“Why do I feel so miserable when motherhood is supposed to be bliss?”
You are supposed to be happy. Blissfully happy. You are a mother, right? All you wanted was a healthy beautiful baby and to be a mom for such a long time.
But for some reason, you don’t feel blissful. In fact, you feel miserable, filled with guilt.
Most days you wonder if you can make it through without a crying spell, feeling completely overwhelmed and helpless, or unbelievably frustrated.
Maybe you experience those feelings along with constant worries, self-doubt, and paralyzing fear of worst-case scenarios. The thoughts “How am I supposed to do this?” And “What’s wrong with me?” cycle through your head constantly.
You are not broken. I repeat YOU ARE NOT BROKEN. You are not alone. And, you will not feel like this forever. Instead, what you are experiencing is postpartum depression or anxiety.
Below is a list of some common depressive or anxiety symptoms:
- Sadness, anger, exhaustion, nervousness, feeling out of control or overwhelmed
- Difficulty sleeping or eating
- Fears or scary thoughts that don’t go away
- Feeling anxious or insecure and nervous about being alone
- Panic Attacks, shaking, dizzy
What you are going through is not ideal motherhood feelings, but it is common. 1 out of 7 mothers during the first 3 months and 1 out of 5 mothers in the first postpartum year struggle with serious depression or anxiety.
And no, it is not just baby blues which includes weepy and anxious feelings but will generally last about 1-2 weeks. When mothers undergo longer-lasting symptoms that disturb and get in the way of your daily functioning, that is when postpartum depression and anxiety are the culprits.
It is important to remember that this is NOT your fault. You did not do this to yourself. Hormonal changes, increases in family stress, returning back to work, etc all effect a mother’s wellness. Postpartum struggles does go away with time and help.
Here are 3 ways to start overcoming postpartum depression & anxiety:
#1 Reach out for support from understanding people:
Be honest and open with people who you truly feel safe with and can support you. If there is not anyone available or in the same stage of life, seek support through local moms group or even online areas such as Postpartum Support International Facebook group.
#2 Get out of the house:
Fresh air or a change of scenery can make all the difference. Do something as simple as taking a 5 minute walk around your neighborhood every other day. Or, if you’re up for it, take a morning trip to Target.
Getting out can help ease some of those restless and stuck feelings you have being at home alone with the baby.
#3 Receive professional assistance:
If you are noticing these feelings are unrelenting and affecting your daily functioning and happiness seek professional help. Talk to your healthcare provider about possible prescriptions or seek a referral for a talk-therapist.
Therapy alongside medication can help you tremendously with feeling stable as you adjust and learn coping skills to deal with the everyday ups and downs.
You do not have to continuously suffer, especially alone. Motherhood can be difficult, terrifying, but also amazing once you are out of the darkness. Do not hesitate to seek help.
For local resources call 1-800-944-4773 or visit postpartum international support online. If you need immediate care call 1-800- SUICIDE.
Take your first step to love not only yourself but your baby by making an appointment with me. Start your process of overcoming postpartum depression and anxiety. Your baby needs the best version of you in order to get the best care. Love your baby by taking care of yourself starting today.
About Colleen is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and has been practicing for the past six years. A mother herself, Colleen is very familiar with the life transitions of motherhood and has a special desire to help women walk through sometimes a dark and lonely transition.
Some of her counseling specialty is working with women struggling with anxiety/stress, trauma (including birth and delivery difficulties), and life transitions such as pregnancy and motherhood difficulties. Furthermore, she passionate about assisting those facing multicultural or race-related issues.
Colleen is dedicated to equipping people with practical skills, so they can better manage and reduce symptoms to live a happier and healthier life. If you would like more information about Colleen visit her bio here.