Can post-partum depression last more than 2 years?- why I say YES!
Updated: Oct 10, 2022
PPD: moderate to severe depression in a woman after she has given birth .
Although there is more to motherhood than PPD, I advocate for women who do experience it because it's a silent killer in women . I am still piecing together my journey as a mother, however I wanted to acknowledge why I believe post-partum lasts more than 2 years. I have touched on this in my letter to myself a few years ago and you can read it here. https://tynashae.wordpress.com/2020/01/03/dont-breakdown-before-your-breakthrough-pt-1/
As you know, PPD can affect 1 in 7 women after they have given birth, in which doctors and other reputable health organizations say that it can last up to 2-3 years.
Symptoms of post-partum depression can include:
crying spells, mood swings, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, too much sleeping, brain fog. While the exact cause of PPD is unknown, it's acknowledged as a complication of giving birth and I can say that 4 years later I still feel these symptoms- just not as intenselyI believe that brain fog and anxiety is one of my long-lasting symptoms. Sometimes I feel super attentive to work, home, friends, etc; other days I forget conversations, where I last placed my phone, I overwhelm myself with trying to be the perfect Mom and when my day doesn't go the way I intend it to , I feel my mood swtich like that. I will argue with close friends and loved ones , expecting them to undestand without helping them to understand. My career choices thrive off of environments that are healthy for my mind, and right for my daughter, and within the last few years I have realized that I just have a lot on my plate.
I still don't sleep as good as I used to. I joke a lot about how I lost sleep the day I found out I was pregnant but I'm telling the truth . When K was a baby , I never slept because of her sleeping patterns and then her allergies/eczema turned into a nightly anxious routine that results in us both having anxiety at night time. She can't sleep because she is always itchy, and I can't sleep because I've exhausted all of the home remedies to make her feel comfortable.
4 years later I may not question my role as a mother or feel as if I need someone to help me however I do believe not having the support I needed altered my life in a way that PPD was bound to happen. I feel the trauma of brithing a child alone, raising a child alone, navigating life as a working Mom and a child who's needs are changing daily. I often judge myself because I feel as if PPD is one of the reasons why I feel as if my life hasn't evolved in the way I wanted it to. I'm not letting it control me, however I recognize how childbirth altered my brain and it's taking me a while to just figure things out.
That's okay too. :)