03 October 2011

It's not always easy being a blabbermouth

Despite the impression you might get from interacting with me on the internet or reading my blog, I can be shy when I first meet people. It can take a little while for me to come out of my shell as my first response to being in a new setting or around new people can be to sit quietly and observe. However, once you get to know me, I can be quite the talker and on occasion, it can be hard to get me to shut up. I'm a talker, what can I say? You never would have guessed, right? Yeah yeah, insert smart aleck jokes and responses here... One of my favorite topics to talk about is Post Partum Depression and my experiences with it. You never would have guessed that either, right?

It's (usually) easy now for me to talk about, because I've discovered that talking about it gives me power over it, and I love that I've been able to help others by talking about it. I never ever want anyone who knows me to feel like they or their loved one have to suffer alone and/or in silence due to a lack of anyone who understands. I want everyone to know that there is at least one person who gets it and who won't judge. It wasn't always easy to talk about though. In fact, for a long time, I tried to make sure nobody knew that I had any problems, or had been in a mental hospital, or anything of the sort. I felt like I would be judged and found lacking, seen as a bad mom, looked down on, made fun of. I was still worried that someone would try to take my baby away.

Why did I decide to start talking about it? I think it was because I wanted others to know that they could come to me if they were experiencing anything like it, or knew someone who was. Then it turned into a desire to educate people so that they could know the warning signs to look for in their loved ones. Then it evolved into wanting to help combat the stigma asociated with PPD and mental/emotional health problems in general. However, I know from experience that it's not always easy to talk about. So, I wanted to pass along a video that @yaelsaar on twitter shared with me during the #ppdchat today.


Yael made this video so that it would be a resource for people who need a way to help talk about PPD. It's VERY good and has a lot of good facts and statistics. Now. I'm not saying that you need to start a blog or write articles or anything like that. However, if you are suffering from PostPartum Depression, Anxiety, OCD, PTSD, Psychosis, or any other postpartum mood disorder, you do need to talk to family members about it. They need to know what you're going through. Why? So they can understand you, support you, look out for you. They need to know that it's not just as easy as getting more sleep, deciding to get over it, or praying more often.

They also need to know that it's okay for them to experience their own confusion and to need support of their own. As was covered in the #ppdchat today on twitter, PostPartum Depression and other PPMD don't only affect the mom. They affect those living and interacting with the mom and it's okay for them to need to seek counseling of their own. There should never be any shame in saying "I don't know how to deal with this, I don't know how I feel".

It's not always easy to talk about PostPartum Depression but I believe that it is important. Some ideas for opening up the conversation:
Show them the video linked above.
Show them this blog.
Show them another blog such as PostPartum Progress or My Postpartum Voice.
Show them links such as PostPartum Support Int'l and the information on PPD that's available at March of Dimes or any other resource link on my blog.
Take them to a doctor's appointment with you and let the healthcare professional do the heavy lifting.

What ways have you found to open the lines of communication? If you are a family member, what did your loved one do to start the conversation?

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