Has your life ever felt chaotic and out of control? (most days, right?) Then add moving, changing churches, a new job, toddlers, and .....really? A surprise pregnancy!?!?
Our speaker Summur Braley shared her intimate and personal story of coming face to face with postpartum depression (PPD) & anxiety.
All Summur ever wanted to do was to be a loving mommy to her children but during her last pregnancy and after the birth of her 4th child, sweet Holiday, she started to not recognize who she was becoming.
On edge, very angry, anxious, and distant from God. At this time, Summur felt like if something happened to Holiday, it could possibly be a medical emergency and going to the ER or almost calling 911 full of panic and fear was the "go to answer".
It was a very sad and stressful time for their whole family. Matt, her dear husband, had to calmly talk her off the ledge she was so clearly on. She decided to call her doctor who told her in a very matter of fact way that she had Postpartum Depression. This was a difficult diagnosis to understand because Summur had always been a very cheery person, an extrovert, so how could this be? The doctor explained that anger is one of the main signs of depression and anxiety. The number one sign for Summur was that was she acting "unlike herself". Her doctor put her on antidepressants and sent her to a psychologist. The antidepressants didn't work but the psychologist was terrific. She gave her breathing techniques, practical daily changes to make along with suggestions of looking out at the horizon, beyond that little square we are locked in when we have a baby.
Summur also learned that PPD & anxiety is a chemical imbalance in the brain. It's not something you have done, it's not because you think negatively, its not something we bring on ourselves and it's not the Lord punishing us.
It turned out that talking about it was huge - for her and for many others. This epidemic is nothing to be taken lightly. One of our own in MOPS lost her best friend to suicide because of postpartum depression. We can not trust our feelings at this time. We must reach out and get help even though it seems like everyone is so far away from us, including God. They are there for us, He is always there for us. Untreated postpartum depression can lead to postpartum psychosis and that is a very scary thing.
We were given a very helpful handout that explained symptoms of PPD & anxiety, and postpartum psychosis, what to do if you have symptoms of PPD and how to help someone suffering from PPD.
Finally "spring came" to Summur and her household, she started feeling like herself again, seeing colors and using her creative energy to start a tie dying business. God was so faithful.
"For everything there is a season"
Please remember that PPD is only for a season but you do need to recognize it and treat it.
Have Hope -