It’s never an easy decision to take antidepressants. But this time around, this journey with post partum depression, I finally did.
I did last time I struggled with post partum depression. But after a month I stopped taking them. I’m not sure why, but I did. I probably began to feel good and said, “problem solved!” This time is going to be different. This time I’m going to hold myself accountable and continue to feel good and be good.
I need to share my journey of post partum depression with you because sharing is caring. I find hope in reading others stories and hope you find hope in reading mine. You might not find hope in todays story of post partum depression, but maybe you won’t feel alone.
Post Partum Depression History
I’ve struggled with mental health issues for years. Much of my young adulthood has been spent on and off antidepressants, and in and out of therapist offices. I’ve seen psychologists, various mental health counselors, and tried a variety of treatment options.
I struggled with let down of expectations with my first. My first was also a terrible sleeper, and a purple crybaby. Raising my first is an overwhelming journey of wits and brawn. He challenges me every day and I struggle to be a better, stronger, person thru it. I tacked this with my doctor with antidepressants, and I started Hike it Baby for nature-based self-care. I also found my village, and started attending a PPD/A group for mama’s with toddlers.
With my second, I had yet to resolve the postpartum mental health issues arising from my first. Becoming a mama is the biggest change in your life, and becoming a mama again terrified me. I spent most of my pregnancy with my second feeling sad and regretful about my decision to have another baby. I tackled this with my midwife by trying a treatment of vitamins, diet, and self care.
After my second was born, there was a period of joy and happy. However, quickly the normality of life returned and 2 under 2 is a challenge. Keeping everyone alive, and not succumbing to my thoughts and despair drained everything from me. I turned to my naturopath in an attempt to try something different. We tried a course zinc and progesterone, and while I felt better, I wasn’t where I wanted to be.
Deciding to try Antidepressants
At my PPD/A meeting, one of my mama friends checked in. She had finally decided to seek out an antidepressant for her post partum depression and talked about how much easier it was to cope and handle her children and life since taking medication. I felt envious and joy for her. In her telling her story about how things had changed in her house, I knew I needed to just call the doctor.
She held me accountable. We both put a reminder in our phones for me to call the doctor on Monday. I was seen that afternoon, and that evening I had my first dose.
I decided to take the drugs, to see my family doctor, because life just sucked. My husband made a comment about how there is no more laughter in the house. And I continually had breakdowns every bedtime. It was beginning to be overwhelming. Going to sleep, and finding joy in my toddler was interfering with how I functioned as a mother and a person.
My First Month on Zoloft.
I’m on 50mg of Sertraline. And my first three weeks sucked.
No point in sugar coating the experience.
It sucks so much, today I’m asking for something different.
Mentally I felt great. The first 2 weeks. Instead of reacting to 8-9/10 with my toddler, I only got to maybe a 4-5/10. With the current wildfire situation in BC, I know my anxiety would have been through the roof. Instead, I have slept better and remained less stressed about the constant worry of life. I had shit hit the fan with a mom group I belong to, and somehow I didn’t fall apart complete, and I thank the stability of sertraline.
Physically I feel like shit.
I’m fatigued during the day. It did a number on my digestive system. I was morning sick nausea for a week. And I *think* it gives me a slight day headache (But I also need to drink more water). It also makes me super sleepy as soon as I take it. I’m not sure how I feel about that.
I’m also kind of in a bitchy mood and because I don’t know why, I’m going to blame the drugs. I just don’t give two fucks about most things these days. Is it because I’m really a heartless person, or is it because the Sertraline makes me feel nothing?
This past week, my anxiety hit the roof. I was anxious to do things I normally loved. I was anxious to write, call, and talk to people I loved. Stress and anxiety about being a good mom, a good me, and a good wife, made me the worst version of myself.
The doctor thinks I should go up a dose, but agreed to wait to talk about it at the one-month visit to see how I’m physically feeling. I’m not entirely convinced. I’m wondering if I stopped it last time because of the bitchy “I don’t care about things” feeling I’m experiencing this week. I’m wondering if I stopped it last time because of feeling physically burnt out.
For those reasons, I’m going in early today. Because of the anxiety, the mood swings, and the fatigue, I’m going back to the doctors and I’m going to ask for something else because this shit isn’t working anymore. I want to be a better version of myself, not worse.
That’s my mental health update. How are you feeling? Do you need to talk to a doctor or care person?
If you’d like to share your journey of maternal mental health on www.simplymombailey.com email me at simplymombailey [at] gmail.com