If you missed THIS POST, it sort of summarized what I have been going through, mentally and emotionally, for several months now. A couple of friends who read it asked me to go into more detail, so here we go.
(strap in tight, the crazy train is about to take off!)
I did write a little about this, in THIS POST in case you missed it.
I think the biggest thing for me that was NEW this time, which made it harder for me to figure out what was really wrong with me, was the FEAR/ANXIETY. Mostly irrational fears, but they become overwhelming anyway. The whole fear of falling down the stairs while holding the baby is something that I still face every day, several times a day - but I am no longer trying to find an excuse or a way to pass baby off to someone else as I head up or down the stairs. Now I'm forcing myself to take a deep breath, to realize that I have safely traversed these very stairs WITH baby in my arms several hundred (if not several thousand) times. I have to remind myself every time, 'I CAN DO THIS'.
The other BIG fear is earthquakes. We live in Southern CA, along the San Andreas Fault, so earthquakes are a regular occurrence and have never bothered me that much before. Last Easter we had a decent sized quake in the middle of the day (no damage, thankfully) that no one else felt at first, and I had this awful feeling that if the world was ending, somehow I would be the only one aware of it until it was too late. There were several more small quakes in the months after that, so the entire pregnancy I was a little on-edge about it. By the time my hubs came home in December, I would feel at least 2 earthquakes every day that NO ONE else felt. In addition to heightened anxiety, this also served to undermine my self confidence. I mean, if I was wrong about these earthquakes that I was SURE I was feeling, then what ELSE was I wrong about?
Oh, and the nightmares. Crazy dreams that made me never want to sleep again. That symptom seems to have been the first to go away once I started medication. None of them made any sense, and they were all so terrifying!
And did I mention the memory loss? My teenager, AKA Bonehead, had a lengthy conversation with me about something he needed to stay after school for, and I have NO MEMORY of the event. I absolutely believed he was making the whole thing up, or had dreamed the conversation or something, but then Knucklehead corroborated his story - he had heard most of our conversation. Not only did this make me feel stupid, but it made me wonder what else I had completely wiped from my memory?
I just felt CRAZY. Still do, most days, but at least I am getting better. And even when I feel crazy, I know I am NOT crazy.
Like I said, the overwhelming feeling of LOSING MY MIND was the main marker for PPD this time.
I'm just so relieved to have gotten some help for this - I at least have hope that someday I will feel 'normal' again. At least my version of normal.