I had this false belief about Postpartum Depression. I used to believe that it was just anxiety and that someone needed to get out more and spend some time being busy. So when I heard people talk about PPD, I would just tell them that they needed to get their thinking right. But I have come to find out that that isn’t what PPD really is. PostPartum Depression can come as a result of anxiety, but often times, Postpartum Depression is actually the body’s response to stress or hormonal imbalance. And it doesn’t mean you’ve done anything wrong.
After coming off the pill and weaning both of my children, I have dealt with a form of PPD due to hormonal imbalance. It caused me to think crazy thoughts, not sleep, and run wired on adrenaline all day long. One of the hardest things for me to do during that time was rest, but it was actually what my body was screaming for. Yet I continued to tax it. I am thankful beyond belief that God used a friend to reveal to me what was happening because my stressed out body couldn’t handle it anymore. My adrenal glands were burning fuel they didn’t have, and it wasn’t because I was a bad mother, a bad Christian, or a bad thinker. But I believed all those things.
I am writing this on behalf of all the moms who have suffered with PPD and may not have even known that it existed or had crazy thoughts and decided you were just a bad mom. No, you are not. You did nothing wrong. Pregnancy and nursing a newborn are both very hard jobs and they can stress your system especially in our society where constant busyness is desirable and where our diet often doesn’t adequately support our adrenal glands. So if you are a new mom or a repeat mom and this isn’t your first bout with PPD, you aren’t alone, but you do need help. You need to tell your husband and you need to ask for help.
I have a couple natural suggestions, too. Please change your diet and add light exercise in a few days a week. It will actually help believe it or not because it will start to regulate your adrenaline. Also, try to avoid processed foods and too much sugar. Those tax your adrenal glands even further. Instead add good proteins, fruits, and vegetables. Finally, take some supplements like magnesium citrate, an adrenal supplement, and a B complex vitamin. Add in a warm bath several nights a week in epsom salts. Epsom salts are a crystallized form of magnesium sulfate which will help to relax and calm you before bed. I would also suggest seeing a functional doctor who specializes in hormonal imbalances that most traditional doctors do not.
For me, PPD got really bad. So bad, I couldn’t function, and I am currently taking Lexapro to help until my hormones can get rebalanced. If you need an anti-depressant, there is nothing wrong with you, and it doesn’t mean you aren’t strong. It means that you needed help to get things back in order, and God is not mad at you. I love Jesus with all my heart, and He is my rescuer and lover of my soul. He’s not angry with me because my body needed help to get readjusted, and He doesn’t think I am a subpar believer either. You can take all your thoughts captive perfectly, and if you’re adrenal glands are overtaxed, you won’t be able to right it without help. It also doesn’t mean you’ll be taking medicine for the rest of your life.
There is hope for you if you have suffered with PPD. You’re still a good mom, a good friend, a good wife, a good Christian, and a good person if you need help. Don’t struggle through this alone. Ask for help, and if you need encouragement, please let me know below. You are loved by God in the most perfect way, and you have to trust the plan He has for you. Follow His leading, and He will always take you to the perfect place for you! You aren’t alone! Don’t give up! This too shall pass!
This is a great website with info on how adrenal glands and their function can affect your health. http://www.virginiahopkinstestkits.com/adrenalstress.html