Dr. Lauren is self-diagnosing! I can’t pretend anymore – it’s time to call a spade a spade.
While a medical professional has not stamped me with this I am going to assume that I have post partum depression (PPD). WebMD lists the symptoms of PPD:
-Depressed mood-tearfulness, hopelessness, and feeling empty inside, with or
without severe anxiety.
-Loss of pleasure in either all or almost all of
your daily activities.
-Appetite and weight change-usually a drop in
appetite and weight, but sometimes the opposite.
trouble with sleeping, even when your baby is sleeping.
in how you walk and talk-usually restlessness, but sometimes sluggishness.
-Extreme fatigue or loss of energy.
-Feelings of worthlessness or guilt,
with no reasonable cause.
-Difficulty concentrating and making decisions.
-Thoughts about death or suicide. Some women with PPD have fleeting,
frightening thoughts of harming their babies: these thoughts tend to be fearful
thoughts, rather than urges to harm.
Let’s examine this, shall we? Depressed? Sometimes. I’m tearful but that’s because I’m emotional. We all cry while watching The Biggest Loser, right? Anxiety? YES. I have so much anxiety that I’m surprised that I don’t just hide out at my mom’s house all day until JuJu gets home from work. Loss of pleasure? When I do actually go somewhere completely alone that’s how I feel – completely alone. I do feel worthless when I look around me and the house is messy (or at least it feels messy to me which is actually not really messy at all) because while I know I’ve been taking care of Peanut all day I somehow should have been able to clean too. I feel weak. I feel stupid. I don’t, however, think about killing myself or Peanut. I worry about others trying to harm her which causes me to be anxious all of the time.
FOR EXAMPLE: It’s cool and breezy outside tonight thanks to the forty-billion consecutive rainy days we’ve had so all day I left the patio doors open. We live on the third floor so I didn’t mind leaving them open since I was home all day anyway. But once it’s bedtime? Hell no. The doors to the patio are closed and locked. And before I go to bed I check the locks on the front door too. JuJu and I always lock the deadbolt when we’re home. It’s a habit and there has never been a time when it wasn’t locked. Yet, I check it. Visual confirmation is enough for me – I don’t physically touch the locks but why do I need to check in the first place?
I can’t sleep. During the day I sleep just fine. I love naps but I also love going for walks and visiting my mom and crafting and these are things that take place during the day. If I take a nap then those things are taken from me. You know what robs me of the things I enjoy doing? INSOMNIA. Why can’t I sleep? Because my daughter is in another room. She sleeps longer and better when she’s not right next to me. When we co-sleep she tends to nurse all night and that keeps me awake but it also keeps her from fully going to sleep. At least that’s what it seems like to me. She sleeps more soundly by herself. So she’s swaddled in her crib. Far away from me. I hear nothing on her monitor. Maybe a flicker of static. I’m back where I was when we first brought her home. If she wasn’t making noises then it HAD TO BE because she wasn’t breathing. I couldn’t sleep either way. I need to sleep. I don’t like sleeping until noon. I’d rather go to bed when JuJu does and wake up rested and chirpy in the morning. I don’t like staying up until 4am because my mind won’t let my body sleep. I want my mind to SHUT THE FUCK UP.
Seriously, nothing bad is going to happen. Peanut will not die every time she falls asleep. No one is going to yank her out of my arms or break into our apartment. We aren’t going to get into a car accident or be held up at gun point. Her nursery isn’t haunted (I don’t even believe in ghosts so how fucked up is that?). There are no knife-wielding psychos at the mall. My mommy group friends aren’t going to kidnap Peanut while I use the restroom. Her pediatrician isn’t going to administer any vaccinations that I tell her not to give Peanut (she nor I will be getting the H1N1 vaccine).
The world isn’t that bad. Why can’t I trust anyone? Why am I so scared?
I’m done. I will be finding a psychiatrist who will hopefully prescribe me something that I can take while breastfeeding. I will pour out my thoughts to this person so that I can stop burdening my family and friends with it. I will get better. I will be a great mother, a kickass wife, a brilliant student, and a good friend.
The suckage stops now! Well, once I get help. Tonight is another sleepless night.