Friday, June 19, 2015

24 Things I Told Myself Instead of Just Taking Anti-Depressants

1. I just need more sleep.

2. I just need to be more patient.

3. I just need a break from the kids.

4. There's not even such thing as post-partum depression. It's just something other moms make up who can't handle their kids.

5. It's too expensive. First you have to pay for the doctor's appointment, and then a regular prescription of anti-depressants.

6. I don't even take my vitamins regularly. What makes me think I could take anything else regularly?

7. What will people think? I can't even potty train my kids without posting a blog about it. Obviously I'll blab all over the internet about being incapable of raising kids without being medicated.

8. If I'm going to get 2 hours without kids, I'd rather go to the library than the doctor's office.

9. It's just a tough couple of weeks. Things will change.

10. It's just my hormones. Things will change.

11. It's just my husband's work schedule. Things will change.

12. I'm still functional and interactive. Things can't be that bad.

13. I just need to get more exercise.

14. None of my friends had to take anti-depressants. (Yeah right, just like I'm sure none of my friends have fed their kids Cheerios for 3 meals in one day.)

15. I've just been listening to too much music. (Voice in my head: "You know music makes you emotional.")

16. Women have been raising kids for thousands of years and doing way more work, without anti-depressants.

17. I need to suck it up and just do it. Do it!

18. A few crappy months won't kill anyone. Wally & the kids will be okay. Just give it time.

19. People will think I have bad coping skills. It will undermine my credibility.

20. I'm going to make having kids look bad. People already think moms with lots of young kids are crazy. Don't give them ammunition!

21. I'm doing a lot right now. It's normal to feel tired, unmotivated, and anxious. Life will cycle again, and I'll be back to my old self.

22. Plenty of women in third world countries are raising kids without washing machines, dishwashers, and antidepressants.

23. Antidepressants will prevent my body from regulating its own happiness in the future, and I'll never be happy again without medication.

24. But I just need to cut out coffee, read this advice book, eat less sugar, join a moms group, dab these three essential oils behind my ears seven times a day, demand more "me" time, re-allocate grocery money to those magic green-or-pink smoothies, start a new personal hobby, wake up early to enjoy nature, exercise 30 minutes every evening, and eat three square meals a day with two healthy snacks! Why isn't this working?!!

When I finally called my obgyn to talk about post-partum depression, I cried on the phone with the receptionist. (We'd been through a lot together. I feel like the whole office became part of our family through that pregnancy.)

Guys. This was the easiest obgyn appointment ever. 

My doctor spent 20 minutes listening to me and asking some questions, gave me reassurance and comfort, referrals for some counselors, and a low-dose of Zoloft. 

She said I probably wouldn't feel any effects of the Zoloft, at least for a week, but it made an immediate difference. 

The world slowed down, normal interactions lost their intensity, and I could make calmer, more deliberate decisions. 

For me, depression wasn't sadness or a cloudy day. It's a sunny day, so bright, with rays so intense and piercing that I can't escape. 

Everyone experiences pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum life differently. Despite all the smiling advertisements, I don't think these are easy seasons for any woman! 

For some, improvement is found in dietary changes, supplements, and adaptations in routine. If these don't work for you, don't let it add to your depression or anxiety! 

There are great medications out there that can help alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. Do you take Tylenol when you have a headache? Do you cough down Pepto on an upset stomach? Does your doctor prescribe a Z-pack when you need an antibiotic? The physiological side effects of depression and anxiety can also be helped with medication. 

If you're experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety, don't be afraid to check in with your doctor.

It's also possible that the "It's Like They Know Us" Tumblr feed could solve all of your PPD problems.

The picture below is captioned: "Sit back and enjoy a hot cup of coffee as you casually observe your child in her brand new Baby Containment Module! Baby Containment Module fits seamlessly into any decor, and baby will be happy to play for hours without hanging white-knuckled from the sides, wailing like a wild snot-covered banshee whose only goal is to keep you from going to the bathroom. Baby Containment Module, it’s everywhere you want them to be."

1 comment:

  1. Charlene, this was perfect, and so awesome and brave, and humble for you to write!!!! Not enough women feel they can talk about it. I suffer from terrible OCD and it is terrible, really at its worst post-partum. I have been on an anti-depressant for my OCD for 20 years now. I tried to quit after Lucy was born and that was a no go. I am not ashamed, and I do not feel less of a mother because of it. I do know it is a heavy cross for my family and I, but we deal, I deal. And that is all I can ask of myself. Thank you for helping other women to see they are not alone. Motherhood is hard!!!!!----Brandi Lyons