When PPD/PPA Treatment Takes Longer Than You'd Like
I know that you want to feel better. Fast. Now. Yesterday. Sooner rather than Later. As quickly as possible. I know. For many women, the hardest part of treatment is admitting that you need help. For some it's picking up the phone and making that first appointment with a therapist. For others it's taking the plunge and deciding to add medicine to your treatment plan. For many it's the feeling of waiting until things begin to shift and change. This period of waiting (although, truthfully, you are doing so much more than simply 'waiting') can feel like decades.
I had a family in my office last week who has been struggling for much longer than they would like to be. Mom is ready to have herself back. Dad is ready to have his wife back. The kiddos as ready to have both their Mom and Dad back. Postpartum depression and anxiety have led their whole family through the ringer.
"Can't we just increase the medication dosage today?" asked Dad... Mom has been taking her meds for 5 days.
"I just keep waiting to wake up and feel back to normal," says Mom. She has been suffering for quite a long time.
"I know that you both want this all to change so badly," I acknowledge. "So badly that you want a big red shiny button to push right now that will make everything all better." I know this red shiny button well. It's like a mirage for the women who come into my office. It sits on the wall to my right, within reach of my chair. And I want desperately to push it for every mom who I sit with too.
But this simply is not possible. Getting better takes time. And hard work. And dedication. And strength. Often women who choose to take medicine will begin to see a relief in symptoms within about 2-3 weeks, but for most this is not the finish line. But those moms who follow recommended treatment plans by trained professionals DO GET BETTER. So many moms who come into my office don't believe for a second that there will be a time when they realize that they are in a different place. That they have met their goals of therapy. That they are smiling more, or have more energy, or are more aware of their surroundings. That they do, indeed, have their lives back.
And then the day comes when they look at me with that renewed glow and realize that they do. It's possible. I promise.