‘Just get out of bed and work out.’ A darkness set over me. I was in the therapist’s office at 6 weeks pregnant.’: Woman shares reality of prenatal depression, ‘I hope women feel understood, not abandoned’

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“I’ve heard of postpartum depression, but never prenatal depression. It wasn’t even on my radar of something I could get. This was my third pregnancy. I thought I knew everything about the changes in my hormones and my body… but I was wrong.

Within a week of getting a positive pregnancy test, I could barely function. I had no motivation and could hardly get out of bed. Yes, I was tired, but it was so much more than that. A darkness began to set over me, and it felt like I had no control over its presence.

Courtesy of Hope Saliba

One thing you need to understand about me, is I’ve never struggled with depression. Ever. Actually, to be completely honest, I barely understood it. Close people in my life have felt it, but not me. Frankly, there’s nothing like it.

I read this amazing blog post about things you need to know about pre-natal depression. It helped put words to all the things I was feeling. So instead of re-writing it, you should go read it yourself.

I found myself hating the word ‘depression,’ especially when I heard it out of other people’s mouths. When someone else said those words, it sounded fake. It didn’t capture how I actually felt. The only word I really felt described it was ‘darkness.’ The last year of my life was nothing even close to that! I’m a pretty upbeat person. I love parties, people, and any reason to celebrate.

It was like that person was gone, and there was no magic solution to get her back.

Courtesy of Hope Saliba

For those of you reading this, who don’t struggle with this darkness, it’s not a ‘just get out of bed and workout’ kind of fix. So please stop thinking that of those who struggle.

At only 6 weeks pregnant, I found myself sitting in a therapist’s office, before I had even told my family. I knew I needed help, and it wasn’t going to come from me, my husband, or my best friend. This darkness was scary and not something I had the tools to combat.

Courtesy of Hope Saliba

I’m currently still seeing a therapist. And although it doesn’t ‘fix’ everything, it really helps. If you have thought about seeing a counselor or therapist and haven’t gone, I want to encourage you to go. Don’t let the stigma of getting help, or the financial investment, stop you from going.

If there are women out there who feel/have felt like this and don’t know how to navigate it, please find someone to talk to. I wanted to share this experience to make you feel like you’re not alone… because that feeling is horrible and terrifying, especially if you’ve never felt it before. I hope this dialogue makes women feel understood, not abandoned.”

Courtesy of Hope Saliba

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Hope Saliba. It originally appeared here. You can follow Hope on Instagram. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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‘I was nervous, scared, overwhelmed and downright terrified to take this tiny human home with me! How was I going to do this all alone? But Jager was always there to lend a helping paw.’: New mother relies on her service dog to help her through postpartum depression

‘I lost all my pregnancy weight by 8 days postpartum because I was so sad. I don’t feel worthy of them at all.’: Mom’s severe struggle with postpartum depression

‘Is it normal to hate your baby?’ I was desperately begging for God to kill her. What’s wrong with me? I was terrified of what I would do to her.’: Woman overcomes ‘debilitating’ postpartum depression

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