I just read a great article on the Postpartum Progress blog. She has put together a fabulous resource for women suffering from PPD.
I’m just going to summarize here, but please read the full article as she gives so much more information:
1. How long did you suffer from PPD before you reached out for treatment?
2. How severe is your illness?
3. How effective is the treatment you have been using?
4. How effective is the doctor or therapist you are working with?
5. What is your current life situation and how may it be affecting your recovery?
6. What have you been doing to follow your treatment plan and take care of yourself?
This last one is my favorite. We often get so busy taking care of our children, partners and homes that we put ourselves last on the list. Mothers tend to be the primary caregiver in the home and are depended on to complete a huge variety of tasks throughout the day; often we feel there is an expectation to do this all with a spring in our step and a song on our lips.
But if we as mothers are the foundation of the family, then we owe it not just to ourselves but to our family to make sure we take care of ourselves. This includes eating regularly and mindfully, taking brief moments throughout the day to rest and recharge (even if it is hiding in the bathroom with the door locked to read a few pages from a book or magazine; ignore those little fingers poking under the door and find your own space), and letting your partner handle some of the load.
There is a light at the tunnel. Children get older and you will eventually get more time to yourself, and more sleep. Know that there is help out there; do not be ashamed, and reach out.