Postpartum depression, for so many mothers, feels like you're drowning. For those around you that can't or don't understand exactly how you're feeling, it can be difficult for them to offer you exactly what you need to stay afloat. Trust me, I know. I suffered from a nearly devastating bout of postpartum depression, and had it not been for my partner, I might not have come out on the other side as successfully as I did. Every grown-ass man can help with postpartum depression, and I'm thankful that mine did, even if he didn't know exactly how to at the time.
Of course, this isn't to say that all parents are in heteronormative relationships, or that men are the only partners who can help a woman suffering from postpartum depression. Clearly, that's not true. However, when a cisgender male can't physically know what it's like to have postpartum depression, his support is meaningful and worthwhile and in so many cases, vital. When I started showing the signs of postpartum depression, I initially kept them to myself. I was afraid of what others would think if they saw me feeling anything less than elated, so for a long time I kept my struggle a secret. I'm hardly alone in my fear of telling others how I felt though. A lot of women hide their postpartum depression because of the stigma that society places on mental illness, and because they're convinced so many people around them just won't understand.
Despite this stigma, we shouldn't have to suffer alone. Thankfully, in my own case, my partner realized that I didn't seem like my usual self, and stepped in. With his support, I finally sought help for my postpartum depression. We got through it together, and I'm certain that if I didn't have him to lean on during some of those dark moments, I might still be suffering in silence. So, if you too think you might be suffering from postpartum depression, and you need help from your partner but aren't quite sure how to ask for it, show them the following nine things.