Postnatal Depression - It is okay not to be okay.

16 October Ayesha Farhad 17 Comments

When you think about postnatal depression, what comes to your mind? Sadness? Crying? If that is all that you can think about, you need to know more about what exactly postnatal depression is! When you become a mother, you think your baby will change and make your life, but instead, the depression that comes along breaks you right to the core. Postnatal depression is a real thing and it is eating mothers alive. And the fact that very few people want to talk and open up about it, is extremely alarming!

Talking about Postnatal depression from a Pakistani's perspective, you will be amazed at the fact that people over there don't even think of it as an illness. There is no one to hear about it. Forget hearing about it, there is no concept of postnatal depression in their minds. Thank God, there has been a change in the mindsets of a few people now and they recognise and ask for help. If you live in a joint-family, you are expected to welcome and allow guests to come meet you and the baby at any time of the day and give you unsolicited advice. They self-praise themselves about how well they raised their kids and that in turn makes you even more guilty about how bad of a mother you are, even though you JUST GAVE BIRTH.

When you talk about postnatal depression and the anxiety that comes with it, they laugh in your face and tell you that you are a mother now and your child comes over and above everything else, even your health. And God-forbid, if a mother is unable to breastfeed her child, hell shall be raised. Worse case scenario will be when you actively choose not to breastfeed your child and you adequately become a mother unfit to raise a child.

Postnatal depression is not obvious. It doesn't tell you that its there. Some days are amazing, you are laughing and bonding with your child. People will comment and say 'You don't look like someone with PND.' And some days are horrible. You don't even want to get out of bed and do a simple task of feeding yourself. You think that your hormones are messed up and think of it as baby blues. Your anxiety is going to peek through and plummet high. You think that you are sleep deprived. But accept and seek help. The fact that you don't realise that you have postnatal depression is the worst. There will be days when you won't even have an appetite and some days you'd want to eat everything in sight. There is no actual desire to dress up and change clothes that you have been mopping around in since the past three days.

What you need to know: There are going to be people who will understand your situation and then there will be people who will laugh in your face for even advocating such a situation.

Seek help and you will find help. Build stronger relationships before you give birth. Have friends and family know about what postnatal depression is and make them aware of it. Have them watch over your baby while you take a long nice hot shower.

Take a walk to de-stress yourself. SEEK MEDICAL HELP. Your doctor will be able to recognise the symptoms and will prescribe you medicines accordingly. Taking anti-depressants doesn't make you a weak mother. It makes you stronger. Knowing that you will do anything to make your self better for your own child.

Remember how blessed you are. Remember to be thankful and remember to look for help. Bond with your child and please for God's sake STOP comparing your child to another child. Stop comparing your own children. Stop comparing yourself to mothers who you think have it all together. They might be struggling with a different situation that you are completely unaware of.

Keep reminding yourself that you are an amazing mother. Post notes over the house reminding you of how much of an amazing mother you are. You have a child that is completely dependant on you and your happiness. Remind yourself that you are raising an amazingly beautiful human being who will grow up and move onto bigger and better things in life only because you chose to seek help.

17 comments:

  1. That's such a secretive topic among desis . Glad you brought it up. I had to deal with major post natal depression, well actually it wasn't just post natal but a very heartbreaking tragedy happened when I as 8 month pregnant suddenly and I was going thru some huge emotional stuff and combined with post natal depression I was like basically very depressed who needed medical help. And then on top of that people barking over me for weight gain and saying that I will never be like before if I keep eating, and this was 3 months after I gave birth!!! Huh... I hope new mums benefit from this article. Enjoyed reading it.

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  2. I'm so sorry you went through PND. I hope your voice only grows stronger and makes a difference in this taboo filled world

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  3. i totally agree and relate to it i have also very recently opened up about how i survived my PPD.its so hard for people to understand in this part of the society. also i may like to add that in addition to seeking medical help you need to surround yourself with people who have either gone though this or are atleast willing to hear you out. i regret not having joined those social media groups back in the day. well if you can please do check out my blogpost too :)

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  4. I'm sure this can be hard for some to admit and find help but I hope your post brings more awareness and strength to those who need it and to yourself!

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  5. Such an important post, I am sharing this with a friend of mine I know is struggling with PPD. Thank you!

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  6. This is such an important conversation to have. PND is happening and those who have it need all the support they can get.

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  7. As a doctor and a new father, I can totally vouch for what you have to say. there is no shame in seeking help. It helps with the whole mindset and speeds up the recovery!

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  8. I think it's incredibly brave of you to talk about it, I know it's not a subject that many want to talk about or acknowledge as serious. I haven't experienced post but have experienced pre-natal depression and it was the most awful thing I've ever experienced. At the time nobody seemed to know much about pre-natal depression though which was horrible. I think your post is just what is needed to help bring awareness.

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  9. It's good for husbands and future father's to read blogs like this so we can have an inkling of what to expect and how to be supportive. It's such an amazing and difficult part of life, I just hope I can be the man I need to be for my wife during pregnancy and after.

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  10. I'm so glad you are raising awareness of this issue. Pregnancy and giving birth is always displayed as this beautiful, magical experience. And while I am sure it is indeed beautiful and magical there are less beautiful sides of it too and we need to start talking about those too. We can't be ignorant when a mother needs our support

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  11. Great that you are shedding light on this topic. It is very common and many women prefer not to speak about it. Even though it is nothing to be ashamed about.

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  12. I know that postpartum depression can be such a difficult thing for women. My ex suffered from it when we had our daughter for a myriad of reasons. That's good that you are reaching out to women letting them know that they are not alone.

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  13. Women need to remember they are not alone. I love your advice especially keep reminding yourself you are amazing, an amazing women, mother and a fierce human being. ♥

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  14. Post natal Depression is quite common and for me it should be okay, as sudden increase of loads of work can affect us mentally too. Good you are bringing this topic.

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  15. These are great ways to inject a little positivity into life when you're feeling down. And that goes for everyone, not just mums suffering with postnatal depression. Great post :)

    Louise x

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  16. Living in Dubai I understand a lot of what you mean when you talk about the mentality of people in Pakistan, it is very similar here. I have had numerous friends who have suffered in silence because they feel like there is no help - only shame for the way they are feeling. It's tough and I commend you for writing about it in such an open way, it's important that people know they can talk and others know what to listen for.

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  17. Such a great post and this is so informative, I will share this to my sister in law that struggling now in postpartum depression

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