banner
Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Guest mom: Local group helps mom heal from postpartum depression

Posted September 20, 2010

When I opened the door to my first Moms Supporting Moms meeting, I wanted to turn on my heel and walk right back out.

I was terrified. And embarrassed. Even though every single woman in that room had been in my shoes.

So I sucked in a deep breath, let go of the handle and sat down. As each person in the circle took a turn introducing herself and sharing her story, relief began to wash over me. I remember thinking: These women are describing exactly how I feel. I’m not alone.

I’m not crazy.

I can’t tell you how validating (and supremely comforting) it was to recognize that I was not the only person on the planet struggling with postpartum depression. That I had nothing to be ashamed of. And, most importantly, that it did not make me a bad mother.

Hopelessness and chronic anxiety, sleeplessness and crying had dominated my frame of mind since my daughter was a few days old. I was terrified to be alone with her, and I dreaded nighttime because I knew it meant that I would not sleep.

Walking to the mailbox was a feat. I did not want to leave my living room.

But when my haven began to feel like a cave swallowing me whole and my fears grew more irrational and the crying did not stop, I decided it was time for help.

I reached out to my family, talked with my next-door neighbor (whose kindness and grace will forever be cemented in my heart), called my doctor and went to Moms Supporting Moms meetings every week.

Quickly, I began to heal.

The women in that group – the new moms like me and the “survivor moms” who facilitated our conversations – helped save me.

If you’re a new mom struggling with postpartum depression or anxiety, please know that you are NOT alone. Ask for the help that you deserve. Check out a Moms Supporting Moms meeting.

And please know that you WILL feel better.

I’m living proof.

Postpartum Education and Support, the umbrella organization of Moms Supporting Moms, is hosting its first-ever StrollerThon fundraiser on Oct. 2 at Bond Park in Cary. In addition to the three-mile walk, there will be Tot Trot races, inflatable games, face-painting and fun for the whole family. All are welcome – strollers not required!

And read more about Suzanne, a Triangle mom of one, on her blog pretty*swell.
 

4 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • cmetzpharmd Sep 30, 2010

    One of my dearest friends committed suicide about a month after her baby was born. It has always haunted me. She was under a doctor's care and receiving treatment. I think that it has been such an under recognized, under diagnosed problem. I commend you for starting a support group so at least there is some outreach and a place to start.

  • seankelly15 Sep 22, 2010

    Why didn't you consider seeing a mental health professional? Support groups cannot 'cure' classified mental illnesses and you do a disservice to those whose depression reaches clinical status by suggesting that a support group will replace professional treatment. If you recommend that someone seek mental health assistance from a mental health professional (not the family doctor) and then consider a support group then that would be appropriate.

  • NCMOMof3 Sep 21, 2010

    I, too, struggled with PPD. 18 years ago not as much was known and, being a military spouse that PCS'd just after I had begun treatment, really threw me for a loop. It was an extremely difficult year and one I have not forgotten. New mom's need to know it is not anything to be ashamed of and there is help. thank you for sharing your story. I wish there had been a group like this I could have joined

  • Shaking My Head In Amusement Sep 21, 2010

    As a Mom who struggled with PPD, thank you for sharing your story. It's a very real disease and there IS hope for getting thru it. I'm glad you also sought and received the help you needed.

    I also would like to mention trianglemommies.com. It's a free resource to Moms in the Triangle area. Triangle Mommies offers playdates, Moms Nights Out, online forums for mannny different topics and the ability to meet Mommies who might be in your own neighborhood. There's also a PPD support forum there and Moms to reach out to who have been there, are there and who can/will help you in any way possible.

    If you suffer from PPD PLEASE don't be afraid to reach out. You're not alone and many will be more than happy to help you along.