Postnatal Depression - It is okay not to be okay.

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.