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

What Happens When Someone Incredible Gets Postpartum Depression?

We are all incredible people, no matter what our journey is with postpartum depression.

Some women who end up with postpartum depression have battled mental illness their whole lives.  Some may have gone through a depressed period as a teenager or following some tragedy in their lives.  Maybe they’ve witnessed a family member deal with it, or experienced some kind of childhood trauma.  PTSD can contribute significantly to depression and other postpartum mental health disorders.

But others, like myself, have never faced a childhood trauma or battle with mental illness prior to becoming a mother. 

To go from living the “perfect” life to experiencing the darkness that is depression in such a sudden way feels like being buried alive.  While I no longer struggle with depression on a daily basis, it’s effects remain permanently.  I will forever mourn the loss of the incredible person that I was before postpartum depression took it all away from me.

What Happens When Someone Incredible Gets Postpartum Depression

What Happens When Someone Incredible Gets Postpartum Depression What Happens When Someone Incredible Gets Postpartum Depression

*This post contains affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust. Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.


I used to be an incredible person.

I had a really great childhood, with parents who loved me and loved each other.

My sister was my best friend and confidant.

Even as an awkward, mixed-race, home-schooled teenager, I never felt depressed or self-conscious.

I embraced my differences, stood up for others and voiced my opinions.

I loved to take care of people and when I started working, I delivered the type of customer service that got rave reviews.

I worked jobs that I loved and was successful at them.

I almost married the wrong man, but then met and fell in love with the right one and had a fairy tale wedding, just like a cliché romantic movie.

We renovated a house in the perfect neighborhood and got a couple of dogs before a baby soon followed.

Life wasn’t always perfect but it was pretty darn close to what I imagined “happily ever after” would be.
Prenatal & Postpartum Depression - Vanessa's Story
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Most of these things haven’t changed.

I still have an amazing husband and a family who love and support me.

I still have the perfect house with the two dogs and three kids.

I still have success doing work that I find rewarding.

Except that now, I have postpartum depression.

It’s been 6  years so I doubt it’s even considered “postpartum” anymore, but I will always refer to it as that. Because until I got pregnant with my second child, I was anything but depressed.

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For the past 6 years, I’ve had to fight every single day to be the happy, incredible person I was my entire life.

Things that came so naturally to me, such as talking to people or taking care of myself – are now things that I avoid at all costs.

Shopping dates and salon appointments were something I looked forward to doing with my friends. I loved fashion and beauty to the point of vanity.  But these days, I feel zero motivation to get dressed in the morning, so I wear the same sweat pants and stained T-shirt all week long.

And when I do dress up, I criticize everything about myself.  I count out grey hairs and wrinkles.  I pinch the rolls of skin on my stomach and make disgusted faces in the mirror.

Instead of styling my hair, I fantasize about shaving it all off.

I can’t look people in the eye anymore, or make small talk with cashiers and servers.

When I talk to someone on the phone I stutter and stumble and forget what I was supposed to say.

I silence my phone when it rings because I need to work up the courage to take the call first.

And if I see someone I know out in public, I duck and hide and hope they don’t notice me.

I’ve never felt as much hatred for myself as I do now and I’ve lost all my confidence to postpartum depression.
What to do when Postpartum Depression Makes you feel Suicidal
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I feel sorry for the people who have come into my life only after the postpartum depression because they never got the chance to meet the real me.

The fun me, who was hilarious and clever and the life of the party.

The powerful me, who loved to debate about  controversial topics.

The competitive me, who hosted game nights and Rock Band showdowns.

The inspiring me, who gave the best pep talks and listened to everyone’s problems with empathy.

Those people will say that I’m still like that, but oh, if they only knew. 
How to Avoid a Postpartum Depression Relapse
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Those who did know me before, walk on eggshells around me now, afraid of what might offend me or set me off.

I make people uncomfortable with my presence, because no one is ever sure what to say to someone with a mental illness.

I’ve forgotten how to break that awkward silence with pleasant conversation.

Friends that used to come to me for advice just feel sorry for me now.

They look at me and think I’ve let myself go… that I’ve given up.

But what they don’t see is that I’m fighting a mental battle every single day just to survive.
Intrusive Thoughts
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I loved who I was before postpartum depression.

I was happy and fulfilled and determined before postpartum depression. 

I was a people-person, a social butterfly, an extrovert before postpartum depression. 

And now, I am merely a shell. 

I look the same on the outside, but inside I am hollow and empty.  The amazing person that used to live in here is all shriveled up now, unable to move or grow.

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Life pushes me along like waves on the ocean, slowly rolling through the days and the months and the years.

I try to stop it, try not to move forward, but there is nothing to hold onto.  I am simply grasping at water.

I want to stay still, I want to press pause.  

Can someone please put me in a glass box so I can watch life happen around me, without having to actually be part of it?

Participating in my own life is exhausting. 

I don’t want it to end because there is a tiny glimmer of hope still inside of me. 

I hope that someday I will feel the desire to live again and then I can come out of my glass box.

I hope that someday, I will be incredible again.

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