I'm a Mom + a Therapist + I Battled Postpartum Depression


I'm a mom. I'm a therapist...and I experienced postpartum depression.


Looking at the cover picture and reflecting on that time, I hurt for that woman. That woman felt like her whole world was crumbling as she desperately tried to keep it together for her baby. She pushed through working full-time, journeying through a rigorous Masters program, and trying to figure out how to be a mom - trying to figure out "why this baby won't stop crying" unless he was in her arms. That woman wanted to runaway and leave that baby with her mom! Yep, I just said that. That woman cried way more than she smiled and painted on a mask to hide her pain every day; and although her mom called it, she pretended as best she could that she was ok. That woman completely lost herself. That woman suffered in silence.


Many of US (Black Women) share this experience silently. Cultural norms subconsciously tell us to be embarrassed by this experience and to just endure. Black women are already at a high-risk for mental health disorders and an even higher-risk for mental-health issues post birth. Black women are also less likely to get help for those issues (see my post "I'm not your Black SuperWoman). While 20 percent of all women display symptoms of perinatal mood disorders, almost half of all Black women display these symptoms at 44 percent! PPD is not to be confused with baby blues which typically fades away on its own in a couple days. PPD lasts for months, sometimes even longer and can be debilitating.


I remember thinking that my son deserved a "better mother" than me and feeling completely inadequate - although facts proved I was serving him beyond what he even needed at the time. In my mind I wasn't enough and would never be enough. Sometimes I still marvel at the fact that even as a mental health professional, I battled with a mood disorder. It's actually humbling as it reminds me no one is untouchable - and everyone deserves support. I made it through that period of my life with my angel on earth - my mom...and with the word of God that says this too shall pass; and it did - eventually I was able to say I was no longer fighting postpartum depression but I was fighting a different depressive disorder. The postpartum went unchecked for so long that it had seemingly morphed into something else. It wasn't until 2 years later that I even STARTED to feel like myself again. I had waited so long to seek out help and delayed my own healing.


If you're dealing with overwhelming sadness, uncontrollable crying, piercing anxiety/worry, guilt and shame, etc..you don't have to only "give it to God" as culture teaches us. Give it to God AND your therapist. Seek treatment with a mental health professional sooner rather than later and share your experiences b/c we heal each other when we normalize instead of shame. Get the help and be someone else's healing sis.


Love you,


Britt

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