Discussing Your Postpartum Depression with Others
It's one thing to have postpartum depression (PPD), but discussing your PPD with others is a completely different beast. Should you tell them or not? How much should you share? What if they don't understand? What if they aren't supportive? Will they try to give you advice? There are a lot of questions to navigate as you decide if and when to talk about your postpartum depression with others.
One thing I found that helped me in talking to others was to treat it exactly like any other medical condition. After all, mental health is health. While mental health conditions present unique challenges, they require treatment and awareness, just like any other health problem. When discussing postpartum depression with those outside my inner circle, I speak matter-of-factly about it. I am very open about it, but I don't typically give more information than asked.
You Get to Control What You Discuss About PPD
As you learn about postpartum depression, it can be tempting to carry the burden of educating everyone about it. You don't have to make that your responsibility. If you like to share information with others, that's great. Do you prefer to be more private? That's also great. There are many resources out there for people wanting to learn about postpartum depression. You don't have to be that resource for everyone if you don't wish to be.
In my experience, I've found there are two scenarios when discussing postpartum depression with others. The first is I assume that everyone wants to understand and share a lot of information and details. When I inevitably find someone that doesn't get it, it's crushing. The second is that I cynically assume no one understands or cares. As a result, I share nothing. I end up unnecessarily isolating myself, only to realize my mistake when I find someone who does understand and care. That person might even be going through the same thing.
I was that second person. You may identify with the first scenario. Either way, it doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you. We're all different, and that means we're going to approach things differently. Just remember that you can only control yourself. You cannot control others' reactions, assumptions, or actions.
Find your circle. Find your support system. Even if it's just one person, having that support is such an important part of managing postpartum depression. Beyond those people, however, you don't owe anyone anything. There will always be people who don't care. There will always be people who do care. Neither of those facts has anything to do with you. Take care of yourself, share with your circle, and let the rest go.
Epperson, K. (2021, June 10). Discussing Your Postpartum Depression with Others, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, September 26 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/copingwithdepression/2021/6/discussing-your-postpartum-depression-with-others