A few weeks ago, I found a post by a friend of mine on Facebook. It included a video montage, put together by her friend’s husband. The video was about 6 minutes long sharing all the beautiful moments of her friend’s life. In the end, it had her birth date and an end date.
As I was watched the video, I thought, “wow, this girl looks like she’s got such an amazing life!” After I realized she had died, I sat there in shock, thinking that perhaps I was looking at something really wrong. I didn’t know this girl, but for some reason, I felt very sad and still can’t shake it off!
I read through the comments to the video and found many where people said they were sorry or that she was such an amazing person. Someone even said she’s up in Heaven as an angel, but nobody actually said how or why she died.
It took me a while to ask my friend how or why this woman died. I wasn’t quite sure if it was appropriate or not, but I had to know. I just couldn’t get over her for some reason. How did a woman who looked so perfect and looked so happy, just die?
It turns out … she had killed herself.
Her birthday was exactly 5 days earlier than mine. She was a dentist who fell in love with her sweetheart. The video share many of her happy moments according to her husband. There were even moments that included her baby as she smiled and laughed at his milestones.
This woman’s baby was only 7 months old when she died. Turns out, she suffered from severe postpartum depression.
What is Postpartum Depression?
Postpartum depression is a real condition and should not be overlooked lightly. I know, because I suffered with depression for many years, but postpartum was more difficult than anything I could have ever thought to express.
Postpartum depression happens after childbirth. Once that baby is out of the mom’s body, hormones will take over. You might even feel like a robot, because it can sometimes seem impossible to control your actions and emotions.
In my own experience, postpartum depression was like depression on overdrive. You might feel sorry for yourself, thinking nobody loves you and that the whole world is somehow working against you. It might seem wrong, but even anger seemed like a great solution to keep yourself from having a nervous breakdown.
I remember my mother-in-law being here from England just after I had my baby. She had never been to America before. Normally, I would have been happy to show her around and take her places she might have really enjoyed.
Postpartum depression made me so miserable that I was very difficult to be around. I think I was quite mean to my poor mother-in-law, instead of loving her like I should have. I snapped at everything and I made it such hell for my husband. I remember the house being quiet all the time because nobody wanted to say anything in case it made me mad.
On top of the anger, I remember feeling like I needed to cry every 5 minutes. Sometimes I didn’t know why I was crying. I just knew I was in pain emotionally and needed to let it out or I was going to break to pieces.
For the many years I’d suffered from depression, I thought about drinking my misery away. I took a lot of over the counter meds and supplements to numb my emotional pain. Sometimes I felt so horrible that I thought about doing horrible things to myself. I honestly don’t know how I got through it.
When postpartum depression hit, I thought I wasn’t going to make it. Then I realized that it was no longer just myself I had to think about. There was a little person who now depends on me. I thought about the times I fed him and how picky I was about every little thing that had to do with his every movement. Who would watch over him and make sure he was cared for and loved exactly as he should be?
Now I have a reason to live.
If you know someone who’s going through postpartum depression, please don’t take it lightly. They may not want to talk to you or might not make you feel good about being around them, but support and love will go a long way.
Postpartum or depression of any kind, is a real condition that takes over a person’s mind and ability to think rationally sometimes. Don’t assume it will all just go away. Sometimes something as simple as a hug, a smile, or anything that says you care, can be more help than you can imagine.