Have you ever had any pregnancy-related depression?
One of the more famous mom-bloggers I read (Dooce) just had another baby yesterday, and I’m praying she doesn’t suffer from PPD this time around like she did last time. That post-birth euphoria, which many experience, doesn’t last and often there’s a real depression that sets in. The Baby Blues and PPD are both very real issues!
When I read Manic last week, I was struck by two things. How incredibly hard she worked to hide her illness (especially once she knew what it was), and also how her dad and others refused to recognize it as a illness. It was just a little annoyance that could be solved by positive thinking and hard work. While I believe there are many things that can be done to help someone who’s depressed, it does no good to treat it like it doesn’t exist! Denial never works.
To answer the question myself, I know I’ve had bouts of depression after each birth, but nothing that lasted for months or had me unable to get out of bed. I’ve had a few times in my life where I was that depressed (wanted to sleep all day, couldn’t be bothered to do anything, long bouts of tears) but it never lasted for more than a couple of days. I couldn’t be bothered to reach out to anyone, and wanted to be alone. That taste was enough to make me have real sympathy for anyone struggling with chronic depression!
I hate the idea that it’s thought of as something shameful that needs to be hidden. It’s something to acknowlege, and then get help for! The expectation put on new parents (or moms in general) that we need to have it all together, always, is maddening. I see the overwhelmed looks on the faces of moms everywhere, especially when they think no one is looking. We need it to be ok not to be ok. Capiche? (channeling Mrs Piasecki, my passionately Italian 3rd grade teacher)
So, have you hever had any pregnancy-related depression? Please share!