Trigger-warning: These are commonly shared sentiments from women who have been through perinatal mood disorders.
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"I wanted things to be different than they had been for me; I wanted to be a different kind of parent with a different kind of relationship. Somehow, having my daughter brought back all the feelings of frustration and failure I had struggled with during my own childhood."
"We talked about breast-feeding, co-sleeping, and maternity leave. We talked about the laundry piling up, but we never talked about postpartum depression; we never talked about the overwhelming, persistent fear."
"I had a full on, crying, whining, screaming, melt-down. I was a professional before I was a mother, and after I was a mother, I felt like a seven year old. I didn't know who I was, I couldn't see my future, and all I felt was ashamed."
tried to mention my strange thoughts, my feelings of incompetence, my confusion. I tried to bring it up to a friend, then a relative, and even a health care professional. They said everyone goes through this. If everyone goes through this, where was the way out? Why did I feel alone and hopeless?"
"Finally, someone noticed and asked the right questions.. 'How are you doing? How are you really doing?'"
"I had no idea the thoughts that could arise... It was difficult for me to even put them into words because they were so awful and I didn't know why I was having them, where they were coming from, or what was wrong with me - these were dark days and I felt I couldn't tell anyone about what was happening inside my mind. The therapist I saw asked me straight out about my thoughts, not with any judgment or condemnation but with a gentle, curious, soft, empathetic concern. I felt human again, not like the monster I felt I might become."
"I began to feel better - less anxious with more control over my thoughts, and my body felt calm. I had been so tense, so ready for disaster. I found someone to connect with who understood and I felt my body and my mind physically relax and feel hopeful."
"My Mom-friends smiled, I cringed; they napped, I worried; they celebrated, I isolated..."
"We talked about breast-feeding, placenta encapsulation, and all one-to-four degrees of vaginal tears. We never talked about postpartum depression."
"My spouse said it seemed like I hated him and the baby. I vehemently denied it but was terrified that I might."
"The months following were doom and gloom. The doom of anxiety and the gloom of depression. I couldn't shake it."
"Fit Moms, cloth diapers, organic baby-food, baby Einstein... I was just trying to feed, eat, and sleep; I was just trying to stay sane."
"I kept hearing, 'it's not about you, anymore'. I was aware. I was so aware, and I felt so ashamed."
"Others Moms talked about their joys and the success of a sleeping baby or first smile. I hid that I feared I would drop my baby down the stairs every time I walked down the stairs and that my only success was not dropping the baby down the stairs and that the feeling of success was hindered and limited by the fact that I was going to have to go back up and come back down the stairs again. I had been enormously successful at work and now my daily relief was that I had not yet dropped my baby down the stairs. My mind was on an obsessive, fearful loop; I felt crazy and I felt incompetent. I was lost."
"I finally found the courage to say something and the first response was: well, what did you expect? I did not expect weeks of fatigue, irritability, and tears. I felt I failed, I felt unsupported, I felt alone and hopeless."
"It was month #3 and I thought, 'What have I done...', but I sought help and found the right person to speak with. It was scary to open about what felt so unnatural, non-maternal, and failed. But, I was put at ease, I was introduced to self-compassion, and the person I spoke to - we dispelled those harmful myths of the perfect mother, together, eventually through laughter."
Support Resources - for information and peer support, only. Note: these forums are not a substitute for mental health assessment, evaluation, treatment or consultation. Individuals with medical, mental or personal issues are strongly urged to seek advice from physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, or other appropriate mental health professionals.
(The following are not affiliated with Waller Psychology, Ltd.; however, you may find them helpful.)
Online, by Telephone ,or in Person (click the icons to be linked to the respective sites):
Postpartum International Support (PSI)
Online Support Meetings
Postpartum International Support (PSI)
the Facebook 'closed group' - open to PPD sufferers.
Families Matter - Edmonton