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Post Partum Depression

PPD - Post Partum Depression (The darker side of Motherhood)

Depression is a monster whom you only know better once it attacks you. Hard to detect and even hard to believe which makes this illness more and more severe. One branch of depression moves out to women who give birth. Child birth can trigger depression which is called post partum depression. Symptoms can include high mood (mania), depression, confusion, hallucinations and delusions. After childbirth, a dramatic drop in hormones (estrogen and progesterone) in your body may contribute to postpartum depression. Other hormones produced by your thyroid gland also may drop sharply — which can leave you feeling tired, sluggish and depressed.

Today I would like to share my own story on the same so that women who are going through this can seek help and move on in their life. As I have been a victim of this I wish women will believe on what I am going to say.

So it was 6am in the morning and my water broke. I was taken to the hospital and after 8 hours of intense labour I was taken for C-section. I heard my baby cry for the first time but I was too tired to be happy. After 2 days I was shifted home with my baby. For next 2 days nothing seemed unusual since the pain of stitches and back pain was on the top. I wondered why I was not feeling anything for my baby. I was emotionless, tired and drained of all energy. I thought its all due to the operation and post pregnancy tiredness.

Suddenly one day in the afternoon , things started changing. My mind was flooded with thoughts which I couldn't control. I talked to my husband and told him that I will go mad if this continues. Unusual thoughts, non sensical things kept coming in my mind which I couldn't understand. I cried and cried and cried. Baby blues, everyone thought. Mood swings started playing with me. High , low , I was juggling with them along with my baby who was just few days old.

I stopped feeding him because I was in stress which made me hard to lactate. I got stressed for that too. I didn't sleep for a week. Next few days in a lot of stress and no sleep in the night made my situation worst. I couldn't sleep in the night nor in the day. That made me tired, weak and exhausted day by day. I couldn't take anymore, my mind found a way out “end your life”. Yes I thought to end my life as I could no more handle this madness.

But there was a hope somewhere which kept me moving and crawling in these moments. I shared this with my doctor and he said its PPD. It is very normal and very very common. I waited for it to pass away in few weeks , but it didn't. Day by day things got worse, I couldn't think clearly, I couldn't process any information clearly nor I could concentrate. It made me cry, made me furious and made me uncontrollably angry. I even had thoughts to kill my baby. I was afraid to be alone at home with my baby because I thought I will kill him. I avoided going to the kitchen in a fear that I would pick up a knife and  kill him. This was the worst part of my journey where being a mother I got such thoughts of killing my baby. Each minute was like months. I had kept sleeping pills in my wardrobe in a thought that one night I will take them and sleep just not to wake up next morning. But I couldn't do.

My doctor suggested to go to a psychiatrist so that I can come out of this soon, but as an Indian   women, I was afraid. I thought people would think me mad. How will I handle social stuffs? 

Me and my husband decided to try meditation, relaxation and exercise to overcome this instead of opting for medicines. Believe me I tried every thing. It helped, but very little. I even tried Reiki in a hope to treat myself naturally. Reiki for 21 days helped me a lot to relax my mind and promote sleep which I was not able to get. Still my mood swings and severe thoughts dint stop. It made me more angry as nothing was working and I started loosing hope day by day. One day I decided I shall end my life. I even planned my suicide. But I couldn't do it.

I was not a person who would move away from problems. There was solution in front of me which I was left to try. So finally I decided to give it a try. I took appointment of the psychiatrist. I was trembling and embarrassed as I entered the building of his clinic. I had a notion that I will find mad and maniac people around me in the corridor. I was WRONG.  As soon as I entered the clinic, I found normal people in front of me, smiling, talking and discussing their issues with fellow visitors. It was nothing unusual or as shown in the movies.

I met my doctor. And trust me in this 6 months for the first time I heard someone say “I understand what you are going through.” Someone who knew what pain I was going through and believe me that relaxed me so much and my all myths and taboos vanished. I felt why i dint come here earlier. He prescribed me medicines and therapy.  I started off with them pushing aside any negative thoughts of them. First time in the 6 months I slept peacefully and woke up fresh and with a new hope. Things started changing. The physical symptoms of mood and thoughts started vanishing. I grew better and better day by day.

I even joined my office which was a great bold initiative by my husband. All this 6 months each second my husband stood by me like a rock. He held me tight and always told me I am his life, so I cannot give up mine. Every single day in the night he has seen my tears, my fears , my vague thoughts, my suicidal feelings and even more than that. He is the only person who kept my hope of life going.

Day by day things changed. I started loving my baby. The environment of home changed. I started trusting people and myself again. This all changes where brought by just few 100 gm of Serenata. The only side effects of these medicines were – nausea, headache, which were easily controllable. Its side effects were nothing as compared to Metacin. Try googling side effects of both and you will be surprised to see more dangerous side effects of Metacin as compared to Serenata. Theraphy helped my a lot and also the medicines. Combination of both made my recovery quick.

Today I run my business alone, with more confidence. Depression and those bad days taught me to value my life and live each moment full of life, because you never know when life takes a U turn.

The purpose to share my story was to make people aware that depression, mental illness can be treated and you can come out of it.  You are not ALONE. Don't be afraid to take help. Its nothing wrong to go to a psychiatrist for help. Infact you will feel much better on meeting them. They really wish you come out of this and help you in that. The medicines are not expensive neither heavy in side effects. Proper dosage and regularity will definitely help you to beat this monster. Depression after child birth can be in any form, PPD, OCD or psychosis. Treatment is there for everything and try to recognize them and treat them  at the growing stage.

Don't think of any social stuffs because people will not be able to understand this pain, unless if anyone who has gone through this. If you are hurt in your hand , you can show your wound to the people, but how to show the pain, the wound inside the brain?  Not possible. They will only think that depression is a weakness but no, its not a weakness, its an illness and can happen to anyone. Seek out help, take your family into confidence and I am sure you will come out winner.

I also would like to address husbands to check out for any unusual symptoms of depression or mental illness after child birth in their wives. PPD can kick up anytime, even after 6 months or year after childbirth. So stay alert. And help your loved wife to come out of this painful struggle.

People are not aware of PPD much in India. But it has always been there since your great grandmother's age. So don't link up any theories and just take help of science and meditation. Help others who are facing the same situation. It will help you to heal.

Do what you want to do in life now, visit places which you have dreamt of, learn what you always wanted to and just do the things which always you wanted to do but kept them aside.. because ... you will never know when life will take a U turn, so live in present and love your family.

Some statements for both mother and father :

  • Depression , PPD is treatable
  • You are not the only one with this.
  • Its not your FAULT.
  • You can come out of it
  • It can happen to anyone, even a strong woman
  • Don't try to solve it by yourself
  • Take help of Science
  • Don't try to do thesis on this. You are not the doctor. He knows better.
  • Mothers need to take care of themselves first, in order to take care of the baby
  • Be a supportive and practical husband
  • If not treated on time, it can become chronic. So act fast on it. Sooner the better.
  • If you feel symptoms of depression in your pregnancy, talk to your doctor. Precaution is better than cure.
  • Depression is not weakness. It doesn't mean you are a bad mother.
  • Go back to work and struggle. Day by day you will be back in shape.

Here I want to mention that we are keeping the identity of the writer of this blog hidden but yes I admire her to come forward and share this.

Publised On: Apr 13, 2017

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