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Overcoming Postpartum Depression: My Journey From Darkness to Light

Jenna is a mom to an active toddler and a cuddly infant. Her experience with postpartum depression inspired her to share with others.

The Invisible Threat

Did you know that postpartum depression is the most common complication of childbirth?

According to the CDC, approximately 600,000 women experience postpartum depression (PPD) each year in the United States—and this figure only includes live births. Women who miscarry or whose babies are stillborn are also prone to postpartum depression. This figure is based on self-reported estimates, and given the negative stigma associated with PPD, it is likely that the actual number of cases is much higher. Add the number of women who will face other perinatal mood or anxiety disorders, and the annual estimate may be as high as 1 million women.

PPD affects not only the mom, but the entire family. Left untreated, women, children, and their families are at risk, but not just in the short term. Research indicates that postpartum depression can have a negative effect on a child’s development over the long term, too.


Becoming a Statistic

I knew these statistics. And I knew I was one of these statistics. And this only made the anxiety and fear I experienced worse.

Everybody told me, “Take care of yourself, now,” and they would use the "oxygen mask in a plane" analogy as a way to warn me to take care of myself, first. They meant well, and of course the concept made sense, but the advice didn’t really help. I mean, if it was as easy as putting a mask on my face, I would have already done it. I still didn't know what to do.

And so I did what any desperate mama had to do. I want on a quest to find "the solution." Only, I never found a "one-size-fits-all" answer, and nothing I found "worked" all on its own.

PPD was much more complex than I'd thought. Each tool I found dealt with a different core root. I had to treat the issue from a holistic point of view, meaning that there were physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual roots that all contributed to the "dis-ease" I was experiencing.

I used each tool, one by one, until I finally felt it no longer controlled my life. I built up a treasure chest of knowledge, tools, and strategies along the way—and am ready to share what I've learned.

Oxygen Masks

More About My Journey

This article is part of a larger reflection of my experience with postpartum depression. The next article in the series is: What Postpartum Depression Feels Like: The Invisible Thief.


This information is not intended to replace medical advice, and I am not claiming to have found “a cure.” I do hope, however, that this series will help you to know that you are not alone and will assist you in finding tools that will serve as "oxygen masks" to help you through your own journey from darkness to light.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


Dianna Mendez on February 19, 2017:

So glad you found answers to help you through this condition. Good advice to follow here!

Jenna Ditsch (author) from Illinois on February 04, 2017:

Hello Michael! Thank you for the welcome back. Ah, dear Vladimir. My husband and I drove out to meet with him before he passed. What a wonderful person. I'm writing about postpartum depression, depression/anxiety suffered by a mother following childbirth, typically arising from the combination of hormonal changes, psychological adjustment to motherhood, and fatigue. It was a very difficult challenge that I want to share more about to hopefully help other moms that may have similar struggles.

Michael-Milec on February 04, 2017:

Seek-n-Find, so nice to se you back. Hello. First of all congratulations and blessings upon you new and the most important role given by the Creator to a woman - mama.

Forgive me please, I do not have any idea what are you talking about in your article. However what I know is that I always enjoyed reading your previous writings - being new on HP introduced by our mutual brother and friend Vladimir Uhri, who is now watching at us from the HOME eternal.

May your days be filled with blessings.

Peace with us.