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My Battle With Depression

Postpartum struggles with depression.

By Lauren S.Published 7 years ago 4 min read
Lauren Silva 

My battle with depression began as a teenager when I lost a person who was almost like a second dad to me. I couldn't eat or sleep. My parents knew there was something wrong and tried to help me but never put me in therapy. After I met my first boyfriend and was socializing more, I felt much more like myself.

Fast forward nineteen years after I had my second daughter. I was overwhelmed leaving a three-month-old to work FT at a job I disliked. My job also involved working at home and not much time for my four-year-old either. I began suffering from intense migraines that had me in bed for days at a time. About a year later, after missing much work and being fired, a therapist told me I had depression. All the tests and blood work showed I was physically fine. It was late-onset Post-Partum Depression. My daughter had just turned two. Everything in my life improved after this but it was a long journey.

I went on a low dose of Lexapro and had frequent visits to my primary care doctor. I also started therapy weekly. I began exercising more and reading about depression. My husband was a huge support during this time. I left my job and started working part time. I am now self-employed which is a godsend with my daughters in terms of having a flexible schedule. After several months of weekly therapy, I had a very unpleasant depressive episode around my daughter's birthday. I turned some comments by other parents at school regarding my children into a verbal attack with my husband and family. I had to increase my therapy sessions and I switched therapists. I was fortunate to find a wonderful social worker who specializes in Post-Partum Depression. She has helped me so much. We now only speak every three months. I make sure to take my medication and exercise daily. After doing some research, I now take vitamins to prevent migraines and help with depression. I haven't had a migraine in two years. I learned to reach out for help as soon as I need it. I also have to self-monitor daily to make sure I get enough sleep, eat right, acknowledge my feelings, and simply take care of myself. I also now have more help with my children so I have more time for myself. I started to do yoga which really helped me with meditation and gaining a sense of peace. Writing in a journal helped me gain some perspective as well.

I tried going off my medication on my doctor's recommendation. After a few weeks, I woke up one day feeling suffocated and awful. I couldn't take care of my daughters. I had to go back on my medication that day. It was tough at first to realize with my doctor that I have to be on it for the rest of my life. He was cheering me on to try to go off it and it just wasn't working. I now came to terms that this is part of my life. If I had diabetes or another medical condition, I would need daily medication or maintenance. Depression is no different. At my worst, I felt that I was stuck in quicksand and couldn't get out. I felt irrational, lethargic, and hopeless. Now I am truly happy most days.

I now know the importance of the mind-body connection. Sometimes it's such a frustrating struggle to constantly be vigilant about my health. I think of the alternative if I don't care for my body and mental health. I think about how my daughters and my husband are positively or negativity impacted by my actions. Sometimes I worry that my daughters will suffer from depression because it is hereditary. My mom and my grandmother both had depressive episodes and migraines. I also fear my daughters will think less of me because of my depression. I do feel the need to be truthful with them when they are older. I know the signs to look for and my husband and I would seek help for them immediately if need be. I feel very fortunate to have been on this journey and to have the support of my family and friends.


About the Creator

Lauren S.

Former teacher, newspaper stringer, tutor, wife and mom.

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