Battling Postpartum Depression and Anxiety
“Oh My God It happened to me, I thought I was strong, I thought I wasn’t weak, then it hit me like a ton of bricks.”
depression suffered by a mother following childbirth, typically arising from the combination of hormonal changes, psychological adjustment to motherhood, and fatigue.
The year of my battle with postpartum depression/anxiety is one I didn’t speak much of till now. It seems to be a “taboo” subject, something mothers don’t normally talk about. As mothers, we hold in our weakness and act as the strongest human beings on the planet while screaming inside and disconnecting from the world.
I officially wasn’t diagnosed till my daughter was a little over a year old. I ignored the signs, thinking I was ok and was just stressed. I also had recently gone through two job losses, one while pregnant and one when my daughter was only 6 months old. The past year had brought on some outside stressors that just added to my anxiety. At the time I was trying to raise a baby and define my new role as mom. I thought that it would eventually pass, and it never did. The intrusive thoughts amplified, the anxiety was overwhelming, and the depression pushed many people away.
I spent many nights crying and feeling alone when in reality I wasn’t. I also stressed every single detail as a mother. I may not have shown it to the world but inside I was screaming.
I decided to seek help, and with weekly therapy visits, and occasional psychiatrist visits, I slowly got better. I eventually broke down my own stigma of my mental illness and owned it. I was determined, and still am to heal and get better. I am seeing the light after many months of intense therapy. I still have to take anxiety medication, though I am determined to eventually get off them. Due to me coming almost full circle in my journey of healing from my mental illness, I decided to wear it as a badge of honor on my sleeve “the molecular structure of serotonin.”
As someone whos happiness was lost, and having to take in happiness in a chemical form. I am now finding it again naturally. This tattoo is so meaningful to me. We wear our strength on our sleeves as mothers, now I literally do. I was never someone who thought I would have such a large visible tattoo ( at least to me it’s large). Yet I love it.
I also love when people ask about it because it starts a conversation about a topic so many women battle with daily. Here are links for help if you or someone you know is battling PPD or PPA.