Mental Health is a serious issue affecting our society today.
In an effort to get rid of the negativity and the stigma against mental illness, these brave women have chosen to share their stories with you.
Be nice, read, reflect and respond reasonably.
Mental Health Mondays has NOT died, it is ongoing, but it needs you to be brave by sending in your stories, in order to continue.
If you would like to express yourself and share your story on Mental Health Mondays, please feel free to email me at bewilderedbug(at)gmail(dot)com or tweet me at @bewilderedbug
Let’s continue to spread mental health awareness together
My third daughter was born 18 months ago. As always, the baby blues hit me hard. This time, things only got better for a week, and then a darkness began to overtake me. Postpartum depression and anxiety made a home in my life.
The days were full of joy at my girls. I loved being their mama, but inside things were a jumble. My thoughts moved fast. I was desperate to be busy all the time.
I kept in touch with my midwife, and we tried some medication. Things got even rougher. I ended up in the hospital for 24 hours. I had taken my girls to my midwife and asked her to take them home and love them. Please understand, I love my girls to absolute delirium, but something inside was a disaster. I felt a need to disappear.
Thankfully my midwife saw it as a cry for help, and got me help. Over the ensuing months I have tried several medications, changed my diet, done transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). It helped some, but there were still issues. I ended up back on medication a couple months later.
The roller coaster continued. I ended up in crisis again in December. I began to spiral into a darkness so deep. I was yet again suicidal. I kept thinking, “I am doing my girls more harm by staying around. They are going to think they make me sad.” So much darkness, so much spiral. I had several people close to me asking me, begging me, to go to the hospital to make sure I was safe from myself.
My midwife continued to support me, but realized she was out of her element when it came to helping with my medications. It was so hard to realize that for myself. I felt abandoned. The last person I had trusted to help me said she couldn’t. The fear that there was no hope was crushing. Devastatingly so. I cried that night like I hadn’t cried in months, or honestly, since.
There was something cathartic about crying. I found the energy to fight another round. With help. I called a local university hospital system with a program for postpartum women, but baby was over a year old, so I did not qualify. I sobbed into the phone as I asked the lady on the phone what to do. “Go to the Emergency Room.” The hospital again. How to do that to my family again? It had been so hard that first time. It terrified my husband. I could not do that. Someone pointed out it would be even harder on them if I committed suicide.
That truth ran deep. I fought another round. I got a list of psychiatrists from my insurance company. I called doctor after doctor. None could get me in for a month. I again called my midwife asking her what to do now. She tried to get a hold of a previous psychiatrist I had seen. She tried to get me an immediate consult at the hospital where I delivered my daughter. She hadn’t given up. I found more energy to fight. I went to work the next day. A zombie, hiding to cry. A co-worker caught me. She gave me a name.
That name turned out to be a doctor who could get me in within 24 hours. He does both therapy and medication. The days aren’t easy, but I’m getting there. And I am learning a lot.
The hardest part of this journey for me has been to know how much I love my life and the desperate feeling I often have to disappear. I could not reconcile this in my heart and mind. And most explanations people tried to give discounted how much I loved my life or made assumptions that I was overwhelmed as a mom. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Finally, I have an answer that makes sense for my personality and experiences. The doctor understood correctly that I feel emotions very intensely. And get overwhelmed by the feelings. Pre-family life I could turn off my emotions to survive. Now, even when the emotions are good, there are always more there, I cannot control them all. My mind and heart don’t know how to respond. My mind tells me to escape—from what means the most to me.
This lines up with years of personality traits where I don’t talk about or express emotions until I can explain it like it is happening to someone else. But family is so full of emotion. Good. Bad. Ugly. Beautiful. Now I have to figure out what to do with the emotion to better cope so I can stay and continue to love the life I have. I don’t want my emotions to destroy them or myself. I have no idea where to go from here. I am a girl who likes to know why, so there is that…now to move from here…with a team willing to walk with me. I still see my midwife regularly. I now see a psychiatrist weekly. I tell my husband more what is going on. I turn to the ladies on twitter under the hashtag #ppdchat and I face the fears and the pain coming at me.
I’m surviving til I’m thriving.