This is something I posted on Maya's Mom a little while ago, but it just seemed like something I wanted to post here because it sums up what I've been through in recent months. But I'm doing good today. Yes, real good.
When It Hit Me, It Hit Hard
I ended up with knock down drag out post partum depression around 4 months but even before that, there were signs.
Maybe the time I threw a dirty plate from the dinner table up in the air because I was so angry could have been a clue. Or when I screamed at my husband to "give me the baby, you can't keep her from me!" then ran through the house slamming doors and cursing at him to leave me alone. Or the time I ran from the house screaming with the car keys, thinking I'd drive away (where? somewhere, anywhere) and he had to chase after me, wrap his arms around me tightly, lead me back into the house.
When it hit hard, it wasn't depression in the way I had thought about depression. I wasn't sad. I was angry. I was seething. I was absolutely furious. Everything set me off. In my mind, as long as I didn't want to hurt my baby, then I would be okay. But I didn't think twice about wanting to hurt myself.
When it looked like I was going to be put on anti-depressants, I couldn't go there. I had heard too many stories about people who went on them and then committed suicide and knowing how sensitive I am to anything I put into my body, I feared that they'd send me over the edge.
So I turned to a naturopath and in one 2 hour visit, she pinpointed exactly what I needed. She said that the hormone imbalance I was feeling included large amounts of adrenaline and epinephrine pumping into my system sending me into "fight or flight" mode. This definitely explained my state of constant panic. The only way I could describe it was that I was screaming inside, constantly.
She gave me supplements to help my adrenal glands to not overproduce adrenaline and an amino acid to spray under my tongue when I would start to feel panicky. Within a few days, I felt...as normal as one can feel after having a life changing and body changing event happen at age 41 (having a baby, of course).
I can't say normal because I'm not who I was before baby. I'm another person, totally changed, and half the time I'm not sure who I am. I've seen a therapist a few times to explore this aspect of motherhood. Nobody told me I would lose my identity and have an identity crisis that would only add to my PPD.
In the 2 months since I started getting treatments for my PPD, I haven't any out of control, irrational outbursts. And I'm not screaming inside. When I feel something creeping in, I spray the amino acid under my tongue a few times and then take a deep breath, letting it out slowly. I have only had to do that one time in the last 3 weeks.
I still don't know who I am, although when I went to a friend's birthday party last month with my husband and baby, we had to wear name tags. I put my name, then under it, I wrote "NG's Mom." After the party, I stuck it on the inside of my coat and it is still there, a little worn around the edges, but there to remind me at least who I am in part. I need that reminder.