It feels like an endless downward spiral in a lonely world.
For decades, the healthcare industry has believed hormonal increase due to pregnancy shielded women from mental illnesses such as depression. This idea was further supported by societal assumptions that every woman who is bearing a child should feel overjoyed due to the reality of an upcoming addition to the family. In time, a lot of sectors believed, even the mothers themselves, that depression usually occurs after childbirth; time has proven this conclusion wrong.
When depression strikes, regardless of gender, age, or social status, it will hit hard and bad.
For the majority of expectant mothers, old and new, having a child is equivalent to a prayer answered; the thought that after a couple of months, they will be able to hold their newborn and marvel at the miraculous sight give soon-to-be moms the unequaled feeling of pride and joy. However, not everyone feels that way at one point in their pregnancy stage. Some women feel stressed, confused, anxious, and depressed upon seeing the two mocking lines on the strip.
Depression is like building an invisible wall between you and your child; a wall that only you can conquer.
One out of seven mothers will suffer pregnancy-related depression regardless of the number of children; this is data provided by the American Psychiatric Association. Mothers are most vulnerable to experiencing postpartum depression (PPD) after delivery; wherein they suffer from severe physical, emotional, biological, social, and financial changes all at the same time. Sometimes, the “baby blues” have become so extensive that it interferes with how mothers bond with their babies.
It’s time to address the elephantscrowding up the room.
Did you just say that? Well, this is awkward. First off, you don’t know what you’re talking about, and second, you’re making a fool out of yourself. Just when you thought you’re helping out, you’re not. Sometimes, staying mum about a subject that you have no experience whatsoever or have no basic knowledge of is the best way you can help someone who is struggling with depression.
If you keep on saying these eight common insensitive phrases that depressed moms never want to hear, might as well stop before you hurt yourself.
Just Pray, It’ll Get Better
Honestly, it won’t. Without proper treatment, depression cannot be resolved by asking the gods for a miracle or some sort. Praying harder wouldn’t take the suffering away, either. Faith has nothing to do with mental illness.
2.Women Get Pregnant All The Time, Live Through It
Or silently die along with it. Imagine, women being strong enough to live through their pregnant lives without having to worry about depression, what a perfect world that would be! Unfortunately, life is messy, and the world is chaotic so living through with depression is like having a ticking time bomb that is about to explode any minute. One out of seven women will experience PPD, and that is a fact.
Just Take A Hike Or Something
Though exercise is a coping strategy, it may not work for severe depression. Going out for a walk or taking some time off to bond with friends will not wash away depressive symptoms. Postpartum depression is not something that goes away with just a touch of a button. There’s no secret handshake to take all the emptiness away. What the person needs is professional help and people who are willing to listen without opposing statements or judgmental opinions.
This Is Not About You; It’s About The Baby
Postpartum depression is about the mother. Mental illness during pregnancy or after childbirth will only affect the child if it is left untreated and the symptoms have gotten worse. Telling a mother to focus more on her baby rather than herself is like riding a crashing plane and instructing the choking mom to first put the oxygen mask on her baby before putting on hers. How can you help someone if you can’t even help yourself?
I Know How You Feel
Do you? If you’re saying these empty words for the sake of compassion, you’re turning things around and making the situation about you and your experience with “baby blues.” Fact is, “baby blues” is way different than depression. Also, just because you’ve read it somewhere or did a research about it, doesn’t mean that you are well-equipped to air out consoling words because honestly, you wouldn’t know how depression feels like until you’ve suffered yourself.
You’re Just Jealous
When a mother is irritated or gets angry at the sight or sound of her child, it doesn’t mean that the green-eyed monster is taking hold of her, making her feel envious of the insurmountable amount of affection the baby is receiving. It is not normal for mothers to feel alienated from their baby primarily because they have carried them inside their wombs for months. If moms are hesitant to hold or take care of their newborn, it’s not because they wanted to but because the mental illness is severely debilitating them to do so.
You Should Be Grateful
Don’t you think the mother would know that by now? They are well-aware that they have been blessed with a beautiful baby; but because of chemical imbalance inside their brains that can only be resolved by psychological treatments, depressed moms, no matter how hard they try, cannot feel the same amount of gratitude and joy the way other moms feel.
Just Do What You’re Supposed To Do, It’ll Go Away
This statement, no matter how good the intentions are for thinking that being preoccupied will make the mom “forget” about the condition, is not helpful at all. Depressed moms cannot function like they did before they were overwhelmed by the illness. Carrying such a heavy burden inside without proper treatment and an understanding support group will just worsen the situation.
In this period of progression, people are expected to be more open-minded and accepting that there are existing mental illnesses that can affect anybody. Blurting out nonsensical things about a serious medical condition can only add more trauma and stress on the person, thus making her more miserable. Disregarding the existence of depression will only hinder immediate care and treatment. So, think before you speak or don’t speak at all.