|Originally posted by G-Dawg
Lately I have been thinking that millons of women have babies, why is this so hard for me?
G-Dawg, I have asked myself the same question so many times. The answer is that there is no answer, given our current knowledge about depression and motherhood. Just as we aren't exactly sure why some people are predisposed to diabetes or heart disease regardless of lifestyle, we don't know why some people are predisposed to depression or PPD. What I do know is that we (at least in the US) live in a culture that isn't very supportive of parenting, especially of AP parenting or parenting from the heart. In this day and age, it is rare to have women around helping and sharing and commiserating many hours of the day. Combine wanting to parent from the heart with the isolation of being expected to be able to do so very much on your own day in and day out, and it's really little wonder that it feels so hard.
Don't be 100% certain that it is so much easier for other people. We are programmed to put on a brave face from infancy on, and this especially goes for moms. We are not supposed to tire, not supposed to get cranky, and above all, we are absolutely not supposed to complain about the very real challenges of motherhood. After all, we chose to have kids and many of us chose to stay home. So as long as we are procreating and getting a "free ride" off our husbands, we are never, ever, supposed to gripe or dislike parts of our job. Of course, anyone who works outside the home or does DIY work around the house or anything else can complain, but somehow we're supposed to see every tantrum as a gift from the heavens. Given this environment and the competition that often subtly exists amongst women, I think we all pretend to be way more OK than we really are at times.
I understand what you mean by feeling the ups and downs and being confused. I remember several times thinking I ought to start therapy but then would have 1 good day and hopefully think, oh yay, maybe things are looking up now. What finally made me realize how bad things were was when I took a look at my comparative "ups" and realized how low they were compared to how good I used to feel. It came to a head went on a long vacation where I didn't have to cook or clean for over a week, had my husband's help 24X7, and still didn't feel good inside. You may not be anywhere near that point, but realize that it is normal to have ups and downs. Even on Lexapro, I have ups and downs, and am assured this is perfectly normal.
There is nothing wrong with pursuing non-drug treatment if that is what you want to do and you don't feel the situation is dire (but do make sure it's your decision and not just your husband's). I did that for a year before starting meds. In retrospect perhaps I was a little overly anti-drugs, but at least I am totally certain that I tried every other avenue. Plus, it is wonderful because I have many other things I can do for myself that improve life, and I will be able to use these skills to hopefully help myself start gradually weaning off Lexapro in a few months. And of course, you can do all those same things while on anti-depressants, but I'm sometimes lackadaisical about doing good things for myself, and so might have let the Lexapro "do the work" for me if I'd started there and it had worked.
Let us know how things are going!