How Has Postpartum Depression Affected Your Marriage or Relationships?

9. How has postpartum depression affected your marriage or relationships?

How Has Postpartum Depression Affected Your Marriage or Relationships? How Has Postpartum Depression Affected Your Marriage or Relationships?

It was really tough at first, but my husband is amazing. He’s been so supportive and I know it’s been tough for him too because he works nearly 60 hours a week. He tries to take over with the kids as often as he can. – Vanessa

Yes. Without a doubt it has affected my marriage. I didn’t feel love for myself (which really is so important for overcoming postpartum depression) or for others.  I didn’t care about sex with my husband but he needed it. I was too tired to take time to talk with him or just play with him like we did when we were dating; laughing and having fun! Our marriage has suffered, but I finally saw what it was truly doing, what it would result in if I would continue to neglect our marriage. It was eye opening, I’m changing. It’s slow, but I’ll take slow positive change over no change or negative change any day. – Anonymous

It was very hard on both of us for a while, fortunately my husband also works in mental health so he understands. However I would say we are now very close again and work much better as a team these days. It has made me distant from several friends and family members. They are not worth my time when I’m well if they don’t accept me when I’m ill. It has made me very close to one or two friends who kept me going through the darkest times. This has been the best part because I feel I’ve rediscovered their friendship all over again. I love them so much. – Alexandra

It has ruined my relationship. I was controlling, paranoid and scared I made choices without thinking about him.  We fight and have been struggling financially because I couldn’t keep a job. We both lost who we were. Things today are still hard. – Amber 

It has made me so distant from my husband. I feel so terrible, but all I can think about is my baby and worrying if he is okay. – Anonymous

I feel alienated or I alienate myself because I feel weird or different than my friends. It can be a drain on my relationship. – Nicole

It has brought us closer because he has been so supportive through this journey. – Anonymous

No one understands that it wasn’t weakness, I nearly died from my symptoms. It was biochemical and the most terrifying thing in existence. It was like I had entered hell. – Brittany

I told my husband what I was going through he didn’t understand and still really doesn’t but he’s been by my side the whole time. Hes an amazing husband. – Jodi

I distance myself or I’m angry at my partner for nothing. He is very helpful.  – Anonymous

It was the reason for my separation. Although we are currently working things out. – Ashley G.

It was hard on my marriage. I don’t feel like my husband handled it well but we tried to work through it. – Anonymous

It has been super tough on my marriage. You tend to really isolate yourself when you have PPD. – Amanda

It was very difficult. If I had been with any other person we wouldn’t have made it. My husband did anything and everything he could to help me. He never threatened to leave me or take my baby. He even had talk therapy to help understand what I was going through. – Anonymous

My husband was unbelievably helpful and thoughtful. He was so worried and I believe it brought us closer together. – Katy 

My relationship has survived both cases. But it does take a toll when you are in the worst of it. It takes a toll on everyone involved. – Samantha

My husband was very supportive and he understood what I was going thru. It was hard for him too because he didn’t see what I was seeing. I saw myself as a failure and in his own words he saw a strong mother and wife. – Anonymous

Husband doesn’t understand. He listens but doesn’t get it. We bicker, but nothing too bad. – Melissa

Badly.  – Marcella

It put a huge strain on our marriage for months. – Anonymous

It has made it a little tough because in the beginning I felt gross and not attractive. I felt like since I’m breastfeeding, my hubby wouldn’t like my non perky boobs anymore. He had to remind me that he loves me and thinks I’m even more beautiful because I gave him our daughter. – Emily

I feel like it made us stronger because I became more vulnerable. It broke down my tough exterior. – Lorena from Motherhood Unfiltered 

I feel like the first time it really hurt my marriage because my husband couldn’t understand. The second time, it brought us closer together. – Chelsea

Well my sex drive is down, that for sure. Thankfully, I have a very understanding husband. My family doesn’t really grasp PPD – they are of the old school mindset that you should just smile and pick yourself up; that it’ll eventually get better. They don’t understand how much it stings when they make a sarcastic comment about me being in my pajamas or some other such thing. I am thankful they all like 2 hours away – it gives me a buffer to between myself and then to help keep me sane. – Kathryn

Actually made it stronger. – Anonymous

I feel as though I do not give my husband the time and care he deserves he is so supportive and my relationship with my kids is crumbling.  We are always arguing because I lose it so quickly, which then makes me sad and I tend to pull away from them all. – Krista

I don’t think it did. – Karen from Pregnancy and Postpartum Mental Health of Lancaster County

I feel guilty a lot for what I feel like is unnecessary drama that my husband has to deal with, but he has been super understanding and supportive. He never complains, and when I’m struggling, he’s always the first to ask when I last ate, did I take my meds, how much water have I had to drink. – Leah Elizabeth from Lottie & Me

It’s came between my marriage quite a lot. – Jessica

It was very hard on my marriage. Took almost a year and a half to recover from it without the use of any medications all on my own. This was 24 years and 20 years ago. Made it very hard to make the decision to have the second child because I knew I would have it again.  And I did. – Theresa

My marriage is suffering. Hard. I am mourning the loss of the woman I was for 27 years. And my husband is too. And we still don’t know where this leaves us. This is something I have not figured out yet, and it’s a side effect of PPD that deserves more discussion. – Amanda from Mom Like Me

Yes. My husband has been a trooper through all of this but I know he gets hurt by things I say to him and gets frustrated with me because of mood swings. Friends think I’m crazy or get offended because I’m not my bubbly self. – Anonymous

Things just aren’t like they used to be before PPD. – Jacqueline from Planning in the Deep

I feel like my fiancé is heartbroken every time he looks at me .– Haylie

Though of divorce DAILY but also realized I don’t have the time or sanity to even go to the bathroom never mind organize a divorce (we’re still happily married but that time was friggin’ rough!) – Crystal from Heart and Home Doula

Greatly. I was withdrawn with most of my friends and with my husband. – Anonymous

My medication decreases my sex drive. – Anonymous

So many fights between my partner and I that have escalated into violence at times. – Anonymous

It caused my marriage some major hiccups. My husband didn’t understand what was going on and thought I didn’t love our baby, which is obviously not true. – Anonymous

I hated my husband for about a year and a half and seriously considered divorcing him. – Eda

My relationship has been rocky from the start which in of itself has greatly affected my depression. Relationships all around seem superficial and I feel like no one understands. My kids don’t see me happy and smiling. – Anonymous

My husband didn’t experience my first three cases of PPD, but has already seen, 12 weeks in to this pregnancy, how I have changed due to the illness creeping in. I act out in rage often, and he frequently says he’s never seen me like this. It’s straining, but he’s understanding. – Kathleen

I’m much more on edge, quick to think he’s judging me. I don’t want to be touched. – Stephanie

It was very hard on the marriage at first, I had no sex drive and was angry at my husband for not doing more. It took me a long time to accept that no matter how much he did – he would never be the mom. I am mom. I was also very isolated from other moms and my closest friends and family did not have children so it created a huge rift. My sister and I actually grew apart so much and it was devastating but I gave up on our relationship for a while. Luckily her and I had the desire to reconnect and we went to therapy together to bridge the divide. -Yonat from Embodied Therapy Santa Rosa

I can’t connect and I struggle relating to my husband. I see him on a different level. I feel disconnected. I can be happy and laugh with him but keep to myself with my inner struggles. – Beth


Postpartum Depression Triggers Postpartum Depression Triggers

Nothing puts strain on a relationship like mental health issues.

One of the biggest problems with postpartum depression for many women is that disconnected feeling.  We isolate ourselves, withdraw socially and close up our emotions.  Basically, we do exactly the opposite of what you’re supposed to do in a loving relationship.  But it’s difficult to communicate with someone who just doesn’t understand what’s happening to us.  Like us, our spouses expected to live happily ever after once baby arrived. Postpartum depression destroyed their worlds, too.

What can we do to change this?

Education can make such a difference.  New and expectant fathers should do their best to learn about the symptoms of postpartum depression as well, so that they know how to help support their partners.  The better a person can understand mental illness, the easier it will be to handle situations like rage, extreme mood swings or suicidal ideations.  No one should have to battle postpartum depression alone.  

To The Husbands of the Women with Postpartum Depression
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What Does Your Existing Postpartum Depression Self Care Routine Consist Of?

8. What does your existing postpartum depression self care routine consist of?

Self Care for Postpartum Depresion Self Care for Postpartum Depresion

I need ample amounts of alone time, especially at the end of the day. As a stay at home mom of three kids, it gets very draining and I feel like if I don’t get in a little me time before bed it’s an endless cycle. My husband knows to give me space after the kids go to bed. I just need to not be “needed” for an hour or two. I also do yoga in the mornings and have incorporated aromatherapy into my home.  – Vanessa

As of the past month my postpartum depression has been getting better because I make self care a priority. I wake up at 6 am so I can make MYSELF ready for the day (hair, makeup, clothes etc), and do my daily devotions and bible reading. I try to not get lost on social media for hours and get jealous of everyone’s “perfect” life. I shower. Every day! I listen to self development books on audible. I just my MYSELF a PRIORITY!! – Anonymous

Trying to grab sleep whenever I can, even if it’s just 30 mins whilst my husband plays with our child in the other room. I might not actually sleep but I can rest. I go to the gym as often as I can as it has an instant effect on my anxiety- it just disappears for a little while. I try to eat properly and not miss meals I give myself permission to cancel anything I feel is too much, e.g. social engagements. I try to avoid reading/watching anything even remotely to do with child deaths and abuse. It triggers me so quickly it’s not worth it. – Alexandra

Routine!!! Wake up healthy breakfast medication, staying organize and busy with work and kids, I take time for myself to paint my nails or to make a certain snack I enjoy or just a movie. – Amber 

Letting someone else take care of my son for a little bit and either playing a video game, taking a long shower, napping or going to Target by myself. – Anonymous

I do keep up with my psychiatrist but I guess I don’t really have a routine right now. – Nicole

Essential oils, breathing, medication, reading and exercise. – Anonymous

Slow wean off of the drugs. CBT. – Brittany

A lot of uplifting and telling myself I’m a good mom and surrounding myself by people that love me. – Jodi

Sleep, an hour a day for a TV show.   – Anonymous

Talking about my feelings and tons of support from friends. – Ashley G.

Make sure I’m sleeping well and continuing to take Citalipram to combat anxiety. – Anonymous

Taking my meds, seeing my counselor, exercising, eating well, and taking time for myself when needed. – Amanda

Private alone time to recharge, controlled breathing, naps. – Anonymous

I just had my second baby two months ago and I was put back on medication to take precaution. I made sure to get plenty of sleep this time around and I did not breastfeed. – Katy 

Staying active in therapy and with medication. Journaling feelings. Good hygiene. – Samantha

I believe in self motivation, it helps a lot. When I feel down I start to point out all the good that I have done that day and I see how happy my babies are and how happy my husband is and for me that is all I need. – Anonymous

Working out and oils. Taking time to better my self. My son will not know I am talking more time to my self when he is 3 months old. I want to be the best mom once he starts remembering. – Melissa

Taking herbal supplements and some anxiety meds, watching my self talk, getting out, getting time to myself.  – Marcella

Therapy, yoga, sleep when I can. – Anonymous

Showers and naps anytime I need. – Emily

Make sure I get enough sleep. Taking time for myself. Self-reflecting. – Lorena from Motherhood Unfiltered 

Taking 50 MG of Zoloft a day. – Chelsea

I am focusing on me more. I realize I can just focus on my husband and baby. I have a few medical conditions, so I am now getting monthly massages, chiropractor visits, not to mention what I do daily to take care of myself. – Kathryn

Still on meds. – Anonymous

Hair and teeth don’t always get brushed, I tend to forget deodorant never get dressed up just wear comfy baggy clothes. – Krista

I’m out of it now. Right now self care is light therapy, exercise and outdoor time, crafts. – Karen from Pregnancy and Postpartum Mental Health of Lancaster County

I continue to take my meds daily, but am feeling considerably more stable now, with only a few bad days here and there throughout the month. My “self-care” is really more like a set of rules I’ve given myself. I never go more than 48 hours without showering. I force myself to eat when my toddler eats. I signed up for volunteer activities so I am out and about around other adults on a regular basis. I’ve started telling my friends what are triggers for me, so we can work around those without it being an issue (ex. talking on the phone. On my bad days I cannot for the life of me answer the telephone. I have no idea why). And Saturday’s are my day. My husband takes the baby, and I spend the entire day at a coffee shop with my noise-canceling headphones. – Leah Elizabeth from Lottie & Me

Taking my meds and vitamins and I get a 2 hour bathroom time for just a hot soaking bubble bath. – Jessica

Clean eating, for starters. I determined that eating sugar or dairy made me have almost immediate anxiety. Tracking my cycle is also a huge part of my self care. Staying abreast of my hormonal changes is key. Daily showers and restful sleep are also important to me—that means a nice hot cup of lavender tea and luxurious pajamas at 10:00 pm. And, of course, I move my body. Every day. I can’t say that I “work out” but I do something to get my heart rate up and follow with a healthy dose of ice water. – Amanda from Mom Like Me

Well I ordered the pills and I’m waiting for them to come in. I try to sleep in when my hubby is home and try to go out by myself without the kids once a week. I work out as many times as I can find a babysitter a week. We don’t live close to family so it’s hard to get support. – Anonymous

Planning, journaling also stamping. – Jacqueline from Planning in the Deep

Taking my medicine and if that doesn’t help enough I will go to therapy.– Haylie

Nothing really. I never even got to sit down never mind “care” for myself during that time. – Crystal from Heart and Home Doula

Making time to keep up with my treatment, being consistent with my medication, finding time for myself everyday .– Anonymous

Medication, sufficient sleep. – Anonymous

Meditating, reminding myself my kids are little and I want to give them the best childhood and not always be irritated when they do natural child behavior like make mess or cry. Having time for myself. Reaching out when I need help. – Anonymous

Routine exercise, time to myself every week, regular appointments with my therapist, healthy eating, plenty of sleep (my husband will watch the baby some nights to give me a full night of sleep). – Anonymous

I have instituted a family schedule giving my husband a defined list of tasks and chores he MUST complete as well as giving me time to shower and get dressed every morning and take the kids off my hands for at least an hour a day every afternoon. I also have a babysitting schedule for my parents and in-laws and force myself to sit down and watch TV instead of doing work or chores during my non-kid time. – Eda

Resting when my body tells me, getting outside a little everyday, essential oils for mood and pain. – Anonymous

I am currently pregnant with my fourth child after remarrying. My youngest is 3 1/2. I have a good support system of moms who have struggled and I can be honest with. I am honest with my doctors and have a doula. I talk to a therapist and I rest when I need it. – Kathleen

I have no self care routine still, when I can I get away to the grocery store etc. – Stephanie

Now I make sure to have time alone. Whenever I start to feel overwhelmed I look at my son and express gratitude for getting to be in my son’s life and watch him grow. He is so amazing and I have the capacity for more love than I knew possible. -Yonat from Embodied Therapy Santa Rosa

Trying to maintain my hygiene. Making the bed every morning. Getting dressed. Opening the blinds. – Beth


Postpartum Depression Triggers Postpartum Depression Triggers

We often underestimate the power of self-care.

For women with postpartum depression, it’s too easy to fall into a “funk” and start ignoring basic tasks like brushing our teeth or making the bed.  We may not see it as a big deal at the time but it truly has an impact on our mental health.  When we neglect ourselves, our brain gets the message that we are not as important.  Over time, our brains reprogram themselves to prioritize our needs less and less and it becomes harder to change that way of thought.  

What can we do to change this?

Stop thinking of self care as being selfish.  Yes, you are a mother now and there are children who depend on you but that doesn’t mean that you have to neglect yourself in order to take care of them.  Seek a way to balance how much time you spend taking care of yourself vs. your other responsibilities.  When it comes to self care, there are so many different options and levels of intensity.  Start by getting more sleep or taking a shower regularly.  Eventually you can create a whole list of things you’d like to do for yourself.  Treating ourselves as important will program our minds to believe it. 


5 Reasons Why Self Care Does Not Make You Selfish
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What Type of Treatment(s) Did You Seek for Postpartum Depression?

7. What type of treatment(s) did you seek for postpartum depression?

Postpartum Depression Treatments
Postpartum Depression Treatments

I saw a therapist but it didn’t help much. I read some books to try to “fix” myself. But eventually I started taking anti-depressants. I started taking Venlafaxine (Effexor) but didn’t like the side effects. It made me feel dizzy and caused me to sweat profusely. So I switched to Escitalopram (Lexapro) and it’s been much better.   – Vanessa

I didn’t seek medical care, I thought I was “strong enough” to overcome it on my own. When the PPD came back like a blazing fire in a parched forest after my second baby I also thought it would go away on its own. But it didn’t. I did go to a doctor for it and got a prescription but after thorough research I just couldn’t get myself to take the medication. – Anonymous

I had CBT. My therapist has been incredible. It’s been a long road and I’m still in the service 12 months after accessing it for the first time. But it has helped so much. I can sit in that room and say all the crazy frightening horrible stuff in my head and she calmly accepts it and helps me understand why it’s happening. – Alexandra

When I first realized I needed help I went to my midwife and family doctor. I started medication but it didn’t help. I then attempted suicide and was sent to the hospital for an overdose on a prescription my doctor gave me. I stayed in a behavioral health unit that didn’t help one bit. I didn’t want help at the time I was angry and mad that I lived. I hated that my spouse was there but wasn’t there when I needed him. I hated everything and everyone. I felt that my children were better off without me because that’s what I was told. The second time I went to my family doctor and broke down I told him nothing is getting better I feel the same I don’t want to live I then went to a facility just for mental heath that was amazing! I stayed for a week and got to attend therapy 12 times a day with different types of groups. I was eating healthy, taking the right medication and improving my mood. This stay is what helped me, this saved me! And I’m so thankful because now I know I want to be alive I want to be there for my children. I don’t have those awful symptoms. – Amber 

I haven’t sought treatment yet because I am afraid to. – Anonymous

Psychiatrist with very short term use of Zoloft. One hypnotherapy session. Exercise. Forcing myself to get out of the house even if it made me uncomfortable. – Nicole

Therapy, medication. – Anonymous

I called 911 on myself and spent 9 days in psych in the hospital. Only after months of doctors shoving SSRI’s down my throat despite me telling them they were making everything dangerously worse. I had to be put on antipsychotics. – Brittany

I called my family doctor and got put on antidepressants. – Jodi

Therapy and medication.   – Anonymous

Therapy and meds. – Ashley G.

Psychiatrist. – Anonymous

Cognitive behavioral therapy and medication – Amanda

Therapy and medicine and self care. – Anonymous

I went to my OBGYN for medicine, I was on that for about 6 months. I started therapy, yoga, working out, getting a babysitter (I’m a stay at home mom). – Katy 

Started with speaking to my OBGYN. Found a psychiatrist and therapist. Medication and self care. And whatever help you can get with the baby. – Samantha

I went to my psychologist and because I was breastfeeding I didn’t wanted to be admitted so I went every day for clinical treatments. I was on treatment for a few weeks. – Anonymous

I attempted medication however it made it worse. I started therapy. – Melissa

Medication, alternative remedies, exercise.  – Marcella

Therapy, meditation, self care. – Anonymous

None. – Emily

I started with Zoloft but then I started taking better care of my self and joined a support group with other ladies. – Lorena from Motherhood Unfiltered 

I talked to a nurse practitioner at my OBGYN office and discussed medication options and I went with Zoloft. – Chelsea

I asked my doctor for medication. I really didn’t have faith in a therapist, or the time, and I really just wanted a “quick fix.” Within a few days I started feeling a difference, even my husband noticed. I had more energy, I smiled more, just everything seemed brighter. – Kathryn

Weekly psychiatrist, bi-weekly with OBGYN appointments and medications. – Anonymous

I went to my doctor and started meds with wanting to try therapy later to help cope with it. – Krista

Received Zoloft from OBGYN. – Karen from Pregnancy and Postpartum Mental Health of Lancaster County

After visiting with my doctor, I started on Sertraline (an anxiety medication) as at the time, my anxiety is what was most present. After about a month of Sertraline, they added Buproprion (depression med) to my treatment, as once my anxiety settled down, I found myself constantly sleeping and crying. I had many people suggest counseling, but I honestly didn’t see how it would help me. I have seen counselors numerous times in the past and believe strongly in the power of counseling, but all of those times I had a definitive problem that I needed to talk through. I didn’t see how I could “talk through” an issue being caused by hormonal chemical imbalance. – Leah Elizabeth from Lottie & Me

Medication and I started writing in a journal about how I felt if I didn’t want to talk about it. – Jessica

None. – Theresa

I did not use medication because, honestly, it just didn’t feel like the right path for me. Unfortunately no one could suggest and alternative, so I tried A LOT of remedies. Ultimately, hypnotherapy and a weighted blanket were my saviors. CBD oil was also very helpful for managing the unexpected spikes in anxiety and rage. Establishing a clean diet and regular exercise routine were life giving, even if I just ran up and down the basement stairs a few times at the end of the day or during nap time. I still struggle, but I’m building my collection of tools. – Amanda from Mom Like Me

I asked a friend who went through it for natural remedies. She told me Raspberry pills B-100 and Fish Oil.  – Anonymous

Therapist and a doctor who had put me on medication I’m currently taking. – Jacqueline from Planning in the Deep

Antidepressant medication.– Haylie

Honestly, during that time I thought they would give me medication of some sort and my thought process was me taking a pill isn’t going to get me more sleep, less of my baby crying or my husband to help more so I just never mentioned it to my doctor & dealt with it. – Crystal from Heart and Home Doula

Group support, individual counseling and medication. – Anonymous

Medication. – Anonymous

Looked into therapy but still waiting. Doing meditation, and getting healthier through eating better. – Anonymous

Pharmaceuticals and talk therapy. – Anonymous

None. I couldn’t call, I couldn’t make an appointment with a therapist. I wanted to desperately, but I couldn’t. – Eda

Being OK with asking my dad and kids for help. I treat myself with better self care. – Anonymous

I finally checked into a hospital after driving my car into a telephone pole, where I was kept for three days and monitored while I tried new medication. I saw a therapist once a week for a year and a psychiatrist who worked at a newly opened mental health clinic in my area. – Kathleen

Medication, Sertraline and counseling. – Stephanie

I went to healing retreats for myself, not realizing what I was “treating” but knowing I needed space to find myself again. I went away for 10 days on a wilderness quest when my son was 18 months old. It was so important for me to have time to reconnect to myself and let go of old parts of myself. I was so lucky to have my husband and mom to take care of my son while I went away. -Yonat from Embodied Therapy Santa Rosa

I reached out to my OB and she prescribed me meds but said exercise does the same thing. It was cold at the time and it was too hard with a newborn and 2 other children in school. – Beth


Postpartum Depression Triggers Postpartum Depression Triggers

Anti-depressants are not the only treatment option.

It’s a common misconception that prescription medications are the only treatment for postpartum depression.  Many mothers don’t seek treatment at all because they don’t feel comfortable being “drugged up” during this sensitive stage of life.  Various forms of therapy including talk therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, art therapy, aromatherapy, group therapy and so much more can all offer relief from symptoms.  Natural treatment options can work as well, including changes to diet and exercise, vitamins and supplements, yoga and meditation.

What can we do to change this?

The best place to start is by discussing your condition with a medical professional.  Don’t assume that you can fix yourself or that it will go away on it’s own.  While it’s important to know and recognize the symptoms of postpartum depression in yourself, the intensity of your mental illness should always be assessed by a doctor or psychiatrist.  If you’re not comfortable taking antidepressants, then speak up and ask about your options.  If your treatment plan isn’t working, then try something different, or a combination of things.  Postpartum depression can be a long term battle, so figuring out a treatment plan sooner rather than later will save you a lot of pain in the long run.


Related Reading:

This is Why I’m Not Excited About The Postpartum Depression Drug

How to Know if Online Therapy is the Right Choice for Moms

6 Ways to Get Online Help for Postpartum Depression

6 Reasons Art Therapy is One of the Best Forms of Self Care

Who Did You Talk To About Your Postpartum Depression and What Was Their Reaction?

6. Who did you talk to about your postpartum depression and what was their reaction?

Who did you talk to about your postpartum depression and what was their reaction? Who did you talk to about your postpartum depression and what was their reaction?

I tried to talk to my husband but I hated the way he felt so sorry for me and just didn’t know what to do. I felt like I was burdening him. So I talked to my family doctor. He was very empathetic and supportive and called my husband into the room and told him “this is not her fault – she cannot control it” and then it was easier for me to talk to him after that.  – Vanessa

The first person was my sister, who was nothing but supportive and wanted to do anything to help me. – Anonymous

My health visitor was wonderful, she had her suspicions for a while but I wouldn’t tell her anything. She organised specialist support out of area as I couldn’t access services at work. She was just lovely. She made sure I knew that she didn’t think I was a bad mum, she kept pointing out how good my bond was with my child despite it all. – Alexandra

I talk to my sister in law, my doctor and midwife. Their reaction was, medication, go get help, my sister in law didn’t help much.  It wasn’t until I attempted suicide that people realized how serious this was. – Amber 

My husband is the only person that knows my struggle. He is so supportive even on the days I feel like giving up. – Anonymous

Anyone who would listen. They were concerned but it never felt like I reached anyone who understood. No one was shocked. I guess there was zero reaction really. Except my husband. He was genuinely concerned and wanted to help me feel better. – Nicole

I have talked to several friends and my therapist. They were very supportive and understanding. Most were by surprised because they had experienced something similar. – Anonymous

My doctor said “you have a lot of anxiety I can see it” when I was being tormented by a dysphoric mania. And said “you have to try harder for your daughter and snap out of it”. When I asked my psychiatrist if I would ever get better, she said “I don’t know, I’m not a fortune teller.” My husband said “its JUST anxiety” as if it was not a big deal but I tried telling people this was different…and it was. I had postpartum dysphoric mania and an agitated clinical depression at the sane time and was basically dying. I begged hospitals to admit me and they got angry and said “just go home and keep taking Prozac” but the Prozac made everything worse, they didn’t believe me. – Brittany

My sister and mom. They were very understanding as my sister just went through it – Jodi

Doctor and understanding. Ordered meds and sent me to behavior pysch MD  – Anonymous

My ob/gyn. She was very understanding. – Ashley G.

My mom. She was supportive. – Anonymous

I talked to my doctor finally and her reaction was extremely empathetic and understanding. – Amanda

My husband and he was very worried. – Anonymous

My husband saw it come on very strong at 3 months (I hid other symptoms very well up until then), and he immediately took me to my gyno and my mom came to stay with us for two weeks. – Katy 

I was open with my fiance both times. And I pretty much tell everyone. He was pretty supportive although at times he didn’t understand. And other people just don’t get it. You feel very judged. – Samantha

I talked to my husband because he was always asking me why was I crying and I never knew what to say. He said that he was going to help me that I didn’t have to do it alone because I was not alone.– Anonymous

My family and husband do not understand so I started seeing a therapist. – Melissa

My doctor. She was very helpful and gave me anxiety meds and recommended a obgyn who deals with ppd. – Marcella

For a long time no one. Then my husband, then my doctor. My husband encouraged me to get help. I felt brushed off by my doctor. – Anonymous

I talked to my fiance and baby’s dad. He was supportive, would hold and hug me and make sure I knew it was ok. – Emily

My SO first- he didn’t understand. Then my parents. They told me I was overreacting. Finally my doctor, she was very concerned when I broke down at my two week pp check-up. Now, I talk openly about it as much as I can. – Lorena from Motherhood Unfiltered 

First my mom, and she kept telling me it was normal and everyone goes through it but I knew it was more than “ baby blues” and then my husband, and he didn’t know how to help me the first time around. The second time around he was much more understanding and helpful. – Chelsea

I knew my husband would understand. He has always understood, or at least listened, to everything I have gone through. I could tell he was trying to be the calm and collected one for me, but was actually really worried. I know he knows I would never hurt the baby, but he does worry about how I take care of myself. He is always checking in with me about it, it helps keep me grounded. – Kathryn

Husband – it was extremely scary for him to think he wouldn’t have a wife or the kids not having a mother – Anonymous

My husband, he didn’t know how to help but wanted to.  A support group online, gave advice, and then I brought it up to my doctor and she was happy I found help and is working on helping me – Krista

Husband, who was like “ok take care of yourself then” – Karen from Pregnancy and Postpartum Mental Health of Lancaster County

After my diagnosis, I really only told my family who I think wanted to believe at first that my doctor was misguided, until they came out to visit a few days later and saw the symptoms for themselves. After a few months I wrote a rather raw blog post, and I was overwhelmed by how many mothers shared my experience. It helped me a ton seeing that I’m not alone. – Leah Elizabeth from Lottie & Me

My mom-in-law and she was very informative and supportive. – Jessica

No one. – Theresa

I spoke to my husband and my parents. Now I speak to everyone because it’s my mission to break the silence, but when I spoke up to family, I was told I was just tired. My suffering was brushed off. – Amanda from Mom Like Me

A friend- she told me I was crazy and oppressed and possessed by a demon spirit.  – Anonymous

My husband first. His reaction was not so supportive. – Jacqueline from Planning in the Deep

My fiancé , he was supportive and had me go to the doctor to reach out for help – Haylie

They all just knew my son was a “difficult baby” I was aware I had ppd but didn’t really talk to many people about it. – Crystal from Heart and Home Doula

My health care providers and husband. Husband was very supportive. – Anonymous

Husband, doctor, friends. All were supportive – Anonymous

My mom, doctor, partner. All encouraged me to talk to a therapist – Anonymous

My husband- he was well-meaning but somewhat unhelpful at times. My mom- she was a huge source of comfort and reassurance. My family doctor and therapist- both assured me it would get better. – Anonymous

My daughter’s pediatrician, my nurse practitioner and my OB/GYN all handed me referral sheets for mental health practitioners but I couldn’t get myself to call. My husband and mother shrugged. My best friend wanted to move into my house for a week to help (but that seemed overwhelming). – Eda

Best friends… They offer support and encouragement. – Anonymous

A few other mom friends but never told anyone how serious it was. After my arrest due to my psychosis many many friends of mine came out to say I had asked for help and talked to them about this for years. – Kathleen

My gynecologist first, she was concerned and prescribed medication right away and got me into counseling. My best friends were sympathetic. – Stephanie

Only recently I mentioned it to my best friend and she was surprised and felt bad that she didn’t know before. She said, “why didn’t you say anything?” I pointed out that I DID say things the only way I knew how but that ultimately I didn’t recognize what was happening to me because I just thought this was my new reality. – Yonat from Embodied Therapy Santa Rosa

My husband. He wanted to understand but his actions made things worse. – Beth


Postpartum Depression Triggers Postpartum Depression Triggers

Asking for help with postpartum depression is one of the toughest obstacles to overcome.

It’s never easy for a mother to admit that they need help.  For many women who have never battled with mental health issues before, venturing into the scary and unknown world of psychiatric disorders is terrifying.   And our biggest fear is being separated from our babies or pegged as an “unfit mother.”  Our husbands, partners and those closest to us often understand because they see us at our worst and know we’re not ourselves.  But do they know what to do to help us?

What can we do to change this?

Mental illness will always be scary and daunting.  But postpartum depression can be treated and so it’s always important to ask for help no matter how terrifying it is.  The more we speak up about it, the less intimidating it will become and the closer we get to ending the stigma.  New and expectant parents should learn all they can about postpartum depression and other perinatal mood and anxiety disorders so that they can recognize the earliest signs and symptoms.  There are so many places that a mother can seek help and advice that there’s no reason she should have to stay silent.


Related Reading:

9 Reasons Why Mothers Don’t Speak Up About Postpartum Depression

14 Ways to Help a Mother with Postpartum Depression

6 Ways to Get Online Help for Postpartum Depression

How to Find the Courage to Talk About Postpartum Depression

 

What Things (Triggers) Made Your Postpartum Depression Worse?

Continue reading “What Things (Triggers) Made Your Postpartum Depression Worse?”

What Was The Worst Symptom of Postpartum Depression For You?

Continue reading “What Was The Worst Symptom of Postpartum Depression For You?”

How Long Has it Been Since Your Postpartum Depression First Started?

Continue reading “How Long Has it Been Since Your Postpartum Depression First Started?”

How Did You Know That You Had Postpartum Depression?

Continue reading “How Did You Know That You Had Postpartum Depression?”

How Much Did you Know About Postpartum Depression Before Becoming a Mother?

Continue reading “How Much Did you Know About Postpartum Depression Before Becoming a Mother?”

A Year in Review and What’s Happening in 2019

Running in Triangles Year in Review


Happy New Year!

I’m not normally the type of person to make New Year’s resolutions but there is just something about a new year that makes me feel inspired.  It’s a great place to start if you’re looking to change your life and that’s exactly what the Running in Triangles blog has been for me.

This month marks the two year anniversary of Running in Triangles and it has been quite a journey.  When I first started, I knew that I wanted to talk openly about postpartum depression and help raise awareness about maternal mental health.  But I had no idea what an impact it would make on my life and the lives of others.

In 2017, I wrote about all kinds of things I learned while raising my three kids, from sleep training and breastfeeding to party planning.  But it was my posts about postpartum depression that gained the most popularity, and the ones I felt most inspired to publish.

9 Reasons Why Mothers Don't Speak Up About Having Postpartum Depression
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Posts like 9 Reasons Why Mothers Don’t Speak Up About Postpartum Depression and 14 Ways to Help a Mother with Postpartum Depression were easy to write because they were the things that I’ve always wanted to say.  Two years later, they are still some of the most popular posts on the blog and have inspired many women to speak up and seek help.

I didn’t know it at the time, but those two posts have become the cornerstone content of Running in Triangles.   The fact that women don’t talk about postpartum depression was something that needed to change and a big part of the problem is the lack of support.

Their popularity confirmed what I already knew: women with postpartum depression wanted to speak up and their loved ones wanted to help them, but no one knew how or where to begin.

This discovery led to last year’s Postpartum Depression Guest Post Series It was my way of giving these women a safe space to tell their stories without worrying about being judged or criticized.  I accepted and published every single guest post that was submitted, no matter who it was from.

Of course, I led by example and shared my own postpartum depression story, which was not at all easy to do.  I also tackled tougher topics such as intrusive thoughts, postpartum rage and feeling suicidal.  As difficult as it was to research and write about these topics, I knew that mothers needed to be better informed about them.


This past year, I spent a lot of time reading postpartum depression stories, participating in online support groups and watching YouTube videos of women trying to explain what it’s like, and their stories were all so unique.

I read about women who spent thousands of dollars on fertility treatments to conceive, and others who ended up pregnant unexpectedly. 

I heard from women who had incredibly supportive spouses, and those who suffered from divorce and separation at the hand of postpartum depression.

I watched some women struggle openly and others do everything in their power to hide what they were feeling.

But one thing was the same… their pain.

Knowing that thousands of other women, from all around the world, were dealing with the same pain, no matter their backgrounds, made me feel incredibly empowered;  as if I had an army of women behind me who could  validate my feelings.


To help put it into perspective, I chose ten questions about postpartum depression and decided to ask as many women as possible to answer them.

I am excited to see how the answers will compare and my hope is that they will prove to other women who might feel isolated and afraid of speaking up that they are not, in fact, alone.

My goal for 2019 is to get at least 200 women with postpartum depression to answer these 10 questions.

If you, or someone you know, has postpartum depression, please click below to submit your answers and help me share this questionnaire so that it can reach women from all around the world.

Mothers Answer 10 Questions About Postpartum Depression
Please note that by submitting this form and providing your e-mail address, you will be subscribed to the Postpartum Depression Survival Guide Newsletter and agree to be contacted via e-mail.  Your e-mail address will never be published on Running in Triangles and you may unsubscribe at any time.

In addition to this exciting challenge,  I hope to continue providing more information about postpartum depression and maternal mental health this year.  They say knowledge is power and it couldn’t be more true when it comes to mental health.  Being misunderstood, judged and stigmatized are some of the biggest barriers for a woman with postpartum depression and it’s my mission to change that.

Thank you so much to all of my supporters, readers, contributors and of course, to my fellow postpartum depression survivors who inspire me to keep going.
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