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Dealing with postpartum depression is difficult in a country that puts so much pressure on its mothers. Seek help, and don’t be afraid, says this post.
Yes, it’s true, Postpartum depression does exist! And I have tasted it. It made a home in my life some five years ago, when I had my baby girl. I struggled with it for almost a year. A couple of months after her birth, I could feel a change in me – with all the crying, feeling helpless, and the negativity. I didn’t know why I was acting that way and why were such reactions coming out of me – I really didn’t know what it was.
And once I knew and read about it, I did not want to acknowledge it at all, as at that special time in your life, you are supposed to ooh and aah about your little bundle of joy. Depression does take those special moments out of your life, and you are left with a stubborn urge to cry, feel helpless, friendless, knowledge-less, and there is hardly anyone who can bring you out of it.
There are therapies available now, and doctors (even in India) are taking it very seriously. But, for the new mothers, it is not easy to recognize it. But if you see or feel the first signs of it, I would suggest you reach out for help. See a counsellor and your doctor, and I am sure they’ll be able to help you out.
I, for one, did not reach out to anyone. I waited and waited that these feelings of denial and restlessness will fade away – but they didn’t. They got really aggressive, and then I did speak to a couple of people around me about it, but that was of no use. They pin-pointed my move to a new place, joblessness, as the reasons of my angry and ‘not so me’ behaviour. But I knew deep down that it wasn’t just that.
There is such stigma attached to what you feel after you have a baby in our country, that it is very hard for new moms to talk about their real feelings at that time…
Although these factors aggravated my situation, they were not the sole cause of it. There is such stigma attached to what you feel after you have a baby in our country, that it is very hard for new moms to talk about their real feelings at that time — about how their lives have changed, about how they miss the older times, about how they feel they won’t be able to take care of their own child.
A baby changes a lot of things in your life, even if you are mentally and physically prepared to have one, sometimes the situations and the behaviour of people around you makes it all the more hard to adjust to the newer environment. Postpartum depression not only makes you depressed and angry, but also makes you feel guilty that you are feeling all these emotions at such a happy time in your life when you have your little bundle of joy in your arms.
But I’d say, don’t let it take you down so easily. Go visit your doctor, have faith, pray, meditate, and find that inner strength that no one or no act of aggression or depression can take away from you. What helped me was really me; I put my foot down against myself and my thinking (at that time); I just wanted to be strong, to feel happy and content again, and I stopped thinking about failing at stuff. But when I look back in time now, I really feel I should’ve taken some help, as it would’ve been so easy for me to go down in that darkness.
Pic credit: Image of mother and child via Shutterstock.
I have been working in financial services for about 7 years and have recently moved
Been there and been through it in the worst possible way. I totally relate to this article. I will like to state that a support system at home and at the work place is a must for new mums. Without that, its an up-hill walk, all alone. So be strong. Talk about it. Seek help. I pray that anyone going hrough it right now, gets over it ASAP.
I agree Saumya… a support system for new moms is a must and the sooner people around her understand this, the less problems and darkness she’ll need to face!!
Its the feeling that you are the only one going through it while rest all are having fun. I feel new mums can organise weekly or monthly meet ups. Get connected through various social media and discuss , vent, laugh , cry about the problems we face!
Our country is yet to come to terms with the fact that mental illness happens. It is not necessarily inherent, as women we go through a lot of hormonal changes throughout life. And imbalances are prone to occur especially with the stresses of life. And we are prone to depression more then men. There is no harm in seeking out medical help and having a support system. I have across so many people who still think that seeking a psychiatric / psychologist help is an offence. It is not, u need not seek their help to treat you and put u meds. U can be helped without having to take meds at times. They can facilitate the process of healing, provide some coping skills to deal with everyday life and the new changes, guide you if there is any for further medical assistance is needed. Feel comfortable to share it with your friends nad family. I know its hard, especially if you are afraid of being judged. U will be judged anyways thats human nature. But sometimes it helps to get it out of your system as soon as possible then to suffer within, wasting your time and energy. At the same time make sure that this does not become a habit. Its very easy to fall prey for self pity, and when people around you encourage that, you are more likely to lose out on life.
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