This Isn’t What I Expected – Overcoming Postpartum Depression (14)

“I’m Starting to Feel Like Myself Again”:  As You Begin to Recover” …

–  “Phases of Recovery
     – Early Recovery
          – Three features that characterize this early stage of recovery:  Doubt, Distraction, and Rediscovery
     – Middle Recovery
          – The middle phase of recovery is distinguished by its unstable and often unpredictable nature and is often
          referred to as the roller coaster phase.
     – Late Recovery
          – The final stage of recovery involves periods of readjustment and reflection.”

–  “There are some worrisome studies indicating that a severely depressed woman does not interact with her infant in the same way she does when she is recovered.  We don’t know that there are any long-term consequences, but it does tell us two things:  1)  It is very important to get well and do whatever you have to do to remedy your PPD, and 2)  You should make every effort to have somebody who feels well help care for your baby during the time you are in crisis.  After the PPD is over, some women feel guilty because they had to leave their babies with alternative caretakers.  But it was important and actually good for the baby to be exposed to other caretakers who could consistently interact with a smile.”

–  “Clinical evidence shows us that a previous postpartum depression does place a woman at higher risk for PPD in the future.  The same features of PPD that are used to predict a response to medication also predict a greater likelihood of recurrence.  These include major sleep and appetite changes, severity of symptoms, strong family predisposition, and early onset in the postpartum period.  Suicidal thoughts, presence of psychosis, marked agitation, and the need for hospitalization also suggest a higher risk of recurrence.”

–  “No matter how prepared you are, you may still get a recurrence of PPD.  You cannot “prepare” to change your biologic predisposition (except by biologic measures such as medication).  But your awareness and ability to get help for yourself as soon as possible will aid your recovery.  If you have a recurrence, beginning whatever treatment was successful for you before will be most effective if it is started at the earliest sign of PPD.”

–  “Motherhood, by definition, involves impossible expectations.  Each of us longs to become the perfect mother, always to give selflessly to our children and never to deplete our capacity to nurture those we love.  But it seems that we all must wrestle this truth:  The harder we aim for perfection, the less likely we are to find it.”

–  “Only when we learn that taking care of ourselves is as necessary as taking care of our families; only when we begin to accept ourselves, imperfections and all; only when we permit ourselves to face the limits of what we can do for the people we love do we achieve our fullest potential as mothers.  Our children’s self-esteem is linked to our own.  As we learn to accept ourselves as we are, we guide our children in their jouney toward loving themselves as we love them, flaws and all.”

–  “After you succeed in waiting it out, working it through, and wondering what it’s all for – you will look back.  And you may see a delightfully sweet baby patiently awaiting your touch.  You may see a husband who stood by you and a relationship that has been strengthened by the crisis you have surmounted together.  And you may see a new you:  someone who has found new dimensions to herself by overcoming this tremendous challenge.”

Okay, so all in all, this book is a self-help type of reference and let me tell you … I had no idea that I, myself, was/am still suffering from PPD.  My youngest daughter is almost 22 months old!  However, this book has been very enlightening and has significantly helped me on my road to recovery.  I was already seeking help from a psychiatrist, but reading this book has really helped to speed my recovery.  I am, by no means, ‘cured’ … but, I am getting there and I encourage anybody who thinks that they may be suffering from any form of PPD to get help and to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

~ by cmb0414 on June 14, 2010.

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