Thursday, April 15, 2010

When You are Depressed

You can't take a compliment; everything anyone says nice to you seems false.
You can smile with your mouth, but you aren't smiling with your eyes. Any outward emotion you attempt to show others does not seem genuine.
You often feel emotionally numb--neither sad nor happy--just no feeling at all.
You look at family, even friends, as if they are strangers. You feel no genuine emotional connection to them.
Every scream of your baby feels like nails on a chalkboard. To respond to an infant's needs seems beyond your capacity.
Every sound is amplified. Loud noises sound louder, especially repetitive loud noises (such as construction equipment or a toddler's yelling) will drive you mad.
You find it hard to accomplish little tasks and it's impossible to multi-task. You consider it a major accomplishment to just load the dishwasher or do one load of laundry.
Music, shopping, cooking, anything that used to make you happy does not make you feel happy. You do not like to sing or dance because neither one brings you pleasure anymore.
You may frequently weep for different reasons--because you are sad, frustrated, angry, feel utterly alone and misunderstood.
You anger easily because little things are amplified into big things and then they piss the s?$! out of you.
You feel like no one can relate to your pain.
You may have thoughts of harming yourself or others.
You think you will never feel normal again.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Urge to Sing

Driving home today, my newborn son Asa was sobbing inconsolably in the back seat. I was shushing him and trying to turn up the classical music which I know had calmed him in the past. All of a sudden, it hit me. I started to sing. This might not seem such a revelatory idea for a normal mom, but for someone suffering from postpartum depression (PPD), this is the first time in the three months since my son was born that this urge had ever come over me. I began singing "If You're Happy and You Know It" and for one brief moment, the fog of depression lifted and I was happy. The crying stopped.