Thursday, July 21, 2011

Post Partum Depression (PPD) / Post Partum PTSD

Way back in May I just kinda slipped in a mention that I was thinking about writing more about my struggles with PPD.

It's something I've thought about. A. Lot.

I've talked with a few of my blog followers, one or two of which said they wish they could know more of my story. I've read posts of other bloggers who are struggling with PPD. I've read posts of other bloggers who I've suspected of struggling with PPD.

I think my hesitation is because... I don't really know what to say. I mean, clearly, if you've been following me very long at all, you've come to realize that I don't have many answers. To anything.

But maybe the "answer" is simply in being able to share in the experience, to know that you are not alone, that you aren't "weird", that someone understand's what you are going thru, as much as anyone can.

To know that PPD and PP-PTSD are real things. That you are not imagining your symptoms. That there is nothing wrong with you, but that it is simply your body's (including your mind's) reaction to a life-changing, body-changing event.

Here is a brief, undetailed synopsis of my story:

Following an uneventful & healthy pregnancy, I had a traumatic labor & delivery experience, followed by complications that left me hospitalized for three additional days, as well as an intensely difficult recovery period at home.

I was diagnosed with Post Partum Depression (PPD) at about four weeks post-partum.

Although the diagnosis fit and treatment (primarily medication) helped, I always felt like there were things that weren't being addressed. Of course, some of this was due to the fact that at the time of my diagnosis, I was not aware of them (details will come in later posts).

Being trained in the filed of History, and having studied wars, I knew that some of what I was experiencing seemed to sound a lot like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD, formerly known as "shell shock"), but also didn't think that made much sense, and I couldn't find any information on women suffering from PTSD following giving birth.

At about two years post-partum, after having multiple flashbacks to my L&D experience, and spending weeks researching PTSD, I finally came across a few (very few) sites acknowledging the existence of Post Partum-PTSD.

After reading everything I could find, I made a self diagnosis of PP-PTSD.

I realize this is a general introduction to the subject and how it affected me and my life, but I promise you details will follow in other posts.

The journey is long, and ongoing.

I don't claim to be an expert on the subject, but I will gladly share my experience with you.

Thanks for checking in.

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