Monday, January 17, 2011

Very good link for Postpartum Anxiety ...

WRAL's Go Ask Mom section shared another new mom's blog post about postpartum anxiety this morning. I think every one of our blog readers needs to read this story.

It's no great shocker- I've been dealing with postpartum depression/PTSD/anxiety for a while now; maybe since Bea was born. Being the "diagnose and treat it yourself" kind of girl I am, I searched diligently for resources on this topic; specifically for NICU moms and the trauma we've faced. I was very disappointed in the limited amount of information or even discussion on the topic. I was ashamed for a while- because everyone else made it such a taboo topic.

Like Kira (the article's author) it was my husband who recognized what was going on and pleaded with me to get help. Having a micro-preemie, and all that comes with it, turned my slightly OCD personality into full-blow obsession and anxiety that only he really knew the extent of. It's a secret battle and it shouldn't be. I was making my husband miserable. I felt (and still sometimes feel) like I was living under a dense fog. Like a vampire, sunlight seemed to burn my skin so I just wanted to stay huddled up inside, in the dark, in my tiny-germ-controlled environment. I know we joke a lot about hand sanitizer, but I truly nearly went into a full panic attack if someone didn't use a squirt of the provided bottles when coming in our home. There were full blown sobbing sessions, explosive fights, my temper was always ready to come out and battle.

I obsess/ed with terrible things happening to Bea. SIDS, cat burglars, freak house fires started by the night light in her room that was too close to her drapes. You get the point. We came so close to losing her when she was first born that I feel like it's my duty to make sure that now, when she's solely our responsibility, I maintain the good work the doctors did initially to help her survive.

It felt like no one in the world knew what I was going through. Not even my husband, Casey. I was so isolated, alone in a pit of sadness. But in reality- he was right there with me. He was going through it too. I just couldn't see it at the time.

It took until August until I was willing to go and seek help from a therapist. It shouldn't have been that way. It's helping tremendously. I don't know why there's a stigma associated with seeing a therapist. It's so cathartic to talk to someone, anyone, especially an independent observer.

If you know a new mom, or really any mom at all, and notice something a little off- it's probably only the tip of the iceberg. Underneath the external, public layer of worry is a deeper, darker underbelly of depression and anxiety.

Have a little compassion. Let them know it's ok and it's normal and it's ok to seek help. That's it. That's all I'm asking.

1 comment:

  1. Ashlley,
    Catching up on your blog and really appreciate this post! You have been through much more than I have with B, but I had a hard time too after bringing sailor home. I had weeks of sadness and tears and couldn't figure out why or what was wrong with me???
    I have told this to so many of my pregnant friends bc I don't want them to think something is "wrong" with them if they experience this too!
    I think having my world "rocked" overnight was just hard to adjust too, not to mention no sleep for days,weeks will make u feel simply delirious!
    I wish this subject wasn't so taboo either.....thanks for sharing!!!!!!
    Love your blog and that SWEET girl!!!!