Cathy recalls when her mother told her husband she thought her daughter had PPD and explains how her husband found the help she needed.
And after about ten months of going through this and thinking something was terribly wrong, I kept thinking to myself, “I don’t think I can go on. I don’t know how much longer I can do this. I think my children would be better off without me.” I started thinking crazy thoughts which I had never thought of before.
And my mother noticed that something wasn’t right with her daughter. She just, she just knew something wasn’t right, and she could hear it in my voice, the sadness, this overwhelming sadness she could hear from me. I didn’t realize that’s how I was portraying myself. I thought I was my same self. I didn’t realize that.
So she told my husband that she thought I might have postpartum depression, and that was the first time he had ever heard that term. He didn’t think much of it, but he said he would look into it a little more and that’s when he found Dr. Freeman’s program. An article had come out in the pape, and it happened to be on the Internet, and he found her program about the U of A Women’s Mental Health Program. He called, and I immediately was seen the next day. And I was diagnosed with severe postpartum depression, and for me, that was the lowest point of my life, but also the most wonderful point because I finally realized that there was a name for this, that I wasn’t alone, that this was treatable, that I wasn’t crazy, and that it wasn’t my fault.
I didn’t know that after you have a baby your hormones change dramatically which alters the, your brain chemicals. And so, a lot of postpartum depression is biochemical, and I didn’t know that. I am a person who likes to control things and that’s something I couldn’t control. I didn’t know that there were resources, not a lot of resources, but that there was help out there, that I could seek therapy, and I was fortunate to see a counselor who specialized in women with postpartum depression. So that was extremely helpful and I was able to take some medication to balance my hormones, and I didn’t even need to be on it very long. It was maybe six months or so, and then I was off the medication. And it was something so simple and so easy, and I think about, “Why did it have to get to that point? Why did it have to go so far untreated?”
No one warned me. No one told me in the hospital during childbirth classes that this could happen. It’s the number one complication associated with childbirth and pregnancy, yet no one told me. I am an educated person. I was a schoolteacher. I love children. I read everything I could read about pregnancy and childbirth, yet I never saw anything about postpartum depression, and so then I started realizing that if I am going through this, I am sure other women are going through this too, and something needs to be done.
So I want to let women know that you are not alone, there is help out there, and you will be well again.
View More Videos On Postpartum Depression: