My Experience of Postpartum Depression and How I Managed It (by Aradhana Pandey)

A couple of years ago, I went through the painful period of suffering from postpartum depression (PPD). The world didn’t really seem much to me. I went through bouts of complete despair and pain where nothing seemed right at all. I felt like a huge failure as I deeply believed I was not providing everything my baby girl needed. This stretched for a really long period and started to manifest itself into eating disorders. That’s when I realised that enough was enough. I decided to seek help and visited a doctor.

I have been on antidepressants and therapy for about a year. Although the treatment was extremely helpful, what made all the difference was the support from my husband and family. And of course, with a strong will to get better each day. As they say, no one can help you unless you want to be helped. There were many instances where I wanted to give up. But, that’s when everyone around me helped me hold on tighter and get through the pain.

Here are some measures that helped me deal with postpartum depression:

  1.  Therapy

When you realize these apparent “baby blues” are something much more sinister, it’s important to consult your doctor immediately. The doctor will suggest the kind of therapy, duration, and the intensity of the therapy. This isn’t going to be easy. In some cases, the medication’s side effects may get to you. You may feel very irritable and lethargic even on medication, which may make you want to give up. But stay strong and continue the treatment.

  1. Speak up

This really helps. Talk to your spouse, sibling, or friend about how you are feeling. It’s important not to bottle up your feelings. If something is disrupting your peace, making you anxious, or sad, talk about it and try to resolve the issue. Also during the therapy, as already mentioned, there may be phases where you find that you aren’t responding positively to the treatment. If this continues, you should let your doctor know and try to get alternative therapies.

  1. Meditation

Meditation is one way to calm your mind amidst all the thoughts that might be driving anxiety or depression. If you can, try to meditate for 15 minutes every day and you will slowly see the change.

4.  Ask for help

Friends and family are often happy to help new parents with their new baby. Use the opportunity whenver you can to take some time for yourself and go for long walks or go out for dinner with your husband. You’ll be surprised to see how much a little “me” time can work its magic.  

Mental health is just as important as physical health. Being depressed after giving birth doesn’t make you a bad mother. Addressing your issues and caring for your well-being isn’t being selfish or unloving. Different strategies or combinations of strategies will work for different people. Experiment with what feels right for you. Stay strong. You’re worth it.


About the Author: Aradhana Pandey

Aradhana is a writer from India. She covers topics concerning parenting, child nutrition, wellness, health and lifestyle. She has more than 150+ publications from reputable sites like Natural news, Elephant Journal, Lifehacker and MomJunction to her credit. Aradhana writes to inspire and motivate people to adopt healthy habits and live a stress-free lifestyle.

2 Comments

Libby

It’s very encouraging to see women speaking out about PPD and other mental health issues they live with or have sought treatment for. Mental health IS every bit as important, to a life well lived, as physical health is. You’re correct. As well, it’s every bit as normal to suffer mentally as it is physically. There should be no shame involved. Thank you for sharing and making that more possible for us all.

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SharonH

Isn’t this due to a disruption of brain chemicals that occurs after giving birth? I think it was Raquel Welch who also had a bad case of this as well. Glad this woman came through OK but just imagine if her family didn’t believe her. Support and understanding is so very important.

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For our children, we start building the foundations for adolescence in their earliest years - the relationship we’ll have with them, who they are going to be, how they are going to be. One of the things we’ll want to build is their capacity to know their own minds and be brave enough to use it. This isn’t easy, even for adults, so the more practice we give them, the more they’ll be able to access their strong, brave, beautiful minds when they need to - when we aren’t there.

This means letting them have a say when we can, asking their opinions, and letting them disagree.

When kids and teens argue, they’re communicating. We need to listen, but the need won’t always be obvious. When littles argue because it’s spaghetti for dinner and ‘I hate spaghetti so much’ (even though last week and the 5 years before last week, spaghetti was their favourite), they might be expressing a need for sleep, power and influence, or independence. All are valid. When your teen argues because they want to do something you’ve said no to, the need might be to preserve their felt sense of inclusion with their tribe, or independence from you. Again, all valid. 

Of course, a valid need doesn’t mean it will always be met. Sometimes our needs might need to take priority to theirs, such as our need to keep them safe, or for them to learn that they can still be okay if everything doesn’t go their way, or that sometimes people will have conflicting needs that need to take priority. What’s important is letting them know we hear them and we get it.

It’s going to take time for kids to learn how to argue and express themselves respectfully. In the meantime, the words might be clumsy, loud, angry. This is when we need to hold on to ourselves, meet them where they are, let them know we hear them, and step into our leadership presence. We might give them what they need because it makes sense and because there isn’t enough reason not to. Sometimes, after giving them space to be heard we’ll need to stand our ground. Other times we might solve the problem collaboratively: This is what you want. This is what I want. Let’s talk about how we can we both get what we need.♥️
Anxiety will always tilt our focus to the risks, often at the expense of the very real rewards. It does this to keep us safe. We’re more likely to run into trouble if we miss the potential risks than if we miss the potential gains. 

This means that anxiety will swell just as much in reaction to a real life-threat, as it will to the things that might cause heartache (feels awful, but not life-threatening), but which will more likely come with great rewards. Wholehearted living means actively shifting our awareness to what we have to gain by taking a safe risk. 

Sometimes staying safe will be the exactly right thing to do, but sometimes we need to fight for that important or meaningful thing by hushing the noise of anxiety and moving bravely forward. 

When children or teens are on the edge of brave, but anxiety is pushing them back, ask, ‘But what would it be like if you could?’ ♥️

#parenting #parent #mindfulparenting #childanxiety #positiveparenting #heywarrior #heyawesome
Except I don’t do hungry me or tired me or intolerant me, as, you know … intolerably. Most of the time. Sometimes.
Growth doesn’t always announce itself in ways that feel safe or invited. Often, it can leave us exhausted and confused and with dirt in our pores from the fury of the battle. It is this way for all of us, our children too. 

The truth of it all is that we are all born with a profound and immense capacity to rise through challenges, changes and heartache. There is something else we are born with too, and it is the capacity to add softness, strength, and safety for each other when the movement towards growth feels too big. Not always by finding the answer, but by being it - just by being - safe, warm, vulnerable, real. As it turns out, sometimes, this is the richest source of growth for all of us.
When the world feel sunsettled, the ripple can reach the hearts, minds and spirits of kids and teens whether or not they are directly affected. As the important adult in the life of any child or teen, you have a profound capacity to give them what they need to steady their world again.

When their fears are really big, such as the death of a parent, being alone in the world, being separated from people they love, children might put this into something else. 

This can also happen because they can’t always articulate the fear. Emotional ‘experiences’ don’t lay in the brain as words, they lay down as images and sensory experiences. This is why smells and sounds can trigger anxiety, even if they aren’t connected to a scary experience. The ‘experiences’ also don’t need to be theirs. Hearing ‘about’ is enough.

The content of the fear might seem irrational but the feeling will be valid. Think of it as the feeling being the part that needs you. Their anxiety, sadness, anger (which happens to hold down other more vulnerable emotions) needs to be seen, held, contained and soothed, so they can feel safe again - and you have so much power to make that happen. 

‘I can see how worried you are. There are some big things happening in the world at the moment, but my darling, you are safe. I promise. You are so safe.’ 

If they have been through something big, the truth is that they have been through something frightening AND they are safe, ‘We’re going through some big things and it can be confusing and scary. We’ll get through this. It’s okay to feel scared or sad or angry. Whatever you feel is okay, and I’m here and I love you and we are safe. We can get through anything together.’

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