May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Here’s My Story.

postpartum-depression

As we prepare for takeoff, I’ve been sharing how we’re getting ready for our first family vacation–but today I’m talking about something more serious.

When The DJ  was born a full month before his due date, my husband and I were thrown into parenthood. The physical and emotional stress of preterm labor and a baby in the NICU  began to weigh on me after a few days. I was frustrated with pumping, trying to figure out new motherhood, and I hadn’t slept in days because my mind just wouldn’t let me  rest. I wasn’t acting like myself–and after I woke up in the back of an ambulance, we figured out why. Read the rest of my birth story here.

According to the Center for Disease Control, 11 to 20% of the women who give birth each year have symptoms of postpartum depression. NPR reports that every 1 in 7 new moms is affected. When the “baby blues” turns into a deeper sadness, low energy, changes in your sleeping and eating, a reduced desire for sex, crying episodes, anxiety, and irritability, postpartum depression is often the case.

Postpartum Depression: Facts and Figures
Source: Fix.com Blog

More sudden and intense, postpartum psychosis strikes in only 1 to 2 out of every 1,000 deliveries, or around 0.1% of births. Within the first month after delivery, psychosis causes a woman to temporarily experience a break from reality. Irritability, a decreased need for sleep, hyperactivity, mood swings, paranoia, and hallucinations are just a few of the symptoms of this scary, but temporary psychiatric emergency.

MyMommyVents started as a way for me to share my experience with postpartum depression and psychosis. After speaking with a therapist, she assured me that I wasn’t “crazy,” but my body had gone through shock, my mind was tired, and my system crumbled under all of the stress.

postpartum-psychosis-story

I was nervous about sharing my story–but I think that part of the reason why it happened was for me to be able to help someone else. By telling my story honestly, I’m doing my part to help remove the stigma of mental illness, especially in the African American community.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. If you or someone you know is dealing with postpartum depression or psychosis, know that you’re not alone. For information, support, and resources in English and Spanish,  call the Postpartum Support International Warmline at 1-800-944-4773(4PPD). In the event of an emergency, always call 911.

Postpartum Depression: Coping Techniques
Source: Fix.com Blog

Tiffani
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Tiffani

Tiffani is the wife and mom behind MyMommyVents, co-creator of The Mommy Conference, and co-founder of the digital collective Sisterhued. Her writing and parenting tips have been seen on The Washington Post, Mommy Noire, Yahoo Parenting, and Fit Pregnancy.
Tiffani
Find me here