Frequently Asked Questions:
Answered by some of our members

1) Your first name, age(s) at time of delivery (deliveries), and child's age(s) at the time of this survey?

2) When did you first realize you might have a postpartum mood disorder?

3) What were some of your symptoms?

4) Had you dealt with similar symptoms previously?

5) What factors do you feel contributed to your postpartum experience (history of similar symptoms, family history, traumatic pregnancy or birth, relationships, history of eating disorder, abuse, rape, other)?

6) Why and when did you first seek help? If you haven't sought help, why, and do you plan to obtain treatment at some point?

7) If you did seek help, what sort of assistance did you receive (talk therapy, group therapy, medication, alternative therapies, other) and who did you first speak to about your symptoms (your primary care doctor, your OBGYN, other)?

8 ) Was it difficult to obtain treatment? Why (consider positives and negatives...family and friend support, doctor knowledge, insurance, stigma, resistant to drug or other therapies offered, other)?

9) Did you get an "official" diagnosis? If so, what was the diagnosis (i.e. PPD, PPP, anxiety disorder, OCD, etc.)?

10) Did you have tests to rule out other health problems before getting treatment for a postpartum mood disorder?

11) Did you breastfeed or bottle-feed? How did this factor into your treatment?

12) What would you consider to be your lowest point emotionally during the postpartum period?

13) What things do you think might have helped avoid or lessen the severity and/or duration of your postpartum mood disorder?

14) Do you think anything positive came from the experience you had postpartum? If so, what?

15) Did your postpartum experience influence whether or not you will/have had more children? In what way?

16) What advice would you give to expectant mothers and to mothers who are dealing with a difficult postpartum period?

17) What advice would you give to the family and friends of these same women?

18 ) Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently (i.e. seek help sooner, switched doctors, paid more attention to the mood section in the pregnancy books, etc.)?

19) Please add any additional comments below:

1) Your first name, age(s) at time of delivery (deliveries), and child's age(s) at the time of this survey?

Jessica B, 29 & 34 years old. Children are now 4 and 1.

Melanie and I was 26 at the time of dd's birth. She is now 21 months old.

Judi and I was 28 at the birth of my son Rylen who is now 20 months and has Down Syndrome, which had nothing to do with ppd. We found out way after ppd he had Downs.

Dona 31 Allison is now 1

Jessica, age 28 at delivery, Sophia 23 months

Shelley age 22 with first birth h and age 25 with second birth. I am now 26.

Rudy -- I delivered children at age 26, 29 and 33. My kids are ages 8, 5 and 11.5 months.

Christi, 28, my ds is 13 months

Samantha, 27 - Maxwell, 16 months

Magi, 22 and 24, 18 months and 1 month old.

My name is Jamie, I was 19, 23 and 26 at deliveries and my children are now 7yo, 2and a half and 1 month.

Debbie, 18 yrs, 23 yrs, and almost 35 yrs, my oldest is 17 almost 18 yrs, 12 yrs , and 1 yrs.

Amy, 28, 15 months

My name is Heather. I was 24 when I delivered my first baby, 25 when I delivered my second, and am now 27 - and due with my third baby.

Laura. I was 38 when I had my first child (girl, Nicole) in Feb/1999 and 40 when I had my second child (boy, Grant) in August 2000. They are 3 and 21 months now.

Alex, 26 year old at time of delivery of Cristian, 2 yrs

Char - 29 and 32 - 7 and 4

Stephanie, age 32 when delivered, child is 4 months old

Kimberli. 31 with my first child and 33 with my second child. My son is 2 1/2 and my daughter is almost 8 months old.

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2) When did you first realize you might have a postpartum mood disorder?

I did not know what I suffered from was called "postpartum depression" until after I spoke to a psychiatrist who specialized in depression during pregnancy. I saw her for advice on weaning off of my antidepressant medication. This was AFTER I had been treated for my "symptoms" and had recovered fully. Jessica B

I knew something was wrong around 8-12 weeks postpartum, but didn't really know what. I didn't know what I had was ppd either until I saw a psychiatrist who diagnosed me at 6 months postpartum. Melanie

I found out at exactly 2 weeks pp. Judi

When Allie was 4 mos old Dona

She was born may 29, I realized it in July abruptly Jessica

Immediately after the birth of Olivia, who is baby number 2. Shelley

I realized something was off at about 6 months after delivering the last child. Rudy

about 6 weeks after delivery Christi

2 days PP Samantha

When I was 8 months preg. with my first child, so the therapist said. Magi

After the middle child was born, although depression was nothing new for me in and of itself. Jamie

Immediately after the birth of our 3rd child. Debbie

During my pregnancy--I experienced severe anxiety and intrusive thoughts from about four months pregnant that continued after the birth of my daughter. Amy

Sometime after my first baby was born. I am a voracious reader. I read everything there was about pregnancy when I was pregnant. When my baby was here, I read tons about new babies, and came across ppd a few times. I was pretty sure I had it, since I had nearly all the symptoms listed, but never did anything more at that time than order a pamphlet from DAD (Depression after Delivery) that I never read. Heather

I knew I was depressed when my daughter was 3 months old but didn't recognize it as PPD. I thought it was just the stress of having a premature baby (34 weeks) who had severe colic and almost died of RSV at 5 weeks. I didnít realize there was something really wrong that wasn't going away until my second baby was 1. Most of my troubles I just chalked up to sleep deprivation although I now realize I was wrong. I even explained my intrusive thoughts as the normal anxiety of a really attached parent. Laura

Dec 2001, cristian was 18 mnths old Alex

I first realized that I might have experienced Postpartum depression when I read a magazine article that described what I was experiencing. Char

1 week after her birth Stephanie

It was four months after my daughter was born. I had been sick and the kids were sick and it just all of a sudden hit me. I can remember the exact date because it seemed like my life changed completely - February 22, 2002 Kimberli

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3) What were some of your symptoms?

Anger, anxiety, fear of leaving my baby, thoughts of wanting to harm my baby, panic attacks, anxiety attacks, sleeplessness, thoughts of suicide, fear of going out in public places, fear of being alone with the baby, depression, and over concern for the baby. Jessica B

HIGH Anxiety!!, panic attacks, jumpiness, irritableness, bad cycle of insomnia and sleep deprivation, bouts of depression, RAGE and lots of it, anger towards baby, obsessive and compulsive thoughts ranging a lot in topic, vivid and violent nightmares, teeth pain from grinding my teeth, hyper manic at times while super unmotivated and a slug at other times, defensive and even paranoid, ....Melanie

I had massive fear and anxiety, night sweats, pacing the floors, racing heart, shaking and anxious in the pit of my stomach which made me puke all the time, fear of water for no reason and burning skin were all the symptoms that said to me something was wrong. Judi

I had an obsession w/knives, intrusive thoughts, afraid of being alone w/kids, shaking hands, tired all the time, no energy, lack of concentration, thought I was walking around in a fog Dona

Severe panic attack, hopelessness, feeling disconnected from myself, headache Jessica

Depression, moodiness, anger, feeling lost, couldnít sleep, didnít want to care for my baby. Shelley

High anxiety about the future taking care of three children, about her sleeping habits, getting my life back to normal, insomnia, sadness, weight loss, lack of interest in sex. Rudy

moody, weepy, didn't want to go back to work AT ALL Christi

Fear of hurting my baby, fear of something else hurting my baby, fear of knives, inability to sleep or eat, terrible anxiety Samantha

Moody, helpless, crying, negative thoughts, the inability to sleep, nightmares, and unable to concentrate. Magi

Self-hatred, detachment, totally sad and heartbroken for no reason, irritable, angry, crying lots. Jamie

Franticness, inability to sleep, panic attacks, inadequacy, no confidence. Debbie

The biggest---intrusive thoughts--that I would harm my baby, self, others, that I was going crazy. Also, loss of self---who am I ---questioning--what is life---what is the point---loss of religious faith and to a lesser extent---crying and panic attacks. Amy

After my first baby, I was extremely moody, always in a funk, always miserable. After a few months of that, I went to complete and utter apathy for a few months. Then my second baby was born. Four months after that, my symptoms got more extreme. I would feel extreme rage at my kids, esp. my oldest. I would feel so angry with him that I wanted to scream, shake him, and throw him against the wall. I also got very suicidal. This is the point when I finally went to a doctor for the first time. Heather

Inability to concentrate, lack of motivation, irritability, sadness, anxiety, overwhelmed feelings, despair, indecisiveness and I couldn't help but think, "why can everyone else handle childbearing/childrearing and I find it so hard!?!" Laura

Lots of ocd dealing with his health and when I finally broke down, I had one thought/images of hurting him which made me drive myself to the hospital. This happened right after I saw the news story on Marilyn Lemak, she killed her 3 kids out of a "jealous rage". Alex

My symptoms included sleeplessness and racing thoughts. I could not turn my mind off; I thought all night long about what was in my diaper bag. I was exhausted and didn't sleep for 6 weeks. After these symptoms I experienced lack of decision making skills, low motivation, lack of hygiene and completely overwhelmed by simple tasks (i.e. doing a load of laundry) Char

Feeling hopeless, overwhelmed, cried a lot, irritable, no energy, Isolated myself from family & friends, low self-esteem as a new mother Stephanie

I started having panic attacks, anxiety, depression, couldn't really concentrate at work, feeling of I wanted to run somewhere, just pretty much felt like I was losing my mind. Kimberli

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4) Had you dealt with similar symptoms previously?

Yes. On a MUCH smaller scale, though. Jessica B

I had one panic attack once before in graduate school while under pressure. Never had any real issues with anxiety or depression. Not considered a laid-back person, but not real high anxiety either. Melanie

Never Dona

No Jessica

I had a history of anxiety. Shelley

I think that I had problems after each delivery. My first child was so a good baby that I coped easily, my second child was tough and I suffered with him and my third baby has been tough as well. It definitely got worse with time. Rudy

Yes, I started dealing with depression when I was 16 and had had two depressive episodes before pregnancy Christi

The anxiety Samantha

Never Magi

Oh yeah. Jamie

No, never. Debbie

Yes---I think I have been prone to anxiety and worrying all my life---I had started dealing with them in 1999 with a therapist and meds. Amy

The more severe symptoms I didn't have with my first baby. I thought that's how bad it had to be to need a dr. or medication. Heather

No Laura

NO Alex

After I went off the birth control pill I had my first bout of sleeplessness. Every fall, there after, I had a hard time sleeping Char

Yes Stephanie

No. I have always been a very happy person and didn't really let things bother me. Kimberli

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5) What factors do you feel contributed to your postpartum experience (history of similar symptoms, family history, traumatic pregnancy or birth, relationships, history of eating disorder, abuse, rape, other)?

I've had history of similar symptoms, family history of depression, a traumatic incident with my family, stress of moving, history of eating disorder, abuse, isolation, and unrealistic expectations and a failure to live up to them. Jessica B

Moving across the country away from all support family and friends when baby was three weeks old. Also family history. Grandma and great-grandma had severe PPD, but nobody told me! Melanie

What may have affected me in pp was the sudden accidental death of a close sil relationship. I have 2 other children whom I had no ppd with but I had the same preg complications with so I can't go there. Judi

My grammy whom I was VERY close to passed away when I was 5 mos pregnant w/Allie. Everyone told me for the good of the baby & myself I shouldn't get upset. I held it together pretty well, but didn't give myself a change to really grieve for her. Dona

Some family history regarding anxiety and postpartum depression, unexpected pregnancy outcome (finding out about Sophia's Down Syndrome within hours of being born) Jessica

There is a history of depression in my family, although no one will talk about it. My father also died 2 days before Olivia was born. Shelley

I think that it is unfortunately a family history of depression and added stress from the new baby. Rudy

History of depression, family history Christi

History with anxiety and sensitivity to hormone changes Samantha

Major relationship problems, mental and verbal abuse. Magi

A bad relationship, history of depression, history of really bad body image compounded by the way the body looks pretty cruddy postpartum.
note: Later Jamie added this comment: Okay, on ? #5 I was not totally forthcoming -- I also have been battling eating disorders for around ten years now (currently relapsing) and dealt with abuse as a kid. Sexual mostly. So thatís the whole truth. First post jitters made me shy but after reading the honesty in other posts I felt better about sharing. Jamie

Although I've had abuse dysfunctional issues from my childhood. I personally think the traumatic pregnancy and birth were the biggest contributing factors. Debbie

History of similar probs, family history (my mom has ocd), not a very balanced relationship with DH, low self-esteem, poor coping methods (self-mutilation and self-starvation) Amy

My family has a very strong history of depression. My mom and all four of my sisters are on anti-depressants. (I didn't know that until after I was myself.) My great- and great-great-grandmothers committed suicide. (There wasnít' much help at that time for "women's troubles".) My marriage has also been very rocky from the beginning, and I didn't feel any support from my husband. Heather

No support whatsoever. My family is all a long way away and my husband's family if very dysfunctional. Our closest friends have all moved away in the last few years to follow their careers. My Dad became very ill the day my first child was born. He had ongoing deteriorating health and crises over the next year or so, which tied up my mom and siblings. He eventually died 2 days before my son was born. Nicole was born 6 weeks early and I was absolutely committed to nursing so it would take 2 hours to nurse then she'd rest for an hour. In between she grunted and squirmed so much that I found it hard to sleep. This went on for about 5 weeks, at which time I became very ill and she got RSV. She was hospitalized and we almost lost her but she recovered fully after a week. Her colic then kicked into high gear and she spent the next 3 months screaming. My husband and I went through this on our own and were not experienced enough to get help. Our daughter continued to be a very high need baby but settled down pretty well by a year of age. She is still high strung (but also sweet and funny). I was pregnant again when Nicole was 9 months old and I almost had another premature delivery but it was stopped and I had to do bed rest for the last 8 weeks. In the meantime, my Dad was dying. Grant had colic too but was an easier baby. However, I never could shake the feeling of stress and confinement. I weaned him earlier than I wanted to (8 months) because I just couldn't stand being needed so much (my daughter was 2 by then and very demanding). I think another factor was my husband was extremely resistant to allowing anyone else to take care of the babies. He thought he could be enough for me ( and he was awesome ). We did shifts so that when I went back to work he could take care of the children and not use a daycare. The main reason I went back to work was to get a break. Laura

My dad abused my brother and me, mental & physical abuse. He wanted perfection and I developed compulsive behavior because of it. According to my therapist, because I was hurt as a child, everything that deals with children really affects me to the point that I don't even trust myself. Plus, it took me 4 years to conceive. Alex

My Mom is diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I have since learned that there is a strong correlation between bipolar disorder and postpartum depression. I have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder with a postpartum onset. I believe my experience with postpartum depression is 100% genetic and that my body just doesn't handle changes in hormones easily. Char

I noticed that I had problems with depression that would start one week before my menstrual cycle started. I finally went to a different OB/GYN who understood the symptoms and placed me on Zoloft. She diagnosed me as having premenstrual disorder. Depression does run in my family. My mother was just put on Celexa for post-menopause depression and my sister was diagnosed with PPD and placed on Prozac. My uncle was hospitalized years ago with depression. I've always had a very low self-esteem and a lot of times that would trigger me into a depression. Stephanie

The only thing I can think of is because we were all sick and I was trying to take care of myself along with my children I guess it just got the best of me. Kimberli

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6) Why and when did you first seek help? If you haven't sought help, why, and do you plan to obtain treatment at some point?

The first time I sought help instead of killing myself. The second time I sought help because I knew I was starting to have the beginning symptoms of PP illness. Jessica B

I first sought help at 3 months postpartum from a family practice physician. I did so when things were so bad and my husband begged me to get help. I thought I was totally crazy. She diagnosed me with Generalized anxiety disorder. This was not exactly the best diagnosis, ,but not the worst either.Melanie

I sought help because I knew I was not right in the head, I knew I was going CRAZY! Or at the time that is what I thought. Judi

I sought help w/Allie was 4 1/2 mos old. Dona

I sought help that day because I was ready to jump out of my body and I couldn't function Jessica

I was about 8 weeks postpartum. Shelley

I am just getting help now. It is more than time! Rudy

I was on meds and called my dr. to see about increasing dosage, which totally backfired! I did what he said against my better judgment (he suggested taking the drug in the afternoon and had previously told me NOT to do that) and I stayed up for two nights with NO sleep...and it coincided with my return to work. I thought I was having a nervous breakdown. Christi

7 weeks pp...because I could not sleep or eat and I really wanted to be the best mom I could be Samantha

when I was 5 months pregnant because of continual thoughts of suicide on my self and my unborn child. Magi

with middle child, about a year and a half later. this time I told my dr at my 4-week post visit but he totally blew me of so I am still on my own. Jamie

At my six weeks check up....my doctor said he thought we were headed this way because of how I was acting in the hospital. I was absolutely not functioning I was afraid to leave my house didn't want anyone around was fearful and panicked all the time, wasn't sleeping, huge doubts about myself and my abilities. I felt extreme pressure to perform just daily tasks. Self doubt. Debbie

I went to see my primary dr. about a week after delivery to get back on meds. I also kept a relationship with my therapist. I had hoped that these things would relieve my symptoms, but they were not getting better. At about 8 weeks pp, I had a horrible panic attack and crying fit. It was a Sunday, my therapist was out of town, I went to the emergency room. Through that action a lot changed. The hospital social worker referred me to a super psychiatrist--I really do believe that women with PPMD (Postpartum Mood Disorders) should see a psych. rather than a gp the difference in the amount of knowledge is incredible. She also suggested that I attend the hospital's ppd support group. At the time, the only person who knew what I was going through was my therapist---not even my DH really knew. The support group allowed me to open up and I have made a great friend there. The opening up really demystified my symptoms. Amy

I first sought help when I felt extremely suicidal and violent towards my toddler after my second baby. I thought meds were for crazy people, but at that point I knew that was me. I knew I wasn't in control of myself, and needed medication to get back in control. Heather

I went back to work when my son was nine months old and never could seem to get into it. I had gone on the pill after weaning then my husband had a vasectomy so after 6 months of the pill (and using condoms because I knew in my soul it would be mental health disaster if I got pregnant again), I went off the pill. Then I started a downward spiral. Every cycle brought me lower and lower. Finally at Christmas (2001) I realized I was just incredibly unhappy, not my usual high functioning self, no fun, etc. I went to the doctor and after extensive discussion she concluded I had probably been suffering undiagnosed PPD for some time. Laura

I sought help in Dec 2001 right away when I had thoughts crossing my mind of hurting my child. Alex

I first sought help for postpartum depression 8 days after our second child was born. After I realized that I had experienced postpartum depression after our first child was born I was scared to death to go through that again. 3 years later, when we wanted to add to our family, I interviewed OBs to see which one I would feel comfortable with should I experience PPD again. I made up a Postpartum game plan and gave a copy to my Dr. The first thing on my list was that if I did not sleep for 3 nights in a row I would call my OB and activate the plan. Since I had not slept in over 3 days, I called my OB. Char

I sought help in April. I was hospitalized for a week with PPD after being suicidal. Stephanie

I sought help because I thought I was literally going crazy. I had no clue what was wrong with me. Kimberli

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7) If you did seek help, what sort of assistance did you receive (talk therapy, group therapy, medication, alternative therapies, other) and who did you first speak to about your symptoms (your primary care doctor, your OBGYN, other)?

I received talk therapy, family therapy, REM therapy, and medication(s). I first told my hubby, then the primary care doctor who referred me to a therapist. Jessica B

I received talk therapy, medication. Primary care doctor is the first dr I saw and then she referred me to a psychiatrist when it was out of her hands.Melanie

I was put on meds and my doctor wanted me to go to talk therapy, which eventually after the anxiety subsided I did. Judi

I was admitted to the hospital in May 2001. I stayed there for 4 days. I was diagnosed w/PPD & put on the anti-depressant Effexor and Ativan for my anxiety. I got out of the hospital and began a treatment at Alternatives. It was a day program I attended for 3 weeks from 9-3. I went there because I didn't feel able to handle the kids and myself & I still had so many unanswered questions. I then began seeing an EXCELLENT psychiatrist. He's very easy to talk to. I also saw a therapist a couple of times. This wasn't that helpful since I didn't have any underlying reasons for developing PPD (other than having a baby). I've been on my anti-depressant for a yr & now am starting to wean. I'm hoping to be totally med free by July 2002. Dona

called obgyn first, prescribed celexa, made appt. with therapist, and found you guys!! Jessica

I spoke with my obgyn, and then with a counselor. I also take medication. Shelley

I am starting therapy and taking Paxil. Paxil was prescribed by my OB. Rudy

I sought help from my psychiatrist, with whom I was being medication consulted I did see my counselor once just to 'touch base' because of a change in insurance when ds was 6 months old, I talked to my PCP and he helped me change meds...much better! Christi

meds and I am about to start talk therapy (pretty late in the game) Samantha

OBGYN was the first person I spoke too and he referred me to a therapist to continue to help me until I gave birth. Magi

medication the 1st time. Jamie

My Obgyn put me on Zoloft. I was referred to a psychiatrist and I self initiated a therapist. Debbie

I think I answered that above... Amy

I went to a family dr (that I hadn't seen before - new insurance) and asked for meds. I was a complete wreck in her office, and she more than agreed it was necessary. I was seeing a marriage counselor with my husband, and would talk to her about ppd as well. That didn't work out well, and I have since found a psychiatric nurse specializing in women's issues for counseling. Heather

Celexa, 20 mg to start then 30 mg after 6 weeks. I was encouraged to look into cognitive therapy. My doctor (family practitioner) recommended "Feeling Good" by David Burns in order to explore cognitive therapy. (My husband is a shift worker and we live on an acreage so getting out to meetings is not easy) Laura

Medication only from my psychiatrist. I have recently been seeing a psychologist who is wonderful. Alex

I first saw my OB and he prescribed Zoloft 50mg. He and his partner kept close tabs on me through my husband. I did not know they were doing this. At the time I felt betrayed but now I am thankful. Char

When I was hospitalized, I had daily group sessions throughout each day and met with a therapist twice while I was hospitalized. My psychiatrist also changed me from Zoloft to Celexa. I talked to my OB/GYN about my symptoms at my 6 weeks postpartum check-up. Stephanie

My OB prescribed Paxil but I only took for about a month because I started having bruising on my legs. He told me to discontinue Paxil and I am now on Wellbutrin, which I started 10 days ago. Kimberli

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8)Was it difficult to obtain treatment? Why (consider positives and negatives...family and friend support, doctor knowledge, insurance, stigma, resistant to drug or other therapies offered, other)?

The first time, I was so ashamed by my feelings/symptoms, that it was very difficult. Because I knew what PP illness was, the second time was NO PROBLEM-O! Jessica B

It wasn't really difficult once I made the decision to do it, but the stigma was a concern. I thought they might lock me up, but I got to a point where that didn't seem like a bad idea. Dh was supportive of seeking help. Family members freaked when I said I saw a psychiatrist. Family dr made it easy to see psychiatrist even though I was SCARED out of my mind. She took care of calling insurance and got me in right away and made it hard for me to say no. Melanie

I did not find it difficult to get treatment. My doctor had the knowledge. Judi

YES. My family dr wanted me to come see him in January 2001, but I refused saying I wasn't "crazy". I didn't want to admit I was having a problem. But finally when I started having my bad intrusive thoughts w/knives & how I thought my wrists were like rubber I knew I needed help. I had a great support network w/my family & the crisis hotline thru the hospital. I NEVER told anybody at work about my hospital stay, I just feel they won't understand. However they do know I suffer from PPD & I'm not ashamed of it. Dona

A difficult personal decision, but once made, relatively easy. Jessica

It was difficult, to start the actual conversation, with anyone. I was okay talking about it, as long as I wasnít the initiator. (sp?) Shelley

Yes -- hard to find time for myself with my children and busy life. Also, finding a PPD support group is non-existent where I live. I think this would have helped me tremendously. Rudy

It has always been difficult for me to admit when I am in a depressive state Christi

It was actually very easy to obtain treatment because of a good doctor and very caring Dh Samantha

none Magi

yes, I hate needing meds and find drs act pretty skeptical and condescending about it, which humiliates me more. Jamie

Yes once I got beyond my OBgyn it seemed that he didn't want to deal with it and there was no one else willing to help me if it wasn't for my therapist I would have probably taken my life. I just didn't have the energy or follow through with finding someone making appointments then getting there. My husband made sure I got to my appointments and went with me. Debbie

I wanted help wanted to get better. It was difficult to take the next step from my primary care dr. and his prescription of 20mg paxil to a psychiatrist. I felt a stigma that if I needed to see a psychiatrist I was really "crazy." Oh, how silly... Amy

The stigma of needing meds is the reason I waited a year and a half longer than I needed to get help. I just didn't know people on anti-depressants, and thought it was for really far-out problems, not just feeling like crap. Insurance has made it very difficult at times to continue my treatments, since my husband has changed jobs a couple times, and we haven't always had insurance. Heather

Not difficult except my own acceptance that I couldn't fix myself. My husband is supportive but baffled. I think he has depression too since the last couple of years have been so trying but we don't even go there. I am really struggling with the PMS now, which is an overt sign that he recognizes. My family and friends are extremely supportive but don't really understand the full extent of PPD. My mom does (she is an RN and has had eight children so has an inkling!) Laura

NO Alex

At the beginning I was just offered meds. I was reluctant to taking my meds and eventually became non-compliant which lead to all sorts of problems. It wasn't difficult to get this level of care. I didn't look any further as I was becoming paranoid Char

It was not difficult to obtain treatment. However, my husband and OB/GYN had to really convince me to get help. I was embarrassed and felt all alone with my symptoms. I didn't want anyone to know that I was going to have to be hospitalized. I also didn't want to leave my baby daughter and I felt like I was a horrible mother for not being able to be well enough mentally to handle her. Stephanie

I was feeling so weird that I wanted to get help. I don't know how people can go for years feeling down. It is just a miserable state to be in. Kimberli

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9)Did you get an "official" diagnosis? If so, what was the diagnosis (i.e. PPD, PPP, anxiety disorder, OCD, etc.)?

Yes. Both times I was diagnosed with hypothyroid related PPD. I feel that I have OCD-like characteristics to my PPD, but did not have any formal diagnoses of such a condition. Jessica B

Official diagnosis would be PPD with high anxiety and some symptoms of OCD. Melanie

The official diagnosis after the fact was ppp. Judi

PPD Dona

PPD and anxiety Jessica

Yes, I did, and the diagnosis was PPD, generalized anxiety disorder. Shelley

Coming today! Rudy

no official diagnosis Christi

PPD/OCD Samantha

at first it was just PPD, but PTS, and BPD was added later. Magi

no Jamie

I was diagnosed with PPD by my OB gyn and my psychiatrist refers to it as Major Depression as though PPD is not a diagnosis I don't understand this but that is how it is on paper. Debbie

OCD Amy I went to my dr the first time and gave her my diagnosis - ppd. She agreed. My more recent psychiatric nurse also agrees. Heather

Not official from a psychiatrist but my doc is saying PPD with PMDD. Laura

ppd/ocd but the hospital put me under "homicide ideation" Alex

I was hospitalized 15 days postpartum. My diagnosis was postpartum psychosis nos (not otherwise specified) Char

PPD Stephanie

My OB didn't come out and say I had postpartum. He just said I was going through a lot of changes with two small children. Kimberli

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10) Did you have tests to rule out other health problems before getting treatment for a postpartum mood disorder?

Yes. Thyroid tests, tests for psychosis, and PTSD tests. Jessica B

Yes, I did! I had my blood work ran twice. Once at 3 months and once at 6 months and I am glad I did, because like many with this illness I was convinced I had many physical ailments as well. Melanie

I got a thyroid test to rule out that. That was the only test they did on me. Judi

yes, thyroid and blood tests Dona

Not before, but I did have my thyroid checked shortly thereafter Jessica

No Shelley

No Rudy

no Christi

I had tests after I started getting treatment Samantha

None Magi

no Jamie

Yes, thyroid and other blood work etc. Debbie

I had a blood screen to rule out a thyroid condition. Amy

The only other test I've had is a thyroid test, and I had it well into my treatment for ppd. Heather

Yes, I had a CT scan for chronic pain in my sinuses, blood work to rule out thyroid or pancreas problems. Laura

No. Alex

As far as tests go, I know I received a comprehensive blood test...for thyroid etc. Other than that I don't remember Char no Stephanie

My OB did set up an appointment with an internist before starting any medication and everything came back fine. Kimberli

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11) Did you breastfeed or bottle-feed? How did this factor into your treatment?

I breastfed and supplemented with a bottle both times, but had to quit breastfeeding earlier than I would have liked to because I needed to take a sleeping medication BOTH times. It was a difficult decision, but I felt good about it once I made up my mind. Jessica B

I breastfed for 6 months when my dd weaned herself. I breastfed while on Buspar and then I went on Paxil but she was weaned by then.Melanie

I breastfed and then when the anxiety was too bad I went to bottle at about 6 weeks. Judi

breastfed and bottle-fed mostly Dona

Breastfed, had to stop. Thought I would continue pumping so I could go back to it (Good thing I gave up on that since I'm still on meds almost 2 years later!) Jessica

I bottle fed, and it made things easier for me, this way my dh and other family members could help with feedings. Shelley

Breastfed 11.5 months and would not take medicine until she was weaned completely. I think my high anxiety level played into this worrying way to much about what would happen to her if she got some of the Paxil. Rudy

bottle-fed so I could continue use of medication Christi

I breastfeed still....I did a whole lot of research prior to medicating Samantha

I breastfeed for the first two weeks but stopped because I lost the urge to have any contact with my baby. It made my depression heighten to the point of break down. Magi

breastfed, but she had just weaned. that was partly the reason I had not yet sought help though. Jamie

I breastfeed treatment was/is limiting because of this. I have also tried alternative treatments. Debbie

I breastfed for a short time, but could not handle the pressure it put on me or I caused it to be. I switched to bottle feeding really knowing that I would be back on meds and this would be the most comfortable choice for me. Amy

I breastfed both my babies till they were 12mo. My first dr. (after second baby) told me it was okay to take my meds while nursing - was quite adamant that the baby's biggest safety concern at that time was that I get on meds and get sane. When that baby was 12mo, a second dr. told me I had to stop nursing to switch meds. I didn't bother to research further or get a second opinion, as I was okay stopping at 12mo. Heather

Breastfed. It was done by the time I got treatment. Laura

Bottle feed. but I sought help when my son was 18 months old. He was off the bottle by then. Alex

I breastfed our first child. I loved it. With our second, I tried to breastfeed on Zoloft, which my OB said I could. The baby got diarrhea. When I was hospitalized, my baby was not with me. Although my husband brought her in twice a day we had decided to feed her by bottle. This absolutely devastated me as I thought that now anyone could feed her and that I really wasn't needed at all. I felt so deflated in self-value and meaning Char

I bottle fed Stephanie

I bottle feed my daughter. I also bottle feed my son. Kimberli

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12) What would you consider to be your lowest point emotionally during the postpartum period?

Just before I got treatment a little over four years ago, I thought seriously about killing myself for the first time in my life. Jessica B

One night when I was in such a rage I just wanted to hurt someone sooo badly. I had thoughts of suicide racing in my head (never even considered it before PPD) and a desire to cut myself. I steered away from the knives, which seemed to be so tempting , but I scratched my face with my fingernails. Melanie

My lowest point was trying to kill myself by slicing my arm. Judi

When I had to admit I had a problem & I couldn't handle it. I'm used to being in control & thrive under stress. To this day I can't believe I had suicidal thoughts. VERY SCARY Dona

Those initial few weeks before the meds kicked in Jessica

Probably the first 12 weeks, as they are all pretty much a blur. I was screaming a lot at my toddler, and I would get very angry every time the baby cried and wanted to be fed. I just felt like I was going crazy and no one else knew. Shelley

The crying and wishing that I would have never had another child. Fighting with my DH to the point of feeling like running away from everybody. Saying that I hate God and do not believe anymore. Doing a lot of soul searching lately! Rudy

there were several months there that I was pretty miserable...I argued daily with my husband and threatened almost daily to run away. I don't know where I was going to go! I considered suicide but didn't want ds to have to live with that for the rest of his life Christi

7 weeks PP after I first started taking meds. Samantha

At 2 months PP., suicidal thoughts and lack of interest in my baby. Magi

I hated myself so much I couldn't look in the mirror, hated dh for punishing me for something I couldn't help, cried all the time, could barely get up, would stay up late contemplating ways to die. Jamie

Probably when I was not sleeping I was much more emotional now I get down but know that when a day or two passes I can get back on track. Debbie

Right before I had the major panic attack that sent me to the emergency room I was in a constant state of fear--fear that I would hurt my baby, self, and others. I also felt a huge sense of unreality---like I did not know who I was or what was real. I was only sharing this with my therapist on a small basis. It became exhausting and that exhaustion brought on the unstoppable crying. I was just so afraid and exhausted!!!!! Amy

Probably the few weeks well into my treatment when we didn't have insurance, and I couldn't afford my meds. I had felt suicidal before, first wanting to take the kids with me, cause who could care for them like I? Later I used my children as a reason to NOT commit suicide. At this low time, I decided suicide was a must. I felt like such a horrible mother, that I believed it would be better for my children if I killed myself and wasn't around anymore. I didn't want to give my children abandonment issues though, so it had to look like an accident. I spent a long time trying to figure out how to throw myself in front of a truck or something. One other time I felt that badly was when I was pregnant with my first baby. At about 8 months along, I was very serious about suicide. I didn't want my baby to die, though. I spend days and days almost getting in my car to drive to the emergency room, walk in, and slit my throat. I wanted to hurt myself badly enough that they couldn't save me, but could save my baby. In hindsight, I'd say I needed some help then, huh? Heather

That is a tough one to answer. It was very bad when my first baby was 3 months old (after the colic and illness and severe sleep deprivation). But the worst was probably just recently, when I went in for help. Carrying these awful feelings for so long has really worn me down. Laura

The guilt of having those horrible thoughts. Alex

The lowest point for me was the day I believed the lie that I had ruined my children and that social services was going to bang down my door and take the kids should I fall asleep. Char

My lowest point was 3 days before I went into the mental hospital for treatment. I could not stop crying all day. I stayed in the bed and only got up to feed and change the baby. I kept thinking about death all day. I had a plan for suicide. My husband had to leave work and come stay with me for safety reasons. Stephanie

I say the whole ordeal of having to cope with this. I am just waiting for that dark cloud to disappear from over my head and start enjoying life the way I use to. Kimberli

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13) What things do you think might have helped avoid or lessen the severity and/or duration of your postpartum mood disorder?

Education about PP illnesses and the de-stigmatization (Is that a word?!?!) of the illnesses. Accepting support from family members. Early treatment/intervention. Jessica B

MEDICATION, knowledge, support (like this forum) and exercise.Melanie

I wish there was more knowledge out there. Judi

I should have sought help sooner. I believe my PPD wouldn't have been so bad if I would have gotten help sooner. Dona

Being more aware of my mental health during and right after my pregnancy possibly through an OBGYN screening during appts. including the 6-week postpartum follow-up. May have avoided it altogether if I had gone on meds immediately Jessica

Uncontrollable things, like my fathers death, lack of knowledge, a more understanding physician, better medical insurance. Overall, if society had a better understanding, than, those of us that suffer through this would feel so ashamed, and "crazy" and instead I think would talk more freely about what we really feel. Shelley

Support group to know I was not alone. Rudy

I will stay on the medication I am on now during my next pregnancy, and hopefully it will work out better. If not, I know that I can get through it! Christi

getting help sooner and being more prepared for the possibility of PPD Samantha

more understanding mate, and support from friends and family, removing ones self from any abuse of any kind. Magi

a better relationship, more support, meds earlier on, maybe some therapy, just anything for me rather than just a life of serving others thanklessly Jamie

Accepting the lack of control you have when your hormones are unbalanced believing I don't have control over it and being able to make informed decisions on treatment someone to hold your hand literally I think if the OB-Gyn office had a group or medical facility in place to refer people to it would have helped. Debbie

I think being warned that it is so much more normal than is thought. I just thought I was plain crazy, but this happens to so many women (unfortunately) I had no idea. If that were the case, perhaps, I would not have felt the stigma I did in seeking proper care. Also, I tried to people please, even after the birth of my daughter---entertain guests, have my house clean and food made for my husband, listening to friends and familiesí problems--I should have allowed myself to just stay in bed and snuggle with my baby more... Amy

Well, my pregnancies have been really close, and I have never recovered from ppd between them. I'm hoping for that chance after this baby is born. The only thing that helped with severity is finally getting on meds. Heather

Support, a healthier baby, More breaks (babysitters), less family turmoil (my father's illness and death) Laura

If I would have been informed as I am now about the symptoms and to be reassured that it is ok to "feel like loosing it". Alex

I think what would have really helped me is a longer time in the hospital. This was my first experience with psychotropic meds and I was released after 13 days. Although at the time I wanted to go home, I really don't think the meds had kicked in and I certainly had not bought into the fact that I really needed them Char

I think maybe joining a group of women who were newly mothers going through postpartum depression. A medication change would have probably helped since Zoloft was no longer working for me. I know that being admitted to the hospital for PPD helped tremendously. Stephanie

I really don't know what would have helped because all these feelings are so new to me. I guess just knowing this could happen. Kimberli

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14) Do you think anything positive came from the experience you had postpartum? If so, what?

YES! My children, for one. For another, I feel MUCH stronger than I ever felt before suffering from PP illness. When you've gone through hell and survived to tell the tale, you tend to not sweat the small stuff and just about everything becomes small stuff. Jessica B

Absolutely! I know sooooo much about postpartum mood disorders, have been interviewed on local TV stations about it and have gotten very involved in helping other women with a local support group, DAD volunteer contact and member of PSI. Itís actually given me some direction and purpose.Melanie

I am now a more positive person and know myself more in depth. I am stronger because of ppd Judi

YES. I have changed my view on mental illness. Anyone can get it & you shouldn't be ashamed. You need to ask for help & I've learned to be more accepting of others. I also grew up a lot the last year. I don't take life for granted. Finally I found this site. I love it here, very supportive. Dona

EVERYTHING! My life has been transformed. It sucks sometimes but it has been an amazing growth experience. I have come to know myself and gotten closer to loved ones. I cherish every day-good and bad Jessica

Yes, I realized I have strength inside me that I didnít know existed. I have a lot more patience with my children, and I just feel more compassionate all around. Shelley

I will reach out to others and watch my daughters after they give birth. Rudy

Not really Christi

my son....I can't think of much else at this time....well, maybe figuring out that I do have the strength to get through tough times Samantha

I found out who my true friends a family was, and having a sec. child with and knowing the signs of PPD will help if it reoccurs. Magi

no. Jamie

Yes, I believe I have grown as a person, I'm less judgmental and much more compassionate. Of course my precious child she is what I held onto during this whole ordeal. I am sad that I had to go through this and I feel scared. Debbie

Absolutely. I know myself and how to handle my emotions and feelings better. I know about this and am able to assist others. Amy

I'm still looking for silver linings, and learning to accept this new person as me. I think that when I feel a little stronger, and am ready to embrace myself and my life, that I will be amazed at how tough I am. :) I have certainly gained a lot of compassion, esp. for people that others would put down as crazy, or doing the unspeakable. I am not so quick to judge. Heather

So far itís hard to say. I'm still in a pretty big hole. I have two lovely children and a husband I respect immensely. That is important. I am becoming way more educated about brain chemistry and know to be on the look out for problems when menopause kicks in. I am closer to my girl friends who have shared their concerns and anxieties with me. I am way more sensitive to the pain and suffering that so many women endure. I guess there are actually a lot of positives. Laura

I now know symptoms and if it reoccurs with a 2nd baby, then I will seek help ASAP. Alex

A doctor who worked with me has told me that because of my experiences several OB are reacting differently to PPD, hospitalizing patients who are borderline rather than just "waiting it out". Perhaps someone somewhere might avoid the pain I and my family know due to PPD Char

I met with other people who had similar problems with depression. However, I did not interact with a specific group just for PPD and that would have helped me more. Stephanie

I think once I finally do come out of postpartum I will be a stronger person. Kimberli

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15) Did your postpartum experience influence whether or not you will/have had more children? In what way?

Yes. I decided to have another child, but I was very proactive and talked about the risks of a reoccurrence with my OBGYN, who was very knowledgeable on the subject. She was a great person to have on my team of experts!! Jessica B

Yes, it really has. I have only one child and I thought by now I would be trying for #2, but the truth is that I don't really even like babies now and have no desire for another one. I think this definitely stems from PPD. Itís very vivid in my mind.Melanie

Not really we already have 3 and now with a down syndrome child who is perfectly healthy and right on par, we are blessed enough. Judi

Even though we were finished having children(we have a son that will be 4 this May), I would never want to risk PPD again. I'm so afraid to go back to the pit again. I NEVER want to feel that LOW again. Dona

I am still very reluctant to have another baby although I would like one Jessica

Yes, Iím not sure now, if I will ever have any more children. Shelley

I wasn't planning on having any more after this one, but it definitely killed any little thought of a fourth. Rudy

No, I am still planning on having at least one more Christi

I am afraid to have more children but the more time that goes by, the more that fear fades. I am not making any harsh decisions about it at this time. Samantha

when I found out I was pregnant a second time, I dreaded the idea of going through another bout of PPD and at first had a hard time copping, but I relaxed an tried everything differently from the first preg. and ended up able to cope better and learned to enjoy all growth and pains inside of me. Magi yes. I am getting fixed in two weeks and that plays a big role. Jamie

Yes, I will not have another child we were going to have one more after her but because of the high risk of getting PPD again and having 3 already we will stop with her. Debbie

Of course I fear the worst again, but my main concern is the meds. I am not comfortable going through pregnancy on meds, but would love another child. Weíll see... Amy

This pregnancy, my third, was a complete surprise. I used to want lots of kids, but after my ppd was so bad with my second child, I didn't know if I would dare get pregnant again. The surprise took it out of my hands. If it goes badly again, this may be my last baby. That is hard for me to accept, but I need to be able to mother the children I already have, not be a crazy lady breeding. Heather

I feel sick at the thought of having more children but don't plan to anyway. I'm 42 now and that is the outside of the envelope for me. I'm glad I had my children and try to keep telling my self that it will be easier and better. Laura

At the moment, I want to wait and see how everything goes. I am still afraid. Alex

My experience, which includes more than what has been asked here today, has definitely aided my husband and I in realizing that for everyone's safety, it would be in my best interest to not have anymore children. This breaks my heart...I had a tubal ligation almost a year ago Char

I don't know if I will have more children. I don't want to go through PPD all over again. Stephanie

My husband and I had already decided to not have anymore children before postpartum began but I know I would not want anymore children because I would not want to go through this again. Kimberli

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16) What advice would you give to expectant mothers and to mothers who are dealing with a difficult postpartum period?

Get treatment early! PP illness is treatable. You aren't a failure, a bad person, or a bad mommy. You are not the only one. Jessica B

You are NOT ALONE, this is NOT your fault, you can't just "snap out of it"....it's biochemical, and it IS a temporary and curable disorder.Melanie

I would tell women to make sure to fight the long haul. There will be ups and downs and forward steps and backward steps and relapses, but in the end. You will love yourself more and if you have supportive husband it will strengthen your relationship. Judi

Take it from me, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I remember a time when I kept wondering will this ever end? I'm never going to be myself again. I can't do this any longer. But you CAN & you will get thru it. Please believe in yourself & lean on others & take the support & help you so desperately need & deserve. If you decide to take medication don't be ashamed of it. For me, it was the BEST decision I made. The Effexor helped me very much. Dona

TALK to your husband, a therapist, a support group. Don't beat yourself up-we are not Superwomen or Super moms! Jessica

Seek professional help immediately. You donít have to suffer. Youíre not alone. Reach out to anyone who will listen to you and offer a shoulder to lean on and a hand to help with the baby. Get plenty of rest, and eat a balanced diet! Shelley

Call your OB and ask for help! Rudy

SEEK HELP, and keep asking until you feel better Christi

make sure you have a loving support system and take care of yourself the best you can!!! Pamper yourself, you deserve it! Samantha

look to lean on people who have had similar situations, they understand and are more willing to help then those that have no idea what we are dealing with. Also, Time... don't think you will wake up tomorrow and it will all go away, I won't. Time will easy your pain. Magi

get good medical care fast and I hope they have a better husband and support system than I do. Jamie

Get help and comfort wherever you can, if you are not able to care for your children don't, have to care for yourself first. Debbie

seek help---everywhere. if your dr., does not know about ppd, move on, call the hospital where you delivered, seek a psychiatrist---you are worth expert medical assistance! also, be good to yourself, no one is perfect, let others help you. it is okay if all of your dishes are not done. it is okay to have someone hold your baby while you nap for 30 mins. Take walks!!!!! talk about your feelings!!!! seek people who are supportive and talk, talk, talk!!!! have a support system!!!!!! Amy

Get help! I waited over a year, because I didn't think I was bad enough. Now, I think, what a waste of a year that could have been good. I would also say, if you are in a very bad place at the moment, in the bottom of the pit, just hold on. Hold on for a few more minutes, for one more day. When things are very bad, you forget that it was ever better, and that it will get better again. Your whole world seems like a cocoon of misery. But, it WILL get better. It will get better and better until you are in such a good place that you forget how bad it was. And that's great. :) Finally, don't get upset when you have setbacks. If a good week has you very excited, take that for what its worth, instead of assuming you are all better. You will have more bad days, but it doesn't mean you are sliding back down the pit. The good days will just start outnumbering the bad. And, remember, every mother without ppd had bad days, too. Heather

Ask for support. Don't suffer in silence. It doesn't have to be so hard. (Don't be surprised if its not easy either) Laura

Get help now. There is a lot of help out there. Alex

The advice I would give another Mom who is going through PPD, is that what you're experiencing is a season. It will pass, it is painful and you are not alone. It is important to link up with other Moms. The best way I know of doing that is to get involved with MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) this is an international support group for Moms, it's awesome. I believe without it and the support I still receive, I would not have made it. Char

If you are dealing with a difficult situation or are having the symptoms of depression after having delivered, then get help!!!!! Don't put it off and don't feel like you are all alone. My biggest downfall was not getting help sooner. I kept thinking I would get better especially when I had good days. Stephanie

To hang in there and try to get as much information as you can. Kimberli

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17) What advice would you give to the family and friends of these same women?

Be supportive. Be patient. Don't EVER tell your loved one to snap out of it!! PPD/PPP is an illness, not a choice. Educate yourself with books like, "The Postpartum Husband" and get support for yourself outside of your wife. Jessica B

Be patient, supportive, know that there will be ups and downs and even in the scope of recovery there will be stumbles. Read "The Postpartum Husband" and follow it! Melanie

Resource all info possible!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and come here. Judi

Please be there to listen & don't judge and say you can snap out of it. I wish it were that easy. If it was, believe me I would have loved to "just snap out of it". Dona

Read a book on it. Try to step into her shoes and if you can't just be in tune to her and offer to help Jessica

Just be there for her. Help with the baby, let her rest, and listen, I mean really listen to her when she talks, and even when she doesnít. Shelley

Hug her, listen to her, tell her it will be okay and that she is not alone. Rudy

Hang in there and encourage, support, and love. You may even have to insist that she get help, but do it for the health of mom and child. Also, make sure she gets some time for herself. Christi

This is real, not in their heads and it is up to you to help so please do just that. Samantha

Listen, although we may not make total sense and/or you can't understand, just being there as a support person helps more then you will ever know. Don't judge either. Judging only makes matters worse. Magi

don't blame them and get mad at them -- it isn't their fault and you are only making it worse. do something to help take the edge of - fold the laundry or take the kids out for a few hours. Jamie

Educate yourselves, believe that this happens, take over wherever you can to help even if it is doing everything listen to you spouse or daughter or friend. Or if you just have to make sure she has TLC and sleep. Debbie

Donít be judgmental...be supportive and educate yourself. Amy

Help her get help, if she is beyond doing it herself. I couldn't believe how impossible it was for me to pick up the phone and call a dr. - it was utterly beyond my coping skills and motivation. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER hold her illness over her head. Tell her she is a good mother. Pick up the slack around the house, and try to resent it as little as if she had an illness you understood better, like cancer. Get help and rest for yourself. Heather

Always offer to give free babysitting, or, even just come hold a fussy baby. Always really listen for signs of sadness, weariness, despair. They are not that easy to hide. Pay attention. It can be a very lonely business caring for a baby. Laura

Lots of support and doing activities together. Alex

For the family and friends I would say please be patient. Please do not allow yourselves to become overwhelmed to the point where you don't see the changes in your loved one. Don't ever forget that PPD is an illness and that your loved one needs you, to understand, to listen, to just be there. Most importantly, do remember that PPD can lead to tragedy, it's always better to seek professional help when you first are concerned rather than to wait until it is too late. Char

If you are noticing any behavior changes that may suggest PPD, then try to get help for your loved one. My husband had to make the phone call to my OB/GYN for me to get help. Be supportive and understanding and use positive feedback. Tell your loved one that they are not a bad mother for having PPD. My husband, family, and friends were so supportive of me even more than I thought they would be. That has helped my recovery!! Stephanie

Listen!! Kimberli

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18) Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently (i.e. seek help sooner, switched doctors, paid more attention to the mood section in the pregnancy books, etc.)?

I would have learned about the warning signs of PP illness and gotten help earlier the first time around. The second time, I feel I did everything really well and boy, did it make a huge difference in the amount of time I suffered and the severity of the suffering was significantly less! Jessica B

Seek advice quicker. Obviously I wish that I had known more about postpartum mood disorders, but frankly I just thought PPD meant you cry all the time and it is really hard to diagnose in one's self. Melanie

I DEF would have sought help sooner & admit I had a problem. I was lucky to have a great doctor. Dona

definitely paid more attention to the mood section of preg. books, gotten a referral for a therapist from someone who has gone through it. Jessica

No, thatís the scary part, there is nothing I wouldíve done differently. Shelley

I'm not sure ... still sorting it all out! Rudy

not really. I knew that there was a very strong possibility that I would have PPD because of my history, so I feel I was pretty well prepared. It is just something you really can't prepare for until you are there, I think. Christi

I would have gotten help sooner and paid more attention to the books Samantha I can't say never gotten pregnant because I cherish my children but better choosing of my mate to father my child would be an option. Magi

got help sooner Jamie

This is hard because I still a year later battle this awful illness I still don't accept it and that hinders the healing process but it is so hard to believe for me. Debbie

I think I answered this above... Amy

As I've said, I would have gotten help after the birth of my first baby - or even during that pregnancy. Even if you don't think you want meds, you need a professional to help you decide what course to follow. That person can also see you slipping when you don't. Heather

Yes, I would have sought help sooner. I remember seeing things on PPD and just blowing them off "oh, I couldn't get depressed. That is for women who really have a hard time" When I look back I see that I was one of those women. The strong ones are always in danger. I've learned so many mechanisms for dealing with life's ups and downs that I was thoroughly convinced I could just handle this if I just worked on my accountability, choosing to respond and live authentically, etc. I never realized my own brain was sick and struggling and all the positive thinking in the world could not fix it (but it is helpful). Laura

Seek help sooner Alex

I wish I would have been compliant with my MEDS. I wish I would have shared my paranoid thoughts...like cameras in my curtains watching me to see whether I was a fit mom... with someone. I wish I would have just risked and realized that what seemed so hopeless and so permanent was really very temporary. Unfortunately, some of the decisions we make when we have tunnel vision end up with very tragic, permanent results. I wish I would have had someone I felt I could trust. I wish I never had PPD. I wish... Char

I would have gotten help sooner. I would have tried to find a PPD group to join. Stephanie

I don't think I would have done anything differently. Kimberli

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19) Please add any additional comments below:

It WILL get better. Please try not to be ashamed of taking medicine as it is no different than a heart patient taking his medicine. Use your voice to be heard so that others do not suffer in silence! Melanie

My additional comments are that recovery is a wonderful and when you are here it is so amazing and you want to help as many people as possible. I love being a ppp survivor. Judi

It's a roller coaster, but it does end. I still have bad days (like today-that's why I'm here) but it has helped me to love myself and others more! Jessica

This forum helped me more than any doctor ever did, and I sincerely mean that Tonya. I think this place has given many women an outlet, and a place to come and talk with out feeling judged, and that is very important when it comes to recovery! Shelley

I hate what this has done to me this year. I really have not enjoyed my new baby like I should. The exhaustion and worrying has crushed me. I am looking forward to feeling better and getting back to being my old self. I would like to try and help others once I am back on my feet. Rudy

Informative books, talk therapy, medications, therapist all help but ultimately you have to find what works for you yourself or a combination thereof. Debbie

One of the things I've read often on these boards and have often felt myself, is: Where is ME? I feel that the essential "me" has been lost. Where is the person I used to be? What I have been trying to focus on lately, is that change is inevitable. I'm wishing for a person who wouldn't exist now, anyway. Even without ppd, motherhood would have changed me. And, that's okay. Though I sometimes feel like an empty husk, I'm trying to see that as an opportunity - an opportunity to choose who I am, now. As I feel better, I can reclaim some of the things that I miss from my carefree single days. I can add good traits I never had. I also must mention that God and prayer have been there for me at my lowest points, even the times when I didn't feel that mattered. You need all the support you get right now, and I recommend turning to your Heavenly Father for His love and care and comfort. Heather

Thank you for making the effort to gather and disseminate this information. I know I don't have as many problems as some women but I still feel that I need a lot of help or else I might never get out into the light again. The forum helps. Laura

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