I’ve been MIA for a while. Well, about nine months or so (which just so happens to be how old my son is). As with most new moms, I’ve struggled with adapting to my new life. Overnight priorities change. The carefree life you had before (even if you didn’t think it was carefree) is gone. Suddenly you have this little person who looks to you for everything. It’s hard. Any new parent will tell you this.
Current statistics say that approximately 4 out of 5 of mothers will suffer from ‘baby blues’. This is perfectly normal as the hormones your placenta was pumping through your body start to disappear, not to mention the lack of sleep, your milk coming in, troubles with nursing etc. But for some of us, those blues turn into something more profound. Approximately one in four women will suffer from depression during the first year of their child’s life. If you’re like me and have a history of depression, the chances of this go up dramatically.
In a series of blogs I’m going to share some of my stories and struggles with depression including herbal and Bach flower formulations I’m making myself. Too often depression is something people don’t want to talk about. In the past we were embarrassed by it and locked our friends and family into padded rooms, visiting them only on weekends and holidays (if at all). While rampant overuse of electric shock therapy is in the past (mostly), depression and other emotional disorders are still not widely talked about or understood by the general population. People often feel shame and blame themselves. Family members don’t understand why you feel the way you do. I’ve lost count of the number of people who told me to ‘just smile more’. Or say, ‘look at your son, how can he make you depressed?’ Unless you’ve been through it (and I wish it on no one), depression isn’t something easily explained. Even though I have been through two major episodes in the past, I was still in denial about my struggles after my son was born. And I should know better!
I hope by sharing my experiences that maybe one person might find comfort in knowing that they aren’t alone. I also hope that I can spread the word that depression doesn’t always have to equal medication.
Look for part 2 where I talk about knowing the difference between baby blues and postpartum depression.
Oh and for the record, it is not this little dude that “makes” me depressed! 😉