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Go Ask Aunt Becky (again)


(I know, how can you handle the DOUBLE posting?)(it’s not a glitch in the matrix)(I can’t believe I just quoted that)

If you’re having any problems with error message or see any obvious problems with my new design, could you send an email to The comments ARE being posted, but there was some sort of redirect screen in place when certain people posted.

(don’t ask me, I just write here)

Hi Aunt Becky.

I would have put an exclamation point after my greeting, but I’m in such a funk- that I can’t even type excitedly.

My second daughter is just over 2 months old. She’s positively amazing and her 8 year old sister is a wonderful helper. My husband also does his best to try and help too. The problem is, as great as things are, I can’t stop crying or feeling like garbage. I don’t even want to talk to my best friend (frankly, she’s starting to annoy me) and that, in itself tells me something is up.

All I want to do is lay in bed or on the couch and do nothing. It’s hard to do when you have a newborn to deal with. All the nighttime feedings, colic, growth spurts and so on are starting to wear me down. I literally dream about running away for a few days, just to be alone.

I think I need to get help. I have absolutely nothing to be upset about and yet, I walk around like someone ran over my puppies.

The thing is, I feel like I should be able to just get over it. It should just pass like all the other ridiculous phases I’ve seen. I feel like I’m letting everyone down by having to go to the doctor for it. My husband seems to think that all I need to do is take a walk and get some fresh air. I know he wants me to feel better, but I don’t think he truly understands the way I feel.

Does it make me a bad person to have to go to the doc? What if he suggests medications?

Desperate, Depressed Momma

Oh Prankster, I’m willing to bet that 150% of us are nodding are heads while we read this (parents or not) because that’s the thing about any sort of depression: that pervasive feeling of “why the shit can’t I just SNAP out of it?” I call it the “Other People Have No Feet Syndrome” i.e. “how can I possibly be sad when other people have no feet?

It’s also bullshit.

It doesn’t matter why you feel the way you feel, what matters is that you feel the way you feel, and I’m saying that as firmly as possible. Anyone who tells you to “buck up” should be told so “shut the fuck up” because it doesn’t matter how good you have it if you feel like your dog just got run over 95% of the time (assuming your dog is, in fact, alive and well).

I had pre-AND post-partum depression (prepartum depression would be depression WHILE pregnant) and it didn’t matter how joyful I was about having any of my babies, I was miserable. A lot of it was hormonal because pregnancy is kind of a motherfucker on the body, but really, it didn’t matter one way or another WHY, it mattered that it was happening.

I reasoned it away with “it’ll get better” for probably 8 or so months.

Probably the stupidest decision of my life because you know what? IT DIDN’T GET BETTER. I wasn’t ready to drive my kid off a bridge, but I certainly had thoughts of how best to kill myself. I’m not proud to admit it, but it’s true.

Once I admitted to myself that I was, in fact, fucking miserable and made the call to the doctor, you know what? I FELT BETTER because I’d finally admitted that I had a problem.

Smartest decision I ever made for myself and for my family, all of whom prefer me as a non-depressed person.

So no, absolutely not, I don’t think there’s any reason to feel like you’re letting yourself or your family down by going to the doctor. Your husband clearly doesn’t understand why you feel the way you feel because he’s never experienced it. He’s well-meaning, but he’s clueless and that’s okay. Dave told me to “get a hobby” after I had a miscarriage, like that was going to make me feel better. Shockingly, I threw a lamp at his head.

Go to the doctor, Prankster, and if see what he or she has to say about it all. I started taking some Vitamin W (Wellbutrin) and trust me when I tell you that it saved my sanity. Your mental health is every bit as important as your physical health and there’s no shame in anti-depressants.

Make the appointment and go and see your doctor, please. You deserve to be happy. You’ll find your happy place again, I promise. And soon, the light will be back inside you.

Lots of love to you, Prankster. There’s never any shame in taking care of yourself, ever. You matter too.


Aunt Becky


Pranksters, I know many of you have struggled with post-partum depression (or just plain old depression), too, because I’ve shared my struggles, and you’ve talked about your own. If you have any advice for this Prankster, please share. I separated the posts today deliberately so that you could talk to each of these Pranksters individually.

This Prankster could use your some love and some advice if you have any to offer.

posted under Go Ask Aunt Becky
60 Comments to

“Go Ask Aunt Becky (again)”

  1. On June 6th, 2010 at 12:57 am emily Says:

    Please, call your doctor. I’m 6.5 months preggo and when I was about 2m, I had to take the biggest step and tell my doc I was miserable after getting off of anti-depressants. She prescribed more and I think it was the best decision ever to go back on them. There is no shame in admitting you need help. The first step is the hardest but it will get better. As a side note, I think men should Have to go through pregnancy, or at least its hormonal crap. It’d bring a whole new appreciation to what we go through. Take care, and please, make That call.

  2. On June 6th, 2010 at 8:38 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    I went back on my Vitamin W when I was 25ish weeks pregnant with Amelia. Such a smart decision on my end. So glad you got help, too

  3. On June 6th, 2010 at 12:51 am karen Says:

    Don’t waste time waiting! Reach out and get some support. And if you don’t like the first answer, try another avenue. Just make sure you tell somebody in the analogue world too, so that you get what you need.

    And even if you don’t feel like it right now, congrats on that baby. I was always (3 times, anyway) so relieved when my kids hit that three month mark. That was when I could really breathe that first little bit.

  4. On June 6th, 2010 at 1:04 am Exy Says:

    Delurking to share… I can’t be sure if it was depression or not, because my therapist never put a name to it, but I went through a period of gloomy slump where I had no will to do anything, no will to eat, stared at computer screen at blank word document (assignment that was past due date), and kept thinking of ways to kill myself. Amazingly, even though I am doing my degree in psychology, it didn’t hit me that I really had a problem till a friend who had a cocktail of psychological issues told me that I sounded worse off than her.
    Long story short, I told my lecturer about how I was feeling and he told me to see a therapist immediately.

    It is not a phase. It’s not advisable to “wait it out”, or think that you ought to be able to break through with sheer willpower (depression saps willpower, anyway). You are not a bad person for feeling like this, and wanting to see a doctor is a sign that you recognize that you have a problem, and want to deal with it and get better. Even if you’d prefer to stay off medication, consult a professional. Not all shrinks prescribe medication, so if you’d prefer that, opt for psychologists, counselors or therapists rather than psychiatrists.

    Good luck, and have strength. You can pull through.

  5. On June 6th, 2010 at 1:05 am Exy Says:

    “Your comment is being moderated by Your Aunt Becky because the blog thinks you\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\’re a robot. Are you?”

    I am not a robot. It might be nice to be a robot, though. =D

  6. On June 6th, 2010 at 1:45 am Katherine Says:

    Due to a divorce where my now ex husband actually faked a mental illness instead of admitting he had a new girlfriend (asshole) and major financial bullshit (foreclosure and bankruptcy), I had some issues with depression. I’d always been a “snap out of it” type person, and when it got to the point where I was crying everyday on my way home, and then seriously considered driving off the freeway because a long-ass recovery period in the hospital sounded like a “nice change”, I decided that this was a LOT more serious and went to both my MD and a therapist. I took lexapro, and it definitely helped, and I would totally take it again in that situation because I was in a really bad spot. It was a bitch to get off of, but, TOTALLY worth it. The therapist was helpful too, but I really did need the drugs to get straight. I started with the drugs and went to the therapist second and told him my goal was to get off the drugs, and he was totally supportive of that. My work provides free therapy though a employee assistance plan, 5 sessions a year, no charge at all. A lot of mid-to-large size companies have them. One warning, make sure you get a psychologist or psychiatrist, because they also provide licensed social workers, which haven’t proven to be as helpful in my experience, especially with the problems you’re describing!!

    But go, get help! I’ve heard there’s even one (probably the one Aunt Becky mentioned, Wellbutrin) that you can take while breast feeding.

  7. On June 6th, 2010 at 5:44 am megan Says:

    Oh, Katherine, I knew that men were capable of all kinds of assholery, but your ex reached new lows. I’m so glad that you were able to get through it all, and I know that you know that you’re better off without him.

  8. On June 6th, 2010 at 2:05 am Ami Says:

    Run, don’t walk, RUN to the doctor! What you’re feeling is 100% real and it is 100% fixable.

    Your brain is an organ. People for some reason forget that. People think that if their liver has a problem you should definitely go see a doctor and take some pills to fix it. But for some strange reason if your brain is having a problem then you should just get over it.

    You just had a baby. Your whole fricking body just got turned upside down and inside out and sometimes things don’t always get reset back to normal like they should. Sometimes a lever gets stuck in the on position and instead of being in charge of how you feel its like you’re stuck on a roller coaster and you can’t get off. You’re in the back seat of a car with no driver and you have no control.

    When you have depression its like your emotions aren’t yours anymore. You want to be happy but you can’t. Because normally you say “I want to be happy”. You think of something happy and all these happy chemicals go firing away in your brain. Well when you’re depressed, this neuron does not fire into that receptor like its supposed to. It either doesn’t do it at all, or just randomly when it feels like it.

    Going to the doctor and getting a pill doesn’t change who you are and it doesn’t mean you are weak. What it means is the lever got stuck. So they give you a pill that flips it back on again so that YOU are in control. You decide when you want to be happy and when you want to be sad. You take it for 6 months to a year and odds are you taper off of it and the lever stays right where its supposed to be.

    Its kinda like you broke your arm, you have to set it, put a cast on it, it heals and then you take the cast off and you’re fine. Would your arm heal with out the cast? Probably. Would it heal right? Maybe. Would it take longer to heal? Definitely. Depression is the same way – will you get better on your own? Maybe. But a normal course of depression is 6 months PLUS. With meds you can chop that down to feeling better inside of 6 weeks or less.

    6 weeks of misery vs 26+ weeks of misery…. I’m not a fan of suffering. Life is too short and you want to enjoy that baby.

  9. On June 6th, 2010 at 5:11 am Maria Says:

    Wow yes, I have soooo been there. Get the help! If you need the meds, take them! It took me months and months to even get to the point that I was ready to call the doc. I never followed through because the nurse was awful to me on the phone. ๐Ÿ™

  10. On June 6th, 2010 at 5:41 am Inna Says:

    I quadruple the other commenters and aunt becky’s response. Go get some help ASAP.
    It might also help if you got your husband to understand how you are feeling and maybe have him take the reigns for a night or two so you can get some much needed alone time.

  11. On June 6th, 2010 at 5:55 am megan Says:

    You’ve written in here, which is a huge step. You know that things aren’t right for you and you know that it doesn’t seem to be going away on its own. I promise you that you aren’t weak for talking to your doctor about it, or using your company’s employee assistant program to contact a therapist. Doing those things means that you’re taking control of your life, that you’re committed to making sure that you’re healthy so you can take care of your children. If you had a physical illness that meant that you couldn’t pick up your baby or play with your older girl, you’d do anything you needed to do to fix it so you could get back to doing those things. Just think of it like that, because that’s exactly what this is. This is a physical problem that can be fixed with drugs and/or therapy, just like so many others. It’s hard work but it’s so worth it. Good luck!

  12. On June 6th, 2010 at 6:08 am Kendra Says:

    It’s a very hard thing to accept that you might need help. For me, when I was confronting my own depression, it was like accepting that the rest of the world was fine but I was “broken.” When it got worse after my second child was born, I only ever admitted it later, after he was about a year old, when I felt it was now okay to laugh about how awful that time had been. But my husband (who I hadn’t told about how I was feeling, being way too ashamed at my negative feelings about the birth of this baby I’d wanted so badly) pointed out that it had been really obvious that I wasn’t myself. Here I thought I’d done such a great job of hiding the “terrible truth,” and I hadn’t hidden it at all!

    When I was pregnant with my third, I approached her birth with a plan in place with my psychiatrist, a post-partum appt already set before she was born. And the experience was much better, I think partly just because I knew I wasn’t going to be alone with my feelings. Having depression (post-partum or any other kind) isn’t a “failure.” It’s a situation you find yourself in, and when in doubt, I always pretend for a moment that I have cancer; I wouldn’t be embarrassed about that, so why be embarrassed that I have depression? See a doctor–I recommend a psychiatrist, if you can, because they specialize in mental health–right away. If you can’t get in to see a mental health professional, see your OB or midwife. They deal with this kind of thing all the time. If they want to put you on medication, that’s okay. If that worries you, say so. Again, you’re not the first person to show up with these concerns, and they ought to be able to answer your questions and find a solution that works. There’s not just one solution, but they all start with admitting that you’re going to be happier and healthier (and a better mom) if you get some help.

  13. On June 6th, 2010 at 7:16 am V Says:

    Dear prankster-who-wrote-the-question,

    Please go see a therapist! Please don’t be afraid of us. Just like any medical profession, *we are there to help you feel better*, and as scary as the idea of psychotropic drugs (their formal name, which in itself sounds scary) may be, they are there. You depression is clearly just a matter of neurochemistry rather than precipitating events, and that is, if I had to guess, the easiest to treat.

    I hope you feel better!

  14. On June 6th, 2010 at 7:40 am Badass Geek Says:

    Digging the new design… except for the fact that the posts on the home page are truncated. Otherwise, it’s good.

  15. On June 6th, 2010 at 8:47 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Question: Dave’s going to have to hack the design to get them UN-truncated. Should I get all of the posts un-truncated or just the top one? I like the cleanliness of it, but I hate truncated posts.

  16. On June 6th, 2010 at 7:09 am Jenn Says:

    Do not wait to go and do not feel bad about going! You won’t regret going to the doctor (especially when you get better and see the positive effect that it has on your entire family) but in my experience you will regret waiting. I know that it’s not easy to go but it is definitely worth it.

  17. On June 6th, 2010 at 7:46 am Kristen Wiley Says:

    I have a 3 week old, and he is our first child. throughout my entire pregnancy I suffered from anxiety, to the point I was having stress/tension migraines and had to go to a neurologist. After delivery, when we came home from the hospital my anxiety went through the roof… I did not sleep for 72 hours, staying awake to watch him breathe. I knew this was not normal, nor was it rational, but I cold not stop. When he went to the dr. for his week check-up I explained what was going on, and she told me I had Post Partum Anxiety Disorder. All moms have aniety, but this was extreme. She prescribed Zoloft for me, which is helping to an extent. She told me I may have to take Zanax if things don’t vastly improve. This condition also makes you more prone to PPD as well. The moral to my story is something my mom brought to my attention. When you are not at your best and healthy, you are no good to your children. Without sleep for 3 days I did nothing but cry… I was a hot mess. But now things are slowly getting better. My son is amazing. Healthy, happy and already sleeping through the night. Getting help is not something to be ashamed of. You should be proud of yourself for knowing that something is not right and seeking a way to feel better. If you are depressed or anxious your baby senses it, especially if you are breast-feeding. I have battled anxiety and depression for years and know that if being happy means being medicated, then so be it. It makes me a better mom, and those around me much happier as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

    As a side note, so many people who have never been through it just don’t understand. My mother in law told me “To just stop worrying, and get some sleep.” Oh yeah, no problem, I have just been staying awake for days straight because I want to. My husband has been supportive, but only because he saw what I went through with pregnancy (The anxiety stemmed from having 2 miscarriages, so I was worried something would happen with this pregnancy). If need be, I am sure the doctor would explain to your hubby that this is a real issue and that you can not control it. Sorry this is a novel, but I feel very strongly about this issue as I am dealing with a form of it as well.

  18. On June 6th, 2010 at 7:47 am Allison Says:

    Depression is like diabetes. It’s not your fault and you better take control of it ASAP! And anyone who thinks it can be cured with a walk has some grovelling to do post-haste.
    I’ve never had kids, but I was always under the impression that the baby blues last a week, tops, and anything after that means GET HELP!
    If nothing else, do it for your children. When I was eight, my mother was severely depressed and my infant brother was colicky. She didn’t get help. That shaped the rest of my life -and not in a good way.
    Get help because you deserve help and you deserve to be happy. But if you can’t convince yourself of that (I have a hard time believing that of myself most days) do it for your children.
    Maybe you need to talk to someone professional. Maybe you need to pop a pill every day and forget about it. Maybe you need to dump the kids at Grandma’s and go to the spa. Maybe you just need an hour to yourself every day. Probably a combination of all of the above. But you can’t keep going like you’re going now, there is nothing good down that road.
    We’re all rooting for you!

  19. On June 6th, 2010 at 8:07 am mumma boo Says:

    Call your doctor ASAP. There is no shame in asking for a medication or other therapeutic assistance to help you feel better. You need to do this for yourself and for your children. Trying to shrug off depression only makes it come back tenfold. Trust me on this one. Take care of yourself first, Prankster, and the rest will follow. (((HUGS)))

  20. On June 6th, 2010 at 8:26 am moonduster (Becky) Says:

    Great and true post!


    “Dave told me to โ€œget a hobbyโ€ after I had a miscarriage, like that was going to make me feel better. Shockingly, I threw a lamp at his head.”

    I would have done the same thing!

  21. On June 6th, 2010 at 8:45 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Bwahaha! Yeah, that damn lamp (and the wall around it) have NEVER been the same!

  22. On June 6th, 2010 at 8:36 am CatPS Says:

    I once heard a shrink say, “If you were a diabetic, you wouldn’t dream of being ashamed to use insulin. So why are you ashamed to take a medication to correct a chemical imbalance in your brain?” You are experiencing clinical depression… a MEDICAL issue. OF COURSE you need to see a doctor to fix it!! My one suggestion would be to go to a board-certified psychiatrist, NOT a GP. A real shrink will be much more aware of all the options out there and will be best equipped to help you find the right solution for you.
    If he suggests meds? Eh, so what. The side effects can be difficult for *some* people, but they aren’t anything compared to lying in a ball on the living room floor for hours because you don’t have the will or energy to move yourself to the couch.
    It is also important to realize that when you are depressed, YOU ARE NOT THINKING RATIONALLY. Everything will be painted with your despair, so try to realize (or at least accept) that once you get back to a less-depressed state of mind, it may not bother you in the slightest that you went to the doctor and (maybe) started a medication. And also try to see that this is not self-indulgence: it is for your family as much as it is for you.
    GOOD LUCK!! You WILL get past this!

  23. On June 6th, 2010 at 8:45 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    That’s a BRILLIANT way to explain it!

  24. On June 7th, 2010 at 2:24 pm Jennie Says:

    1 million percent agree! With CatPS and also with AB that this is a brilliant explanation. Good luck to you and a big thumbs up for recognizing the need to reach out and seek some help. Much love and respect.

  25. On June 6th, 2010 at 8:41 am Mary Says:

    You need to see a doctor and take the meds. If you donโ€™t want to do it for yourself right now, do it for your kids. You want the best for them, and you need to be at your best. Meds are a temporary solution. Your doctor can help you incorporate some things into your life that can help you live without them. Your husband is not a doctor. Iโ€™ve been married for over 30 years and my husband still believes that there is no such thing as PMS, Iโ€™m just in a bad mood and use that as an excuse. Maybe if you can get help with the kids so you can rest, that might help, too. Many, many women have been where you are now. See a doctor, he is a professional, and you will soon see a difference.

  26. On June 6th, 2010 at 8:58 am CortGirl Says:

    I want to thank everyone for their responses. They made me cry (this time the reason was all the love). I am definitely going to call the doctor. I know this whole thing is completely out of my control, I guess I just needed to hear that it was ok. You guys are amazing. I forgot to mention I’m nursing in the post, but that was cleared up in the responses…I’m glad to know there’s something I can take while nursing.

    Becky, I would have thrown a lamp too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. On June 6th, 2010 at 8:44 pm Melissa Says:

    Darling CortGirl. If your doctor recommends something that you need to take that you cannot nurse with, dont mess with it. Formula is NOT the devil.

  28. On June 7th, 2010 at 1:58 pm KYouell Says:

    As a hard-core breastfeeder I want to echo Melissa. While I do believe that some of the formula companies’ tactics were invented by the Devil, *you* are the reason that formula *should* exist. Your health, mental or otherwise, should not be thrown under the bus in the name of breastfeeding. Yes, breast is best; no, it’s not worth depression.

    I just wanted you to know that a crunchy, pro-breastfeeding mama totally agrees with Melissa’s advice.

  29. On June 7th, 2010 at 2:43 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Yes, yes, YES! There’s no reason to neglect your own sanity for the sake of nursing. Brilliant comment.

  30. On June 6th, 2010 at 9:04 am Kristin Says:

    Oh Prankster, please, please be kind to yourself and go to the doctor. Accept chemical help if it’s recommended. Pregnancy can wreak havoc on your body and totally screw with the proper chemical balance in your body. Accepting help is NOT being weak. It is being strong and doing what is best for yourself and your children. We love you Prankster and are here to help.

  31. On June 6th, 2010 at 9:37 am Amanda@LadyScientist Says:

    I have to second what everyone else has said. Go to the doctor. I second the going to a psychiatrist and not a GP. A psychiatrist treats this stuff all the time and will have a better idea of things that will work for your situation better than a GP. And *if* you need to go on meds, well, there’s no shame in that. In fact, it’s something that you should be proud of because you’re taking care of yourself.

  32. On June 6th, 2010 at 10:51 am Calliope Says:

    You are getting some awesome advice here. I was on wellbutrin while trying to conceive and then stopped for the first trimester then went back on it somewhere in the 2nd because holy shit was I losing it. I was able to safely nurse while taking it and once my son weaned I even increased my dose.
    Something else to think about- because this happens too- if you have a borderline thyroid pre pregnancy it can get totally effed up post pregnancy. It took me over a year to seek treatment but now that I am on thyroid supplementation I feel muuuuuch better. It is very much linked to depression and fatigue. Just tossing it out there.
    Best of luck to you. You are on a path of healing now.

    [pecked on phone so please overlook obvious oops]

  33. On June 6th, 2010 at 10:16 am Jenn Says:

    Do not wait!!! Took me almost 11 months to crash so badly that my husband had to make that phone call to the doctor. Meds were great, but the therapy was important, too (and lets just say that it takes a lot for me to say that; I absolutely HATE therapy).

  34. On June 6th, 2010 at 10:46 am Sara Says:

    Yes, call your dr. I’m on lexapro and I’m a better person b/c of it. You’ll feel SO much better. Love!!

  35. On June 6th, 2010 at 11:18 am Andygirl Says:

    Okay, so I’ve never been knocked up, so I can’t relate to post-partum (though that’s what this sounds like), but I have had depression. And the best advice I can give is to go talk about it. Therapy is the best decision I ever made. It doesn’t make you weak, it makes you smart. And think about the beauty of therapy: someone is paid to listen to you and not judge you and be sympathetic. Seriously, how genius is that? Even when I;m feeling good, I keep that therapy session because it’s great to go download and talk and process with someone who is objective, but you also build a relationship with your therapist. It’s amazing how much it helps.

  36. On June 6th, 2010 at 12:29 pm katrina Says:

    Everyone here has already said it…..
    –depression is a physical/chemical problem in the brain (the neurons are not firing properly)
    –there are medications to help those neurons do their job correctly (there is no shame in needing this)
    –PPD or just ‘regular’ depression….it really doesn’t matter. I had PPd after my first born,….struggled, got meds, felt better….but after my 2nd pregnancy the depression seemed much worse than the initial PPD. I went to psych. got meds, but she also discovered that my thyroid was not doing its thing. She started me on syn.thyroid and within a month i felt much better. I was able to wean off the ‘depression drugs’ fairly quickly, because of the thyroid supplementation. Why my reg, doc. didn’t realize this, i don’t know????? (He tested my thyroid, but only tested TSH-4level, not the others)….anyway,I know that thyroid issues can definitely cause fatigue and depression.

    So, like all the other pranksters have said….GO to a doctor, this problem is not uncommon and there is help out there. We are all rooting for you….and you WILL be better….( i know that’s hard to believe now, when you’re not in control, or able to think rationally….but that’s the illness…)

  37. On June 6th, 2010 at 2:04 pm April Kester Says:

    Depression sucks. Hard. And, sometimes, actually taking that step to tell someone about it can suck almost as much. I am probably echoing what everyone else has and will say but, honestly, it can never be said enough. First, yay! for you for being brave enough about to speak up about your situation and ask for help. Second, please take comfort in the fact that you are not alone in your struggles – many, many, MANY of us have been in the exact same spot that you are right now. My suggestion is this: talk to your doctor about it right away. Personally, I would talk to your OB as opposed to a general practitioner if that’s possible – your OB will have a better idea of which drugs work best for PPD/breastfeeding/etc. And, if your husband is willing, maybe take him along to a follow-up appt (or the initial one, if you want) so that he can hear from a physician/therapist just how crappy and all encompassing PPD can be, how it’s a REAL issue that LOTS of women deal with, as well as ways he can get involved and be supportive (sometimes guys just need an actual “professional” to tell them what’s up before they can accept it). And, good luck, my dear. We’re all pulling for you!

  38. On June 6th, 2010 at 3:02 pm CatPS Says:

    I also want to point out, just in case there are other people with questions about mental illness reading this… it is ok if you stay on medication for many, many years. Some people’s bodies just do not produce enough serotonin, and/or norepinephrine, and/or dopamine. I am one of those lucky few. In retrospect, I was having full-blown panic attacks by age 12, if not earlier. It took a major depressive episode at age 14 for my mom to realize that it was not just typical teenage moodiness. I’m in my late 20s now and have been on medication almost continuously since that time. I’ve had at least three additional major depressive episodes since then, the worst of which occurred when I tried to stop my meds.
    Therapy has definitely helped at times, but it’s not enough for me, and I know there are many, MANY other people out there who are in the same boat. So just don’t get caught up in setting yourself timelines to get off meds or finish therapy, or whatever treatment you choose. I still hope to be able to stop medication someday, but in the meantime, I feel incredibly lucky to live at a time when such treatment options are available.

  39. On June 7th, 2010 at 10:25 am Coco Says:

    Cat, your point is SO true. Many people think they should be able to take medication for a while with a depression/anxiety disorder, and then just go off it forever. For some people, this may certainly be true, but for others (like my husband), it is NOT.

    When he tried before to discontinue his Lexapro, I thought we were both going to go skipping off a ledge together. The differences in his mood, demeanor, and personality were that apparent. His doctor told him to just stay on one pill a day for the forseeable future – it has made a huge difference in his quality of life. And mine!

    Just as it is not a failure to get therapy and go on medication in the first place, dear Prankster, it is also not some kind of moral failing if you need long-term medication (or other treatments).

  40. On June 7th, 2010 at 10:33 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    I’d read somewhere that one of the signs of depression was that people would frequently TRY to go off their meds, believing that they didn’t need them. Dave’s done that too, and finally I threatened him that if he did it again, I’d cut off his balls. He listened.

  41. On June 6th, 2010 at 4:14 pm Tr8ce Says:

    Oh sweetheart, big hugs for you! Seriously, huge big hugs. My sister-in-law and a surprising number of mums in our kids’ playgroup all had ppd. And as different as their stories were, there were a lot of things that were the same. They all knew something wasn’t quite right. They knew that looking for the perfect tree to crash into on the way home – one that wouldn’t kill them and the kids, but that would injure mum enough to be able to lay in hospital for a while to get a break from the hellish rollercoaster, wasn’t normal. That wanting to throw their baby out the window just to have 5 minutes peace from the unending crying wasn’t normal. But they all just thought they would get over it soon. And their partners/husbands, parents, best friends were mostly clueless and had the same sort of ‘helpful’ suggestions that your husband did. But every last one of them said as soon as they spoke to a doc or psychiatrist about it, they immediately started feeling better – even before any medication came into the picture. And once they were one medication everything got much better. Your kids need you to be the best mum you can be – and that means seeing a doc aout this now. Please do. Big *hugs* again.

  42. On June 6th, 2010 at 4:19 pm Johanne Says:

    Depression isn’t just “in your head” and it’s usually not something you can “snap out of”. It’s a chemical imbalance, especially the kind brought on by hormones after giving birth. There’s no shame in it, and usually you NEED the drugs to get the chemicals right in your brain. The minute you do, and you start feeling better, you’ll be all “Why didn’t I do this before??” I struggled with depression for a year before I gave in and talked to my doctor about it (like most people, I felt shame). I started on anti-depressants, and within about 2 days, I felt better than I had in a year. It was like the sun came out. I only stayed on the meds for about 3 months, but it made all the difference in the world.

  43. On June 6th, 2010 at 5:51 pm SciFi Dad Says:

    It takes more strength to ask for help than to suffer in silence.

  44. On June 6th, 2010 at 5:32 pm CortGirl Says:

    I have been reading the comments throughout the day. Over and over. You guys have helped so much already. I want to say thank you again. I will be calling my doc in the morning. It’s such a relief to hear everyone else share their experiences. I can admit to being a little bit excited about going to get some help. I’m looking forward to it actually. Thank you everyone ๐Ÿ™‚

  45. On June 6th, 2010 at 6:52 pm karrah Says:

    I agree with aunt becky .. if they tell you buck up tell them to shut the fuck up!
    PPD is very serious and should be addressed as so. It’s not a common cold, you dont just suck it up or sweep it under the mat.. this is your life.
    No matter how you feel about medication, just speaking to someone ( non judgemental) about EXACTLY how your feeling and what your thinking ( no matter how horrible a monster you think you are) will make you feel a HEAP better.
    Dont suffer in silence.
    There should be more awareness and support out there for this. No one should have to suffer, especially a mumma who just wants to love her bubba’s.
    Take care *hugs*
    Ps. your not a monster

  46. On June 6th, 2010 at 7:58 pm The Daver Says:


  47. On June 6th, 2010 at 9:20 pm TwoWishes Tara Says:

    I didn’t get on drugs for my post-partum depression till my daughter was 7 months old. Felt better within two days — TWO DAYS, not even the “few weeks” it sometimes takes for antidepressants to get up and running at full speed. And then I kicked myself for waiting so long, feeling miserable and missing so many precious months of my baby’s new life, when I could have fixed things so easily with a call to the doctor.

    Please don’t make my mistake. Why waste time — ANY time, but especially such a rare and precious time — feeling miserable when you don’t have to?

  48. On June 6th, 2010 at 8:26 pm The Daver Says:

    test again

  49. On June 6th, 2010 at 8:51 pm Melissa Says:

    Test how long ago you posted duder.

  50. On June 7th, 2010 at 2:03 pm KYouell Says:

    Aw, poor Daver, trying to fix the blog when he probably has lamps landing near his head. ๐Ÿ™‚

  51. On June 6th, 2010 at 9:27 pm bashtree Says:

    you’re ok, it’s ok, drugs are ok….you’ll be ok!! Keep coming back to this post and these comments if/when you feel low again. We’ll always be here for you!

  52. On June 6th, 2010 at 10:55 pm Painted Maypole Says:

    as i look back on it i think i might have had pre-partum depression (the crying myself to sleep most nights might have been a clue), and sure wish I had talked with someone about it

  53. On June 6th, 2010 at 11:45 pm GingerB Says:

    I finally had to admit that having a baby with cerebral palsy was more than I could “buck up” and handle, and I went on Zoloft while I was still nursing, then switched to Welbutrin (much better) and things are so, so, so much better. I don’t regret it for a minute! And hey, at least you aren’t married to a Scientologist, who will just tell you to take more vitamins. Grrrr. You need to take care of you, whatever it takes. I’m rooting for you, please keep us posted!

  54. On June 7th, 2010 at 7:24 am Jessi Says:

    Long time reader of Aunt Becky but never commented (slacker, I know) but I had to come out of the woodwork for this one. Dear Desperate and Depressed Mama… please please please go to a doc and unload. It isn’t worth trying to fake it until you make it… get the help you need (again, NO shame in any help) so that you can be the mom you were meant to be. I wish I had done it with #1… and I already put myself on a million radars now that I am preggers with #2. The bigger person asks for the help, please do it! Praying hard for you.

  55. On June 7th, 2010 at 10:22 am Anna Says:

    And.. don’t be afraid to GO BACK if the first response isn’t working. I had to go back twice – but third time’s a charm and I actually am starting to remember what the REAL me used to be like. Welcome back, me.

  56. On June 7th, 2010 at 5:31 pm TeacherMommy Says:

    Your instincts are right: something is wrong. And you need help. Don’t let what you think you “should” be able to do or your husband’s reluctance to recognize the extent of the problem prevent getting that help, either. I did that for three years. PPD on top of chronic low-level depression and massive doses of denial.

    I ended up on suicide watch in a psych ward.

    I’m not trying to make things sound worse than they necessarily are, but I do want you to realize how very bad they CAN get if you don’t get the help you need. There is so much that can be done, and as Aunt Becky said, NO SHAME in it. Those who see it that way (like my now-ex husband) are idiots and too often unable to see the ways they need help too.

    Since I hit bottom? I faced reality, got help, and discovered how very much love and support was waiting for me. Today, I am immeasurably healthier and happier than I ever dreamed I could have been. IT’S WORTH IT.

  57. On June 8th, 2010 at 5:50 am Joan Says:

    You’ve been strong enough to take that first step and admit that things aren’t right – and thats the hardest part. I too felt that i had no reason to feel like this, my life was, and still is, wonderful. But that nasty black hole we fall into doesn’t care about anything else – it just wants to suck us down deep and hold us in its cold, grey embrace.
    It took time to feel in control again and some days i still backslide – but then i dig my heels in and climb up again. Hang in there darling girl and take all the help you can get from whatever source is available. Don’t be afraid to tell people that you feel like crap – you will be amazed at how many of them will be there for you.
    Wrapping you in a big warm hug, filled with the colours of the rainbow and the warmth of the sunshine {{{{{{O}}}}}}

  58. On June 10th, 2010 at 2:59 am Kate Says:

    I know this isn’t depression, and therefore not really the same thing, but it’s similar. I’m currently a student going on my 5th year in college, because I just couldn’t manage to get the work done to pass my classes for the first few years. My mom kept telling me how lazy I was, and seeing my friends work so much harder than I did made me feel like that was really the case. But for some reason, no matter how hard I tried I just. couldn’t. do it. There was just some sort of disconnect that I STILL cannot explain between what I wanted to do/get done, and what I actually did. Finally, in my junior year, I decided to try therapy, at which point I was diagnosed with ADHD. I initially had trouble getting medication, but this semester, was put in a drug study, and found my miracle cure. For a while, at first, I struggled with taking medication for such an issue, or even going to therapy for it, because I felt like it was something I should be able to overcome on my own. However, I eventually decided that actually graduating from college was a bigger deal than whatever it was I had against taking medication. To this day, my biggest regret is not getting help sooner. I still have trouble sometimes communicating to people how I feel and what I go through, because most people cannot for the life of them understand why I don’t just get up with my alarm in the morning, or why I don’t just get off of my laptop and get my homework done. And trust me, I want to do all of that, but it just doesn’t always happen. Like I said, I can’t explain it. Anyway, my point is, sometimes it’s difficult communicating to other people how you feel, and that it’s OKAY to get help. You’ve obviously struggled with this for a while, and are doing the best you can. Feel better. <3 and *hugs*

  59. On July 12th, 2010 at 9:10 pm EmmaLee Says:

    So I will spare you writing the same comment everyone else did. I had a raging case of PPD that I finally owned up to when my kiddo was 6 months old. I too took Vitamin W (Wellbutrin) and got into therapy and it’s been the best things that’s ever happened to me. I mean, honestly. Not the PPD thing, but dealing with it, and dealing with some underlying issues that didn’t cause it, but made it worse. I think I had a low-level depression even before I got pregnant, so I think it made me very susceptible to the life-sucking shithole I found myself in. Be brave, Prankster. The first bit is the hardest. And, I know you didn’t mention it, but just in case you think about killing yourself or hurting the baby, we all know you don’t WANT to do that- our PPD brains make shit up. Just know that you can be brave and talk about it with the Dr. If not, well, count yourself lucky. All of us are right there with you.

  60. On July 13th, 2010 at 9:40 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    PPD is the worst. Seriously, that’s one of the worst things I’ve been through. So proud of you for getting help and then speaking out about it. xoxo

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