I had my son in October 2014. I was the typical overjoyed mother. I took the many PPD questionnaires are the Pediatrician and at my OB, and I appeared to be in the clear of any signs of PPD. Whew, what a relief!
Fast forward to March 2015. I started to have some panic attacks. This was nothing new to me, and I had dealt with anxiety for many many years. My anxiety was always worse from March-June. Typically by June, it would ease up until the following year.
July came around, and my anxiety was still present and was in full force. It was not getting better, but it actually appeared to be getting worse. I continued to have regular panic attacks. I figured this too shall pass, it was just taking longer this year. I bit my tongue and I dealt with my anxiety in silence until October 2015.
Finally, I decide to say it out loud. I have an anxiety problem and it is worse then it has ever been. I was having panic attacks every day and sometimes multiple times a day. It was now interfering with my life. I decided it was time to make an appointment to go to the doctor.
I did not have a regular PCP, so I had to wait until the beginning of November to be seen. I went in and he diagnosed me with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD.) He did a couple of blood test to rule any medical issue out. Because my anxiety stemmed from me assuming I had something medically wrong with me, the wait for the results was grueling. They came back in 2 business days, but there was also a weekend in there. My anxiety went through the roof at this point. My test results came back negative. You would think I would have some relief. I didn’t. I became obsessive with checking symptoms and always assuming the worse.
My PCP did not want to prescribe anything until I tried exercise and cognitive behavioral therapy. I started with exercising. I had wanted to start anyway. (That baby weight doesn’t come off by itself! Obviously since a year later I still had some!) I started to have panic attacks while exercising. I stopped exercising after a week.
I had made an appointment with a therapist. I went to the therapist for a few weeks. This type of therapy can actually take weeks until you start to see an improvement. She told me after once session that I had post postpartum anxiety. I had so many questions. Postpartum anxiety?! I’ve never heard of this. My “baby” is 13 months old, can this really be postpartum? I was told it was very common, but I had never heard of it.
I’m hoping more women can be educated about this type of anxiety. I have done a ton of web browsing, and I find very little on the subject. It was a rough 9 months, but it seems to be easing up slightly. I want others out there to know that this exists, and that they are not alone.