I’m not crazy…Institution

There has been a lot going on around here lately. The Kaiser’s usual 9am to 9pm work routine. The Count’s never ending, vomit inducing cough. The Peanut’s two new teeth. I’ve picked up some freelance writing. Busy. Busy.

So busy we sort of didn’t really notice I’m, well, um…Possibly suffering from a post partum anxiety and/or depression.

There. I said it.

I’m getting help.

In all honesty I have very mixed feelings about what may, or may not, be going on. I’m ashamed. I’m confused. I’m not sure I even buy it. But something is wrong and it needs to be addressed.

I’ve noticed every other mother in the blogging world is drugged. All of them seem to need medication to “cope” with life. This upsets me. I thought it was a cop out, frankly. An easy way out of a big problem. Take a pill and magically your stress and fears are gone!

Those thoughts are why it took me 9 months to admit I need help.

I’m not sure where this revelation will go. Or what will happen. But for the sake of all the other women out there, I promise to blog about it…good and bad. Because I already know I’m not the only one. And I already know I was reluctant to even admit a problem because, apparently, I was feeling very Tom Cruise on the whole subject.

I only leave the house when I have too.
The kids and I only get out of our PJ’s when we have too.
I don’t clean or cook anymore. (this one has improved)
I leave soiled diapers all over the house. (this one has gotten better too)
I stay awake in bed, fantasizing how my husband will die. How my children will die. How I will die. Kidnappings. Fires. White slavery. Car accidents. Plane crashes. Playgroud accidents. The fear of the unknown consumes me.
I can’t shut off my brain.
I am very tired.
I’ve never felt sad, so to speak.
I don’t cry.
I’m convinced I will be a widow. And wait for my husband to log onto his computer at work every morning, faithfully.
Sometimes I shop to feel better.
I have panic attacks during the day when I think the Count may have escaped the house and is wandering the streets. He’s just in the playroom.
I stare at the clock, get to nursery school early, and wait in the parking lot just to make sure no one has entered the school with a gun and taken the kids hostage.
I can work myself into a vomit or a migraine just thinking about what could happen to my kids.
I am suspicious of EVERYONE.
I think I’m weak for feeling this way.
I think I just need to “suck it up” and move on with life.
I don’t think I need to be medicated.
I’m angry no one around me noticed and made me get help.

Jesus, I just went back and read those. I’m fucking crazy.


  1. You’re not crazy, just see a Dr and take one step at a time. Doesn’t mean you will have to go on medicine, and if you do it probably won’t be forever. Some people do just take “happy pills” to do it, but many of us take them to help with a real problem that needs to be taken care of. You will be fine, just hang in there.

  2. I don’t know what to say, except take care of yourself. See a dr. You’ll be fine, you might just need some help getting there.

  3. White slavery, really?

    But really, I’m glad you are getting help.

  4. I echo the sentiments of the other ladies here. Seeing a doctor is a great first step. The very best of luck to you as you try and manage your emotions during this time.

  5. Yeah. You know, someone will kidnap the kids and sell them. Child prostitution, slavery, whatever.

    I suspect my neighbors.

  6. I think it’s the 2nd kid. I was fine w/ my first, yippee skippy, things are grand. W/ the 2nd, i’m Soooo tired all the time, and have lost all willpower to do domestic-y things. However, I’m not yet dreaming about White Slavery….

    I’m glad you’re going to see someone. Although, I understand what you mean about being drugged. I’m not on anything, and I HATE having to even take pain pills when I’m seriously hurt. I don’t like the feeling of chemicals controlling me. So, I understand your connundrum. However, it’s not good to be thinking those thoughts, either. So…yeah…

    Hard to say.

  7. After each of my kids, I think I had really dark times. Unfortunately, I had them all one right after the other. So it was kind of a bad time for me. I never saw a doctor, and now I really wish I had. It didn’t have to be that dark and horrible in my head. I’m getting better, but even now it’s sometimes like pulling hair to get me to go out of the house voluntarily. Get help, and be honest with your husband about what’s going on. He can be a great source of support if you let him.

  8. I felt that way too for a while. For me all it took was making a point of getting out of the house and taking some real “me” time away from all of my responsibilities. Remembering what it’s like just to be you, not a mom, a wife, a sister, an employee… you get the idea.
    Do something just for yourself and do it at least once a week. You deserve it. You might feel better for it.
    Beyond that, remember that you’re not alone in this and keep your chin up. Nothing can last forever.
    (And besides, I’d tell you if there was anything to really be concerned about when it came to the whole slavery issue 🙂 )

  9. There is nothing wrong with taking medicine for an imbalance. That’s what it is, not being weak or lazy. It stems from something being off, usually your hormones… I took meds after Eric & was very sorry I didn’t the 1st time around. Even my non-meds-believing husband was glad I did take them. He was the reason I didn’t the first time – I didn’t want to seem weak. Looking back that was a mistake.

    Taking the meds was short term. I no longer take or feel I need to take anything.

    Also, people probably didn’t notice because you were hiding your problems in order to not look weak.

    Anyway, just my opinion.

  10. You are NOT crazy or weak – not even close.

    The majority of us have been there (or are there), dear. Honestly.

    I hope you start feeling better soon.

  11. You are not alone my friend. I went through a lot of the same after my son was born. Nursing can have HUGE impact on your hormones too so I am not surprised as you have done it so long sweetie. It’s ok. Breathe. I’m so proud of you for admitting you need help and for seeing someone. What a HUGE step. I too was on meds and through therapy and time I am now off. Some stay on. It’s all individual. Let your friends and hubby love you and help you as much as they can. 🙂 You don’t scare me. You’re not crazy, you are in a very hard, lonely season of life. You will get through it and come out even MORE strong than you already are.

    Hugs to you blogging friend.

  12. You’re certainly not crazy. I could have written that list myself before I got help.

    It took me forever to come to terms with depression. It first hit when Aaron and I were engaged. I ignored it and ignored it until it nearly cost me my relationship with Aaron. Finally, I went to the doctor, and expected to be told nothing was wrong. After all, everything was going right in my life – why should I feel so down?

    I have a great doc, and she helped me understand what the meds can and can’t do. I learned all about chemical depression (hormonal imbalance) vs. situational depression. But I was so worried about losing “me” to some false personality created by drugs.

    Having been on anti-depressants twice now, I can tell you that it didn’t change who I was – it just made me more pleasant to be around, and helped me not freak out about everything. It took my view of things, and shifted it all up slightly. The lows aren’t as low, and the highs are better.

    Now that Cordy is past a year old (this second round was for post-partum depression), I want to try weaning off of them again and see if all is good.

    Good luck with your doctor’s visit. I’d take that list with you and show it to your doctor. I think you did a great job describing how you feel.

  13. You aren’t crazy. You just realized you need help. Panic attacks and worry, apathy–all of it was enough to make you sufficiently uncomfortable that you want a change.

    And that is what makes you strong and smart and lucid–you know you want a change.

    If a pill helps you get there (with therapy) and gives you relief, so be it.

    You aren’t crazy.

  14. Well, I can’t claim the post-partum part, but I’ve certainly realized over the past few weeks that I’m just not “okay”, and many of the things you’ve listed have been a part of my life for the past few months.

    I’m happy for you that you’re getting the help you need, and I’ll be joining you in that boat soon enough myself.

    ((((((Hugs))))))) Take care of you.

  15. It will be ok, don’t feel bad if you have to go on the meds. I’ve been on them since a little after my first kiddo was born. I went off of them during my 2nd pregnancy, back on them after #2 was born. I know that when I am off of them it doesn’t take much to make me “snap” and go ballistic on the poor kids. And with a 4 yr. old and 2 yr. old, pretty much anything they do can cause me to go nuts! So even though I don’t like being on them, I’m not screaming at a 4 yr. for not getting ready fast enough. And as far as getting dressed? I was a SAHM up until a few months ago. If the kids saw me get dressed, they immediately asked where we were going. We don’t get dressed at my house unless we are going out! Sad, but true. Hang in there. And remember, Tom Cruise is crazier than you will ever be. Ok, so he’s richer, but he’s also crazier.

  16. It’s real…VERY real…so I hope that the feelings of shame and confusion go away soon. Hormones mess with you like nothing else on earth, not even MALES, so I hope you don’t feel like a crazy women, or a failure or that your selling out if you do end up taking meds….they’ll help. I have a fiancee on anti depression drugs (and boy are they unbelievably effective) and a family member who i’m sure borders on OCD who had PPD and DID get help…thankfully. Take it easy on yourself ok?

  17. Thank you for opening up to us! The first thing to do is to recognize something is not right and the way you are feeling definitely is not right. Once you have crossed that HUGE hurdle (which you have. Look – step 1. check!) the getting better can begin.

    The first time I called my insurance company to ask how to use my Mental Health benefit I was ashamed, embarrassed, scared and who knows what else. (But I should not have been.)

    I started with a family therapist, doing some visualization, relaxation techniques, talking and I still thought my husband was going to die in a car crash, I was going to die in a car crash, or I would lose my temper for really minuscule things, I had zero motivation (although I concealed it well at work) and on and on.

    I made a list of all the things I thought about, stressed about, worried about, (much like yours) brought it to a psychiatrist and in almost tears gave it to him and said, “this is who I am now, it is not who I used to be. I want to be “me” again.â€Â? He ended up prescribing an anti-depressant and told me it would take some time for the effects to begin and for me to feel any difference. Within three days I cleaned my house. The first time in over two years I had done it on my own, with no family coming to visit, etc. Just felt actually motivated to clean the bathroom and everything else. It was a HUGE awakening for me.

    I had forgotten what it felt like to be happy, to be comfortable, to be who I had been. It is four years later and I think maybe I am ready to try life without the anti-depressant – but wonder, if I had a heart condition would I think that? Not sure – and I am thinking about finding a new psych (have since moved) and looking into my options.

    PLEASE – seek help – therapist, social worker, psychologist, psychiatrist, family practice doctor. You DESERVE to not be in this “sad season” (I love the previous commenter’s words) anymore. No promises it will be an easy road, but I do promise it will lead to a much better place than where you are now. If you are not noticing changes within 4 – 6 weeks (meds or no meds) once you start seeing someone – keep asking what else can be done. You don’t have to feel this way. I used to lay in bed and think, “I am crazy. Why does my husband stay with me, this crazy lady?” I don’t do that anymore, I don’t think I am crazy anymore. Yes – I still worry (too much), but I also can dance again. (metaphorically, that is – really I have no rhythm!)

    Best of days to you!

  18. I was fine with my first born as well but with the second one, I had some problems. I called the nurser every other day crying hysterically about ridiculous stuff because I was so overwhelmed being home with a newborn and 2 yr old plus watching my 1 yr old niece and 6 yr old nephew. I’m one of those fools who can’t/won’t ask for help until I boil over. Having someone to talk/cry to that wasn’t married to me or related to me helped so much. Deep breathes and some healthy crying sessions worked for me. Good luck dear.

  19. Hey, take care. I was moved by your honesty and all that you’re going through. It sure ain’t easy being a mom these days. I hope things get better for you soon.

  20. Oh you haven’t lost it. Go see a doc and of cos get some rest so you can reduce the anxiety level. And you will be fine. Please update soon. 🙂

  21. Oh yeah. You’re fucked up.
    No, really… it may seem like a lot of moms are medicated (myself included but mine isn’t post-partum…more like post-puberty) but I think it’s because more women are willing to talk about the problems that we often share. The anxiety is a very real thing. Why suffer with it? Why go through every day feeling that way? If you could “suck it up” wouldn’t you have done that already? Exactly. It’s not weak to ask for help… it’s strong. You are strong and good god, NOT Tom Cruise! I’m glad you are willing to discuss this very prominent issue. We’re all behind you!

  22. Birth can do a lot of emotional/psychological things to people. Sometimes anxiety symptoms, not depression, can arise. A lot of your symptoms, like worrying about something horrible happening, sound fairly anxiety-driven to me.

    Has the Kaiser noticed anything?

  23. Tom Cruise is an idiot.

  24. You’re not alone my friend! I am not medicated yet crazy… most definitely! I do not deep clean the house. I settle for good enough… and this coming from someone with OCD…

    You need a break, some sleep, and perhaps some help so you can GET a break! Doesn’t mean you failed… just that you’re human!

    In any case, these two ladies brought me out of panic attacks (I lived through 4 to 5 a week for years… not related to being a mom but to my past), and so much more… maybe you could work with them or they may be able to recommend someone in your area. They are amazingly talented, understanding, nonjudgemental, nurturing and wise… Elaine is a mother of 5!!!! Oh, go to http://www.deepnurturing.com

    Keep us updated and hang in there!

  25. I’ve been there too. It so damn hard, but you’ve made the first brave step.

    There’s a terrific book on the subject – Inconsolable – How I Threw My Mental Health Out with the Diapers by Marrit Ingman. I have an extra copy that I’ll mail you pronto! Email me at mama@amamasrant.com with your mailing info if you’re interested.

  26. The Kaiser noticed the whole not cleaning thing, because I am usually pretty anal about cleaning. But I think he/we just chalked it up to adjusting to managing two kids.

    I’m checking out everyone’s recom. for books and websites! Thanks!

  27. Oh, my friend.. first, I’m so sorry that I missed this yesterday.

    You are very brave to come out in the open with all of that, but it also tells me that you are going to be fine, because admitting that there is a problem is the first step towards solving it.

    Please, please, if you ever need to talk or anything – you know how to reach me, ok?

    I love you, homegirl, and I want to see you happy!

  28. Looks like you’ve got plenty of support, but I’ll just share that my second child, a daughter, was born just at 2 years after our son, and was 9 months old when I finally admitted I had nearly cracked beyond repair. And although furious, when the doc suggested medication, I did begin it and it has seriously changed our life. I still take meds, and it’s been nearly 8 years. That’s just me. But thank God, or whoever you want to, for the option of pharmaceutical living. Don’t stop because you get pissed off at “not being stronger”. That’s shit. Or so, I think. And I’ve spent a lot of time having conversations with myself.

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