Sitting in the doctor’s office, I felt nervous. I started to think, why did the CAS lady think I had postpartum depression? I did a quick google search, “symptoms of postpartum depression”.
- Depressed mood (subjective or observed); be irritable mood in children and adolescents, most of the day; YES – My husband would agree that I wasn’t a pleasure to be around.
- Loss of interest or pleasure, most of the day – YES – I was sad for about 75% of the day.
- Change in weight or appetite. – YES – I had lost weight, I just had a baby. But other than that I was eating okay.
- Insomnia or hypersomnia; – YES – Oh I definitely had hypersomnia. I wanted to sleep every chance I got. Some would argue that this was a side effect of being a new mom. But I didn’t feel physically exhausted. I felt mentally exhausted all of the time.
- Psychomotor retardation or agitation (observed); NO?- I wasn’t sure what this point meant, someone else would need to confirm this one for me
- Loss of energy or fatigue; – YES – I was very tired.
- Worthlessness or guilt; – YES – I had a really bad case of mom guilt. I didn’t get to feed my child, I didn’t want to hold him for too long after he was born.
- Impaired concentration or indecisiveness; – YES – I could not make a decision. Normally, I have a very decisive person. I made decisions very quickly. But lately, I would get overwhelmed and confused very quickly.
- Recurrent thoughts of death or suicidal ideation or attempt. – NO – I didn’t have these thoughts, but I did want to run away and hide under a mountain of blankets.
was surprised at how many times I had checked the “yes” box, but I was relieved
to learn that I wasn’t alone.
Perhaps having child protective services called was a blessing in disguise?
When the doctor finally made his way into the examination room, I felt a lot more comfortable in speaking with him. I was very candid about how I was feeling, and for the first time, I had a full-on meltdown. Yes I’ll admit it, I did the ugly Kim Kardashian cry.
I was a mess, and I needed help.
But I have a great doctor. He assured me that having postpartum depression is more common than people think, and that there are so many people who aren’t diagnosed. Contrary to popular belief, you can be diagnosed with postpartum depression up to 3 years after having a baby. Yes, you read that correctly – THREE YEARS!
I was shocked.
Feeling five or more out of symptoms listed above nearly everyday in the same 2-week period is a flag to get help, and boy did I need the help!
My doctor referred me to a psychiatric and social worker – and just like that I was officially in the system.