For Me, I Guess It’s Always A Matter Of Time- Postpartum Anxiety


2 pills. Lexapro this time, not Zoloft.

The anxiety is back, and I’m dealing with it. I have the gift of experience behind me now. The gift of knowing what to look for. The gift of knowing what to do, where to go, the words to say over the phone to my medical provider without stumbling or tripping over embarrassment and fear.

Like having a cold or strep throat. I was/am sick. I am taking medication for it. I will get better.

Postpartum Anxiety never shows itself to me right after the baby is born. In fact, I was so blissed out over Lowell this time (once I got over the horrific postpartum healing experience) that I thought it wouldn’t bother me ever again.

But, just to be sure, I took extra precautions. My husband and I have guarded my sleep and well-being with ferocity this time around. We hired help so I wasn’t trying to balance work along with everything else. We let obligations slide. We pressed ourselves less.

Still, it’s back. I’d say it began to really show itself around 5 months postpartum. I tried to wait it out. We had a rough start to the new year, so I thought I just needed to get life under control.

But the more I struggled, the more I realized it wouldn’t happen without help. I didn’t want it to get as bad as it did last time before I reached out.

So if I’ve seemed less engaging, less involved here and other social media platforms lately, if I’ve missed an email you’ve sent, I’m sorry. Half of that is because I’m struggling (and my reaction to anxiety is to just shut down and ignore everything), and half of that is because I’m fighting, and giving myself permission to work at my own pace.

The meds are working, though, and I’m working through it. It just takes time, and grace, and support. I’m lucky to have all 3.

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  1. Thank you for sharing this. I too am a mom of three and I too am a three-time PPMD/PPD survivor. I have experience. I have no rose-coloured glasses ideas of what this should be, just what it could be. Thank you for this post, for making me feel less lonely as I get my ‘masters’ in broken-brain after a baby. <3 Kudos to you and I wish you a speedy recovery.

  2. Praying for you Jill!!! I’m so glad you speak out about this subject!!! I’ve been there, so many hugs and love coming your way!!

  3. I know how you feel, though mine set in right away. I’d never heard of PPA, just PPD, and I ended up with both. I couldn’t enjoy my daughter, I was obsessed with her getting enough nutrition (BF’ing was a nightmare for me), food had no taste, I was having strange dreams, crying all the time. I’m on Lexapro, too, and it helps. I just have to remember that I’m not crazy :). Thanks for sharing.

  4. I literally just wrote this post last night. I’ve always struggled with anxiety/panic disorder, so I’m not sure if it’s post partum related, or just me :-/ I hope you’re feeling like yourself soon. It’s no fun!

  5. Hey Jill,

    Sorry to hear that the the PP anxiety reared its ugly head once again. Good job on speaking out about this topic. Even with all of those extra things you put into place to help avoid the PP anxiety, it is still hard to escape body chemistry.

  6. Betsy Brininstool Nethery on

    As a counselor and someone who has struggled with postpartum depression & anxiety, I thank you for graciously sharing your struggles. The more we talk about these issues, the more educated & open to treatment we will all be.

  7. Adrian Martin Stouffer on

    I also struggle with postpartum. Still having some anxiety even on medication and nearly 8 months postpartum this time. You’re not alone. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Kelli Robertson on

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. It was through your blog that I discovered what postpartum anxiety was and realized that you were describing me! Now after having my 3rd child I was prepared for the possibility of it coming back and have been able to get help.

  9. Kesha Carlson on

    Thank you for being honest and open about your struggle. It’s good for some of us who expect to fight the same battle with anxiety (or depression) to be reminded that asking for help is not weakness. Hugs & prayers for you and your family through all of it.

  10. Welcome back! You do whatever you need to maintain balance and know that just sharing is inspiring others.

  11. Thanks for posting about this. I’m a first time mom and a single mom and I’m not sure exactly if I have ppa or just life of a mother of a ninth month old. I know it is hard to discuss this issue but I know you help so many people by being open about the topic. . You have my prayers. I’m a big fan in Houston who never posts on blogs:)

  12. Hang in there mama! Do what you need to do for yourself and your family. I also struggled with postpartum anxiety. It is so great to hear from another mama that they had the same experience. I made a promise to myself after I gained control that to I would share my experience with other who asked or were in the same wave of emotion so that we could support each other.

  13. Jillian Mullaly on

    I’m so bad with words right now so sleep deprived, you described exactly where I am. My Second son was born a few weeks before Lowell. I’m married to a guy named Scott and my name is Jill . I think you might be the Texas version of me. I feel completely broken and I hate that I’m so medicated but it’s the only way I’m able to function at all and I use that word loosely . All this to say thank you for putting words to what I can’t seem to articulate, that help is necessary and not a weakness.

  14. Thank you SO much for sharing!! I wish more women would. I do not have the gift of experience, and I am very embarrassed, but I just shared my story tonight anyway, in hopes of helping another.

    Hugs to YOU!!!

  15. I had no idea this was even a thing…you described me and my experience postpartum with both of my children to a T. My second is now 8 months old and I battle “mommy visions” constantly and just about every other symptom you mention in your original post that you linked above. I knew all about PPD and what to look for but I’ve never been sad and depressed. I had no idea this wasn’t just being overtired and having high expectations of myself. I think I’ll make an appointment…. thank you so much for sharing your experience. I read A LOT and I have never ever heard of this. My head is spinning! Wow….

  16. Just when I thought I couldn’t be a bigger fan of yours… It takes a strong person to admit that things aren’t the way they should be. Your husband sounds awesome and supportive. While I don’t have experience with anxiety, depression and I are old friends. While it was before I had kids, I was on medication and it was such a good thing for me. I still struggle sometimes. I’m rooting for you.

  17. In Between the Piles on

    Thank you for sharing. I’ve struggled with postpartum anxiety & depression, too. Thank you for reminding all of us that we aren’t alone.

  18. Tracy Harper Kistler on

    Ironically I’ve felt like you’ve been more active!! I’m going to add this to my list of why I’m not having a third child. I don’t think I could handle pre natal and post partum depression again. But you’re right experience and knowledge make a world of difference!

  19. Hugs mama! I experienced PPA with my first and waited too long to seek help, too long that I sometimes feel robbed of that time. Good for you for recognizing you need help and getting it sooner rather than later. Be kind to yourself right now.

  20. Ashley Salazar on

    Thank you Jill for posting this. I struggled horribly with Postpartum Anxiety after my first. I had never even heard of it before I was diagnosed. It was probably the hardest thing I’ve been through aside from losing loved ones. Thankfully we come out the other side, eventually. Hang in there ??

  21. I also struggle with postpartum anxiety. I had my baby in August, and I just finally got on medication a week ago. I know EXACTLY where you are right now. I always know I need medication when I start to avoid the hard things, the things that give me the most anxiety. Which gives me more anxiety, and so on, until I am almost paralyzed. Thank you for sharing your struggles so we all feel less alone.

  22. Meghan Gerc Sharkey on

    I could have written this post myself (except for the fact that this is my first and so far only baby). I’m getting back to normal, but with a baby now I don’t even know what “normal” should look like. But I’ve got support, I’ve got a plan, and I’ve got a positive outlook. Glad to hear you have those in your arsenal as well.

  23. Kristin VanderHey Shaw on

    Ugh. Darling, I hate that it came back for you. I thought you were home free, too! Mine showed up at one month postpartum, and it’s the biggest reason we didn’t have any more children. hugs.

  24. Wish I’d known there was a name for it. Our oldest son is now 21, and I suffered terribly for the first year after he was born, without understanding what was wrong with me. I just … pushed thru it. Blamed it on lack of sleep (he never slept for more than 2 hours at a time, for 7 months…I was a basketcase). Even now, all these years later, it helps to read about others’ struggles. Thanks!

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  28. Seriously, thank you so much for sharing all your posts on this topic, I feel so alone because my boyfriend just doesn’t understand my PPA, so he’s not sensitive with it at all. Knowing others have the same doubting thoughts I have make me feel a little less crazy. Thank you again, you’re amazing!

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  31. Becky Schroeder on

    You are amazing to share this with your readers. Thank you for your honesty. I struggle too and boy is it hard.

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