afternoon I was cutting into a watermelon with a big knife at my kitchen
counter. Out of nowhere, I started thinking about this knife and my baby.
I couldn’t believe what I was thinking! I was actually thinking of this
knife going into him. This thought would not go away. It kept repeating
itself over and over in my head...
thought to myself, I don’t want to kill my baby. Before I knew it, the
words ‘kill baby’ were also stuck in my head. I couldn’t shake this,
and I knew something was terribly wrong, but I had no idea what it was or
what was happening. How could I tell anyone about this? This is all
totally the opposite of what I’m all about!
six-week check-up was coming soon so I decided to tell my doctor the whole
from a woman successfully treated for post partum depression.
takes a mother suffering from post partum depression who allegedly drowned
her five children, aged six months, two, three, five, and seven, in the
bathtub, to put the spotlight on women and depression. Reports say Andrea
Yates recounted the incident in a “Zombie-like fashion”. Andrea Yates
is suffering from post partum psychosis, the most severe form of post
partum depression which affects two in every 1,000 women. The 36-year-old
woman had previously attempted suicide and was still grieving over her
father’s death. The former nurse who loved her children, giving them
hand-made heart-shaped booklets filled with coupons for hugs or favourite
games, was reportedly in a deeply psychotic state, and in the end, said
she killed her children because she thought she was a bad mother.
checked out post partum depression on the Net and found hundreds of
stories from women who suffered from it. The woman who stopped herself
from slicing her child as if it was a piece of watermelon gave this advice
to other women on this health site following her treatment:
my family and friends still don’t understand what was happening, but
without their support and love, I may not have made it. I was suffering
from post partum depression...major, severe. I was so relieved when my
doctor told me I wasn’t going crazy. I had a bio-chemical and hormonal
imbalance going on in my system causing me to feel, think and act in this
strange, horrible way. I was put on lithium, an antidepressant, vitamins,
natural progesterone, and a tranquiliser.
right medication along with the clinic stay and consultations with my
doctor brought me out of my deep, dark tunnel!”
post partum psychosis is very rare, depression in women is very common,
affecting twice as many women as men. The most common types include
“Anxious depression,” “Unresolved grief,” “Late life
Depression,” “Atypical Depression,” and PMS.
main thing about depression is to recognise it as a disease, a complex
illness that is a combination of chemical imbalances and psychological
causes. The chemicals could tip someone over the edge. Or, grieving over
the death of a loved one while suffering with chemical imbalances could
make another break down.
have summarised symptoms researched off the Net so women’s emotions are
not trivialised as they often are, so their depression is given legitimacy
as a disease and treated as one rather than being dismissed as
self-indulgent or ‘crazy’.
often appear by mid- to late 20s though it can occur at any age. Not
everyone experiences every symptom. You may have one or many symptoms. But
even one disabling symptom can keep you from functioning optimally and
cause havoc in your life. In major, or acute depression, at least five of
the symptoms must occur for a period of at least two weeks and represent a
change from previous behaviour or mood.
is a disease. If you have one or more of these symptoms, you’re not
crazy, not self-indulgent it’s not in your head. Get help. You owe it to
Sleep disorders - nearly every day, either insomnia or excessive
sleepiness; difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep; recurrent
early-hour morning wakening; wanting to sleep all the time with the
feeling of not getting enough rest; or waking up tired and not rested from
Persistent sadness, down or empty feelings on most days. Loss of
energy, unable to cope to daily activities.
A change in appetite, overeating, binge eating, eating without
feeling hungry, weight gain or loss, bulimic episodes or appetite loss,
Total or very noticeable loss of pleasure most of the time.
Sense of guilt and worthlessness nearly all the time. Everything is
viewed negatively such as “I am a failure,” “I never do anything
right.” Excessive guilt - “It’s all my fault.” Obsessing over past
failures and losses, unnecessarily blaming oneself for setbacks and
failures of life.
Inability to concentrate. Anxious or nervous feelings.
Persistent physical symptoms; generalised aches and pains, pressure
on chest, difficulty breathing, feeling dizzy as if you are on a boat,
chronic headaches, chronic pains, digestive disorders, such as ulcers,
colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, arthritis-like symptoms, recurrent
upper respiratory symptoms, underlying fear there is something terribly
wrong with you, going from doctor to doctor, and fearing no one can help
Memory changes, poor concentration forgetfulness, easy distraction,
difficulty in making decisions, undue procrastination.
Increased anger, irritability, “short-fuse” ready to blow up,
rage reactions; easy frustration, “snapping,” screaming with little or
no provocation. Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.