Monday, October 25, 2010

PPD or PPSS: Finding a Solid Support System

If you have read my previous posts, you might have gathered that I seem to be finding myself confronting a bit of Postpartum Depression or Postpartum Stress Syndrome.  I am not having difficulty with depression but am experiencing the other symptoms connected with PPD or PPSS.  Since the birth of our daughter, I've been coping with insomnia, anxiety, intense guilt, and uncontrollable anger.

I've written about my experiences with insomnia and anger in previous posts and have done quite a bit of research on the subject.  As we live 2.5 hours away from the nearest city and are on a very tight budget, I am not currently able to seek therapy or see a doctor for anti-depressants (which I don't want anyway).

My husband and I are trying to cope with things on our own at the moment.  I think it is important to note that I am not angry or disconnected from my baby AT ALL.  If that were the case, I would seek help from a professional regardless of cost.  Coping with things on our own hasn't necessarily been the easiest or best way to handle the situation.  Until last night, it wasn't even us coping with this; it was just me.  Therein, lies point of this post.  I've discovered a key element of successfully coping with PPD.  One absolutely must have a solid support system.

Last night was a breaking point for me.  My husband and I got into a huge fight over the behavior I didn't even realize I was exhibiting, which led to a long discussion.  Communication is important in any relationship but a MUST after bringing a new baby into the family.  Our hormones of out of whack and do crazy things to our minds.  We need to communicate our feelings to our partners.  They aren't mind-readers (especially if they're men).  The brains of men and women do not work the same way.  We can use clues and behavior to decipher what our male partners might be feeling or what they might need, but they can't do this for us.  We have to spell it out and thoroughly explain what we need from them.  That's  just the way it is, and it isn't something to be upset about.  Men and women are just wired differently.  Sooo... after arguing, lots of talking, and lots of crying (while trying to hold it back), my husband got the message.  I need support in this.

At my absolute worst point last night, he forcibly held me (because I was so full of anger and so tense that I refused to be touched), and let me cry.  I finally, FINALLY relaxed and just let go.  I don't think I've ever cried like that in my life.  I needed that support; I needed to know it was OK to express my feelings; I needed him to attempt to understand.

I have an amazing husband.  As terrible as last night was, emotionally, he really helped me take a step forward.  It might be a very small step, but it's a step.

If you think you might be dealing with PPD or PSS, try to find some sort of support system for yourself. Communicate with someone you trust, and don't be ashamed of what is happening inside your head.  It's more common than you might think.  If you would like to read more about PPD, visit the links below and/or talk to your doctor.

By the way, music helps me a great deal.  My favorite right now?  Tracy Chapman, "I'm Ready".  I've loved this song for years and find it particularly calming now.

Helpful Links:
"Is Anger a Sign of Postpartum Depression?"
Postpartum Depression (BabyCenter)
Postpartum Depression Health Center
Managing Postpartum Depression (read through the tab options)


  1. :o( So sorry..I know exactly what you are going through. I had PPSS and PPD after the birth of our 4th baby. (homebirth turned emergency c-sec.) I have gotten over it emotionally, and am 99% better, but still find myself easily stressed and irritated. It's a long recovery. Praying the best for you mama.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog...I love the picture of your little one. So precious. I am following you now!

  2. I'm a new follower, will you follow me?

  3. I'm your newest follower from Follow Me Back Tuesday The Neuff

  4. New follower from FMBT; looking forward to reading your blog.

    I feel for you; I went through post partum after my 3rd child and it was awful. I had my 4th child just short of 5 months ago and have had a few "meltdowns" but then again I've had a bit of stress with our current life ongoings. Just know things do get better; it's great to see that you are being so proactive about it. If you ever need to chat with someone who's been through it, I'd be more than happy to. :)

    Hope you pop by to return the follow


  5. Thanks for sharing!
    I'm following from the hop.
    Stop by if you get the chance. & & need followers)
    Have a nice day,

  6. What a great husband you have...I am so appreciative of my Hubby when he realizes all I need to do is fall apart in his arms and have him tell me he loves me!
    I am your newest Follower, hope you can stop by for a visit!

    Thanks, Becky Jane
    Raising kids can be a lot like weeding the rose bed...well worth it, but...OUCH!

  7. What an adorable baby! Dropped by from FMBT to Follow YOu. Hope you will drop by and do the same ;)

  8. Thank you for sharing that.It's so hard to go through something like that.It's important to have a supportive spouse like yours.

    I am your newest follower from FMBT hop. Feel free to drop by for a visit. Love to see you there.


  9. I don't know how old your little one is but mine is 17 months and my body is still out of whack. He is my first but my hormones and moods have not changed. When I was pregnant and before that, I was totally normal, cool, relaxed and my periods were like nothing and nothing affected me. Now, every birth control makes me sick to my stomach, my periods are god awful and I have become irritable. Any little thing bothers me and it is so tough! I really feel for you, it is so hard for men to understand but it's awesome you have a husband like that and blogging helps I am sure.
    I have problems as well but nobody to really vent to besides my husband so I feel for you. I sometimes use the site because you can vent and those people always give feedback and make you feel better.
    Hope things get better for you, I'm still working on myself, my anxiety is out of control so I can relate to some of what you are going through.

  10. Thanks for the comment, Jackie. I hope mine doesn't last 17 months. I can't imagine. I don't have anyone but my husband either. I'm going to try that site you recommended. I'm hoping mine gets better. I think it will be easier when we move back home, closer to family and friends. We're kind of out here on an island, so to speak. It really sucks sometimes.
    I hope yours gets better too. I read somewhere that 1 in 8 women deal with some degree of postpartum depression. The more I realize that there are tons of other people out there dealing with the same things, the easier it gets. I hate that other people have to feel this way, but it makes me feel less crazy. I think blogging about this stuff is therapeutic in itself. :)
    Everyone else, thanks for all of the comments as well! :) Nice to have feedback and read others' stories! If you left your blog info, I'm working on following you back. :)
    Thanks again!

  11. I feel for what you are going thru having stuggled myself with depression. Having a supportive husband is critical to coping with it.

    I'm a new follower from Follow Me Back Tuesday! Would love a follow back :) You can also follow me on Networked Blogs & Facebook!