Postpartum Anxiety: You’re Not Alone

It seems like everyone always talks about postpartum depression, but no one ever talks about anxiety. Yes they definitely can go hand in hand. But there are other things besides depression that can be just as crippling. I didn’t have postpartum depression but I definitely had anxiety. Some days it felt as though I couldn’t do anything without constant fear going through me. I was one of the toughest things that I have ever dealt with. And considering I was a first time mother to a premature baby that’s saying alot. 

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About three days after I had my first son AJ I had the worst panic attack ever! I had never had one before and had absolutely no clue what was going. It was probably a culmination of him about to have a chest tube put in and my hormones. But oh man was this panic attack a doozy! It was terrifying since I couldn’t breath and actually thought that I was dying. No joke I was convinced that I was about to meet my maker and ended up flipping out even more. Probably not the best thing to do but ehh things happen!

 

 

After the initial panic attack I had quite a few more. Enough that I realized that this issue wasn’t going to go away on it’s own and that I needed to be proactive about it. It really sucked thinking that I just couldn’t handle motherhood and that I was just going to freak out forever. I also have a feeling that I’m not the only one who has ever felt like. It can be totally debilitating worrying about everything! I swear I would freak out if i didn’t rinse out his bottle three times with scalding hot water. I thought that something horrific would happen! That’s another part of the anxiety is also getting awesome OCD.

So I decided after a few months that I should find a doctor to talk to. I was sure that I didn’t have postpartum depression because despite the anxiety I was so extremely happy being a mom. I never knew that postpartum anxiety existed and that it affects just as many mothers. In general a lot of postpartum disorders aren’t overly talked about, so it really shouldn’t have been a surprise that I had no clue, but it was. I was beginning to feel like a total failure. So not helpful.

After speaking with my doctor and finding out how common it really is I felt tons better! I also decided to go on medicine to take away the worst of the anxiety. That’s a personal decision that only you can make but I was happy with my choice. I only used it for a few months until my hormones went back to normal. After that I used different coping mechanisms that my doctor taught me. Honestly going to talk to the doctor was one of the best decisions that I have ever made! I was no longer feeling like a lone failure or some kind of freak who can’t keep her crap together.

But it also made me realize how often we don’t talk about these things. I got to wondering how many other mothers out there feel the same way I did. How many feel so alone, like a failure, a freak and are just confused in general. I just wanted to take a minute to let you know that your not alone. That it’s a real thing. That you’re still an amazing mother who is doing the best that she can. Just that other out there have been where you are and we are still going strong!

Here is a link to a great site if you would like further info on the differences.

http://www.postpartumprogress.com/the-symptoms-of-postpartum-depression-anxiety-in-plain-mama-english

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Comments

  1. Thank you for such an open and honest post! Wishing you a happy and healthy 2017!

    1. StefFlynn says:

      Thank you Alexandra…You too! 🙂

  2. I have never heard of this, but it just makes so much sense. Thank you for informing and sharing your experience. I’m sure many others are going through something similar.

    1. StefFlynn says:

      I don’t think that a lot of people hear about it as much as depression. It’s sad and can make someone feel so alone.

  3. Ugh. I suffered with postpartum anxiety and depression so bad. It would had been great to come across a post like this back then.

    1. StefFlynn says:

      I know! I felt like I was the only person who just couldn’t get it together! I wish more people would talk about it.

  4. Helene Cohen Bludman says:

    It is so good to discuss these issues publicly. Taking away the stigma can help women seek help as you did.

  5. Alisha says:

    I am SO glad that you shared this! The Postpartum period is the craziest time I’ve ever experienced; granted, I am “only” 29 years old, but have had my fair share of crazy in my life. But postpartum sucked! I’ve always dealt with some level of anxiety, but it seemed as though, the time after my pregnancy was loaded with anxiety. I am really glad you shared this and I hope that more of us can “come out” and have these conversations more openly. In today’s age, we shouldn’t have to feel as though, we are the only one’s going through these tough times.

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