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Monday, January 19, 2009


Last week I didn't feel right. There was one day I felt icky and gross and maxed out, but I couldn't cry. I have never felt like that before. Usually I am overloaded, cry and be done with it. I couldn't cry. I felt like an empty shell. I felt broken. Daniel took me out thinking it was just being cooped up too long. I didn't want to eat anything, but felt better after I did. That night I got angry at Daniel for no reason. That had been happening for a while now too. I couldn't explain why I was always angry at him, I just was. The next day was better, but not much. The next day I was angry again, but this time I broke down and cried. It felt good to cry. We thought maybe I have depression. The next day I talked to my mother in-law and my mom. It was clear something was missing or wrong with me. I realized that all the things I enjoy weren't making me happy anymore. I didn't want to sew. I could care less about any movies or television. Chocolate didn't even make me feel better. I looked up some articles on Postpartum Depression. Some of the things made sense and fit my problem: I experienced a big life changing event right before the birth ( moving to Missouri and graduating college), I had had problems with the birth (I had a c-section), I can't take a nap during the day if my life depended on it because I am too anxious, even if someone watches him. Some other problems that don't help is that I live in a tiny room with two other people and three dogs, I have no car to get away, and I have no money to do anything. So I think that I probably have PPD. Ben has an appointment next Wednesday, so I am going to ask my doctor then about this problem. It definitely helps to talk to people about it and to know that there is a fix, but I still feel Br0Ke_N. .. .


ALYN said...

Oh, I'm sorry you're going through this. I'm so glad you've decided to look for answers. Because many suffer in silence and sorrow.

I've had issues with depression and anxiety. These problems are very common, and there are lots of different coping strategies. Make a list of all of the different nurturing uplifting actions you can take when life is hard. Then when you're feeling bad, refer to the list, and follow it. Sometimes something as simple as 5 minutes picking up stuff off the floor makes the whole world look a little brighter.

Some of what you write, makes me think that hormones could be affecting your equilibrium, so to speak. For the medical aspect of the problem, the Dr. may be able to help. (I've needed medication. Which is nothing to be ashamed of. It is a valid and very real medical problem affecting our brain chemistry.)

I have a workbook called "Mind over Mood" that's been helpful to think through some of my thought patterns, and understand more about my moods. Something good you can start doing right away is identifying and rating your moods. Because the Dr. will want to know how many hours/day, and days/week you're having these problems, and what moods you're experiencing. You could also assign the mood a number from 1-10, so you can recognize when it's worse, and when it's not as bad.

Please take good care of yourself, because this is VERY difficult. I'm glad you've talked to your Mom and MIL. Do things to pamper yourself, like a bath, or a walk, or some special music. Make sure you're getting enough water and sleep. Even if it means having Daddy or Grandma take a night with the baby. Sometimes lack of sleep really makes the depression much worse.

Please keep us posted, let us know how you are doing. I'll keep you in my prayers. I know how difficult this can be.
With Love,
Your Cousin,


Michelle Church said...

Brittany Hamman!! I can't believe you didn't talk to me about it!! Please know that you can come to me with anything. Call me any time! There is definitely help for it and I'm sad you've been going through it!! I had no idea. Lots of new things going on for you. I wish I could make it better! I bet it's so hard being cooped up and having all the dogs and Ollie being his barkedy self! Let me know how things go!! I love you so much and hope you can feel better soon.

(PPD is also the term used for the shot you get to check if you have tuberculosis so when I saw that I thought maybe you had it done and thought you had TB or something!)

Kori said...

Adjusting to being a stay at home mom is difficult. You have a lot of stressful situations in your life. Alyn has a lot of good personal advice. For me it helps to get out of the house, take time for myself, work on my own talents/interests, pray and read scriptures everyday. Don't be afraid to get help and pray to know what to do.

Life as a Greenstreet said...

Any of those things could have me feeling depressed, and a whole bunch of them together is way way way overwhelming. I can relate to the no car, no money thing- it's a very difficult life to adjust to. I have been where you are in many ways. Talking to the doctor is good. I hope you get the help you need. The only thing that helps me when I am feeling bogged down, overwhelmed, depressed even is reading my scriptures every day. It is unbelieveable the difference this makes. I am not saying it's a fix, as you may very well need meds (absolutely no shame in that) but it may help. Also, to mirror what Alyn said- I feel messy inside when my house is a mess. Even if it's the last thing I want to do I make myself tidy up...it always seems to help.
Look up a local chapter of MOMS club or organize a moms playgroup at church- even one or two times a month having something else to do help.
Exercise- it is my therapy. When i don't exercise i am not a pleasant person
Maybe one day a week take Daniel to work so you can have the car. it's a pain, but it might be worth it even if you just go to the library and read or go to a mall and walk some laps, or go visit someone...
This is s BIG adjustment and I'm sure you'll find the right balance of things you need to get you through this.
Much love,


Mary Beck said...

Britt. Funny you would talk about all of that.. it all sounds SO FAMILIAR... I was absolutely shocked after Jack was born how true and real depression really is. I totally totally totally felt all of the things you were describing for awhile after I had Jack. I even tested positive from a doctors test to go talk to someone about being depressed (and opted not to go). BUT, over time- it all has faded away. I just made a huge effort to pray, and try to read my scriptures or an ensign article for at least like 10 minutes a day, and made sure that during his naps I did something that I wanted to do- something for me. Even if it is like yoga or watching a favorite TV epside or something. And even though I felt so bad for being so rude to Dan and feeling like a bad mom, and etc, etc... it eventually all just went away and things just started to get better and better. Just make sure Daniel knows you love him and need so much of his love and patience right now. I should call you.. I promise, things will get better. Try to think of 5 things every day that you are greatful for.. let's start simple.. I LOVE YOU.

BrookeMonsen said...

You poor little thing. I am so sorry. Ok I need to ship you that shampoo. Do you think it will explode? I know when ever I go somewhere my hair stuff explodes.
Ok I am for sure keeping you in my prayers. We need to get Jerrica started on a blog! Luv your cuz, BM

Erin Whitmer said...

Britt- I meant to comment awhile ago. Becoming a mom is a HUGE life change. It would be hard to have a good attitude with all the challenges you have even if you didn't just have a baby. I think everyone has given really great advice already. Getting out of the house really makes a big difference for me. Go on a walk with Ben or take Daniel to work if it's possible. I try to do one thing each day that I want to do (usually after she goes to sleep). I also try to make it something that doesn't have to be re-done the next day like cleaning- I scrapbook some pictures, blog, work on a craft, etc. Good luck! You are such a great person. I know you will get through this. I hope you find something that helps.

Kori said...

Sorry you haven't been able to see my blog. E-mail me your gmail account korigammon@gmail.com and I'll send you an invite.