Post-Partum Depression

Sara - posted on 11/13/2008 ( 14 moms have responded )

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Hello to all! My name is Sara--I'm new to this forum and wanted to start a thread on a topic that's been hitting close to home recently--post-partum depression (PPD). I was wondering if there are any other LDS mommies here who might currently be or have dealt with this in the past.

PPD is something that strikes about 20% of all new mommies (although 80% of new mommies go through the "baby blues" during the first few weeks of pregnancy--PPD tends to last longer than a few weeks and has a barrage of symptoms so broad that many women fail to realize that it's even affecting them!), and I have personally found it to be spiritually debilitating as well as emotionally taxing.

Being LDS, we all too often view mental health issues as taboo at best, but I have even heard some accuse those dealing with PPD (and other forms of depression) as "not living the gospel well enough," or "just not having enough faith." I can attest that I have never clung to my faith nor prayed so hard as I have been recently. It's when I feel closest to the Spirit that I also feel closest to my baby girl, and immense gratitude wells up in my heart. I just wish it wasn't so difficult or that it took so much proactive effort--nobody told me it was going to be this hard :)!

Anyway, I thought I'd open up a place for us to discuss any experiences we might have had regarding the hardships of motherhood and how the gospel has helped us through those times. Thanks in advance for sharing!

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Beca - posted on 04/26/2013

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This thread hasn't been posted on for a few years, but I wanted to provide an update. There is now an LDS/Mormon Postpartum Support Group page and group on Facebook. Check it out.

Also, Beca Mark (LDS mom) recently published a book detailing her experience with postpartum depression and anxiety. I am sure you will find Pros of Prozac: A Faith-based Memoir of Overcoming the Stigma very fascinating and helpful. www.ProsofProzac.com

Here's to every mother in the world being a mentally healthy mother!

Sara - posted on 01/04/2009

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Thanks so much for the continued discussion, sisters :)! I am toward the end of "Down Came the Rain," by Brooke Shields. It's a WONDERFUL book and it almost word-for-word mirrors my own experiences (minus the part about being a super-hot celebrity, ha ha!). My journey with PPD continues, but it's a lot easier now with my meds and the support I have. I feel much happier and love my baby to pieces! Hope you all are well, too!

Ashleigh - posted on 12/29/2008

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Wow, im so happy about his group and post! I also suffered from PPD, with my first (and only child so far). I felt so angry all the time and really upset. It didn't help either that my son had colic, so there was alot of crying from both of us! I found that praying really helped me and my faith has been stronger ever since :) The gospel sure is a wonderful blessing :)

Tasha - posted on 12/28/2008

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I gave a talk today in church on the sustaining power of faith in times of trail and uncertainty. It was based on a talk by Elder Richard G. Scott. Preparing this talk helped to remind me that I needed to rely on my faith in my Heavenly Father to help me through my PPD. There are times when you get so bogged down by the depression, that you can forget that you have an anchor to hold onto! It does get easier with time. Hold onto your faith. Hold onto your Savior. He loves us all and will help to guide us through these times. I just thought I would share, as this helped me so much today!

Brenda - posted on 12/28/2008

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Depression runs in my family and I've had two very close friends who have had severe ppd. While medicine is often nescessary to combat this disease there are other factors to look at if it's a mild case. Are you exercising, getting sunlight, sleeping as often as possible (believe me I recognize the difficulty. I have seven great kids, and I'm always tired) , is it situational depression, (Which medicine can only help so much if the situation doesn't change) are you expecting to much of yourself to soon. There are so many changes that happen in your body, and these are a few of the ways to combat them. I personally think my best defense has always been a walk in the sunshine. There have been studies that show MILD depression can be treated as effectively with exercise as it can with zoloft. Bottom line, take care of yourself, and then you are able to better take care of your baby. Good luck.

Tasha - posted on 12/24/2008

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I have been suffering with PPD for the past 4 1/2 months. Mine is different though in that it was caused by the lose of my 6th baby, the 3rd in a year. I became so depressed I could hardly function. I have been blessed with 4 kids (8, 6, 4, & 2) so I had to make myself get up in the morning to change diapers, get kids to/from school, and feed them. Beyond that I could do nothing except cry. I went from behind incredibly sad, to horribly angry, to feeling semi-maybe-okay, then back again. My doctor's ran every test they could and can't find a reason for my miscarriages, which made me even more depressed. I've been on Prozac, Lexapro, and Wellbutrin and had bad side effects for all of them. I think my body is so out of wak that it couldn't handle the drugs. I recently started seeing a therapist to help me work through it verbally and that seems to be helping. It is hard, because unless you have a friend who has been through PPD people tend to think you are over-reacting, or just looking for attention. One of the best things to do is talk about. Even when the medication helps your emotions are still there and need to be let out to somebody, whether it's your spouse, your mom, trusted friend, or a therapist. It sounds like everyone here is doing something to help themselves take care of themselves, which is great! Keep working at it and know you are not alone in your struggles with PPD!

Mary - posted on 11/26/2008

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Wow, it's nice to hear from other LDS moms struggling with ppd. My first is almost 3 months and I did not realize what was wrong till a month ago. I was just angry all of the time. Everything made me mad or annoyed me. We went to see the doctor and I was put on a low does of Zoloft. I can tell a difference. It is getting better but it's still very difficult. When things aren't just how I want them I get so upset.

[deleted account]

Hi! Thanks for starting this thread. I think it's a very important thing to discuss openly. It affects so many of us, yet you feel so alone while you are in the middle of it. And people who have never experienced it have a hard time not being judgmental.
After my daughter was born, she went almost 3 weeks without a bath (me too) and I could barely get off the couch. My husband said it was like I was there physically but Natalie had left. I couldn't cry, I couldn't laugh and I was not feeling attached to my daughter. I had a sense of obligation that kept me feeding and changing her but that was it. I also started on Lexapro and within a few weeks became the mom that I had so wanted to be. I was also able to become a wife again. An element we often forget about. PPD severely endangered my daughter, my husband and me. I am very grateful for a wonderful husband who pretty much physically dragged me into the doctor's office to get me the help I needed.
One thing is for sure, you are not alone, none of us are. We not only have a Heavenly Father that loves us, a brother who died for us, but a community of those who believe the same as we do that are willing to step forward and help when we need it. Sometimes though you have to let others know that help is needed, reaching out and asking is hard but sometimes can bless others and save your family.
Good luck and God bless.

Sara - posted on 11/18/2008

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That must have been difficult to be in a new place without family or friends for support. I know I couldn't do this without my family--they've been my rock throughout the past few months. I saw my doctor last week and was prescribed Lexapro--safe to take while breastfeeding, thank goodness! Things are getting better, especially now that she's on a sleep schedule and making it through the night. That is definitely one blessing the Lord knows I need right now and has been generous enough to grant me! Thanks for sharing your experience, it helps to know we're not alone!

Megan - posted on 11/15/2008

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Hello Sara,

I too struggled with PPD with both of my children. It was worse with my 2nd, we had moved out of state (for my husbands work) and were away from family and friends. I remember we had one visitor at the hospital when I gave birth. It was a friend from our new ward. I was so touched and later we had meals brought to our home for a week. I struggled with my depression. There were days I thought things couldn't get any worse and others when I'd feel fine. I recommend medication. I took a light dose of Zoloft for 6-9 months and then my Dr. took me off and I felt fine again. I think it's part of our test. It's satan pull at families. He always is testing the family, because he can never have one so he wants ours. All you can do is keep the lord in your home and remember that we all suffer. We are all tested. Your baby is adorable! Hang in there you are not alone.

Megan Newland

Sara - posted on 11/14/2008

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I'm glad things are getting better for you. My battle with the Spirit has been one of wills, as I hadn't been reading my scriptures nor praying personally very regularly. I don't know why, I'd just gotten spiritually "worn out" for a while. And PPD only made it worse in the beginning. I figured if God wasn't going to "allow" my baby girl to sleep when I needed her to or make her stop crying or fix her tummy woes (she had colic for a while), then why should I do my part? But, being the bull-headed individual that I am, I slowly realized that this was not the best attitude if I wanted to feel at peace with my new baby in our home. It feels wonderful to be doing what I've always known I was supposed to be doing, but it's been a long time coming. Best of luck to you with your little ones!

Louise - posted on 11/13/2008

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Hi Sara...I think this is an important topic to bring up. Thank you. I dealt with PPD after my 3rd child. I didn't recognize it at first because I assumed since I didn't have it after the first 2, why would I after the third?



Unlike you, I feel like instead of praying harder and being closer to the Spirit, it was opposite for me. However, I feel a lot better now (little guy is 7 months old) and things are getting back to "normal."

Sara - posted on 11/13/2008

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EDIT: meant to say that 80% of new mommies go through the "baby blues" during the first few weeks following delivery--NOT during the first few weeks of pregnancy. There goes my brain again :).

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