After having my second child, life became overwhelming. The needs and wants of your new bundle of joy can change so rapidly and there are new developments in their growth occurring daily. All of this will surely test your nerves and patience like nothing you have ever experienced before. This is all true and yet goes without mentioning the needs and wants of you, the new mother. Your hormones are peaking in ways they never have. You’re stretched thin and yet never put first.
You are not alone.
For some new mothers, these feelings are something they work through. Perhaps they talk about them with their spouse or partner and some of the tension is released. Maybe they get a stretch of time where they are able to sleep for five straight hours and they awake refreshed. Still, for some others, no matter what amount of talking or rest they are blessed with, these feelings are more persistent and more difficult to overcome. If this is how you may be feeling you might be dealing with postpartum depression. Here are some of the symptoms associated with postpartum depression that you should look out for:
Persistent sadness, although also feeling like you don’t have a reason to be sad
Persistent feelings of being overwhelmed
Appetite problems, either eating too much or not at all
If you feel that you have several of the symptoms listed and are having an extremely difficult time rebounding from these feelings, talk to a professional. Remember, this is not something that is necessarily within your control and help is available to you.
Looking back, I often wonder if I suffered from depression as a teen.
The reason why recognizing true depression symptoms when it comes to teenagers can be so difficult is mostly because adolescents are often moody, to begin with. During the teen years, hormones take quite a toll on the typical teenager causing irritability on a regular basis. This can make it hard for parents to read the signals their child may be sending when it is more than just typical teenage behavior. However, it is very important to recognize when your child may truly need help. Here are a few signs to pay attention to:
Withdrawal from typical activities or events that used to be enjoyable to your teen
Low energy throughout the day or a lack of desire to get out of bed despite getting adequate sleep at night
A dramatic change in academic performance at school and a lack of concern from your teen regarding the change
The trick to helping your child through this difficult time comes from recognizing these symptoms and addressing them with your child if there seems to be several present at the same time. Noticing the signs early and intervening is crucial for teens. Depression in teens is a growing concern in our society and should not be taken lightly.
I was really disappointed and sad when my husband didn’t spend the day with me, but with his friend instead. I was really looking forward to Vegas and thought it would be a way to reconnect. I was excited about the classes, and they related to my husband too. I thought we could go together then talk about them afterward. All the other husbands were with their wives in the classes. Taking notes, absorbing the info, supporting their wife. I was sad and felt alone. I should have told him how I felt. I’m sure if I did he would’ve come. But the fact that he didn’t come on his own told me he didn’t want to go.
That was the start of it all for me. I continued to be sad when we got home. I pulled back and didn’t say anything. I should’ve been assertive and told him. But not saying anything only made things worse. We stopped communicating. We started fighting. We fought more in 3 months than we ever have, ever. Then it got to where I was scared to talk to him or ask him to do anything. I would literally have to mentally prepare and brace myself when I went to ask him for something because I knew he wouldn’t be happy. This pulled me from him even more.
I began to talk to my best friend, at daltonroofers.com, about whether I should get a divorce. Then he called one day and told me he wanted to go on a cruise…for a split second, I was excited because I thought he wanted to do something with me. Then he told me he was going with the same friend he brought to Vegas. I crashed. I was extremely sad. I was losing sight of us, our relationship, myself. I got put on medicine. I began to feel the only people who ever talked to me were people who needed something from me. Noone wanted to talk to ME or hang out with ME. They just wanted my services.
I felt like my husband was always on his phone, playing games, or working. The medicine took the edge off but didn’t take away the sadness. I had to pep myself up and put on a fake smile when going to work. I was faking my way through life. I felt like I had nothing to say or offer anyone unless it as related to work.
A few weeks before we left, my husband came home from work and told me he was bringing one of his friends with us. To be honest, I was excited about it. This friend was a fun person. He would take an ordinary night out and make it extra fun. I thought he would add to our experience, not take away.
We arrived in Las Vegas after midnight. I was so excited. After check-in, we left the room to go get something to eat. While eating, my husband’s friend tells us about an app he has that will allow him to find a prostitute in ANY city. He said he hires them all the time, even while he is at work. He proceeds to shop the app, find one, and bring her back to our room. Now at this point, I was TIRED. Very tired. But I couldn’t go to the room because there was a HOOKER in our room!! My husband and I began to play on the slot machines. After an hour, he left me to go to the room to see what was going on. He comes back and he is visibly frustrated. He’s on edge and begins to yell. He tells me how he went to the room and his friend and hooker were doing drugs. In OUR room! I wasn’t happy. My husband continues to yell and I begin to cry. This is not how this is supposed to go. We should be laughing right now. We should be excited to be away from the kids. We should be having fun. Instead, my husband is yelling, I am crying, and there is a stranger in my room doing drugs.
My husband leaves, again, and I begin to walk around to find one of my friends who was also on the trip. In doing so, I tripped on the escalator and tore a chunk out of my big toe. Now I began to bawl. I went to the bathroom, inspected my bleeding toe, and cried harder. I left the bathroom to try and find my friend or husband. Once I found him, he begins to apologize after he sees how upset I am. He said he was sorry for acting so angry. He said if it wasn’t for him getting so mad, I probably wouldn’t have hurt my toe. He calmed down. He gave me a hug and began to I calm down. I began to think this trip might be ok after all…
The funny thing about depression is you don’t even realize it’s happening to you until it’s too late. It’s like boiling a frog; you can’t throw him into a pan of boiling water because he will jump out. You have to put him a tub of cold water then slowly turn up the heat so he doesn’t realize what’s happening to him. Here’s how it started for me…
I was a Pure Romance consultant, a REALLY GOOD consultant. I quit teaching to be a stay at home mom and did a couple of parties a month to make extra money. (If you’re not familiar with Pure Romance, we do in-home parties for women an and we sold products to help improve intimacy.) I started out just doing enough parties to make my house payment, however, it wasn’t long and I was making DOUBLE what I did as a teacher. It was amazing. the women loved me. They stroked my ego. I left feeling good about myself plus making lots of money. How can you not be happy doing that?
The corporate office for Pure Romance always has a conference once or twice a year. Although some women brought their husbands, most girls came alone. We would have class during the day and then party at night. In 2015 they had it in Las Vegas; my husband and I have never been to Las Vegas so we decided to let him come along too. I was excited; I was somewhat of a big deal in the Pure Romance world. I wanted my husband to see that. I wanted my husband to see girls stopping me in the hall to take a picture of me. I wanted my husband to come to the after parties with me to dance and party. I wanted my husband to become excited and inspired while listening to the keynote speakers. I couldn’t wait.
Things were weird at home the months leading up to the Pure Romance conference. We stopped sleeping the in the same bed. My kids were young, 1 and 4. They liked to sleep with me. Not because they needed to or had to, but because they wanted to. Although I loved sleeping with my husband, there is something uniquely special about a sweet smelling, sweaty toddler burying into you at night to go to sleep. I was addicted. I felt wanted and needed.
I also began to dread my husband coming home from work. Everything was so peaceful while he was gone. If my kids were to through a tantrum, I could easily assess the situation and deal accordingly without yelling and screaming involved. My husband was a manager of a retail store; it was stressful for him because his job depended on whether or not his store hit their monthly quota. He would spend all day at work, doing what he could to hit the numbers, only to be told he wasn’t good enough, then come home to 2 toddlers who were tired and hungry. He was already at the end of his rope, and sometimes the extra crying was enough to push him over the edge for the day.
So, I was really excited about Las Vegas. I thought this would be a time we could refind each other. Reconnect. Debrief. I was excited.