Friday, May 15, 2015

5 Things Never to Say to Someone With PPD

1. The baby won't remember. I HATE this! Maybe she won't remember, but I am an adult, I WILL ALWAYS remember the times I missed out on, the experiences I didn't have with her and the opportunities I passed on. If I want to take my four month old to a petting zoo, let me. I don't care she won't remember if I took her or not, or that I should wait until she's older so she'll remember. I'll know I didn't and I want to. So does it really matter that much to you?
2. I were here, I wish you felt better, I wish there was something I could do for you, I wish you could come out with us, I wish, I wish, I wish. Just. Stop it. Throughout my recovery I have come to the realization that PPD is caused by one thing: grief. You are grieving the life you had and trying to adjust to the life you now have. It may come easy to some, but for others it is a task. These others, develop PPD/PPA. Of course, there can be other pre-determining factors (complicated pregnancy, unsupportive partner, pre-existing conditions, etc), but for the most part, it is grief. So when you approach someone who is recovering from PPD and tell them how much you wish for something they could be or do, you are magnifying the problem and reminding a person in the middle of the grieving process exactly what they have lost. This does not mean they regret their baby. This means you are interrupting their grieving process and bringing them back a step. So please stop it.
3. Get over it. Well. Why didn't I think of that? All I need to do is get over it. Sorry to break it to you, but it's not that easy. If you can find someone who chooses to suffer from depression, please send them my way as I have many questions for them, but for the most part, this is not a choice. This is a condition. It is a disease for which there is no vaccination, for which there is no known cause or pinpoint method of successful treatment. Telling someone who is suffering or sad to get over it, is just plain old fashioned assholery. So please stop that too. Asshole.
4. Every new mom suffers from this to some degree. Oh really? Then how come none of you jerks warned me about this? How come I felt like there was no one to talk to? And why is this such a taboo topic? Maybe this is statement is true, I don't know, but keep your mouth shut about it. If you're not telling me how much you regretted your baby and how you stopped eating and cried uncontrollably for hours on end over nothing every day for months after your baby was born, I don't need to hear it. I need someone I can relate to, someone who may have experienced something somewhat similar to the dreadful, horrible, unimaginable feelings and thoughts I had after my child was born. Hearing that some people, some where out there, once upon a time, probably felt this way too, is not comforting.
5. You don't need medication. Yes.I.Do. Bravo to those of you who may have overcome your depression or anxieties with natural or alternative medicines, or with therapy alone, but these methods are not for everyone. These methods do not work for everyone, that's why there's more than ONE WAY to do things. Then there is the complete opposite of 'Have you taken your pill today?' Although I have not personally experienced this, I have worked with many women who have. In whose world is an anti-depressant some magical pill that works instantly the first time you take it and within minutes? Pretty sure the whole U.S. population would have a prescription for these if that was the case. A magical pill that makes you instantly happy, and is legal, and covered by insurance? WHOOHOO! This is not how it works, folks. Anti-depressants take time. They need to build up in the system. Although some can feel its affects within days or a week or two, the majority take up to one month, yes, 30 days, to fully take hold of your system and relieve symptoms. In short, don't question a persons method to their recovery. It's theirs. Not yours. Let them be.

I'm sure there are one million other things you should never say to someone with PPD, or depression, but it amazes me how the ones on this short list here seem to creep up into my life on at least a weekly basis. If you're a seasoned parent, let the newbies be. You didn't like people crawling down your throat, so why do you think it's okay for you to do it? If you know a new parent, you might not know if they're fine or not. You don't need to. They will probably cover it up anyways and they will probably do a damn good job of it. So leave them alone. Just bring them lasagna and Starbucks and get the hell out of their way.

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