I wrote a few weeks ago about my massive just-home-from-the-hospital breakdown. Things were pretty stable after that, but looking back, I’ve noticed things had slowly gotten a little worse.
I don’t consistently feel sad, but I feel afraid of the unknown. I don’t feel the need to do my hair, I don’t do my makeup, and I’m wearing the same clothes that used to be specified gym wear, and they haven’t seen the gym in ages. I didn’t leave the house for two solid days and I really thought I was going to die. Then, when I did leave, it was so much worse. I felt panicky, lonely, and worst of all, worthless. No matter how much I tell myself that I’m doing things right, Isaiah is well taken care of, and we’re doing the best we know how, I can’t seem to convince myself.
We’re all familiar with postpartum depression (PPD), but something I’ve only recently learned of is Post Adoption Depression. Seriously, the acronym is PAD, like you’re sad because you’re on your period, go put on a PAD. I’m not saying that to you if you happen to suffer from PAD, that is what I was saying to myself in my head. I’ve never been diagnosed with depression or anxiety, but I do occasionally feel like maybe I should be. I also occasionally feel like I have a medical degree, and I love to play “Which of These Disorders Do I Have Today?” So I’m not officially diagnosing myself with this, but I do think it’s something important that often goes unsaid.
I did a Google search of “Post Adoption Depression” and immediately I had tons of resources right in front of me. I found the Child Welfare page of the US Department of Health & Human Services website to be the most helpful.They say, if you’re struggling with three or more of the following that you should seek professional help:
- Loss of interest in being around others or engaging with your new baby or toddler.
- On the verge of tears many times in a day.
- General fatigue, along with irritability.
- Sleeping too much or too little.
- Significant weight gain or loss.
- Excessive or inappropriate guilt.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Feelings of worthlessness, powerlessness, or hopelessness.
I feel like I fit more into the “Baby Blues” category, but I have a hard time accepting that because I haven’t gone through the hormonal ups and downs of pregnancy. So I’m turning to you. Is this just a phase?