I gave birth to my third child in June 1993. In July I heard about a woman my age who died on the 4th of July. She left behind a 6 month old son. The reality of that situation troubled me. I began to cry a lot. I imagined that I too would die when my son was 6 months old. I screamed at God. I asked Him why He gave that woman a child and then took her away.
I would sit in my living room floor holding my son to my chest. I would rock back and forth crying. I begged God not not to let me die. I pleaded with Him to let me see my son grow up. The feeling of impending death consumed me. In my view it was very real. By December the situation had escalated. On Christmas my two oldest children spent the night with my mother. There was a knock at the door. It was a friend of my husband and his fiance. I took my 6 month old in his room and stayed there until they left.
I began to withdraw from everything except the care of my children. Laundry and dishes piled up. I stopped going to church, And I began to eat lots of chocolate and potato chips. My weight began to increase. It was close to what it had been when I gave birth. I put hats on and did not fix my hair. I felt sad and defeated. And realized something more than Postpartum depression was going on.
My doctor diagnosed me with Clinical depression along with panic attacks and anxiety disorder. During the next few years I was several medications. These included Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, Busbar, Zoloft, and Paxil. I questioned why none of these medications was making a difference in my feeling sad and depressed. One counselor told me that as long as I perceived my situation would not change that medication would not work.
From that point I sought alternate methods of dealing with the situation. And here is what works for me. I walk 2-5 miles day. I get plenty of early morning sunshine. I dance to oldies music. I read comforting scriptures daily from the bible. And I pray as often as necessary. I enjoy the television show Psych.
And watch cartoons that make me laugh till I cry. Soaking in the tub, drinking tension Tamer Tea and eating dark chocolate also help my moods stabilize.
Life still happens however. When I do become overwhelmed my husband and children will run my errands or do the house work. This gives me time to regroup. Acknowledging that Depression is lurking, knowing my limits and accepting help are the biggest factors that help me to stay focused. Emotional disorders run in my family. I accept this and even joke about it. I am glad Depression did not cause me to die. And am determined it will make me stronger so I can help someone else.