Kathy - posted on 11/05/2008 ( 3 moms have responded )
I faced the reality of PDD when my daughter was only three weeks old. The first two weeks I had typical baby blues but was coping fairly well. A week later and I was somebody else. I stopped eating. I suffered anxiety attacks, even when my daughter was sleeping peacefully. I cried non-stop. I thought that getting pregnant had been the worst decision we'd ever made and I wished someone would just take my daughter away. I couldn't interact with other people and felt like I was inside a glass box where I could sort of hear and see others but was completely disconnected. A family member stepped in and told me to not wait to seek help, as she had when her daughter was born. I saw my doctor and ended up on a low dosage of anti-depressants. Medication did ease the panic attacks and anxiety, as it moderates the fluctuation of emotions. It didn't solve all of the stress of new motherhood, but I fully believe that it helped me learn how to adjust and cope. However, it wasn't until after I was 'weaned off' the medication around 8 months after that I began to feel a strong attachment to my daughter. I was (and am) still prone to depression--especially the panic/anxiety aspects...but I am ever so thankful for my daughter now and am just madly in love with her. Medication isn't a panacea, but I want to encourage moms with PPD to not be afraid to ask their doctors about their options...maybe a support group or counseling will be enough for you--but PPD is a real, chemical, physical upheaval of your body and can be alleviated. Sometimes I've struggled with feeling like I was weak and had 'failed' at being a new mom...but I always come back to the realization that it takes a strong woman to be humble enough to seek help for the good of her child (ren). And I have never regretted the peace and joy I gained as a mother once my PDD was under control.