I am a huge fan of Chrissy Teigen she is like my spirit animal. So when I heard that she wrote an article for Glamour Magazine I had to go check it’s out.
If you haven’t read it, Chrissy discuss that even though she has it all; the loving husband, a beautiful daughter and a great career. She struggled with postpartum depression.
Like so many women after having a child, she was suffering from postpartum depression. 1 in 9 women will be diagnosed with post partum depression. As I am reading this I was reminded of my current and continuous struggle with postpartum depression.
*takes deep breath*
That’s right, I was diagnosed with postpartum depression last November. Now for the people who know me I was a bubbly warm person but the day I had my daughter I was just a different person. I remember coming home from the hospital and crying in the bed while holding my sleeping daughter. The tears just came and I questioned myself and my capabilities. I doubted myself a lot and thought maybe she’s better off without me. I thought about running away at times.
Within days of having my daughter it was time to hit the road and relocate to a new city. What was once exciting thought to me was more so a numbing feeling after I had a baby. Once I relocated all I wanted to do was lock myself up in the bedroom. I would barely eat, which isn’t good for a breast-feeding mother . The crying would continue whether it was in the shower or moments where I would lock myself in the bathroom and quietly sob. I didn’t want people to think something was wrong with me or that I was crazy; and I didn’t want my boyfriend to worry, so I kept it to myself.
I had such high anxiety came night fall and then eventually I became snappy to people whether it was my mother or my boyfriend. And trust me we fought a lot. I was snappy one minute and then I wouldn’t remember why I was snappy or I was snappy one minute and then crying the next. I didn’t want to be around people I didn’t want to be bubbly social Michelle I just wanted to be left alone in my room. I knew something was seriously wrong when I started to have dreams of my body failing me. I remember vividly a dream in which I was holding my daughter at the top of the stairs and then my body would just fail on me causing her to fall out of my arms and tumble-down the stairs while I watched helplessly.
Eventually my mother in law caught on and encouraged my boyfriend to get me to go seek help. At first I was in a state of denial. POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION??? nope. Not me! I guess because there is a huge stigma in the black community when it comes to any type of depression. But I believe she saw the symptoms especially because she worked within the healthcare profession. Eventually I decided to seek help because it was really affecting my relationship with my boyfriend and it was taking a toll on him. I went to see my doctor who set me up an appointment with a specialist and after a visit with a social worker and a psychiatrists they could confirm postpartum. I was prescribed medication and I’ll be honest I am so reluctant to take them just because I am breast-feeding and I don’t know if it will seep into the breast milk and affect my child. I am still suffering from postpartum and have my low moments. I am scheduled to see a psychologist to help me through it and I know I will get better and not feel so shitty. So reading Christy story really hit home for me. And her story prompted me to tell my story and to really encourage mothers to get help. To often do I hear stories of mothers killing their children and finding out at that moment they had postpartum that was never treated and they went on for years until finally it was too late.
I am hoping by telling my story it will help a mother realise that they are suffering from postpartum so that they can get the help they desperately need. I am hoping reading this story especially for black mothers that they see this is a problem and not to ignore it or feel label or ashamed but rather seek help. Mental health is a serious issue and if you are not well mentally you won’t be able to parent your child so don’t ignore the signs and don’t feel like it’s not a problem because if it’s not treated it won’t go away.