My Postpartum Depression Update

“I was wondering,” I took a moment to think about my question before continuing. Did I truly want to open this can of worms? I did. I assured myself that if I was serious about getting help for my postpartum depression (read my original postpartum depression post here) then I wanted to see and share these ugly worms. “How would I know if I need to get on medicine?”

Dr. Counselor (not her real name but come on, why would I tell you the name of my therapist) sat with her legs crossed, as she normally did, and smiled. “Well, tell me why you’re asking that question.”

My answer boiled down to this, “…and it was a rough day turned rough evening and I wondered if my family would be better off without me.” Ugh! That sounded horrible. After all, I DID NOT want to die. I tried to clean it up. “It’s not like I’m thinking of committing suicide or anything. It’s just that, if I got hit by a bus or something and they didn’t have to deal with me, would their lives be better?” That also sounded terrible but I had committed to getting better and better meant that I had to be especially truthful.

Nothing unnerved Dr. Counselor. “Here’s my answer and I’ll explain why. Yes, you need to get on a medicine. Your thoughts are not normal. They are what I’ll refer to as suicidal ideation. Suicidal ideation is…”

I listened intently and felt immensely sad. Troubled. Why couldn’t I kick this Postpartum Depression? I mean, I’d started counseling. I was doing my part to get better. Why wasn’t it going away?

I didn’t want to take medicine but I also knew I did not want to get any worse and since I wasn’t getting any better I needed to do what I needed to do. I was worried. How would the meds affect me? How would they affect my ability to breastfeed? Would I be required to be on it forever?

The next day I called my doctor so she could write my prescription and had to explain that my counselor said I had suicidal ideation, as if it wasn’t hard enough to tell Dr. Counselor about it the first time. They immediately called it in. Although I would like to say I began taking the meds that day, I didn’t.

I am one of those people that watch medicine commercials that list all of the possible side effects and think, “Geez. If anyone takes that medicine they’ll be worse off than they were before they started taking it.” After reading the handout…

I. Was. Freaked. Out.

At my next session Dr. Counselor asked, “How is the medicine working for you?”

“Well, I got it filled but I didn’t start taking it.” Dr. Counselor didn’t flinch so I continued. “I read the handout that lists all the side effects and got scared. It was three pages long, front and back.”

She assured me I would be fine but I still did not begin taking the meds until my anxiety got the worst of me one night. Frightening visions of tragedy striking while my family and I slept ran on repeat through my mind. First came the scare of carbon monoxide poisoning. Then came a brutal fire. After that was a burglar. It was then that I knew I couldn’t keep going through that. For peace of mind, I needed to at least give the medicine a shot.

The next day I started the medicine.

About two weeks later I asked hubbae if he noticed a difference in my demeanor.

“Absolutely,” he said.

Y’all, I can’t begin to describe how much better I feel emotionally. Not only is my peace of mind returning but my household is getting back to normal. I now realize that I was essentially bringing my entire household down.

Energy, good and bad-positive and negative, is contagious. When I am at my best, my family can be at their best.

Dr. Counselor says I will not have to be on the medicine forever and that is important to me. I’m already looking forward to the day when they say I can be tapered off of it.

Now, as I was looking forward to before, when people ask me how I’m doing, I say, “I’m good,” and I mean it this time.

Depression is serious and that means Postpartum Depression is also serious. I believe many people blow it off because they think it will go away or they sweep it under the rug because they consider it to be the normal baby blues. However, if your doctor diagnoses you with Postpartum Depression or if you even think you may have it, don’t go it alone. Seek help.

Your emotional and physical health are important and your family is counting on you to stay healthy. They need you.

Take care of you, Lovelies.

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