Surviving Postpartum Depression

This week at Guideposts, I shared my struggles with Postpartum Depression and Anxiety and my advice for moms facing depression.

In the early weeks of my first pregnancy, I braced myself for the misery of morning sickness.

At seven weeks, when the nausea hit, it was worse than I’d imagined. I had pictured an upset stomach, maybe a bit of vomiting in the morning. I hadn’t foreseen an all-day sickness that made my mouth taste like dirt and made me loathe even the thought of food.

But I found comfort knowing I wasn’t alone. As I gagged on Saltine crackers, I reminded myself that it was a normal part of pregnancy. It would come to an end.

What I was completely unprepared for was the anxiety disorder that accompanied my pregnancy hormone surge.

I had always been a “worrier.” But whatever worries or anxiety I had experienced before paled in comparison to the panic and fears that took over my barely pregnant body.

When my son finally arrived, I was overcome with love. I adored him. But I couldn’t stop crying. I couldn’t sleep. I could barely force air into my lungs…

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Have you experienced depression and anxiety? What has helped you get through the rough times?

Written by Janice.
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  1. says

    Honestly, getting into a good workout routine that I do first thing in the morning is the most amazing cure for the blues that I’ve come accross yet. Especially when it is outside in the fresh air rather than a stuffy gym and involves other women. It gets me out, gets me moving, gets me laughing and social and helps me appreciate the beauty of life around me. It pumps me up and gives me energy for the tougher parts of my day. Plus, it’s one hour away from all my responsibilities, from the constant needs of my family and gives me that time for just me.

  2. says

    I was very anxious and depressed as well–coming off of a month of bedrest with a 5 week premature baby who eneded up being colicky didn’t help either. I went back on my anitdepressants and that helped a lot. I wanted to go into therapy but sadly we couldn’t afford it. I know what to prepare for when we have our next one, whenever that will be.

  3. says

    Every time I read a post on post partum depression I travel back to the time following my son’s birth. Those days were dark and scary. I suffered for almost five years with depression and rage. I felt like I was crazy. Unfortunately the doctors I spoke with poo-pooed my symptoms and said that it would pass… that most new mothers feel this way. After much research and using my body as a laboratory, I have discovered that the source of my depression was depleted adrenals. It was physical and not all in my head. There is an amazing book by Dr Mark Hyman entitled ‘The UltraMind Solution’ that addresses depression and anxiety as well as other “mental” illnesses. The book is written in easy to understand language and provides examples as well as solutions for creating healthy bodies. Perhaps it will give you an alternative route to health as well.

  4. says

    Thank you for being one of the few who are choosing to speak up and share their story and (sometimes slow) recovery. I, too, am recovering from sever postpartum depression and anxiety that has been ongoing for the better part of eighteen years. There is hope. There is light ahead. Great tips for others who are or may in the future suffer the same. I can’t wait to hear more inspiration from you!

  5. says

    Thank you so much for bringing this common, yet often undiagnosed, condition to light. I also had severe PPD as well as anxiety. I suffered for 4+ years the first time around. Therapy and medication only took the edge off. Then after my 2nd pregnancy I really began to heal. I remain on medication, 12 years later. It has now become a part of me and I realize it’s necessary for my survival. PDD, anxiety and clinical depression can’t always be helped by a little exercise or a change of scenery. Sometimes it’s more involved than that. I’m glad you were able to get the help you needed, Janice, and are willing to share that with all of us!

  6. says

    have had depression/PND since i was 15. Has come back full force since Fatboy was born almost 18 months ago. I have chosen not to take medication ( right now, i have been on it between pregnancies) and can struggle. I have come to realize over the last 2 years that i have to accept depression is part of me, and just deal with everyday as it comes.

  7. says

    Thank you for sharing. I too went through post partum with my second child. It was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever dealt with in my life.

    Having such a supportive husband was the number one thing that got me through my difficult times.

  8. says

    Thank you so much for sharing ladies!!! {{{HUGS}}}

    Like mummyof5monsters has done, I have accepted that depression is part of my life. Perhaps miraculously one day it might vanish, but really I just accept it as one of my life challenges.

  9. says

    Great post, Janice!! I too struggled with PPD – it is not an easy struggle, and it is so true what you said about that when you’re in it, it’s impossible to see that it won’t always be this way.

    My biggest struggle with it is getting over the fear of it coming back and being willing to get pregnant again (I blogged about that here: I’ve DEFINITELY come a long way, and God is helping me prepare for that time.

    Thanks for sharing! It’s always so good to know that there are others out there willing to talk about it!!

  10. says

    I had it bad with my second born, and it has creeped up on me a bit now. Funny thing is, in the beginning I was lost in such love that I wasn’t feeling PPD at all. Seems like the last few months it has hit. Or maybe, to be honest, it’s just all the other crap I have to deal with on a daily basis with my family. Who knows. I do know that I’ve been on meds before, and am not opposed to them. We all have to do what we have to do. Period.

  11. Alane says

    Thank you so much for writing this!!
    I’ve had a very similar journey only without anxiety & I was able to fight through the depression with my first child. (now in hindsight it’s obvious I had PPD) But when I had numbers 2 & 3 just 14 months later? WHAMO…it hit me hard & I’ve been on anti-depressents ever since. Turns out I’ve had mild depression since childhood & the stress of 3 kids in 2 years made it get stronger. Like you, this is something I’ll always fight & I do have bad times but they always pass & I’m SO thankful I have my wonderful kids (who are now 7 & soon-to-be 6-X2.)
    So many find PPD to be shameful & hide it but I’m glad to share my story in hopes it will encourage someone going through a similar situation that is ok, normal & there is lots of help out there for them.
    God bless!

  12. says

    “But when those times come, I just wait out the storm. I reach out for help and sometimes I let the tears fall. And then the good days return. My son makes me laugh, my daughter makes me smile, and I thank God that I am their mother.”

    ^^This is an amazing paragraph!

    Just knowing that we’re not alone is a huge comfort. I’m always trying to reach out and educate those who need it.

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