When my daughter was two years old, and I finally started to get help for my postpartum depression, I joined a Facebook online support group. It was so helpful talking to others daily from all over the world going through the same. Once I started to heal though, it became too depressing to read the same stuff over and over. I had to take a break for a while. Eventually I got far enough away from what happened that I joined one again, but this time more to offer advice and comfort than to get it. As I read some of the same things over and over then and now, I could not help but think how many people have no idea their mother, sister, wife, daughter or friend are having these thoughts. It is not as rare as you think.
These support groups often have tens of thousands of people in one support group alone and there are so many. I decided to post some of the thoughts I have seen over the years that are pretty common to see, while removing anything that could identify anyone who shared them. I have shared some of my own similar ones in my book and I know they shock people, but so many people are thinking them and feel more comfortable sharing them with strangers than the people they love. Here are a few common ones:
“If you were me.. Accidentally driving your car over a bridge… doesn’t seem such a bad idea at this time. But then again, I thought of my… kids, overthinking, again, who’s gonna look after them if i did drove a car over a bridge. So no. Felt different suddenly. And thought just suck it up. Tomorrow is another day woman. Hopefully not like today. We can do this. I can do this. I hope.”
“I feel so broken. It’s 2:45am and I’m sitting on my bedroom floor crying as silently as I can so I don’t wake my baby, who has been awake 5 times since 8pm. I haven’t slept yet, insomnia is hitting me hard tonight…I wanted to scream at her, I wanted to punch the wall. The tears started and the guilt washed over me. I feel like the absolute worst person in the whole world. She doesn’t deserve this. I hate that I feel this way. I hate that I’ve wanted a family my whole life and now that I have one all I feel is rage and sadness and like this was a huge mistake.”
“What do you do when you absolutely hate the person that you are? I used to be a good person and a good mom, but now I don’t feel like I’m either. I don’t even feel like a good wife or friend. I feel like I’m failing my kids and my husband. I’ve completely lost the person that I used to be and I don’t know who I am anymore.”
“My child is 2 ! Why am I still suffering ??? ”
The estimates vary but it is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of women experience baby blues the first two weeks after having a baby. These go away on their own but another 10 to 20 percent develop postpartum mood disorders such as postpartum depression, postpartum OCD or postpartum anxiety. Sometimes they develop more than one and how long they last can often depend on how quickly they get help. Less than one percent of women develop postpartum psychosis which is what you normally see cases of on the news due to women harming themselves and/or their children. Even most women with this disorder do not harm themselves or their children. Usually the symptoms are more obvious, so it is caught earlier and they normally get help earlier.
What this all tells us is that most women get depressed if even for a short time after having a child, but most of them do not end up harming themselves or their child. The fear of people thinking that is one big reason a lot of people do not get help sooner. They are scared to tell anyone and they feel ashamed for their thoughts even if they cannot help it and do not act on them. I just want anyone going through this to know, you are not alone and you can get better. A lot of people do not want to talk about it because it is depressing, which is why my book has some humor in it and so do some of my blogs and posts on my pages. Learning to laugh about everything again was another step in healing for me.
Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook, or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here. Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor