Postpartum Depression: Not One Problem But Many
Context for Getting Through PPD
Postpartum depression, or PPD, affects a much larger percentage of the population than is typically thought. I knew the statistics, but I didn't think it could happen to me.
It's been a long journey, but I have finally found a way to thrive once again.
I should warn you that there was no quick fix, or one-size-fits-all solution. What I found was that by looking at the issue as many issues, I was able to “eat the elephant one bite at a time” (cliché quota met).
For me, I learned that overcoming PPD, was contingent on the following important steps:
- Understanding that the problem was not one problem, but many problems (i.e., physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, circumstantial), which required a multi-faceted approach.
- Attacking each issue one at a time—and only as I could (on whatever timetable I could manage).
- Being okay with merely surviving for a season and letting go of unrealistic expectations.
- Not comparing myself with others, or against some notion of how I thought things were “supposed to be.”
- Building a small support team around me, knowing that I couldn’t do it on my own.
- Recognizing that my experience was “true for me” even if what I believed was not “truth,” and holding the tension of both ideas being simultaneously true.
- Letting go of trying to make others understand me, and instead communicating my needs.
- Allowing myself more guilt-free alone time (as I could), while trying not to get sucked into isolation.
- Reminding myself that it would not be this way forever, and choosing to reframe my perspective even when my mind, body, feelings, and soul believed otherwise.
More About My PPD Journey
This article is part of a larger reflection of my experience with postpartum depression. The previous article in the series is: What Postpartum Depression Feels Like: The Invisible Thief