Monday, August 8, 2011

Part 1: PPE, PPB, PPD

Part 1:
The title seems to sound like something you'd eat, like PB&J, but obviously it's not. Many of you have guessed that it is, in fact, postpartum exhaustion/blues/depression.

Each one of those is a separate issue. They are NOT the same.

I remember after delivering #2. My mom had left after 5 days and I was so sad and cried. I took a walk and when I came back home, I still felt deflated, sad and really down. Luke was a little beside himself and kept mentioning depression.

I was irate. I couldn't believe that he would jump to that conclusion. Just because my mom had left, we had graduated from college and were moving across the country didn't mean that I was suffering from depression. I remember looking up the definition of PPB (postpartum blues) and PPD (postpartum depression). CLEARLY there was a difference and I wasn't depressed.

From what I had read, depression didn't really manifest itself until a few weeks after delivery. It had only been 5 days.

Looking back, I should have seen that as a sign. No, they aren't the same and no depression is not always the by-product of PPB, BUT I should've been willing to look past that and at least mentioned it to my doctor.

After doing a bit of research, I found that almost 80% of women suffer from some form of moodiness and mild blues. I totally get that! Your body has just been through a HUGE event, sometimes tramatic, and your hormones are completely out of whack!

It is normal that you are tired and irritable. It is normal if you start to cry or have sleeplessness. It's normal that you can't concentrate like you used to or that you feel like you are all alone. Headaches? Normal. I promise. You aren't crazy and you aren't going to go off the deep end. You are tired. Get some sleep...

On the other hand, PPD is much more serious.* The feelings of hopelessness and despair. The anxiety and sadness. The late nights staying up and crying. That is when you need to pick up the phone and get some help.

Part 2 to come...

*I'm not going to go into postnatal psychosis because I don't have any experience with that.


Rebecca said...

I suffered from PPD after my second. Luckily I understood the signs and got help right away! It happens to the best of us and sometimes the only way to take care of it is medication! I thought if I went to my doctor and told them the thoughts I had been having, that they would send me packing to a mental institution. On the contrary, they were so kind and supportive and understanding and made me feel "normal" for going through this. I got on meds right away and was able to actually control my thoughts and actions! PPD can be hell on earth and nobody should have to suffer through it and not get help!

Trapper and Suzy said...

Katie, I admire you for you tackling this issue. Some women find this issue very sensitive and upsetting to talk about. I don't. You know me. Anything goes. But I really appreciate this entry. (Good grief, how come Trapper thinks he needs to look over my shoulder at everything I'm typing?? I truly hate it.) Anyway, PPD is serious and getting medication does help. I've often, through out the last year or two, wondered if I needed more help. It's a tough issue and it really is insulting sometimes to think that I would have "problems." I hated it too when Trapper would immediately jumped to conclusions. So....yeah, I can't wait to read the next entry about this. Loved your thoughts.