Since I initially shared my experience with post-partum depression, I've received a few e-mails from those of you who are in the same boat. It means a lot to me that you feel comfortable sharing your story with me and that maybe I'm able to help a few people by being open with my experience.
First, I want to say that most people seem to think you should be ashamed of having depression. It's not any less medical than diabetes or heart disease. Not that we have to paint it on our front doors, but I think we need to be more open about depression and other mental illnesses to get rid of that silly stigma.
This talk from Elder Holland is PHENOMENAL and a must watch if you have ever had depression, if you know someone with depression, or if you're a human.
Find it here.
Now that that's out of the way, I want to say that I'm doing so much better.
When I think about spending my days worrying my baby would spontaneously stop breathing or that 20 people were trying to break in to my house at all times. So, yes. I'm much less paranoid now. I don't dream of running away. I don't feel overwhelmed the majority of the days any more.
I am really enjoying being a mother. My bond and love for Ainsley has grown so much since she was born.
I'm not necessarily out of the woods yet. My emotions seem to go up and down. Most days I'm fine but some days are really hard.
If I had to give one piece of advice about PPD it would be to look for the warning signs. When I look back, I feel like a had some fairly minor depression before even getting pregnant. I feel like I could have saved myself a lot of heartache by taking care of myself early on. This means different things for different people. I feel recharged when I create things. Also, sleep. I have learned how important sleep is to my sanity.
Other things that have helped, Zoloft. I don't think there should be shame in accepting help through modern medicine. My husband has also been so supportive and helped me through everything. I think it has also helped now that Ainsley is older and more interactive, I don't feel as lonely. Above all, prayer.
Things are much better. I wrote another post on things that have helped me that you can find here.
I'm grateful for this experience. It has strengthened my marriage. It has taught me a lot about myself. It has reaffirmed to me the important things in life. It has strengthened my testimony. It has given me a greater compassion and empathy for others. It has been difficult, but it has also been a blessing. I'm a firm believer that Heavenly Father knows what he's doing. Even the hard things he puts in our lives are placed there to improve us and eventually bless us.