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THFM: Challenging Child I and II - Depression

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  • THFM: Challenging Child I and II - Depression

    After reading chapters 9 & 10, I realized that my first 3.5 years with DD was more traumatic than I thought and that it probably contributed to the deep depression that lasted 1 year after her 4th birthday. Our birth experience was nothing like we had anticipated (emergency C-section), our first 2 years with her I had a very restricted diet due to her severe reflux (I was breastfeeding), around 9 months of age until about 18 months we had physical therapy for torticollis (every day therapy exercises that she did not enjoy). The therapy for torticollis and yearly blood and skin tests (deadly allergy to egg, peanut, and tree nut) was always so traumatic to me because I had to do these against her will so I felt guilty about it and felt the pain of her intense crying and just powerlessness she felt. I still feel that way every time I have to take her to do a blood test for allergies. It just makes me ache.

    I am just now coming to realize that these events are probably what kicked off my depression when she was 4 years old... the most of that had passed except the blood testing. I wouldn't have realized this without reading this book.

    Any experiences of yours that you believe kicked off any depression for you?

  • #2
    My first baby was a preemie, and I found out I was pregnant (surprise!) a week after she came off her apnea machine. I worried all the way through the second pregnancy and also moved. Then, I had a C-section with her and had major blood loss (iron was a 5) but my doc decided not to give a transfusion b/c of health risks. At the same time, my husband (who has bipolar) was in a deep depression, so I literally had no help. I remember being so exhausted from the blood loss that I would fall asleep mid-meal. I had a newborn, a toddler, and an ill husband to take care of during the day and of course a newborn to take care during the night.

    I was so overwhelmed! And it really is no surprise that I ended up with postpartum depression.

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    • #3
      Wow! That was a lot of pressure and a lot of taking care of everyone else in the house except for you. When you look back do you see that anything could have been done differently?

      For me, when I look back, I should have reached out to friends more and joined a kids allergy support group to talk and feel supported by other mothers going through the same thing. I also should NOT have decided to lead a support group for PAGER (a pediatric reflux non-profit) when I was still going through the reflux myself and the challenges of it since she was more severe with it (we were battling it for 3.5 months; New Year's eve through day we were literally up the whole 48 hours because of her reflux). What was i thinking???!!!

      I also should have journaled more about my feelings of powerlessness, guilt, and her feeling of powerlessness when it came to the physical therapy sessions, skin tests, and blood tests. Maybe seeing a therapist might have helped as well.

      I can say these things now but when I look back, I was just swimming above water and not thinking at all. It was more like survival of the fittest :-) Why do we do that? Is it because it's natural inside of us to do this? Or is it society ingraining upon us that we must handle things on our own so as to not appear weak?

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