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Mentoria on hiding her postpartum depression and thoughts of ending her life

women smiling for picture - essay on hiding postpartum depression symptoms

Content warning: Discussion of postpartum depression, birth trauma, domestic abuse or other tough topics ahead. If you or someone you know is struggling with a postpartum mental health challenge, including postpartum depression or anxiety, call 1-833-9-HELP4MOMS (tel:18009435746)—The National Maternal Mental Health Hotline This free, confidential service provides access to trained counselors and resources 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in English, Spanish, and more than 60 other languages. They can offer support and information related to before, during, and after pregnancy.

I was diagnosed with postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety after the birth of my second child. I realize now that it was a combination of things, not just the complications of having a second baby.

December 2018 was when I cracked if I’m being honest. At that point, I had been struggling for 1.5 years. I knew what was going on. I was on different medications. I was hiding the sadness. I was hiding the crying spells. I had gotten good at it. I could feel when all hell was about to break loose. In the middle of cooking dinner, I would run off to shower and leave my husband to watch dinner. He hated that. “Just shower before you start cooking.”

I would turn on the water and either sit in the shower and cry my heart out or lay on the bathroom floor or both. It had to come out. This was the way I chose. I could never forget how cold the floor was when I laid on it naked. I knew it was cold, but I needed to feel something other than the crippling sadness I was suffering from. I would cry so hard I would feel nauseous.

Related: Spotting postpartum depression can be difficult. Here’s why you should enlist your partner’s help

December 2018, I could not hold it in anymore. I cracked. It’s like one morning I woke up and no longer could control it. I could not control the sadness that had me completely engulfed. It had swallowed me whole at this point. I was no longer myself and I could not hide that.

I had suicidal thoughts for two years. From having panic attacks to crying spells, and sleeping every chance I got, I would wake up deeply sad that I was still alive. It left me overwhelmed and deeply stressed. I felt hopeless and worthless, like I was the only one in the world struggling with this and overall, just like the scum of the earth.

My mind just couldn’t understand why I had these beautiful babies, and I couldn’t just BE HAPPY.

I really had issues with being a stay-at-home mother of two. The desire to work was strongly instilled in me, and I was deeply disappointed by the fact that I couldn’t find a job. Even if I could, with the hours my husband worked and no family in the area, I wouldn’t have the help I needed. Also have you seen the price of day care?!

I had recurring thoughts that this wasn’t the life I had envisioned. What happened to all the dreams and goals I had in high school? Everyone told me I had a bright future. Was this what they were talking about?

I gained fifty pounds and lost all the friendships I had, which seemed fine by me, because I didn’t want to leave my house or talk to anyone anyway. Looking back, I know all of this contributed to my depression. It clouded my mind. I had fallen into a deep dark pit. Panic attack after panic attack. It felt like I was in a horror movie, but I couldn’t escape.

It became unbearable. I had never ending thoughts of killing myself. I would spend all my available time in the closet or bathroom crying my eyes out. It took over every day of my life.

Related: Suicide is the leading cause of death in new moms

Around Christmas of 2018, my PPD got so bad that I attempted to commit suicide. My plan was to swallow all my back pain medication in hopes that it ended everything. (I endured 2 c-sections and that left me with back pain.) I put them in my mouth. I was going to end it all. Somehow, I found solace in that. Every time I thought of killing myself, I felt some kind of joy.

I can’t remember exactly why I didn’t do it. I mostly remember thinking about my husband, like at that moment I felt all the love he had for me. I could not do this to him. As much pain as I felt I was in, I knew he loved me. I knew it would hurt him forever, and he would blame himself. I loved him too much to put him through that.

Then I thought of my kids. Would they grow up and think it was because of them? Would they look down on the memory of me because I couldn’t deal with the pain anymore?

Related: Postpartum depression and anxiety are more common than you may think–here are the resources you need

Shortly after that, I found a therapist. I knew that this was my last resort. If it didn’t work out, I was going to end it. I spent six months going to her. Four of those months, I had appointments twice a week. 

She helped me to see what the real root of my depression was. Once I became a mother, I stopped doing most of the things that made me who I am. I listened to other people tell me what I needed to do to be a good Mother, thus losing my self in motherhood and not knowing me anymore. 

My saddest moment in life caused me to find who I really am. Postpartum depression robbed me of two years of my life, but once I got help, it gave me a career. I am Mentoria Lashae, a wife, a mom of two, a business owner, and a woman who suffered with postpartum depression. PPD is never something to be ashamed of.

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