Be honest and ask for help

I asked for help.

Many women suffering from postpartum depression or a related illness are afraid to ask for help.  And I get it, because even though I asked for help, I still kept my illness hidden from some people.  And I didn’t “look” sick, so why would anyone pay attention to me any more than they usually do.  Since we don’t “look” sick, we have to ask for help.  Sometimes we may get it without asking, oftentimes not.

I was told I was strong because I admitted that I had postpartum depression and willingly sought help.  I always knew about postpartum depression, at least that it existed and some mothers got it.  I was quite ignorant about the immensity of postpartum health as a whole.  I did worry I would develop it after I had a baby, but I was horribly unprepared.  I also say that my symptoms of postpartum anxiety and OCD caught me by surprise both by slowing emerging and hitting my fast and hard.  Time itself took on a different perspective or dimension.  I know something was wrong, and that I needed help.

I certainly encountered roadblocks.  When I called my ob-gyn to get a therapist referral, the nurse did ask if I was depressed.  I said no, I’m just anxious and scared all the time.  I got the name and number of a therapist.  The therapist wasn’t at that number anymore, but I got a new number.  I left a message, and thankfully the therapist called me back.  My therapist was incredible, and I know I was lucky.  Sometimes you have to go through a few to find a person you connect with.  If I hadn’t called my gyn’s office, I wouldn’t have found my therapist.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help and get the right help.

My hubby knew something was wrong, and also that he wasn’t equipped to give me the help I needed.  He never blamed me, and was very supportive.  He saw me at my worst and come June, we’ll be celebrating 9 years of marriage and 15 years since we met, along with a beautiful little boy who is smart, funny, and adorable.

Geographically speaking, I had very little of my family near me, and no one from hubby’s side.  I did, however, have the support of the family that was there, and also saw what had happened to me.  Early on, the best help I got was from my husband and my therapist.  One last thing, and I can’t stress this enough, KNOW YOUR MEDICAL HISTORY.  This means knowing the physical and mental health history on both sides of your family.  My therapist told my husband when I was in the hospital after my breakdown, that had she known there was a history of mental health issues on both sides of my family, she would have put me on medication much sooner.  Many families don’t like to talk about it, or have the mentality of “we didn’t talk about it back then.”  No excuses, it is imperative to know if you’re at higher risk.

Be well.

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~ by phaerygurl on July 3, 2014.

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