Relationships and depression. The reality behind these two lone words is that you can have both at the same time!
Most couples know that maintaining a perfect relationship at all times is impossible. Throw in postpartum depression, and it’s even more challenging to maintain a strong union. However, there are steps you can take to ensure that good relationships and depression co-exist until the mood disorder has passed.
I know that trying to explain to someone what postpartum depression really feels like can be difficult; almost as difficult as dealing with it.
Most women want their spouse or partner to understand the condition and what they are going through.
The truth of the matter about postpartum depression is this: unless a person goes through it, they have no real understanding of what it feels like.
Below are some vital steps you can take to ensure that your relationship survives postpartum depression.
Open Up To Your Spouse/Partner
It’s imperative that you open up to your spouse/partner. His support is vital to your recovery as well as getting through the depression every day. The only way you can expect his support is to share with him what you are going through. After all, you’re looking for him to understand as much as possible. Tell him what you specifically need from him.
Do Some Self-Realization
There are going to be some days where things never look like they’ll get brighter. However, understanding that the way you feel is only temporary will help you get through the day. Remind yourself that you will get better, and in turn, life will be better for you, your partner and your family. Don’t make rash decisions while in the throes of depression! After all, you’re going to see things differently when the cloud of depression lifts.
Provide Your Spouse/Partner With Information
Help your significant other learn all he can about good relationships and depression - especially postpartum depression. Provide him with websites or printed materials. The more he understands about this illness, the better equipped he will be for helping and supporting you. You may even want to give him an autobiographical book about postpartum depression so that he can read what other mothers have felt. It’s just another way for him to further understand what it is you are going through.
Explain To Him About The “Fix”
Men have an overwhelming desire to “fix” things, especially the people they love, but postpartum depression does not come and go in one day and it cannot be “fixed”. Explain to him that, although he can support you, he cannot “fix” the way you are feeling.
Let him know how he can support you. For example: ask him to help out around the house, or give you some time with your friends, or even allow you to sleep in while he cares for the baby.
Talk To Somebody Who Understands The Condition
Sometimes you just want to talk with someone who DOES understand. There are people that understand what it feels like to be all alone in that dark abyss. It is an awful feeling to have and not having anyone who understands it makes it that much worse. If you know someone who has been through postpartum depression, talk with them. Share with them about your relationships and depression.
You can find all kinds of information on the web as well. There are some great forums and message boards where people will support you. And, don’t forget psychotherapy. Talking with a therapist can be extremely helpful. You may even want to include your partner in a few of the sessions.
The health information in this website is for educational purposes only and is not providing medical or professional advice. It should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. If you have or suspect you might have any health problems, you should consult a physician.
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"No mother has to suffer from PPD needlessly. This is a fact. But until you know what you're up against, you'll still be trapped - without knowing why! A typical example is the common misconception that depression is "all just in the mind." Your first step is to keep an open mind; and allow Laura to take you by the hand and guide you step by step through the PPD universe. Using a "wellness" approach, and with her usual friendly and informative style, trust me, she can help you help yourself getting out of the rut - naturally - in no time."
- Naturopath Alex Leong, B.A.S.M.
“Laura realizes the interconnections between mind, body, and spirit and offers down-to-earth, practical guidelines in harmonizing them.”
- Karen Szillat, Early Childhood Educator and Peace Advocate Author of Empowering The Children: 12 Universal Values Your Child Must Learn to Succeed In Life
“I wish I had had this valuable book after my baby was born. Fantastic information!”
- Gigi Murfitt, Author of Caregiver’s Devotions To Go and My Message is C.L.E.A.R.
Sydney Z. Spiesel, Ph DMD Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, Yale University School of Medicine
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