seems I need to be more explicit about my PPD symptoms so the interwebs will believe me

What’s that? You think that yesterday’s post about being blindsided by motherhood was my basis for waltzing into a therapists office and turning into a puddle on the floor?

It wasn’t.

You think the reason I take zoloft to get through the day is because I’m just a disillusioned 20something who chose to have a kid at such a young age?

It isn’t.

Motherhood is hard. I pictured it differently. I’m tired. So what? You’re right, that is not postpartum depression. That doesn’t warrant medication or official diagnoses. Do you know what does?

Not being allowed in your son’s room during the night because of what happened that one time.

Thoughts. Thoughts that shouldn’t ever, EVER be thought.

Nine months of trying to “man up” and not being able to.

Holding your crying baby and coming up with ‘ways’ to make it stop.

Being so irrationally anxious that no amount of calming from your husband can bring you back to earth.

Panic attacks.

There. Are you happy?

Do I qualify for your online-diagnosis checklist of a certain mental illness? Does it feel better to know that I actually am a horrible person and not just some overwhelmed young mom running to the pharmacist because I had to change 4 (4!) poopy diapers today and because “everybody’s doing it”?

I hope it does, or else this wasn’t worth sharing.


Written in response to these posts from yesterday:

1. Heir to Blair’s Great Expectations

2. Emmie Bee’s I Have to Say This & It Might Lose Me Friends

3. Kristi Maristi’s How Do You Say It?

105 Responses to “seems I need to be more explicit about my PPD symptoms so the interwebs will believe me”

  1. Erika - MommyBurgh

    I personally loved all of your posts yesterday and AGREED 100 no 200% with everything that was said. It is a normal feeling for ALL mothers and if you claim that you never felt that way, then you a big fat liar! Thanks for sharing, to all of you ladies. They were really great entries :)

  2. Joanna

    :( I’m sorry you got hurt.

    And just on a completely random side note… that link for blair’s emmie bee’s posts don’t work.

  3. Melissa

    I couldn’t even get through Emmie’s post, what vitriol hate. PPD is NOT depression. PPD is terror, terror and despair and darkness. I truly felt like I was an unfit mother and should be put to death. I was frequently terrorized by images of my child being hurt, not necessarily by me, but I couldn’t even cross the street without playing out horrifying scenarios of what would happen if a car didn’t stop.

    To say that we need to “man up” I am so mad right now I can’t even write a coherent thought. Really? Really? I wasn’t a young mother. I was more than prepared for what motherhood would entail. I was not prepared for an ob to push through over 24 hours of drugs and labor, have botched IV’s horrible pain and than to be called an addict before even leaving the hospital because I was in pain.

    Allison I’m sorry you are going through this. People are asses and they think they have such a perfect little life in their little glass house. Ignore them and continue to do what is best for you and your family. Mental illness is something that everyone thinks they know and understand and can diagnosis after watching a show on Discovery Channel but it’s so much deeper and individual and unless you have a PHD you should SHUT YOUR MOUTH.

    Sorry, rant over, I am stepping away form the keyboard now {HUGS}

  4. Cameron

    Oh, sweet girl, I’m so sorry that you felt you had to bare your dark side to the world to prove yourself. I’m sorry that people judged you. I read your post yesterday and OF COURSE understood that was not why you have PPD. Both things can be true without being the same thing. Sending hugs. xoxo

  5. Philip @ RAOP

    For what it is worth, I believed you. Then again, I live with a wonderful woman that has endured chronic depression for many many many years. I know what it is like. PPD is no different, just shorter, hopefully. Regardless, you last post did get my blogging juices going. ;-)

    I am sorry you were criticized. It can be hard not to take it personal. For what it is worth, I love your blog and your honest. It is like watching our life around our first child unfold again. Only this time looking in from outside. It is a fascinating new perspective. Keep up the great work and be encouraged. You are doing what is right!

  6. Whit

    Allison, you are one of my very favorite bloggers. Maybe it’s because we are the same age, yet at two very different places in our lives. I don’t know.

    But I do know what it’s like to suffer from depression. Not PPD, but depression. And I do know what it takes to finally open up about it online. And to use that courage and open up about it only to be attacked and have people say you are just doing it ‘for attention’ or ‘to be part of the club’ would be immensely painful.

    I am so, so sorry that you have had to go through this.

    I just want to say to others that HAVEN’T been where Allison is, and can honestly SAY that, to just not say ANYTHING.

    My mom taught me once, that if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. It’s a good rule of thumb I use ’til this day.

  7. Erin

    Oh my goodness, honey, I’m so sorry that people have been unkind and hurtful.

    I learned awhile ago that this blog face we put out is only one side. It’s what we want people to see, even when we’re trying to be transparent and honest. And I’ve also learned that it is so. easy. to pass judgment on other mothers who don’t do things *exactly* how I would do them or how I think they should be done.

    And oh, it makes me so mad that we mothers attack each other– publicly no less– when others do things that we don’t agree with. And that we then feel like we have to justify our choices and our behavior.

    ((hugs)) to you, and I pray that the medicine makes the difference you need, and that you keep making the choice to be the best mama you can be, and that you keep blogging. I for one really love your blog. :)

  8. Crystal

    I’m so sorry you are experiencing this; by sharing this, there’s someone else out there who just read it and said “I’m not alone…I can get help too…” Nobody seems to ever mention this stuff when they write about being a mom. Nobody talks about how frustrated you feel when the baby takes an hour to eat. How unnerving it is when the baby cries and cries and cries…maybe we all need to be a little more honest like you and others wouldn’t feel like they are alone.

    Again, I’m so sorry :( I hope all that you are doing will help!

  9. Barb

    I’m very sorry that some people are not very understanding. I too suffer from PPD and I also take medication to help me get through the ups and downs of motherhood and just life in general. When i read your post yesterday I really felt like I was reading a journal entry of my own. It wasn’t necessarily the words you were writing but what you were writing in between the lines. I think that if you haven’t suffered from PPD then you don’t quite understand everything that someone might be feeling. I am very fortunate to have a wonderful mother-in-law who understood everything that I was going through and she was the one who told that maybe this isn’t normal that it is more than just getting used to being a mother. It is a scary and lonely feeling when you aren’t the mother or even person you want to be and there doesn’t seem to be anything that you can do about it.

    My reaction to motherhood wasn’t exactly the same as yours. I didn’t have thoughts of hurting myself or anyone else (but believe me I have been there for other reasons). I just didn’t feel anything. at. all. I felt like I was just going through the motions. At first I thought it was just because I was tired and going through the newborn stage but when several months had passed and that newborn stage was over and things weren’t getting better my mother-in-law and a very close friend thought that maybe it was time to talk to someone about it.

    After two years, I want to let you know that things are infinitely better. I love my son. I feel it. I know it. I am certain that he is the best thing that has ever happened to me and he makes my world a better place even when he is screaming in a puddle on the floor of the local grocery store :) I kiss him at night while he is sleeping because I really do from the bottom of my heart love him.

    I have some other friends that I have warned. Telling them it is ok if you aren’t in love with your newborn and that it will pass but if it doesn’t then maybe you should talk to someone. I let them know because I don’t want someone else to feel alone and scared like I did. Most of them just say thank you and go on their way and I know that they don’t understand and I am happy for them. I am glad that they didn’t go through what I went through. I think that it is great that you are brave enough to tell others about your trials because there is someone out there who is going through the same thing and hopefully you will inspire them to also get help.

  10. Grace

    As I read those other posts yesterday my heart hurt for all the women (specifically for you & Blair, because that was incredibly insensitive) currently suffering who would read that and be hurt, confused, ashamed, guilty, etc etc. WE PUT ENOUGH SHAME AND GUILT ON OURSELVES. We certainly don’t need more of it from women who have never been in our shoes.
    Hugs from a fellow survivor-momma.

  11. Sidnie

    My heart is breaking.
    When I emailed yesterday, the thought crossed my mind that my hard moment wasn’t all that bad, and that you would perhaps think I was being silly… But you embraced me, with no judging.
    I am so thankful for your compassion.
    I’ve only shared my reasons for seeking help with few people…Because it is so hard to talk about. It is hard to admit the thoughts, the feelings, the actions.
    The feeling of being inadequate, thinking that your kids would be better off without you… It’s painful.
    You are so brave for sharing your heart with all of us. I pray that those who judge step back and realize the pain they are causing… Not only you. But to everyone else who is suffering.
    You shouldn’t have to defend yourself.
    Praying for you.
    And hoping I can embrace you the same way you did me.

  12. Blair


    You know, I like taking anti-psychotics because it is the “trendy” thing to do.

    Cloth diaper? Yes. Anti-psychotics? No.

  13. kim

    Allison, you’re a brave, brave woman! I know it’s hard to ignore the haters, I KNOW. But they are the ones who don’t have PPD. I mean, really? Like, you’d just throw around that term for the fun of it? As if we WANT to experience it? To lay claim to it? Of course, now that we have laid claim, grab hold of it and don’t let go. Those others? They really are ignorant. Know that you are right and doing what you need to do. I’m so sorry you felt the need to bare yourself this way, Allison. I wish I could wrap you in a big hug and tell you all the things that look so awful today will be amusing in a few months/years. I wish I could plop O’baby in the middle of my living room w/ my kids, grab a cup of coffee with you and just listen to you vent your heart out. No copay needed :)

  14. Kaycee

    You are so not a horrible person. I get so frustrated with people online who think they ‘know’ more than the doctors and families and the blogger themselves about their life. I am not a medical professional, and I would never dream of being able to diagnose anything. WebMD checklists do NOT qualify you. The posts about the “over-diagnosis” of ADD/ADHD, PPD, etc, etc drive me crazy. The fact that people like you feel the need to ‘justify’ their choices in their life and prove something in response? Makes me sad. I understand why you felt the need to right this post – but I am sad that there was a need.

    I wish that everyone could just realize that we are ALL doing our very best to have the best life for ourselves and our family that is possible. That reading a blog does NOT give you the full story nor the right to demand details that may be private. That seeking help when you or your family feel you need it is ALWAYS courageous and smart. Whether someone has ever dealt with the issue they are writing about or not, their perspective and their life are always different than whoever ‘inspired’ them to write their post – so what gives them the right to judge others?

    Hang in there. Your honesty, as always, is admirable.

  15. Vanessa

    I’m sorry you feel so attacked. It’s hard. I know.
    After re-reading your original post, I can say that it seems quite separate from suffering from PPD. I, too experienced PPD (with both my boys) and even aside from that, there IS a grieving process.
    Anyone who says there isn’t, is lying.
    Maybe it’s shorter for some than others. But it is there. Because it’s a major life change and in every life change there is a certain amount of transition or even grieving.
    How can you POSSIBLY be prepared for motherhood? You can’t. Even those who always knew that’s what they wanted to be/do with their lives can’t possibly be prepared for the huge amounts of “dying to self” that is required.
    I’m sorry you felt the need to so harshly defend yourself.

  16. Erika

    you already know i’m thinking about you over here. i wish there was something i could do to help.

    xoxo. hang in there, lady.

  17. bekah

    Allison –

    Hang in there. You are brave to write about your struggles with PPD.

    Forget about those who don’t support you. Surround yourself by loving people. You will get through this!

    Mental illness is REAL and our nation has a great stigma against it. These blog posts just prove it. It’s sad that you have to justify yourself using this post. Never doubt yourself or your diagnosis. Be proud of who you are and fight to get better.

    Several in my family are affected by mental illness, from depression to schizophrenia, and I can tell you that it gets worse if you don’t put yourself out there in the world. If you hide yourself from the world (even the blogging world), it could be worse for you. You are doing the right thing by speaking out and not being ashamed.


  18. Brittany

    It is so sad that you need to “prove” to people that you truly have PPD. I thought your post yesterday was so honest and it rang true with me. Even though I did not have PPD, I did have those thoughts picturing something awful happening to my baby, and there were so many days where I wanted to run away. You are not alone in this. It is really appalling the way people treat others online because they have the security of being mostly anonymous. While I understand why you felt you had to make this post, just know that in reality you don’t have to prove anything to anyone to make your suffering valid. And I wish you all the best for your recovery – yours is one of my favorite blogs!

    • The Mom Venture Blog

      I wasn’t going to leave a comment, but I did want to say that I too have never had PPD, but like Brittany said, I have had those thoughts picturing something awful happening to my baby. Usually late at night when I was tired and baby was crying and crying and crying. It’s scary and you think you’re going crazy. You feel like if you let yourself dwell on those thoughts you might just slip down that slope. Now for me, I was able to dismiss them and think to myself, “that’s awfull, knock it off”, and then once I got some sleep I was okay. But I think sometimes when people talk about PPD I feel like they think you have no clue what they’re going thru unless you’ve been diagnosed with it too. But I believe I do know a little about it. I can totally imagine how scary it would be if I couldn’t dismiss those thoughts that I had. If I had them every day. I can imagine feeling like you just want to run away and not come back, because I’ve felt that. I can imagine feeling like throwing the baby down in his crib because he just won’t stop crying, because I’ve felt that and did lay him down a bit roughly from time to time, and felt bad about it.

      Now I read the other posts, and I can see how , in your shoes, you’d feel offended. But honestly, I really don’t think they were meaning to point fingers at you. Many of the things they said, I have felt. But when I read those posts, I really didn’t get the idea that they were saying that you in particular didn’t really have PPD, just that many times women think that they have it because they have these negative thoughts or feelings when in reality, it is normal. They all agreed that PPD is a real thing, and I think that if you truly have it, you know(provided you are past the denial stage I guess). I think depression is a hard one to really diagnose because you have to rely on what the person is telling you. It’s not like a physical condition that you can take x-rays and blood tests and say “yes, you have cancer” or “yes you have diabetes”. So I think with any form of depression, you can only go on what the person is portraying. Sometimes people may let on that they can’t deal with things, when, really, they could if they tried. And please do not curse me because I’m not, not NOT say that this is you! AT ALL. Just that this is the reality of it.

      We really don’t know what eachother is really going through. I think it’s best to support each other. Be there for moms that are having a hard time dealing with motherhood because we all react differently to things.

      I wrote a post on PPD support a month ago or so, that I am getting ready to write the sequal to and I think reading your posts and the others that posted will really help in my conclusions on the issue. I’m trying to be as objectionable as possible without compromising my own beliefs and what I see, yet trying to have all the facts straight too. I think some of my preconceived ideas have been changed through all this too.

      I feel for you Allison and I am so glad that you are on the road to recovery and are able to enjoy your precious baby!

  19. Sarah

    I have never had PPD. My mother did, she never talks to me about it. I think from guilt and shame she has never shared with me what it was like. I think that she also does not want me to feel guilty for anything that she experienced. Remember that God is faithful, that is my mantra and he who has called you to these circumstances will also give you the grace to endure. Most of the times easier said than done, I know. And though I cannot possibly know what you are going through with PPD, I am a mom and can certainly relate to you there! The days are long but the years are short!

  20. mama23bears

    um, i must have missed something…….i hate that people are feeling the need to attack and question you. i hate that if even a person thought something was ‘off’ they didn’t just stop reading. i feel so sad right now that you feel like you had to prove anything to anybody. this is your blog, they choose to read it! i don’t get that kind of thinking.

    allison, i have never had the pleasure to meet you but from everything i have read on here, i know you are the real deal. everything you have ever written has been so full of emotion and thought that i feel like i’m just talking to you.

    most of us here blog because we love to. we write what we are feeling. good or bad. we choose to share ourselves. we really put things out there no matter how personal or what the content may be. we can’t please them all. i want you to know that i understand how deeply ppd can affect your life. i have been there. you are doing all the right things to make sure your life, your family, all of that, gets put back together. please know i respect your choice to share this, but you don’t have to prove anything. you’re great! your blogs great! and Obaby, well he’s freakin adorable!!!

  21. Jenn

    I only read blogs that I think merit interest from myself or other people and that is why I read your blog. If it wasn’t true, if I thought your life was always perfect, I wouldn’t be interested. You’re telling it like it is. No one will know what to expect and the things we go expect aren’t necessarily going to happen. And I’ve been reading a lot about people’s crying babies and PPD and being overwhelmed. I think in the end, when I have my first kid, it’s going to mean the world to me to know that all the baby/mommy blogs I read are telling me the truth. I want you to tell it like it is. I want to know about letting the baby feed himself, about who wears their baby and which wrap is best, and about what real life is like! So THANK YOU for telling me.

  22. Tasha

    I almost cried while reading this post. (I missed out on yesterday’s, but will most certainly be reading them in just a few minutes.) I have been SUFFERING from PPD for 18 months- yes, 18 months. I took me 3 months before I finally went to the Dr. and got help. I am now pregnant with my second child and it feels like the PPD has become 10x worse! I have “those” thoughts almost daily. So, with that being said, let me just say this, YOU OWE NOBODY AN EXPLAINATION OF WHAT YOU ARE GOING THROUGH! Nobody can relate to a mother with PPD other than another mother with PPD. I went through the non-believers. I’ve had people tell me “whats really the matter with me.” They are all full of BS!

    You WILL get through this. It WILL take LOTS of crying, LOTS of screaming, LOTS of effort…but you’ll survive! Your son will never think any less of you, and to him you’ll always be the BEST mommy in the world!


  23. Jess

    I want to hug you. You don’t need to prove anything. PPD is HARD and you’re a strong person for working through it and admitting you have it. You’re an awesome mom.

  24. Sarah

    boo. Just boo.
    Any one who thinks a person would take medication to be trendy or needs to man up through depression can really just suck it.
    My favoritest part was when one of those bloggers said something to the effect of “your bad day is not worse than my bad day”. For sure. Because your PPD is all about one upping another persons depression.
    We all have bad days. I had a really crappy day yesterday in fact but we soldier forward armed with what ever tools it takes to survive. My weapon of choice is hugs from my daughter and Pinot Grigio.
    I suggest these spaztastic bloggers think before they speak when condemning the choice to live life free of depression. Murder/suicides of depressed new mother’s and their babies are even less trendy than Zoloft.

  25. Suzy

    I think that differing perspective are very interesting. There is criticism over the fact that you take meds to help with this season of life. But I’m failing to see the difference with that and having to dump your kiddo on your hubby and then run away to chain smoke 10 cigarette’s. The truth of the matter is that no one is perfect. We all sin and fall short of the glory of God. However, it is natural to have bad days and good days. Pregnancy puts our bodies so out of whack. But I encourage you to not let any of this take away one single moment of enjoying your little one. There will always be tough days no matter how good of a mommy you are or how much training you put into making your little fella a “good” boy. My best advice to you would be to have you and your hubby decide what things are most important to you and your family. Then stick with that. It’s ok to get idea’s and encouragement from other mom’s, but be careful to not get wrapped up in trying to be like them. I say this because I know a mom who is AMAZING! She has the sweetest most well behaved kids you can ever imagine. With my first baby I sought so much advice from her. Pretty soon I was trying to be a mommy like her and not the Mommy God would have me be. It put so much pressure on me and made me feel like I’d failed before I had even started. Thankfully a wise friend told me to take a step back and figure out what was important to my hubby and me and make a plan for our family together. I still look at things I learn from other mom’s and consider them but am careful to guard my heart and to honor what my hubby and I already decided.

    Dont let bad attitude’s get you down. Heap on the burning coals and fight the good fight.
    God Bless

    • Suzy

      Oh please let me correct something I said. I wasn’t saying that taking meds for PPD was the SAME as going out for smokes. I just meant that it was interesting that the one author felt like treating PPD wasn’t good but running out to smoke was…sorry if I opened another can of worms: I

      • Emmie Bee

        Which was my point, Smoking is NOT good. I was saying “we’ve all had these moments” even if I can snap out of them and others can’t.

  26. Katie Jones

    Oh my fellow depressionista,

    I love you. I also wrote a post on yesterday’s topic. People that do not suffer from depression and anxiety will never understand. Its a shame that we feel we have to defend ourselves and our illness to others.

  27. MommyJ

    I’ve never experienced post partum depression, but I watched my sister, whom I’m very close to experience it with her fourth baby. She did not experience it with the first three, but she did with the fourth. Her symptoms were very real, and very different than any “motherhood is hard” feelings she encountered with her first three boys.

    So sorry you’ve been hurt. Judging others is an ugly thing… especially through the waves of the internet – because what is shared on the internet only provides little glimpses into our lives, never the entire thing.

  28. Amy

    Most of us humans are too self-centered to really be able to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes. No matter how much someone might describe something to us, it’s hard to get out of our own bubble and imagine what it would REALLY be like to be them. I’ve always (unfortunately) struggled with being judgmental. I remember thinking that most people who say they struggled with depression were just being weak and if they would “pull themselves up by the bootstraps” or prayed more or tried harder or just chose to “look on the bright side” that they would get better. God decided I needed to walk a mile in their shoes and I was slammed with PPD after my first child. I’ve always been a very put together, super capable, not easily shaken person and I turned into a blubbering, anxious, completely irrational mess. I lay in bed unable to sleep because of my heart racing, hearing phantom baby cries (even though my baby was sleeping quietly next to me). I sobbed endlessly. I couldn’t stop the horrible thoughts going through my mind, and for the first time I understood why some people choose to take their own lives (I was never suicidal myself, but I finally understood the complete misery that drives people there). Fortunately I got help quickly and that dark cloud passed a couple years ago. But I still shudder whenever I think of it and I NEVER want to experience that again my life nor would I wish it on anybody (even if they are being an insensitive jerk). So, all that to say I COMPLETELY understand where you are coming from and (strangely enough) where other judgmental writers are coming from. They’ll never fully understand even if they were really trying to.

  29. LindseyLou

    I read some of those ‘other’ posts yesterday on a whim, and my heart was already thinking of you. It is hard for people to understand something that they haven’t experienced, and unfortunately putting down others somehow falsely makes a hurting person feel better about themselves. I think what their posts demonstrate is that they are hurting too, and motherhood is difficult, with or without illness.

    You don’t need to prove anything, other than that you are the gentle and humble person you have shown yourself to be. “May the peace of God transform all understanding and guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.”

    We love you and applad your candid view into your experiences.

  30. Jessica@The Southern Belle Baby

    You did not deserve that. Period. You were brave by baring your feelings and your soul, and instead of being met with support, you were met with something much, much different. Those girls should be ashamed of themselves. Just know that the things you say resonate with so many more people than they “offend” and you should not take it to heart.

  31. Heather of the EO

    Dear Emmie,

    It appears my comment in disagreement with you on your blog is being deleted. (Of course I feel the need to say that if people don’t see eye to eye with you and comment, you should consider “manning up” to the discussion.)

    So. In an effort to educate and inform in this here lovely space, I’ll repeat myself…

    The thing is, when Allison wrote her post about grieving what she thought motherhood would be, it wasn’t a post specifically about PPD. It was simply (and beautifully) about feelings, thoughts, emotions, working things out. Something we all do go through as mothers, whether we “man up” or not. It has nothing to do with not knowing that babies cry or that there would be sleep deprivation. No mother can know exactly what it’s going to be like and there are so many opposite clashing emotions and some of us feel them more deeply and some of us are dealing with true physiological MESSES that don’t allow us to just push on through.

    Sure, it’s tricky to decipher between PPD and normal motherhood because motherhood is hard. That’s exactly why it sometimes takes so many mothers so long to recognize that they have PPD. Yes, docs throw drugs around at the slightest discomfort these days…BUT if you read Allison and “love” her as you say you do, you would come to the conclusion that SHE HAS TRUE PPD. And what you’ve written laughs in the face of that. It’s really sad. Allison is helping more women than you can begin to imagine, and what you did takes away from that.

    The reality is that we cannot know someone else’s pain. We cannot judge what is PPD and what is “a bad day” for someone else. So to write a post saying that mothers need to man up and put on their big girl panties? Just…WOW.

  32. Adventures In Babywearing

    I think I missed something! Did someone attack you about your post? I went back through to see but didn’t see anything. If so, I am sorry for that, because this is YOUR blog and YOUR feelings. I thought your post yesterday was real and as transparent as many of us bloggers are (myself included) I still only share about 10% of my life online. Oh, if people only knew the rest that was going on in my home, in my heart, in my head.


    • Heather of the EO

      Steph, the links are at the end of Allison’s post. The one I’m referring to in my comment is the Emmie one. It got me all riled up and stuff.

  33. Kelly @ Love Well


    I mean … SERIOUSLY?!?

    I’m thinking I might need to place a call to my people.

    So sorry Allison. Don’t let others accusations feel like you have to justify who you are. You are the real deal no matter what others think. You aren’t accountable to them.

  34. Jen

    You don’t need to explain yourself to anyone. But I’m glad you did because it helped me understand where I am at mentally. (Selfish much?) I already have anxiety and lately have been nearing panic attacks, though I’ve been able to head them off. And nearly every day I think about how I’d like to be anywhere but here.

    So I’ve been struggling with whether I should get checked out for PPD or if this is just normal for someone home all day with 3 kids under 6.

    I’m glad you linked to those other posts. I think the difference between PPD and motherhood just sucking sometimes is a worthy discussion, especially for those of us on the borderline. (Although the personal calling-out was not cool.) Reading this post and those others have made me think that *I* do just need to man up and fight through it. That *I* likely don’t have PPD. But to assume this is true of everyone is unfair.

    • The Mom Venture Blog

      I don’t know about the panic attacks, but as far as feeling like wanting to “be anywhere but here”,, I can vouch for feeling that way too. I have 3 boys, age 6, age 3, and age 9 months. I think having 3 is probably the hardest, even though baby is a really good baby. My older 2 have been fighting so much the past few months and then having a baby to take care of,,,, PHEW! I’ve done my share of screaming and feeling like I’m just so tired of it all! Is it bad not to miss your 2 older boys when they spend 2 days at thier grandparents house? Anyway, most likely it’s just normal, but I suppose if you keep having panic attacks, you may want to get that looked at.

      Take a deep breath! Realize that this stage of thier lives will be over too quickly and they won’t be needing you as much and then you’ll miss it! That’s what I try to tell myself!

  35. katie

    allison–thank you for your bravery and candor on a topic that is very difficult to talk about. people who’ve never experienced depression (or don’t have clinical training) can’t truly understand that the popularly held view that “it’s all in your head” when you “have the blues” doesn’t mean mental illness isn’t a very real, painful and scary thing. unfortunately, it has acquired a stigma and so doesn’t get discussed, and the armchair psychiatrists and pop culture/hypochondrial misuse of terms with specific clinical definitions dilute the significance of what it means to live with mental illness. the best kind of healing and returning to health–mental, emotional and physical–fully addresses the hurt, so the combination of holistic (prayer, talk therapies, etc) and clinical (medication, diet practices, etc) interventions needed will be different for each person. you are doing things that you specifically need to do to address and heal the hurt and illness that you specifically are experiencing, in order to regain yourself and be able to provide a healthy and loving environment for your family. don’t ever feel like you need to apologize for that.

  36. darcie

    Big fat hugs from my big fat self. When I had my 1st baby – I was head over heels in love. Things were relatively easy – and I scoffed at those who told me that I would never sleep again. It was so easy in fact, that we decided we could add to our family and began trying again when our 1st was just 6 months old. So…I was blessed with two babies under 15 months old.
    So THAT is what people were talking about! My 2nd baby was ‘difficult’. He cried. I cried. I then understood the hardships that other mothers had been speaking of. While I never had PPD – or at least not diagnosed…I spent many a day, and night, in tears…wondering what I was doing wrong and how I could fix it and fix this baby that only wanted to cry.
    The reality is…we are all different. All of our babies are different. BUT…that being said – we all share a common bond. We need to be here for one another, support one another. We are not here to judge or to criticize, because even if you *know* how someone feels, you don’t.
    Hang in there. We do what we have to do to get through to the next day in one piece.
    Much love you beautiful Mama you!

  37. Jen

    PS I totally “got” that yesterday’s post was not really about PPD. That you can feel overwhelmed by the difference between the reality and image of motherhood and that you can have PPD and that they are not one in the same.

    Also, in my experience, the evangelical church sells a bill of goods on motherhood that is much different from what you see elsewhere and those who haven’t been in that world might not understand your post. I’m not saying that to criticize evangelicals. It just is what it is.

  38. Adventures In Babywearing

    Allison, I found it. And although I don’t usually let myself get riled up, I did, a bit. I left a comment but in case it doesn’t make it to publication on that site, here it is:

    —I definitely have felt your same sentiments, about mothers needing to man up at times- when they wonder why they can never put the baby down, or they don’t immediately (or ever) sleep through the night. It’s like DUH. Babies are designed to be held, so hold them!, and stop looking for a short cut out of it.

    BUT I do think, as a mother of four, I’ve been completely BLINDSIDED by things no one could have prepared me for- both good and bad. I had no idea how hard I’d love my child, there is no way to know this until you’ve gone through it, and the same for when a child is sick, when I was told no one knew how to help us, that he might never get better- BLINDSIDE.

    Actually, every day in the mother ‘hood there is a new situation that arises, and with each child having their own personality and my OWN SELF changing and growing – holy crap there is no map for this, it’s all up to us, and when you combine sleep deprivation with whatever the heck else is going on in a person’s life (motherhood or marriage related or not) you have a broken spirit that needs help. And needs lifting up. And even though you really want to tell them to Man Up, you instead hug them and offer a hand, and in that moment, YOU are the one manning up. For them.


    • AllisonO


      This comment is the very definition of why I love you. Goodness gracious.


    • Jocelyn

      This exactly! Why do we have to knock each other down. Everyone deals with things differently, if you are so fortunate to be able to deal with things, then reach out and help others.

    • Sidnie

      I love the idea of someone manning up for a hurting momma.
      Bless it.
      I can feel the hug and the comfort in that.

    • Stephanie

      This is an awesome comment. I don’t even read Steph’s blog or know her, but I want to hug her.

  39. Molly

    I really appreciate your honesty. I too am on Zoloft, although it’s for OCD and not PDD. Posts like yours give a voice to SO many women who feel the same way. I’m sorry you had to justify yourself to people. You shouldn’t have to do that.

  40. Alissa

    Allison, please know you are loved! I, too, went thru times you described. You are not alone. If others downplay what you/we are going thru then they are not being empathetic enough and I feel sorry for them!

    Needing a dr/Rx is not giving up, it’s being smart enough to know when to ask for help.


  41. Q

    I am so sorry that this is even happening. I feel bad that GROWN women feel the need to attack one another. It may have not been Emmie/Kristi’s intention, but that is exactly what they did. Emmie states that she doesn’t know how people with PPD feel. OBVIOUSLY NOT! I am a young mother of two who has never had PPD but I could not ever even pretend I could imagine how it would how feel. The usual trials of motherhood: diapers, puke, sleepless nights, frustraion, laundry piles, bills, crying… NOT PPD!!! One of my sisters suffered from PPD with her first child. She tells me stories that scare the willys out of me. I can’t even begin to imagine. She is a much stronger person than I. Her thoughts/actions are not something that a pack of cigs could cure. You are a beautiful, amazing, brave woman who came out to give PPD a much needed voice. I admire you for that. Your open, honest posts may very well have shed some light on someone out there and helped them get the help they needed. Stay strong and GOD BLESS YOU!

  42. Sarah

    I’m a social worker who works in mental health and I MUST say that PPD is NOT the same thing as being overwhelmed by children. PPD is NOT the same thing as wanting to cry (or crying) because your baby smeared poop on his freshly laundered sheets or threw a fit at a wedding.

    PPD is a psychiatric disorder that is scary and devastating BUT, fortunately, is treatable. For other bloggers to suggest that PPD sufferers should “man up” rather than seek treatment is unconscionable. PPD is a disease that is cured by treatment–not by putting on “big girl panties.” Would those same bloggers suggest that their children “man up” when they have an ear infection? Or would they go to the doctor and seek appropriate treatment?

    PPD (and all psychiatric disorders meeting diagnostic criteria) are illnesses–just like ear infections or MRSA or, God forbid, cancer. What kind of ignorance would it take for someone to say, “Skip chemo! Man up!” to a woman struggling with breast cancer? Oh! The same kind of ignorance it takes for someone to say that you should just “man up” to treat PPD.

  43. stef

    You poor Momma. I think it is wonderful that you know your limits. That you are able to be strong enough to get the help that you need. Who cares what others think…seriously. None of us can say what someone else should be doing, even if you have walked in their shoes. We are all on this journey: paritally together but also some of it alone. You do what you have to do. No shame…no shame at all. Just the best you can do!!

  44. Tiffany

    Hey darling, perhaps my comment yesterday wasn’t clear enough about where I stand – I re-read it and it came accross as more neutral than I intended – and less sarcastic than I had planned. You know I love you dearly, and as someone who suffers with anxiety attacks I know that this is a VERY REAL and serious illness. I love you more than I love anyone I’ve never actually laid eyes on, and I can say that with certainty. I hope you know that by now…I feel like I’ve been stalking you forever.

    You are doing exactly the right thing. You are a wonderful mother & you have a beautiful family. You have a glorious blog that is raising awareness and lifting Him up and the marvelous work that He does.

    Just keep doing what you’re doing. & know you are loved.


  45. Krista @ Not Mommy of the Year

    I’m sorry that you felt attacked yesterday. While I tend to fall on the side of the fence that doesn’t understand PPD, I do know that it exists and it must be terribly scary. You have my complete support and my admiration for getting help and telling the internet about it. While I think that a mother knows that her baby is going to cry and knows that it’s going to be hard, she doesn’t know how she will react to that situation. That’s where we’re all different. I read on another blog in a post completely unrelated a long time ago that you can’t judge a mother until you have been in her shoes with her child. No judgement from me, my friend. Just support.

  46. ~j.

    So the girls who have never had PPD criticize those who have? And think that their arguments have ANY weight?


  47. Jenny Swan

    Okay. After anger, and thinking myself into a coma, and posting over there too I am back to write something here too.

    Because I love this blog. I love your open ability to post things on here. And I love that these conversations happen. They aren’t fun. It’s hard to disagree on something so incredibly emotionally charged, especially something so painful we’ve experienced personally.

    And darn it. When someone tells me to suck it up, it triggers something in me. I HATE that.

    My mantra lately, is love. Mom’s go through enough fighting daily…PPD or not. Why do we need to be so stinking MEAN to one another. I don’t get it. We’re all on the same team! We’re all fighting the same fight!!!!

    Allison – again you’re doing a GREAT service to the motherhood community here…keep it up. God works all things together for His good. I know looking back I can see him at work now…even in the most psychotic moments of my PPD. You will too. HUGS sweet bloggy friend!


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