Feeling helpless and hopeless - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 10 Old 06-12-2008, 05:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm 9 weeks post-partum with DS and I feel like I'm constantly just barely holding it together. I remember it being so much easier with DD. But now I have a 3 year old and an infant who's more challenging than his sister ever was. DP's job requires him to work 10-12 hours a day and it's been a dicey time with their company, so he's been very little help. We have no family around & my friends (even my mom friends) have been...um...scarce. I feel like I have NO social support. I'm hoping that I'll feel more human when I go back to work next week. At least I'll be around other people on a daily basis. But maybe it'll all just get worse.

It began as soon as DS was born. I had such high hopes of people visiting and bringing food and going out of their way to help. I'm part of a mothers' group whose members are always helping each other out so it seemed to be a reasonable expectation. Instead, I had 1 person call & visit me a few times and 1 other person called. None of my neighbors even acknowledged that we'd had a baby. No word from any of my co-workers (who are notorious for sending flowers to anybody for anything). Not even a card or phone call from any of my extended relatives.

For the last 9 weeks I've felt increasingly alone and hopeless. I keep thinking that the fog will lift soon- maybe tomorrow, maybe next week. But it doesn't. And every so often I break a little realizing that nothing is getting better and it's been that much longer that I haven't been able to provide my children with a happy mother. I haven't been able to completely enjoy bonding with DS because I feel like I'm just not capable of giving him love. I don't feel animostiy, he's just...there. What a horrible feeling (or lack of feeling) for a mother to have.

And the longer I'm alone, the more anti-social I feel. I went to a birthday party a few weeks ago and as much as I tried, I could not feel happy. I ended up walking out and crying in my car....and, I'm fairly certain, nobody noticed. If anything, they all probably rolled their eyes and called me dramatic.

The more I read and research, the more I feel like a textbook case of PPD. But, it seems to me, nobody feels the need to help you unless you're a threat to your children (which I am not). It's like nobody thinks there's anything wrong if you actually say "I'm depressed". It seems more important if you're in denial and they can "save" you. I took the PPD screening test at my 6 week appointment and the midwife remarked that I'm "on the low side of normal". She didn't think it was a priority and told me that I would be fine. Gee, thanks. I called my HMO's behavioral health dept and they offered to schedule an evaluation with a couselor....the same person I've spoken with several times in the past to no avail. I've gone in crying that I felt overwhelmed and hopeless felt like something was "off" and they offered to schedule monthly meetings (I'm already overwhelmed, when will I have time to go talk to someone for an hour once a month?). Meanwhile my husband went to the GP, mentioned that he wanted to quit smoking, and they gave him an anti-depressant. I don't want to just depend on medication, but nothing else has worked and I KNOW that.

So, here I am. Alone. Overwhelmed. Unable to get any help. What do I do now?

---Jessica---Livin' my life from A Peace.gif(1/05 ) to Z  jammin.gif(4/08 ).....and z babyf.gif(3/11)

 

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#2 of 10 Old 06-12-2008, 11:56 PM
 
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Just wanted to send some hugs your way. It's tough, isn't it? I myself have found a lot of helpful info in the book The Mood Cure by Julia Ross. It can be very isolating in that ppd seems to carry a stigma--but honestly, people really have no idea what you're going thru unless they've BTDT. Just wanted to bump this up for you and let you know you're not alone!

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#3 of 10 Old 06-13-2008, 12:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you so much

---Jessica---Livin' my life from A Peace.gif(1/05 ) to Z  jammin.gif(4/08 ).....and z babyf.gif(3/11)

 

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#4 of 10 Old 06-13-2008, 12:22 AM
 
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No problem!

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#5 of 10 Old 06-14-2008, 01:03 AM
 
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Jessica, you are NOT alone. We are not alone. I just want to give you a huge hug, and I wish it could be in person.

Personally, I tried everything "natural" and none of it worked. I was hesitant for the longest time about going on meds, but finally gave it a try, because well, I was feeling really crappy and it was hurting me and my family. I had a lot of anger and resentment toward X DP and our kids. I started phone consultations with a ppd specialist, had no clue how I was going to pay for it, didn't even tell DP because he'd been quite unsupportive and I thought he'd be angry about spending that much money. And I'm so glad I did!! I'm paying a monthly amount (the therapist is very very flexible, thank God!), doing weekly or every other week sessions. Honestly, the more frequent the better.

You are worth getting help! Since your DH works long hours, can you add hired help into the budget? ESPECIALLY when you start working too. Even if it is just temporary, you NEED help and don't have that support from anyone else. I'd go nuts, heck, anyone would! Having ppd just takes it to a much darker level.

I also understand your disappointment in trying to set up support for yourself and feeling abandoned when no one seems to care, that happened to me too. I'm so sorry you are experiencing this. My deepest heartfelt hugs and love to you Jessica!!

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#6 of 10 Old 06-14-2008, 02:16 AM
 
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I couldn't read and not post. I have been there and looking back I think people just don't have a clue. I wish I had asked for more help, and said specifically what I wanted: come and just hang out with me, hold the baby while I have a bath, etc. to you, I hope things get better soon (they are much better for me now)

mama to two DD's, 7 and 3 (3 rounds of IVF and more FET's than I can remember)
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#7 of 10 Old 06-14-2008, 07:57 AM
 
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I wished that I asked for more help too, but man, in that moment, that felt almost impossible for me. I still don't know why. I felt angry that others weren't taking the initiative to care. I'm not trying to hijack, just mentioning that now I realize that I am the only one who I can depend on to care about myself and love myself, and with that I would almost demand help. Get the help you need mama, take the hurt that you feel and put that energy towards yourself for the better. You totally deserve it. You deserve to feel joy in the presence of your kids. I know the feeling though, its really hard. More hugs to you mama

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#8 of 10 Old 06-17-2008, 09:10 AM
 
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How are you mama?

Creating Art. Living life on Guam. Sharing my Journey.

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#9 of 10 Old 06-17-2008, 11:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for asking. The last few days have been much better. Honestly, I didn't even realize that until I started this response.

I'm starting back to work on Thursday so I've been focussed on that. I really think that being back at work will help me a lot. I'll be around other people on a consistent basis, I'll feel like I have a "non-mommy" purpose, I'll have 30 minutes a day (while I commute) to be alone with my thoughts. Yeah, I think it'll be good.

I've also started a few "projects" this week that will hopefully bring me in contact with new people and will potentially open some career doors for me. It's made me feel a lot more like "me".


I'm far from feeling perfect and I'm still having rough days but today is good.

---Jessica---Livin' my life from A Peace.gif(1/05 ) to Z  jammin.gif(4/08 ).....and z babyf.gif(3/11)

 

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#10 of 10 Old 06-18-2008, 12:32 AM
 
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Sounds like a wonderful report, and a wonderful start Keep us posted Giving yourself non-mommy purposes can be a real breakthrough for some who experience ppd. It helped me a ton, thats for sure. I was a much nicer mommy when I was with my kids. I was HAPPY to see them.

Creating Art. Living life on Guam. Sharing my Journey.

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