Trigger warning: suicide ideation
If you’ve ever skilled postpartum melancholy, nervousness, OCD, or one other perinatal temper dysfunction, you understand how crippling these situations will be. I used to be identified with PPD within the fall of 2013 and didn’t emerge from the proverbial darkness till the summer season of 2014, practically 16 months after giving delivery. This signifies that, for a full 12 months, I used to be flailing and failing. On quite a few events, I needed to die.
While psychological well being issues have been destimagatized lately, maternal psychological well being issues are nonetheless very misunderstood. After all, you simply gave delivery to a fantastic child; these are purported to be the perfect days of your life. You ought to be joyous, hovering on (an adrenaline-filled) cloud 9.
But what occurs once you aren’t? A brand new documentary goals to discover that query and extra. “Year One” follows author and filmmaker Erin Bagwell on her journey to and thru the primary 12 months of motherhood.
“When I create or produce a documentary, I do so from a place of ‘seeking,’ meaning I start the project with a question and the film allows me to seek out an answer,” Bagwell tells Scary Mommy. “I knew I wanted to make a film about motherhood, but I didn’t know what that would look like until I became a mother. I felt compelled to create a film about the identity shifts that take place. But then, in the early stages of filming, I was diagnosed with postpartum depression. It was a profound experience and eventually became the throughline of the film, as I sought ways to grow. To mend. To heal.”
“The first few weeks postpartum were unlike anything I had ever experienced before,” Bagwell explains within the movie. “I was so focused on surviving that it took me a really long time to bond with Ginny. Everything I read said this was ‘normal.’ But when friends and family were telling me to enjoy every minute, it made me feel like I was already failing. I thought maybe I’d made a mistake,” Bagwell provides. “Maybe I didn’t have what it takes to be a mom.”
Of course, Bagwell isn’t (and was not) the primary particular person to really feel this fashion, nor will she be the final. Many mother and father wrestle to bond with their kids. Moms — and dads — are assembly a brand new particular person, in any case. They should type a relationship from the bottom up. They additionally really feel insufficient, questioning each determination they do or don’t make. But it’s a type of issues we don’t speak about, like struggling to feed or breastfeed or just coping with infinite hours of screaming on little to no sleep. Yeah. New parenthood is tough. And should you add hormonal shifts to the combo and a chemical imbalance, it’s rattling close to not possible. Raising a toddler whereas residing with a perinatal temper dysfunction defies the percentages.
“Some days it is hard to breathe,” Bagwell explains in “Year One.” “I feel like I’m running and I can’t stop crying and I feel so much guilt. Like somehow I should be stronger or more grateful.” But postpartum melancholy robbed Bagwell of those emotions. It made her unhappy and apathetic. She was anxious and overwhelmed. And Bagwell felt this fashion till she hit what she describes as “rock bottom.”
“I couldn’t control the darkness and overwhelm inside of me,” Bagwell mentioned. “I thought maybe my daughter would be better off without me. I thought about killing myself.”
The excellent news is Bagwell didn’t, as I didn’t. We each turned to our husbands for assist. In reaching out, we discovered hope. And we each sought exterior assist. Bagwell turned to see teams, and I turned to a psychologist and psychiatrist. With remedy and medicine, I used to be in a position to handle my temper. But you don’t should hit “rock bottom” to get higher.
“I think education is a big part of understanding, treating, and preventing PMADs (or perinatal and postpartum mood and anxiety disorders),” Bagwell tells Scary Mommy. “The more people know about PMADs, the better off they will be.” Knowledge can even allow you to ask for assist
“When my postpartum depression started to get worse, I was afraid to ask for help because in the back of my mind I was afraid someone would take my daughter away,” Bagwell provides.” We have this horrible delusion in our tradition that postpartum melancholy equates to harming your child, which generally is a symptom of postpartum melancholy however isn’t all the time current.”
The signs of postpartum and perinatal temper issues range, from anger and apathy to unhappiness, irritability, uncontrolled crying, nervousness, and/or feeling numb. A lack of curiosity can also be a standard signal one thing is flawed as are undesirable ideas and unchecked fears.
“Year One” shall be launched on May 4. The movie will be seen on-line on YouTube and/or on the documentary’s official webpage.
If you or somebody you understand is experiencing signs of postpartum melancholy, nervousness, OCD and/or one other perinatal temper dysfunction, notice there’s assist and hope. For fast help, contact your doctor, OB/GYN and/or name 911 or attain out to somebody at Postpartum Support International at 1-800-944-4773.