Oh, honey, I am SO SORRY to hear you are struggling! Depression SUCKS! I would strongly encourage you to consider getting treatment- there are herbs, homeopathics, and allopathic treatments that might help, plus therapy. Some of the things I've tried... (btw, I have bipolar disorder, anxiety issues, had PPD w/ my first, and suffered from depression as a teen)
-routine. routine is very important to keeping things going. Maybe you can only handle one thing every day- say, getting showered and dressed. If you can handle that, do it. I don't care if it takes all day. Just do it.
-alone time. Have somebody else watch the kids for 10, 15, 20 minutes. If you can't think of something to do, sit there and just breath. Be sure to think of something non-depressing. Say, grass. Or visualize a relaxing scene.
-journaling. It feels good to spew. Just be sure you aren't saying the same thing over and over. ie, i hate myself, I hate my life, i hate my carpet, etc, etc.
-Supplements: B6, flax or borage oil (to get your EFA), a daily vitamin, skullcap or valerian to help w/ sleep, flower essences (I use four specifically picked for my syptoms, and they work wonders!)
-exercise, sun, and fresh air. I know it's very hard to do, but it makes a big difference. Go outside every day for at least ten minutes. I don't care if it takes at least that long to get bundled up, just do it!
-therapy. I recommend cognitive behavioral therapy. A good book is Feeling Good, the New Mood Therapy. It's great for mild depression or in conjuntion with an experienced, caring therapist for more severe depressions. It's not a bad idea to take the depression inventory weekly to see where you are at psychologically.
-find a counselor, psychologist, social worker, therapist, psychiatrist, whatever. find someone to moniter you. It's important. When you get depressed, it's easy to get sucked into a black pit and not realize how bad it is till it's too late to help yourself. FIND SOMEONE NOW. You're ahead of the game by recognizing you have a problem. Now start compiling a list of resources. Share it with your partner and give him permission to call and ask for help for you if you are unable to do so.
-make an emergency action plan. If it gets worse and you become unable to make decisions for yourself, it's good to have an action plan ready. What treatments, doctors, hospitals, etc you prefer, why, and which ones you absolutely DO NOT want.
-help around the house. Know any postpartum doulas you can get help from? A teenager who might work as a mothers helper? Even a nanny who could work for you part time, keeping you company, playing with the kids, making lunch, etc?
I hope something in this helps you.
Laura, mama to J (11), N (8),E (5) , and M (2). Baby #5 expected in Dec 2010!