Postpartum Anxiety and Depression Relapse-This Is Real
Postpartum anxiety and depression relapse. Ever heard of it? Me neither. Well not until last month when my doctor told me I had relapsed back into the trenches of postpartum.
Let me back track.
I went on a cruise with my husband to Mexico. I felt fine. Actually I felt more than fine. Everything was perfect. We got back and this relapse seemed to hit me like a ton of bricks. Harder and faster than the first time around except this time I knew what was happening, but I was still so confused on how to fix it and how to help myself out of a huge, dark hole that my mind dug itself in in a matter of minutes.
What does a relapse with postpartum depression and anxiety look like?
You probably think it looks like a very emotional mom, or a mom who is constantly running around worried about what her kids are doing, or even a mom on the verge of a breakdown every second of everyday.
I’m here to spill the beans and let you know that a relapse with PPD/PPA doesn’t look like that at all.
A relapse is a smiling mom, at dinner with her two kids on either side of her that is so panicky on the inside but doesn’t show it on the outside. The picture attached to this blog post is the prime example. A relapse is that same smiling mom who can’t sleep at night because her mind is going 10000 times a minute-worrying about things completely and totally out of her control. A relapse is that mom who thinks something is the matter with her all the time because that’s what her postpartum anxiety is telling her.
I felt helpless.
I felt tired, so tired.
I felt extremely sad.
I was having panic attacks again.
I wasn't sleeping.
My mind was constantly in overdrive.
I felt like I wasn’t loved.
My whole body hurt and ached from the anxiety I was feeling.
I felt like something was constantly the matter with me.
Nothing I seemed to do was helping get me out of this.
So I took my own advice and went to the doctor. I asked for help. I needed the help more than I let on.
The books don’t prepare you that you could relapse back into your postpartum depression and anxiety days. Actually, no one warns you about relapses. No one talks about this. Mom’s keep this little secret beast to themselves.
I know dealing with the initial postpartum depression and anxiety is so confusing. It’s hard. But why are we not discussing the fact that *YOU* could relapse back into a terrible part of your life that the majority of us who have been through it once, or more, never want to live again?
Talking about my struggles with postpartum depression and anxiety has been an eye opener for me. It’s helped me so much in so many different ways, but when this relapse hit me I wasn’t prepared for it. I needed someone to prepare me for the fact that I was probably going to relapse back into a very scary state of mind again.
I’ve learned though, that this relapse thing, isn’t something we talk about. It’s not something anyone can prepare you for. It’s something you literally have to spot yourself, ask for help, and hope and pray the help you get is exactly what you need to get you out of a hole so deep you can’t exactly see the light.
I’m slowly but surely getting better everyday. The panic attacks are few and far between. I’m forcing myself to meditate and sleep at night. I’m trying new coping mechanisms that my therapist gave me. And I’m finally more ready to talk about this ugly beast out loud.
I want other Mom’s who are dealing with postpartum depression and anxiety to know, that there is a possibility you could relapse. According to my doctor it can happen up to THREE years or maybe even longer after you have your child.
I want to talk about this. I want others to know they aren’t alone in this weird, crazy, and winding road of a postpartum journey. I don't want to be afraid to talk about my relapse into a scary, anxiety state of mind that I’ve had to really pull myself out of. I don’t want to feel like others are judging me or are thinking I’m crazy for even saying I’ve had a postpartum relapse.
Trust me, I didn’t know it was a real thing until a month ago but now I’m here to tell the world.
Knowing more and really talking about this subject is going to help break stigma’s that mother’s everywhere face. This is not uncommon but we need to talk about it to help others.
If anyone tonight is walking in the same shoes I am right now, know you are not alone. You’re not going through this by yourself-we are walking hand in hand through this. You are so much stronger than you think you are. Ask for the help. Keep going. You can get through this, too.
***If you too have dealt with a postpartum relapse, I would love to talk with you and know your story. When did it happen? Did something trigger it? How old was your child? I want to know it all. Send me an email at email@example.com.**