Shifa (name changed) talks about her journey from post natal depression to being free of depression.”I am penning down my thoughts so that I don’t forget…the paranoia, the hopelessness, the inability to relate to or trust anyone, the utter dependence on someone else to reassure you about your own thoughts.”
When l fell pregnant with my first child, I anticipated many things. But what I hadn’t been prepared for was the depression. The chaos in my mind where I felt trapped by my own thoughts. The normal everyday things that I used to take for granted became so difficult that I would wonder how I existed before.
My depression got so bad that I had to take antidepressants and undergo psychotherapy. I kept a diary of what I used to think during those days. Its only now after 7 years of the episode that I am able to talk about it.
I felt unable to relate to my son at an emotional level. The only way I could connect with him was by physically holding him and kissing him. I would see him smile and know that I liked to see that but did not feel it. My husband tried to cheer me up and take me out but I would be unable to appreciate anything. It was as if there was an empty void inside of me.
I saw the beauty of nature, appreciated it at an intellectual level but it evoked no feelings. Whereas earlier I would be ecstatic in the lap of nature. The sound of the gushing river, the fragrance of the flowers, the rustling of the leaves would be like a balm to my soul.
I would get paranoid about everything and everyone. Not enough for it to be a delusion but close enough to be scary.I used to feel so tired of having to monitor my thoughts. Things would take on a negative connotation in my mind no matter how hard I tried for it to be otherwise. I kept on fighting myself or rather my thoughts.
It was around this time that I started turning to religion. Primarily because I found it so hard to trust anyone. It provided me with a rope to hold on to. I felt that even if everyone left me, God wouldn’t and that was my biggest support.
Sometimes I would feel unable to deal with life. A great despondency would overwhelm me and I would feel adrift in a turbulent sea of emotions. I would hold on to my faith as I felt it was my only anchor
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