concerns. I was a so good at hiding my feelings because I kept telling myself this would go away once Carl got a new job, or I quit working, or we got a new van or blah blah blah! Never happened!! I feel so great these days and am so excited to be able to give 100% of myself this summer with the kids!! Good luck ya'll :)


OK here I go publish post....
....I'm going to do it now just click publish post...
Put the pointer on the publish post close my eyes and then click
....grrr...just do it....
PUBLISH POST!!!!!

11 comments:

the schirano triplets said...

oh honey, kudos to you for saying this. i think that people often view depression as something you can snap out of and that is clearly not the case. there are a log of negative social stigmas about depression in general, but even more so about postpartum depression. good for you to be able to talk openly about it!

fawndear said...

I think that people who have not experianced Depression after giving birth have a true understanding of just how debilitating it can be. I suffered it after #5 & #6 but wasn't comfortable asking for help until after my last one. Sadly, there is still a stigma attached to mental health diagnosis.
Bravo on getting help!
It is so Important that mom's do what it takes to take care of themselves.
I also found the book, 'When your Body Gets the Blues.' to be a huge help.
You Go Girl!

Deanna said...

(((hugs))) coming your way and what a HUGE step by you for putting it all out there. I hope things continue to just get better for you.

Hang in there!!!!

Steph said...

I have never had to deal with PPD, but have friends who have. I totally agree with you! There shouldn't be such a stigma attached. There is no shame in asking for help!
Thanks for stopping by my blog, I love new bloggy friends! Your family is just beautiful!
xo

the schirano triplets said...

thank you so much for your comment, it was difficult for me to write that article and your support meant so much!

mom said...

I'm so proud of you for being so open and willing to share what you've gone through and what you've learned. I've always known you have a tender and compassionate heart and now God's given you the opportunity to use your experience to encourage and make a difference in the lives of others. You make me glad to be your Mom!

BoufMom9 said...

Great post!
I felt the same way when I was diagnosed with it after giving birth to my first son. (I amazingly didn't have it with my next 2 pregnancies, and i was sure that i would)
But, I felt horrible that I was depressed, esp. because he was my first. I felt like a failure and you are right, moms should.not.feel like that.

Why-Von said...

Hi Jennifer - thanks for leaving a comment on my blog the other day. I've been reading your blog for awhile too and I find you quite amazing with having five children and your hubby working away - it's even more so since you been managing and dealing with this. Hope you have a fantastic summer with your kids!

Vanessa Zacharias said...

Thanks for sharing Jen! It is amazing to be so real about what you are going through -- I haven't experienced this so far, but now I know who to go to if I am ever feeling badly. :o)

Tiaras & Tantrums said...

Hi FIVE SISTER!!!!!!!!!!

Cathy said...

Wow! You have been going through so much. I was there after the birth of my second child. I know those were some of my darkest days in my life. Good for you for seeking help.

Kudos to you! Good for you for putting it out there and I know you will be able to help others with everything you learn from this.

Take care!