Honesty time. The PPD monster is back.
This time it was a swift attack, hit much earlier than before but within a week of feeling lousy I got in to see a wonderful nurse practitioner. Last time I let it linger longer but this time I can be honest and say I was scared of myself.
Thankfully, in less than a week of seeing my care provider I felt better. It is not always like that and I still have down moments (or full days) but the issue that got me running to my clinic has for the most part settled it’s ugly head. Rage.
Post-partum rage sounds as disgusting as it is. Just the word rage makes me cringe, yet it is the only word that can adequately describe my main post partum depression symptom. A switch flips and aggression takes over. You want to hurt, you want to release this dragon inside you because, like partaking in any desire, it feels good at the time. You don’t really think, you are just annoyed, aggravated and in need of an outlet. Please don’t worry, I was always able to walk away before things got out of hand but it is an incredibly scary feeling wondering if next time that hot flash happens you will be able to control yourself. There is no rationalizing and no thinking your way out when it overwhelms you. So, before that could happen to me, I called for help.
There is not much discussion about rage post partum. It seems taboo to talk about female anger and the possible actions this could result in. I could not find to many personal stories when searching Dr. Google for answers. Weepiness, tiredness, depression, not finding things funny. These are the signs we are told to look for, but not sudden outbursts of rage and the ability to hurt physically or emotionally. If you have never dealt with these irrational emotions you probably cannot understand how this could be. How could someone let themselves act or even want to act in such a way when it is utterly against their personality? And it is ok to not ‘get it’. You won’t understand, but please do not judge. A gentle, loving mother drowning in ppd can often show symptoms through anger and rage and this HAS to be discussed. These women need to feel safe enough to get help because help is available and life can go on as normal 🙂
So what would I say to a Mum bristling at another’s touch or even their words? Please do not think it is just fatigue taking over or that if you only ate more during the day you would feel better. This kind of anger needs addressing fast and talking to your physician is the first step. Maybe medication isn’t the route you will chose together but you have to tell someone, open up and know it is normal with PPD. It is not you being a terrible mother or not being fit to look after your own children. This IS NOT YOU. These hormonal induced emotions can be managed but you must first recognize them and validate them so you can conquer them.
The guilt you feel from acting in anger, forgive yourself. If you have said something or acted in an angry way towards a child old enough to understand or your spouse, apologize. Mummies make mistakes and still need to seek forgiveness. It will bring you peace, as well as teach your child a valuable lesson in communicating with the human race.
Medication, mindfulness, getting extra home support, taking care of yourself. One or all of these things may need to happen and that is ok. PPD is a season, not a life sentence. Do what needs to be done to be in control of your emotions now so you can be the mother you desire in your heart to be. We all know the impatient, yelling, aggressive beast inside of you is not that Mum so don’t let it stay that way. Reach out to your partner and your health care provider.
Just say ‘help me’. Don’t let it go on any longer and don’t let any fear of stigma stop you from being the person you know you are without these insane hormones.
You are worth it, your family is worth it.
Just another Mother 🙂