Postpartum Anxiety (PPA) | Part 2

So… If you read my previous blog post you’re aware that I’ve been a constant struggle with Postpartum Anxiety (PPA)… Well, let’s just hop in and pick up with what happened next after I came to terms with the fact that I did in fact have PPA. Initially, I think I was kinda just numb, or rather, in disbelief that I was dealing with “mental illness” or a chemical imbalance of some kind. First, I thought it was something just temporary. Something I could quickly shake off. But, unfortunately it turned into more. I was going to therapy on a bi-weekly basis, and things seemed to be getting a “little” better…. But, I still couldn’t shake the anxious feeling. After weeks and months of therapy, my therapist suggested that I see a Psychiatrist… Now this is where I was like so, does this mean I’m REALLY CRAZY?! Lol… And the answer was YES… But, hey that’s ok!

My first psychiatry appointment was NOTHING like what I had expected. I originally thought that by the end of it, I’d be in a straight jacket and off to the “looney bin”… Lol but it was the complete opposite! The psychiatrist was calm and patient while she worked with me to unpack what I had experienced that lead me to needing to see her. She was witty and down to earth. I honestly didn’t feel like I was talking to a therapist at all but rather a “new friend”.

Upon the conclusion of this therapy session she advised that she would like for me to start taking medication to assist with regulating the anxious feeling I was having. Initially I was apprehensive to taking medication. But, quickly got on board after having yet another anxiety attack that week. She started me on 10mg of Lexapro and 10mg of Xanax, to be used on an as needed basis.

Now, I too, thought that taking the meds would be a short stint and not something that 4 years later I’m still taking off and on. I had to wean myself off when we decided we wanted to have Kelsey. I went the whole pregnancy with her practically batty because not only was I dealing with anxiety but, the ever-changing hormones that come along with creating a human. OH JOY! So, I knew that after her birth at some point I’d be back to my anxiety meds again, I just didn’t know when!

I breastfed and pumped with Kelsey for about 6 months when my milk supply started to dwindle… And then I started back with a company that I worked with in MD…. And that my friends is when the anxiety started to rear it’s little UGLY head again! Smh. Now, mind you at this point I was working from home full time so, you’d think I would’ve been living the dream, right? Yeah… LIES! Lol that job had my so stressed out, I wasn’t eating, sleeping, some days even bathing trying to keep up with the UN-realistic “requirements” (more like SWEATshop mentality) of the job. I would finish tasks and attempt to bask in my success all to have more piled on me. You see, sometimes being good at your job isn’t all it’s cracked up to be when people feel like they can just use you.

Daily, I felt like I was walking on eggshells. To the point that my anxiety was so HIGH once again that I started to feel like I couldn’t drive again to pick up the kids after work… But, this time I didn’t have my mom there to support me. She was miles away in Maryland, while I was here in Florida struggling. Not only was work hectic but, my husband, Josh, was working on his masters so, he spent lots of time at the office getting homework done because being home with a toddler and a baby is distracting, PERIOD.

This had to be one of the hardest seasons in my life. I knew I needed help and where we live in Florida, doctors tend to prefer the “retired” patients. I’m sure that’s probably because they go to the doctors more frequently and therefore, are more cost effective than a 30+ year old woman who only went to the doctors for physicals, once a year, and maybe another time if I got sick. So, I had NO therapist, NO general physician for months… And at the same time I felt like I had NO HOPE.

After months of battling, my husband’s job had a health fair and he found a general physician who was closer to his job (about 35 mins away from our house) but, was accepting patients. So, what did I do? I put on my big girl panties, and I drove down to the doctor’s office. Praying, crying and completely losing my cool for the 35 mins it took me to get there because my anxiety was so bad.

FINALLY, I found relief. My doctor prescribed my medications and within about a month, I was almost normal.

Now, ya’ll that was almost 2 years ago because Kelsey is 2 now…. And I’m still struggling! Lol.

What’s the lesson today? Seek HELP immediately when you don’t feel like yourself. Don’t wait until you go batty like I did. Don’t make excuses. And check on your friends and family, who just might be struggling in silence.

~ Peace, Love & Light

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