Living With Postpartum Depression

Aug 10 , 2020


Living With Postpartum Depression

As mothers, we expected nothing but a rush of love and superfluous joy after we’ve delivered our baby. It’s completely normal to think that would be the most rational things to look forward to after having endured 9 months of tremendous hardships. To most moms, yes, this can be the case. However, there are some who unexpectedly lose their light and eventually burn out. In some accounts, abandonment is a common thought that comes into their minds:

“This is not happening,” I told myself. The following morning, a panic attack and the sense that I just wanted to run far, far away. As the day went on, my anxiety grew and grew until I was unable to relax or sleep.  It was happening just as intensely and with as much force as before.
“What kind of a mother am I?” I said to my husband. “What kind of a person has a baby and reacts by wanting to run away from them? Me.  I’m that mother.  Maybe I shouldn’t have been anyone’s mom.”
It was too hard to explain those feelings, and when you tried, it felt like no one really understood just how scared you really were. You knew the fear was irrational, but it was so overwhelming and real that you couldn’t reason with it. Eventually, it started to fade, but just as you thought it was over, a trigger would spark the fear all over again.
Well, that is exactly what living with PPD is like. ("I Was So Ashamed About My PPD That I Was Willing To Lie To My Doctor" 2019)

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, PPD is “a mood disorder that can affect women after childbirth. Mothers with postpartum depression experience feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion …”  

This mostly results from quick drops in the hormone level (estrogen and progesterone) in a woman’s body leading to chemical changes in her brain which can trigger mood swings.

But if you want the real definition of postpartum depression, you have to ask those mothers who had the experience.

With the help of Taylor Halfpenny, a writer for Scary Mommy, and other mothers who were surveyed, we’ve listed down the most common signs of PDD.


  1. Fear of Germs

“I just want to keep mine in bubbles! Kids can be so ruthless, and I don’t want her to get hurt! I also worry when they are even slightly sick. My oldest ended up in the ER at 2 weeks old for influenza A, and we were admitted for 24 hours. The thought of not knowing what is wrong, if they are in pain, is absolutely terrifying! I don’t want to be the mom that goes to the doctor at the first sign of a cold, but I also don’t want to wait and see what it could turn into.”

-Natasha C.

  1. Sleep Deprivation

“I had postpartum anxiety/depression really bad with my first. I couldn’t sleep at night for fear of SIDS, but during the day I wanted nothing to do with my baby. I was so stressed, but any time he cried, I panicked. I never left the house, because I feared he would get sick and die.”

-Missy S.

  1. Pressure to Perform

“I had horrible anxiety over being super mom and being able to accomplish daily tasks. I would feel like a failure and cry, and felt like I was being judged if I didn’t get something done like laundry or grocery shopping.”

-Nicole B.

  1. Judgment

“I got constant reminders from my mom of what I still needed to accomplish in life. Then I had other people nagging at me that I was doing things wrong.”

-Samantha S.

  1. The Way It Just Pops Up

“I never had postpartum anxiety until after my 3rd baby. Then it popped up out of nowhere. I had an irrational and debilitating fear of SIDS so I hardly slept, but then I was exhausted and my brain just went into overdrive. It eventually affected all aspects of my life. Anxiety over my older children and everything they did left me in complete fear all the time. I didn’t speak about it until my baby was 15 months old, but finally I couldn’t take it anymore and got put on medication.”

-Erica R.

  1. The Sound of Baby Cries

“For me, the biggest trigger was babies crying. Right when I would hear my kids start crying I would freak out and have a panic attack and would want to scream. It was nuts. It’s finally started to simmer down and I’m 9 months postpartum.”

-Katie J.

  1. Being Left Alone

“My trigger was when I was left alone, even though I know I’m fully capable of taking care of my kids. I would panic. My heart raced. I would uncontrollably cry and worry about shit I know would be fine.”

-Monica T.

  1. Sunset and Nighttime

“My postpartum anxiety trigger is nighttime. 6pm-7pm rolls around and I’m a mess.”

-Megan T.

  1. Feeling Ashamed to Ask for Help

“My anxiety was constant and not really triggered by anything. I felt like I should’ve been able to take care of my baby by myself, and felt a lot of pressure to not ask for help. When people did offer help, I felt I’d failed as a mom.”

-Ashley H.

  1. Fearing the Worst

“It’s when I’m alone with him. When my husband leaves for a longer period of time than, like, the grocery store, I feel so much anxiety. I wonder if he’s breathing normal, is his little body okay, is he happy? What if he dies all of a sudden? Also leaving him home with my husband and going to do something on my own. I usually end up crying in my car, not because I’m worried about him being with my husband, but because it feels like I’m doing something wrong by leaving him or like a piece of me is missing.”

-Teri D.

  1. Feeling Crowded

“People spending too much time at my house after my daughter was born. I would get sick to my stomach and cry for hours.”

-Caitlin G.

  1. Physical Exhaustion

“For me, it’s thinking about my body and how I’m not really in control of it. It makes every day challenging. Some days I can’t even drive. Emotionally I go through feelings of fear and sadness. Physically, my senses are overwhelmed and tired.”

-Bonnie M.

  1. Having to Feel in Control

“Having to be on my game 24/7 because nobody else knows my kid like I do. It makes me tired and sad that I waste so much time worrying instead of being present and happy. Emotionally, it’s draining. It feels like Mentos in Coke with the cap screwed on tight.”

-Jenna L.

  1. Uncontrollable Crying

“The first week we brought our daughter home I cried over everything. I feel like I’m constantly in a terrible mood. Someone could tell me the best news ever and I’d still cry.”

-Erin O.

  1. Always Anxious

“I have terrible postpartum anxiety. Being away from my son (even just being in a different room) is the big one, but driving, and uncleanliness really triggers it too. It has gotten better with time, I’m nine months postpartum now, but I still have pretty awful anxiety attacks because of it on occasion.”

-Chandler T.


If you’re experiencing one of these symptoms, then its best you talk to anyone whom you trust. It’s important for us to know that PDD is something normal and it’s something that shouldn’t be frowned upon on. Get a friend or your spouse and let them know so you won’t have to bear the guilt all on your own but, it may be best to also inform your doctors especially if it gets worse.


“15 Common Postpartum Anxiety Triggers, According To Moms.” Scary Mommy, 21 May 2019,
“I Was So Ashamed About My PPD That I Was Willing To Lie To My Doctor.” Scary Mommy, 17 May 2019,

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