Tuesday, May 22, 2007

War against PPD

So, it's not so new that I've got PPD. Of course, it's been undiagnosed, but whatever. I've had it twice before --and a clinical depression episode in college before I met my hubby. This last weekend (in Simi Valley with my MIL and SIL's) was a final effort to figure out what the heck I'm going to do to get rid of this feeling; to help me get better.

Since it's all hormone-related (thank you to my MIL for our long talks about her depression and to my SIL for talking about her depression as well), having a baby and PMS are all very real triggers to my depression. On top of that, I moved two states away right after #4 was born. This all creates a breeding ground for funkiness. And boy, have I been in a funk.

One of my earlier posts talked about how being busy could combat my PPD (well, before I readily acknowledged that it was, in fact, PPD). And it does. But I also know that in order to eliminate my "down" days, I have to do so much more. Here is the Plan (as my MIL reminded me I needed to have, or else nothing will change):
  1. I will be blogging less. I will be staying away from community and personal blogs that bring me down and cause contention. Ironically, they are the Mormon blogs that in their sincere desire to help, are tearing down my faith and making me feel dark inside. Not to mention my complete inadequacy and lack of intelligence to combat their thinking. Please note that those blogs I will still read and/or comment on are in my links.
  2. I will be exercising more. Even if this means only going to the park each day with the kids --I need to be outside and stop sitting on the couch dwelling on my problems (or sitting on the computer dwelling on my problems). Becoming physically healthy is directly linked to being mentally and emotionally happy. I caught a glimpse of this last year. I need to re-double my efforts, and either just join WW again, or really buckle down and do it.
  3. More piano students. When I have a purpose like this (outside of raising my kids) I am happy. I'm going to try to get more students so that the time I do have with my kids will be special to me (just as it used to be before I moved).
  4. Be grateful. Be grateful everyday for the incredible life I've been blessed to enjoy. Focus on those things that will bring me gratitude and joy --eliminate mindless waste-filled activities that blacken my soul and create tension in myself.
  5. Allowing DH to help me in physical, spiritual, and mental ways. More prayer, more study, more positive things being allowed into our home. Not feeling guilty for asking help with the house. Not feeling bad for needing his guidance when my brain has turned off for the day.
  6. Prayer.

I know that this depression will not go away quickly. I also know that because I'm on top of it, that one day it will go away --at least the symptoms will. *

[My next post will include what I did and my thoughts about my recent weekend away.]

*disclaimer: After much thought, it has been decided against counseling and meds at this time for my PPD, since I have not had any thoughts of harming me or my children (well, serious thoughts. I mean, come on, haven't we all freaked out and threatened harm when our 2 year old is carrying his poopy diaper in hand down the stairs of our rental? But, you know what I mean.)


Jamie J said...

Good luck. It takes a lot of courage to have a plan of attack instead of just turning right toward meds especially if you don't necessarily need them.

Cheryl said...

Thank you, jamie. :)

becca said...

good plan and good luck. this is the first step and i wish you the best my friend. been there, been through that and will most likely be through that again after #3 comes in the fall. the only way to get over it is to recognize and make the changes. thank goodness for the atonement and the peace it brings in healing ANY hurt. strong testimony of that.

Ethan said...

I like your plan. I used to try to keep up with the Mormon blogs and some forums but I find myself getting consumed with them and becoming contentious. I'm glad to see I am not alone in what I felt on some of those.

Good luck in your plan. And take comfort in the fact that you aren't the only one who needs to get off the couch. ;)

kanga5 said...

Seriously- I agree with you on the Mormon blogs. Unless they are fun like MMW. I can handle that one. I don't even TRY commenting on the other ones. When I have read some of them I get all worked up and DH is like WHY do you even GO there? I wish you all the best. I've been there too. It really isn't fun but it's good that you know the things that will help you. Counciling is about a once a year thing for me since #2. I just think that talking gets it all out of me. Again I hope that all goes well for you. Lots of love-from your blog friend. :)

Cheryl said...

becca, ethan, and kanga-
Thank you so much for your kind words. It feels great to have so many friends!

ethan, I could totally see you getting involved with intellectual type blogs. :) Hey, you remember Misty, right? Well her husband writes for Nine Moons, a blog I have kept on my list. Small world, eh?

kanga, my husband reacts the same way! I'm glad I'm finally following his advice. :)

becca, I cannot wait to see you next month!!

Amber said...

It sounds like you are on the right track, my dear. I am blessed to have never suffered from PPD but my very best friend in the world went through a very deep, suicidal depression recently and I felt like I was going through it with her.

You have the right kind of attitude and I don't envy all the changes in your life (new baby, new move, new friends). But you WILL pull through!

Cheryl said...

Thanks, amber!

Amanda said...

I think when A was born I had PPD. I didn't ever talk to the doctor about it and my husband would talk about it and I would get angry. I realized though that I needed to surround myself with positive people that don't drag me down. I do think that exercise and positive down time will help. Good luck! We're thinking of you!

Anonymous said...

Well gee Cheryl,

I was going to do a post on Evolution over at Nine Moons, but now I'm feeling guilty about stirring the fires of contention.

Seth R.

Cheryl said...

I still read Nine Moons! And if your post on Evolution is too controversial for me, I'll just kindly refuse to comment. :) Although, I have to admit, evolution, at its core and original intention is very gospel-based...

Cheryl said...

Thank you!!