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Thursday
Oct242013

Diagnosed with Postpartum Depression (PPD)

So happy to be back in La Paz.

I wanted a happy picture for a rather unhappy topic.

If you've been following my blog then you'll know it has been a tough year and a half or so (when you add in my entire pregnancy and the last 8 months since Lyra's birth.) A few readers messaged me when I wrote this post a few months ago saying they were concerned I had PPD. As someone who has had depression before I didn't think so. I didn't have the same symptoms as when I had depression a few years ago so how could it be PPD?

But I started to read stories of moms with PPD and I realized I had symptoms that didn't match my previous experience with depression but absolutely matched a diagnosis of postpartum depression, most notably, rage, just pure rage, and how freaky is that? I reached out to friends, I contacted my doctor and therapist in San Diego, and I'm now getting treated. 

I'm still finding it hard to use my brain cohesively, which means my blogging here will be light to non-existent for a while. 

And before you equate sailing-with-an-infant=you're gonna get PPD, please know that while I'm the first person to say that it has been freaking tough to be out cruising with a new baby, there are many additional factors going on in my life right now that I don't blog about and won't share publicly. Those factors are absolutely the largest stressors in my life and of course, the ones I can't write about out of respect for the privacy of the other people in my extended family who don't happily blog about their lives. Let's just say that I've been dealing with two of the items on this list during the last six months, and they would have happened had we been sailing or not. 

If you are a mom and think you may have PPD, please call your doctor and talk to them about your concerns. Read up on the signs of PPD, in particular this one, which was my biggest clue to call my own doctor. This website, Postpartum Progress, has been incredibly helpful. Lastly, if you are breastfeeding and worried that you'll have to stop breastfeeding in order to take meds (and you don't want to stop), take heart, there is much info out there to explain that breastfeeding and antidepressants are not contraindicated. Helpful link here and here.

I'll be back when my brain works.

Reader Comments (14)

Big hugs. I'm glad you reached out, to your providers as well as to your online tribe.

October 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAbby

Im glad that you're getting help, Charlotte. Sometimes as parents, I think we feel like we should just be able to muscle through our issues and the tough times in order to be strong for our kids, when really, the best thing we can do is ask for some help and guidance. Good for you for taking that step. Take care and lots of hugs to you.

October 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterErin Smith

Thanks for sharing. I had to go off my meds for postpartum anxiety when I got pregnant, it was super tough and went to a naturopath for help. I'm on a mix of stuff which seems to be helping but also eliminated all (most) of the stresses in my life. I'm also worried that the anxiety will return with my third with the sleepless nights but your articles about antidepressants while breastfeeding has given me hope. Good luck with your struggles.

October 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarly

Hugs lady. I'm so glad you are getting help. I hope that those other stressors are resolved soon, so you can focus on you.

October 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMeegs

Bless you, my friend. I'm so sorry that you're going through this but thrilled that you've found help for your climb out. If only we could make all those other stress-inducers back home stay back home!

May you find good friends, fun times, and always beautiful weather and calm seas so that the joys of cruising will overwhelm the negatives of being out there with all the responsibilities you carry.

October 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNormandie

Sending you lots of love and hugs. You are a brave, strong woman and it is awesome that you are "putting this out there" so that others can learn and empathize with you. While I have never been "depressed", I know how it feels to be completely out of sorts emotionally - for a while at the beginning of my current pregnancy, I literally thought I was SEVERELY depressed. Crying non stop, feeling bleak, no joy...etc. etc. Luckily I came out of it, but it was very scary for a few weeks. Much love and emotional healing to you xoxox

October 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrittany

Glad that you are getting the help you need. Looking forward to the day when the blog posts are about how great things are -- I'm sure you'll get there but know it can take a while.

October 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarolyn

Sending you our support, Charlotte. That must not be easy.

October 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSimon

Heartened by the bravery of your post, and saddened to have not known of your struggles sooner. Very much looking forward to some visiting when we get to La Cruz! Love and hugs to all of you, Liz

October 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

Sending hugs your way Charlotte. You have a whole life ahead of you. Take one day at a time and remember what is important.

October 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCindy

Thanks for sharing. You deserve to be happy.

October 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

Sending you our best wishes and hope you find your way through with the support of those around you.

October 29, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteranita

Charlotte, I'm so sorry to hear you've been going through this. Saving up big hugs for you when we get back to La Cruz.

October 29, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbettiedelmar

I remember the day with my second baby, during severe mastitis, crying all the time, unable to sleep or eat but then talking embarrassingly non stop at an eye appointment. I sat in the car and realized I must be depressed. Just that realization was such a breakthrough, and I am sure you feel the same break through. I had a dear friend who invited me over, took charge of both my kids and her own new born, ran me a deep bath, put a plate of donuts on the rim and shut me in the bathroom! It meant so much to me. It must have been so hard for you to distinguish between the particularly difficult first few months - the heat, your complications and the fact that every chore is ten times harder - and know what was a rational response and what was something more disturbing. You are so practical and sensible. Yet again you are steering a vital course for other women and showing them the way. Now is the time to make sure all aspects of your health are taken care of. As the flight attendants always say, "Fit your own oxygen mask before helping others." Sending you virtual donuts and hugs.
Love
Clare

October 29, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterclare

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