If there's one thing I've learned from surviving postpartum depression and anxiety, it's that there's something to be learned from everything we experience, even if it's not apparent as we're going through it. If you're wondering how to get through postpartum depression because you're in the thick of it, or you're pregnant and worried you may end up having it after you give birth, I'm here to tell you that, if nothing else, you're not alone.
I think the two hardest things about battling postpartum depression are the stigma attached to feeling badly when you have a new baby, and actually reaching out for help. I remember people telling me that "the Baby Blues are normal" whenever I said I felt "off." Sure, feeling all kinds of different ways after giving birth is totally normal, but it's important that when a new mom says she feels off, that people listen to her, and ask her more questions. Because that word "normal" can either serve as a strengthening, validating, reassuring thing, or it can be used to dismiss and discount and look past some very real, decidedly not normal problems.
So many new moms, myself included, often try to just power through whenever we feel like something's wrong. We do this for a variety of reasons: It's scary to ask for help, as it is time-consuming; it's embarrassing; and hey, you've managed to get by so far, right? Well, it's possible you're one of the "lucky" ones who can manage without telling anybody, right? Maybe if you just don't say anything, this unshakable feeling of things being "off" will go away, and you'll have gotten through it without anyone else knowing about it (and subsequently judging you for it). And this very well might be true; maybe you could just hunker down within yourself and get through these issues on your own — but at what cost would you be doing so?
In the end, only you can determine what’s best, if this is something you’re going through. What I will tell you, though, is that when you finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, you will recognize the strength that you have gained for having survived such a difficult time. Here's how: