Uninvited thoughts (PPMD Story 2)

"I felt no joy and the guilt was overwhelming. Worse of all, I mourned the loss of time with my daughter. Months went by and I didn't feel I was a part of her life. I was just going through the motions. "

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Note: These stories have been submitted by women who have experienced PPMD and want to use their experience to help others. Any names have been changed for privacy reasons.

 


 

Uninvited thoughts (PPMD Story 2)

My daughter, was born in June 1994. I was an older mom (36 years old) and my husband and I had carefully planned our first pregnancy. She came into the world, and like most first time parents, we were in awe. We read all the books, listened to all the tapes and watched all the videos. Life was good. We had a beautiful, healthy baby and things couldn't be better.

Then the world as I knew it turned upside down in Nov. 1994. That month a woman named Susan Smith told the world that her car had been car- jacked and that her two sons, ages 3 years and 14 months, had been kidnapped. The media was having a field day. You could not turn on the television without seeing the faces of these two children. I became obsessed with the story, worrying constantly about those children. What could have happened to them? Where they being hurt? I could not imagine what this mother was going through! About a week later the mother confessed to driving her car into the river with her two children strapped into their seat belts. I will never ever forget my husband breaking the news to me. I could not get my head around it. How could someone possibly do something so horrific to their own children? I had a terrible dream about a week after the incident. I dreamt that I did something to my daughter. To this day I can't remember the details. I think it was such a nightmare that I have blocked it from my memory. All I knew was that I woke up in a panic and that I could not stop crying. I didn't want my husband to go to work that morning. I didn't want to be left alone. I kept that awful dream from my husband for a long time. He knew something was wrong but didn't know how to help. Things just got worse. I started having anxiety attacks and I worried constantly. I never thought I was going to do something to my daughter but I kept having these horrible thoughts and images come to mind. I would be bathing her and I could picture her drowning. I couldn't be around knives because the images were too scary. I would be walking with my daughter in the stroller and I could picture a car hitting both of us. It was physically and emotionally exhausting. I felt no joy and the guilt was overwhelming. Worse of all, I mourned the loss of time with my daughter. Months went by and I didn't feel I was a part of her life. I was just going through the motions.

I struggled for quite a long time on my own. Trying to will myself out of this nightmare. My husband could not have been more supportive but he didn't really know where to go for help. The turning point for me was looking into my husband's eyes and seeing how he longed for the woman he had married. I finally decided to take action. I made an appointment with my doctor and ended up going on medication. I was mad at myself for waiting as long as I had. The medication eased the thoughts and I could feel myself climbing out of the well I had been stuck in for so long. The medication lifted my symptoms but the "true" help came in the form of a mother's support group. I connected with a woman who had suffered from Post Partum Depression (PPD). She ran a group out of her home, on a volunteer basis, for mothers who were suffering from PPMD. That experience has been by far the most profound thing I have ever gone through. The power of hearing another woman who had suffered and recovered from PPMD made all the difference in the world. My husband and I have since added two more children to our family. I suffered some PPMD after my second daughter was born but not nearly as severe. I knew how to ask for support and I received it much earlier. Today I feel I am a stronger person for going through such an ordeal. Presently, I work with women who are suffering with PPMD. My work is something that is near and dear to my heart and I know that I will continue to tell my story with the hope of helping other women who are suffering in silence.

 

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If you or someone you care about, has suffered from PPMD, we would like to hear about your experience. Submit your story.

 

PPMD Symptoms
If you or someone you care about has any of these symptoms, get help, call or visit:

  • Your healthcare provider (family physician, midwife, nurse, OB/GYN, psychiatrist)

  • Your local Public Health Agency: Service Ontario 211 www.serviceontario.ca
    Telehealth: 1 866 797 0000 or TTY 1 866 797 0007

  • Mental Health Helpline: www.mhsio.on.ca or 1 866 531 2600

  • Life with a baby www.lifewithababy.com is a non-profit group of mothers available in some communities of Ontario and online that help mothers  connect with other one another for emotional and practical support. They offer events and programs such as play dates, time out for mom and family outings.

 

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