Earlier this morning, an article over at People was brought to my attention via Twitter.
Gwyneth Paltrow has once again opened up about her experience with Postpartum Depression after the birth of her son, Moses. She described her experience as very zombie like, telling Good Housekeeping in her interview,
“I felt like a zombie. I couldn’t access my heart. I couldn’t access my emotions. I couldn’t connect.”
Who among of us have not felt like a Zombie as a new mom struggling with a Postpartum Mood Disorder?
What grabbed my attention in this particular piece was that she included insight into the fact that it was her husband, Chris Martin, ColdPlay front man, who insisted things were not quite right. His insistence helped to “burst the bubble” of denial in which Gwyneth found herself and allowed her to seek the help she needed.
I appreciate this tidbit of information. It speaks volumes to how important the involvement of a spouse is for the successful treatment and recovery of a Postpartum Mood & Anxiety Disorder.
Support starts at home. It’s our Ground Zero. We need our partners to hold us up and back us up as we fight to recover ourselves.
Thank you, Chris Martin, for your attentiveness as a spouse and partner. I can only hope more men follow your lead.
My husband and I had talked about what signs and symptoms to look for before the birth of my son. So I knew he’d be on the lookout when the time came. However, neither of us realized that feeling angry is a symptom; I think we chalked up my extreme anger to my traumatic emergency C-section. I don’t know why it didn’t occur to us that it could have been PPD. Plus, I’ve always experienced a lot of anxiety, so it didn’t really seem like anything was “off.” So it took several months before a chat with my OBGYN convinced me to seek the help of a therapist who specializes in postpartum mood disorders (at one of Karen Kleiman’s centers). Of course my husband and I now know that all that anger I had after giving birth isn’t what’s supposed to happen. I think if I have any more children, we will both be more vigilant and recognize sooner if something just isn’t right. Kudos to Chris Martin and any spouse/partner who knows what to look for and when to get help.
My husband was completely oblivious the first time around, but the next time, he spotted the signs right away. I was so glad he got with it and attempted to make things better for me. I had PPD with no1, no2, and some after no5. I took medication with my last three kids, starting in pregnancy, and didn’t regret it. I enjoyed babyhood and post-pregnancy so much more and felt much more confident.
Good for your hubs recognizing the symptoms the second time around right off the bat. And good for you knowing what you needed to do in order to make your experience a more positive one for you. Kudos to you both!
I actually told my husband that I thought I had Postpartum Depression on his 31st birthday. I felt terrible, but I just couldn’t hold it all in any longer. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done–admitting to my husband that I needed help–but so, so worth it. He was and is beside me every step of the way.
I bet that was hard to tell him – especially on his birthday.
I remember the day I finally admitted I was having severe issues to my husband. It was indeed one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do as well. ((hugs)) I’m so glad he’s been there for you – then and now.
My husband came to my aide as well. I recall falling into his arms after screaming at our teen and began sobbing uncontrollably. Nowadays, he’s struggling with my struggles and I understand that to an extent. I wish he’s be a little more understanding and would think before he speaks most times.
It’s a struggle when it comes to spouses and depression. When I was in my own private Postpartum hell, my husband ended up in his own. There’s been research showing that NICU dads in particular (which he was) fall apart about three months postpartum instead of right of the bat. The way the author put it was that Dad is falling apart right as mom is starting to heal. I had to hold him up and push him to heal himself as I fought my own battles. The hell which ensued was quite possibly one of the ugliest times of my entire life. There was a lot of yelling, a lot of judging, a lot of anger, a lot of frustration. We spiraled out of control until we hit the bottom of our Grand Canyon. Only then were we able to look up and find our way out. We literally had to completely break before we could begin to heal. We still are not perfect but we learned a lot along the way. One of the biggest lessons we learned was that in order to recover together, we must give the other person space in which to heal and recover as well. We cannot continue to operate on old assumptions or there is no chance for recovery.
Another lesson we learned was that sometimes communciation breaks down because of fear. It is beyond important to set this fear aside, take a deep breath, and step into the unknown. This is very VERY hard for men to do. My husband was afraid of rejection and judgment for his emotions. He was afraid to share his fears with me, his own wife. We finally broke through that barrier this past summer. We still struggle with parenting, with relationship issues, etc, but we are both so much stronger for all we have gone through. We have grown so much, learned to lean on each other, learned that it is okay to be vulnerable with each other. Any good marriage relies on the ability to be vulnerable with your partner. Because if you can’t be vulnerable with your significant other, who CAN you be vulnerable with then?