Maria's Story — “I suffered from postpartum depression for 2 years"

>> My name is Maria,
and I am from Brooklyn, New York. I put up a pretty good facade. But whenever I wasn't with the kids
and sometimes when I was, I remember rocking them
to sleep, even, in tears. And I remember my son saying,
he was probably about 3, he said, "Mommy, why do you
cry all the time?" There were days where I would
put the kids in their crib at 5 p.m. and not get them
until 7 a.m. the next day. And most of that time, if I wasn't crying,
I was trying to sleep. But I've never been
so lonely in my whole life. And I think that
you pair that with exhaustion and this indescribable,
it's not even so much stress, it's just this feeling
like you're a failure, but not even
being able to articulate it because I was so sad. That first six weeks
after you have a baby, which some people
call the fourth trimester, that is when
the mother should be resting, should be rejuvenating herself,
should be not running around posting pictures on Facebook
and doing all the shopping and all the laundry and pumping
and feeding and cleaning. That was the first lesson,
at least for me, in motherhood. It's just surrender
because you have no… You can walk around with
your to-do lists and your spreadsheets and whatever, but things happen. Postpartum depression is
the number one complication during childbirth and pregnancy,
but it is also the least diagnosed. So, yeah, there is
a huge level of shame. Once I sat and met with
the reproductive psychiatrist, there really wasn't
too much of a conversation other than
her recognizing very quickly, “This is what's going on.
Here's a prescription for Zoloft. Here's a prescription for Xanax.
You're going to be fine.” To finally be able to talk about it actually felt like
an honor and a privilege. That is what
literally flipped the switch and allowed me to function, and things
started rolling off my back. And I was happy. I was me again.

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