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We often relate depression with too many brainy jobs, a stress to achieve the target, perfection and may be highly paid professions around the world. Depression is still a taboo for most of us to discuss and for me too. But now I make my honest confession here as of how my life revolved through this word in those two-three years post my second delivery. It really takes a courage to accept that yes, you were depressed and those gloomy days which you never want to come back. As we say, Bright days follow gloomy days or every bad phase has some positive learning. And it would be better if we understand it before it goes overboard and gets out of control. I too have learned with that and with this confession I want that no other woman should face the same as I had to!
To start with, I need to take the story almost 9 years back when I was carrying my first baby. All planned and not unexpected. I had decided to quit my dream company to take care of my younger one. Definitely, I never had regrets of quitting. Many friends warned me that one day you will regret your decision of quitting and I reacted back with a big smile!
But I enjoyed my six months of pregnancy period in chilling out and doing whatever I could not do earlier due to hectic life schedule. Then as she turned two plus, I wanted a second child to accompany her and a little selfishness that I will be free before my age goes up. Doctor gave me to go ahead and my second one came exactly when my first one turned three. I was happy that my delivery work is over for a lifetime, though it can never be when we talk about duties and responsibilities!
Being in the nuclear family and when your spouse works in odd shifts it's rather a difficult job for a woman to manage all single-handedly. If I need to define myself then I am amongst those who can manage in any situation and take my own decisions of life. One who can even manage hospital visits all alone in pregnancy or with a small baby or the one who don’t want to depend on anyone for petty things or even bigger tasks.
On the contrary, sometimes being so much independent will just make you overloaded. My husband helped in all the ways he could. From bathing the baby, massaging but his working hours from afternoon 12- midnight 12 was like a big challenge for me. I hired all possible help which I could. But each passing day was so tired both mentally and physically.
Depression is not which can sense high profile people or successful ones. It’s more like a stress from small things that could later turn those into bigger ones and it can target anyone at any age and anytime!
Depression can also come through these:
When you want to sleep but could not due to the baby or pending chores.
When you feel hungry but can’t enjoy your meal or may be so tired to eat.
When you don’t want to cook but you have to for your younger ones.
When you just want a break or wanted to move out of the house for the time being but being in nuclear family you cannot.
When you know you are so busy whole day that you don’t have time to even wash your face.
And when you know that physically you are engaged but mentally you are not.
This is what happened to me and being lazy all the time was the first sign. Just to clear my doubt I went for a complete health check up and it was perfectly fine. The only advice doctor gave me that you need a rest. He didn’t talk about postpartum depression and if he would have then I won't be writing about PPD at this moment.
Additionally, no one talked about this and even I was unaware of the facts six years back. Secondly, for me, I had a notion that I cannot become a victim of depression because of the healthy lifestyle I follow like exercise, meditation, yoga, a big social circle and healthy food habits and a positive attitude.
This started in the year of 2011 when my second child was born. I thought maybe things will work out soon as she will grow up. But I was completely wrong. In 2012 Oct, suddenly I felt breathless and shivering of hands and feet. By chance, my husband was there at home and we immediately rushed to the hospital. As soon as we entered in Emergency, they put me on oxygen and drip. I was unaware of the fact that what has happened to me suddenly!
They did some few tests and told that maybe it's due to congestion or some allergic reaction. Later, I was completely fine after two days. Then again after the gap of one and a half year, I had the same attack of breathlessness. Again I called my husband from the midway and rushed to the emergency. It was surely blessing that hospital was just 500mtr away from our home. Again they put me on oxygen but my oxygen level was full. The visiting doctor came and asked me what happened? I conveyed breathlessness and anxiety or fear. She immediately told,”This is an anxiety attack” and then immediately they induced one SOS tablet through drip and I was dozed off!
I am not sure how many really know about anxiety attack and how it feels when suddenly you go out of breath without any reason. I have sensed it closely when you feel like someone is taking away your last breaths. That moment was not less than the last moment of your life when all flashback and memories of your children will reflect in front of you. There is no regular medicine for anxiety and it’s a more of a mental level syndrome.
I had 3-4 anxiety attacks during those 3 years and finally a doctor asked me “Are you depressed?” I had no answers! Because for me, “I was not depressed and cannot be”. The reason being, I didn’t have any monthly targets to complete. I don’t run in the morning to reach office. I don’t expect big bungalows and servants. I am typically a social person, a homemaker who talks to everyone around with a same smile and zeal.
He said you must be then you would not have landed here as anxiety attack patient.
He made me think, where I went wrong and being a positive person always how can I am in such a situation.
Soon I realized where I was wrong!!
That post Partum depression and many other factors after my second baby where no one guided me that time.
Those little imperfections where I never wanted to compromise like a routine for everything, spick-n–span house, cooking till perfections.
Those things managing independently and single-handedly without asking any help.
A tag of superwoman that I never wanted to remove.
And most importantly the time when I was not engaged mentally.
I know how it feels when being a homemaker you suffer depression. And I am a proof of that survey which condemns that SAHMs are more prone to depression.
I am lucky that I tried to look for the solution and worked on it and I am little better to live my life.
I realized that the words like perfections and superwoman make you more stressed and thereafter I left to be called as a perfectionist or Superwoman.
And most importantly, an engagement in some ME time or in all those hobbies or happiness which you leave for others where you can keep your brain engaged!!