Post Partum-getting better and then getting angry

I finally feel like I’ve conquered Post Partum Depression and Anxiety.

I think.


I’m pretty sure.

Just as it was tricky to figure out I was going through PPD, I’m now finding it difficult to determine if I’ve won the battle. My psychologist has me coming in once a month, if I feel I need it. My kids are, overall, much happier. My husband is getting a ton more tail than he used to.

So what about me? How am I feeling?? At peace, really.

Don’t get me wrong. I still get angry. I still get upset. I still lose it with these small people in my house every once in awhile. But it’s for good reason, and usually after I’ve been pushed for hours.
We’re outside nearly every day. We’ve planted a garden. We go to the park.

I don’t think every stranger we run across is a potential kidnapper. My heart no longer pounds when my son darts across the playground from one slide to the other. I don’t lay in bed wondering what natural disaster will sweep my family away. I don’t worry needlessly that my husband will be killed on his commute.

But am I cured? And more importantly, is it really gone?

My therapist says this is typical. Once you feel good for awhile, you worry it won’t be permanent. But I’m more worried that if I do start slipping back into those old habits, I won’t notice.

It was so hard to figure out I was suffering from PPD, that I can’t say for sure we’d spot it again, right away.

I’m also finding myself becoming an advocate for other mothers. I want them to know they are not alone. They are not imagining it. And they can get help. Even though I’m nearing the end of my battle, I still feel shame. I’m not sure who to blame for that, but I really want to blame someone. Or something. Society? I’m not sure.

Why don’t we take women seriously? How many years did I cry and vomit and plead with doctors for help before I was diagnosed with migraines? You should have seen the looks I got when I told them I had fuzzy spots floating in my eyes before each attack.

Now how many years will it be before PPD women can be easily and quickly diagnosed without the shroud of shame that comes with “mental” and “hormonal” issues.

I’m learning to get past that shame. And stand up for the many women who aren’t ready to stand up yet. Who’s with me??


  1. I am.

  2. me too!

  3. Go, Mama! I think you’re super for blogging about your experience and advocating for other moms who might be experiencing what you’ve been through, or might in the future. I consider myself educated enough by what you’ve shared of your experience to maybe notice if I start having post-partum symptoms after the next baby. And if I hadn’t know about your experience, and do start having some issues, I’m sure it would take me a long time if I wasn’t aware of PPD from a friend’s perspective.

    I’m surprised that you ran into multiple doctors who didn’t recognize the fuzzy spots before migraines thing. That’s a known kind of migraine – can’t remember what it’s called, but I’ve had a couple and know other people who have had them and our doctors were all very familiar with them.

    Please forgive me for this, but I have a thing about spelling and I just can’t seem to let it go this time – the correct spelling is Post-Partum (with a T) Depression. Or sometimes Postpartum is one word; depends on where you look. But with a T. Post meaning after, and Partum meaning the baby’s out; you and the baby have parted physically.

  4. stupid spell checker. I’m changing it now. feel free to make fun of me.

  5. I’m so glad you’re speaking up about this. I suffered from peripartum depression – spent the first three months of my pregnancy in a black hole. It got better with counseling, but I’m still working through it. I felt incredibly shameful – depressed about what’s supposed to be the most amazing, joyful miracle? But once I spoke up, I was amazed at how many other women had experienced the same feelings early in their pregnancy as well, but had never spoken up because THEY were ashamed. Instead, they suffered, alone and in silence.

    Wrong, wrong, wrong. I wish we really embraced, nurtured and supported women throughout all of this. We just DON’T.

    One thing that really pissed me off especially – being attacked by other women. I had one woman tell me I had no right to be depressed – at least I was pregnant when there were so many women trying. It was awful. If anything – we should be supporting one another through each phase – trying, carrying, birthing – not attacking one another.

    Anyway, sorry for the ramble. I’m glad you’re working your way through to the other side of it all.

  6. I’m with you!

    I’m glad you’re feeling better.

  7. Oh I’m with you. 100%.

    I totally agree that we as women are still not taken seriously. If this had happened to you forty years ago they would have just taken out all of your “women” parts and called it a day. We’ve only had more opportunities, honestly, since the 70’s. That wasn’t that long ago. It’s wild if we really really take a look at history that women really just started being listened to. And it’s still a struggle.

    And it still pisses me off. I had the same thing with migraines and many other health issues. I actually now just go to women because they actually listen and know that the woman body is so different fromt he male body.

    Did you know the main reason heart disease is the number one killer of women is that there is SOOO little testing done on how to treat women? Everyone thought it was a man’s disease because the symptoms appear different in women. They are just now getting to all of that. How sad??

    I’ll stop here.

    About how you feel, yes you will feel you’ve over come it and may even be tempted to go off the meds. Just let them run it’s course a little while. I took myself off too soon and spiraled back. When I waited a good six months, I actually was able to “ween” off.

    Enjoy the good feelings 🙂


  8. I’m SO glad you’re feeling better. There are lots of things that you’ve mentioned in your blog that sounds very similar to what I’ve been experiencing, but like so many others, have just put it aside thinking that I’m too tired/going crazy/just imagining it etc. Well done for raising the issue and letting people know that it is a real problem and that there is something that can be done about it.

  9. I’m totally with you! My depression developed while I was pregnant, and it was difficult to figure out I had it. I ws supposed to be happy, but thanks to the huge amount of hormones in my body, I found myself having trouble getting out of bed each day.

    Post-partum was even worse, but at least I was already on medication. I was so confused – I had the baby I wanted, so why did I feel so down?

    I look at it from a scientific point of view: If you were to add up the amount of hormones in a woman’s body over her lifetime (not counting pregnancies), it would still be less than the hormones present in her body when she is pregnant. Dumping off all those hormones after birth causes a huge change to body chemistry, making it very easy to fall into a depression.

    From a non-scientific point of view: depression makes you feel sucky, and no one should have to feel that way. I think it’s very important to get the word out about post-partum depression and make it easier for women to seek help for it.

  10. p.s.

    I had migraines with auro since puberty. I was not diagnosed until they started recognizing migraines medically when I was 21.

  11. If you ever find resolution to the question of shame with regard to mental health issues, please let me know. When I’m doing ok, I can get on a soapbox about how its just like a diabetic treating her illness, but when I’m struggling, I can’t be bold at all, I just want to curl up and cry and ask for permission and affirmation for being on meds.

  12. I am with you! My little bit is to share with others that I have dealt with depression and anxiety and take meds for it. It always surprises people that someone as “together” as I am (ha! if only they knew what a facade that is most days!) has a mental illness (oh! the shame of it! – sarcasm!).

    I still get nervous if it is coming up in a conversation because of the stigma – but I think the more we talk about it the more likely it is to be accepted as a true illness and not just batty women. It is like breast cancer – no one use to say that out loud, now no one even thinks about it. Colonoscopy used to be a secret word, now not a thought is glimmered when it is mentioned.

    So yes, I ma with you – keep talking. And I am so happy you are happy and truly recovering!!

  13. Gotcha. Now that I think about it, the first time I had that kind of migraine I was 12 and the doctor didn’t know what it was and sent me to the eye doctor for a checkup. When they knew what it was, I was already out of college and married and living here – so that was in the last 8 years. I also live near a research center that focuses on migraines, and I imagine the findings might come out locally a little sooner than elsewhere.

  14. You go, girl!

    I give you a world of credit for sharing what you’ve gone thru, and what you are going thru in order to help other women.

    You should stand proud. 🙂

    Losing it on the kids is normal. Trust me.

  15. I am right where you are. Then I worry, “Am I worrying because I’m having another bout, or am I just regular worried????”

    Mine always crept up suddenly, and my chances are good that it will come back in the future. Will my husband or my kids have to notice it first and say, “It might be time to see Dr. Murdock again!”?

    Oh, and to kill two comments with one stone … my youngest walked in the other day with her baby bottle and little baby (bought by grandma). She was saying, “Here mommy, hold my baby and feed her.” So, I said, “Okay, but I don’t need that silly thing! Mommy’s make their own milk!”, pulled up my shirt and stuck that little plastic doll on my boob!

    I am proud to say that my three year old black child has been walking around since then nursing a plastic white baby doll!!!

  16. One of my dear friends suffered for several years before finally doing something about it. She’s smart, well-read, and knew all about PPD but just didn’t connect it to her. THAT seems to be the biggest problem with this thing.

    On a side note, she’s a Red Wings fan too. Not normally a cause of depression (unlike our Canucks) but these days (I’m heavy on Detroit in my playoff pool too) I wonder…

  17. I’m right there with ya!! I developed it after I had my son who is now over 2. It wasn’t until my daughter was born in September that anyone noticed. Well EVERYONE noticed, but not the doc or me! My husband just thought I had “changed” since having a baby. i’m on the meds I need to be on and am getting to where I need to be. I just am worried what comes next? Drugs forever?? I dont know.

  18. Oh I’m in. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with in my life, and it’s not even over. I’m getting better every day. I would even venture to say that I’m “healed”, but I am also afraid of a relapse of sorts.

    I just know how much it helps to have a support group. I am willing to help any new mother who needs it!

  19. oh… you can count ME in!

  20. thank you for writing so honestly about your PPD!

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