May is mental health month, so let me shout this from the rooftops–I AM A MEDICATED MOMMY! Yes, I take antidepressants. No, I am not ashamed. Not even a little bit. And if you do, you shouldn’t be ashamed either.
Let’s start at the beginning. On day six of being a new mom, I was overcome with crippling anxiety and non-stop tears. I had no desire to leave my bed ever again. All I wanted to do was sleep or go back to the hospital where people would take care of me and I didn’t have to be responsible for the well-being of another human. Obviously something was very wrong.
After a diagnosis of postpartum depression followed by three rounds of different anti-anxiety medicine and two rounds of antidepressants, my therapist and psychiatrist finally found the right drug cocktail to help me.
My son is now three years old and while I have weaned off the anxiety meds I still take the antidepressants every morning. I will most likely take them for the rest of my life and I’m okay with that. And I’m cool with you knowing that about me. I’m proud of my journey–of the year long fight I put up against the PPD–of my transformation into the fierce, brave, honest woman and mom whose words you are reading right now.
I realize that treatment for depression and anxiety are not one size fits all. What worked and continues to work for me might not be right for you. The important thing is to make sure you advocate for yourself.
I know I sound like a broken record, but postpartum depression is very real, very common, and goes untreated way too often. If you had the flu or another type of illness, you would treat those wouldn’t you? PPD is no different.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with suffering from postpartum depression or anxiety. You didn’t do anything wrong and you have nothing to be ashamed of. Taking medication does not make you weak or any less of a mother. In fact, acknowledging you have it and getting help and treatment make you strong.
So let me shout this again. I AM A MEDICATED MOMMY AND I AM NOT ASHAMED! I do what I need to do to stay healthy and happy for my family and for myself. And that makes me a warrior mom.