Postpartum Anxiety and depression.
It’s heavy, isn’t it. Since that is the season I find myself in as I’m writing this. I hope and pray that these tips may help someone you love or even yourself find some healing and a bit of hope.
I have found that many people don’t know what to say when someone confides in them or opens up about how they are feeling after having a baby.
please remember *I am not a doctor or licensed therapist, I encourage anyone who is suffering to reach out and seek professional counsel… it changes my life!
5 things to tell someone who is suffering from Postpartum Anxiety and Postpartum Depression
1. You are safe. It sounds so simple and silly. But let me tell you, it isn’t. There is such a sense of peace and security when a loved one looks you in the eye and simply says “You are safe here. You are safe with me.”
2. I know you are scared. Notice how that is worded. “I know you are scared” it’s extremely scary to go through anxiety and depression holding a little tiny, fragile bundle of joy. It’s so scary to feel like you are ready to fight for your life any given moment… living on edge almost as if you’re afraid someone is going to start chasing any minute. It is scary. Stating that you know your friend or loved one is scared makes them feel heard. It makes them feel you understand them. It makes them feel protected and loved by you.
Things like “you don’t need to be scared” feels as though you’re brushing aside their feelings.
3. It’s going to be ok. Deep breath in and out. It’s going to be ok. Even though it might not feel like it, encouraging someone in such an anxious state gives them hope. It lets them know that even though they don’t know how or when or the way there… it will be ok.
4. I will help protect you. This one was huge for me. My husband tells me this over and over. I will protect you. When you are at such a breaking point, buried in anxiety… feeling alone and scared. Knowing someone is looking out for you is such a comfort. Please tell them that you will protect them. From what? Most of the time they may not know…
protect them from themselves
protect them from judgement of others
protect them from the weather
protect them from starvation
All of these things show that person you love them, you will make sure they are standing on their feet.
5. I’m giving you a hug. And another hug. And another. There is no way to describe how healing hugs are for the mind, body, and soul all wrapped up in one cozy present. I noticed one hug wasn’t enough… a second hug means more than a pity hug. It means you really care and are there for them.
I painted “Rain before Rainbows” in this season I was in. I truly hope to shed light on healing and support for women who face postpartum anxiety/depression it is a horrible illness that doesn’t deserve the stigma it has gotten.
I hope a new stigma begins about postpartum anxiety/depression: one that says…
You had to work harder than many others to survive this.
You understand so much that many people otherwise won’t
You are a warrior, you are admired for your bravery