Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Shame of postpartum Depression

This weekend I had a long conversation with a good friend of mine where she told me for the last year she had been dealing with postpartum depression. And so I asked her if she remembered last January that I sat across from her at a table and told her my story about getting the baby blues around week 6 and then slowly creeping into depression. It crept slowly and really was a postpartum depression. It was a depression for me that was different than my bipolar depressions of not getting out of bed.

It was a depression of feeling worthless, constantly feeling like a bad mother, feeling lack of joy when I should have felt lots of joy. I was weepy for no reason. I was irritable with my husband. And sometimes I just wanted to run away. Far away. I had no desire to see my friends or to talk to them.

And yet during that year I did have many times where I did have joy and pride. I have always felt my daughter is amazing. I love her more I knew was humanly possible. And I feel more loved than I could ever imagine. It is unconditional on both ends in a way that I have never felt before. She makes me a better person, every day.

So back to the original point of this post. My good friend has heard me share some of my experience with depression and I told her that if she ever felt that way she could reach out to me. Email, call, facebook, whatever. I would be someone who would listen & understand.

She didn't call. She didn't email. She didn't chat on facebook.

She was too embarrassed.

I have to wonder -- why do we feel so embarrassed about postpartum depression? It is so common. Perhaps if we would TALK about it we could we could get rid of the shame, the embarrassment and the world of moms would be a better place.