Tips to conquer postpartum depression/anxiety

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You probably thought it would never happen to you, right? Well, that’s what I thought, and boy, was I wrong. I’m currently five months postpartum, and just now I am starting to feel better. I’ve suffered from generalized anxiety disorder for the past few years, but was only on medication for about 6 months. I found that through exercise I was able to reduce my anxiety to the point where I didn’t need medication. However, that’s not the case this time around. While I’m still on the road to recovery, I’ve compiled a list of things that have helped me get through the past 5 months. Hopefully you’ll find something here that can help you.

1. Reach out to your doctor.
Don’t be embarrassed, they’ve heard worse and they’ve seen worse. The first step is seeking help, whether that’s through a therapist or medication, or both.

2. Communicate with your partner.
Your significant other most likely won’t know what you need unless you tell them. If you can, help them to understand what you’re feeling. Send them links to some information about PPD/PPA. If you’re seeing a counselor, it might be a good idea to bring them along for a session. If your partner is less than supportive, seek out a trusted friend or family member.

3. Write down your feelings and thoughts.
Get your emotions out somewhere safe. Burn the journal later on if you want to. But I promise you, writing your feelings down can help you to feel better, even if just for a little bit.

4. Prioritize yourself.
I know how hard this can be, what with a new baby and all. But, it’s time for other people (your partner especially) to step up to the plate and help you out while you’re struggling. Take a nap, go for a walk, get out of the house for an hour, do anything FOR YOURSELF. Don’t neglect yourself, and remember to eat! That was something I forgot to do for a few weeks and I suffered for it.

5. Know that this won’t last forever.
You will get through this. It may take more time than you’d like, but you will get through it.

And finally…

6. Know that you ARE a good Mom, and your baby loves you.

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