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Diane has always had a close relationship with Thaydra, her only daughter. So when postpartum depression (PPD) took hold of Thaydra’s life after the birth of her first child, Diane stepped in and was determined to help her fight it.
It wasn’t long after Thaydra returned home from the hospital with her first baby boy, Stephen, when Diane began to notice a change in her behavior. She immediately became concerned while spending a week at her daughter’s home to help with the new baby while her son-in-law was on a business trip.
“When I got there, all I got from Thaydra was blank stares and confusion,” Diane said.
Although Thaydra tried to hide her constant crying and mood swings from her mom, Diane noticed that her daughter was withdrawn and unable to focus on tasks that she normally handled during a regular day.
Diane thought her daughter was just overwhelmed with her new role as a mom. So, she decided to help by taking on some of Thaydra’s house work and chores. She did the food shopping and laundry, but instead of getting better Thaydra cried for hours on end every day and was getting worse.
She confronted Thaydra who admitted that she felt depressed and that she had not been sleeping or eating. Diane insisted her daughter make an appointment with a psychologist. After discussing the situation with her husband, they reached out to a psychologist who was family friend to get help.
Thaydra was referred to a psychiatrist and began a regimen of antidepressants and regular therapy sessions. Close to a year later, Thaydra began to feel normal again.
Three years later, Thaydra became pregnant with twins and despite her doctors attempt to take preventative measures with medication and therapy, PPD set in before she left the hospital with the new babies.
“Thaydra’s second bout with PPD was much, much worse,” Diane recalls.
Again, Diane stepped in to help Thaydra with the babies. She also took on the chores, ran errands for the family and did their laundry. It pained her to see her daughter in such a dark place.
She began calling all the local hospitals trying to figure out what to do next. When she finally found a support group for new moms, Diane was relieved. She told Thaydra about it and even went with her to make sure she felt comfortable. After each session, Diane slowly backed off until she finally got Thaydra to attend the group on her own.
Thaydra’s symptoms persisted for months and at one point, Diane considered quitting her job to devote all her time and attention to helping Thaydra recover.
It took increasing the dosage of Thaydra’s medication three or four more times before she felt a noticeable change. Finally with Diane’s support, attending the support group and the right dosage of medication, Thaydra began to overcome PPD for the second time.
Looking back at those difficult times brings Diane to tears. She believes that families should get involved and not be ashamed to get a suffering mom the help she needs to recover.
Department of Health
P. O. Box 360, Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
Last Modified: Thursday, 12-Jul-12 11:44:37