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Emotional Overreactions and Depression

At times we do not feel as if the day is going well and we don’t feel like getting up. We don’t feel like doing anything. What is really happening to me? It’s cloudy and dreary and I just don’t feel like doing anything today. Have you ever felt this way before?  It’s just a feeling that we can’t seem to shake. We know that this affects many of us on a daily basis, but we need to fight to get up and move around. It may seem as if its the end of the world, but don’t never give in.

 

Depression

Here we go again with that dreaded word “depression”. Lately, many people have been affected with this disorder that tricks our minds to think about things that are not true. At times, we feel lonely, unloved, disliked and the list continues which simply tears you down. It’s unfortunate how much when life events seems to distracts us and we begin to conform to these false beliefs.

 

It’s about me?

We blame ourselves for so many things and begin to sink in misery. It’s our fault. It’s true that you are crazy and no one loves you now or in the future.

 

Well, it’s not really about me.

You can be the most loveable person in the world, but still bad things happen. Indeed, bad things do happen to everyone. We simply must be mindful of how we react to situations that gets us so angry. It can be a simple little thing that sets us off and instead of walking away, we explode.

 

Emotional Overreactions and Depression

 

We find ourselves overreacting so much that affects our entire week and at times we drag it out to several months. You find yourself tearing up for several days upon weeks and your energy is not there. You are not sleeping well and you have not drive to do anything. Your self-confidence has vanish and self-doubt lingers. It takes a toll on your body and it takes a while to get back on track.


Avoiding Depression and Overreaction

It’s time for us to realize that this is a vicious cycle that continues every day. It takes a lot of practice and patience to stop overreacting. First, we need to become aware of what you are doing and put a stop to it.

 

Here are some suggestions for avoiding an emotional overreactions thanks to depression.

 

  • Life events comes and goes.
  • Stop overreacting!
  • Practice a lot of self-talk. Watch your breathing and inhale (peace) exhale (frustration).
  • Do a reality check? Check in with someone who knows you.
  • Distract yourself and do something else.
  • Believe in yourself and know that you are not alone.
  • Quiet your thoughts and mediate.

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You are not alone

She is sitting at the side of her bed in her pj’s  and its past 2’o clock in the afternoon. Where did the time go? Her hair is not comb and she has no makeup. On her face she looks sad and deep in thought. Suddenly, she begins to cry again which is a usual occurrence throughout the day. She recently gave birth to her daughter and something is drastically wrong with her. She doesn’t understand why she feels this way and begins to question herself. Why do I feel alone, sad and miserable? The baby cries and she simply don’t have the energy to fed the baby once again. Some may see this as a signs of postpartum depression which isn’t the same for all mothers. The following is a list of signs to look for in postpartum depression:

  1. Anger-  Becoming angry at everyone that includes your baby, your spouse or even your older children. You have been throwing things or yelling at everyone. You can’t get a handle of this anger that is built up inside. You are mad all the time and you have no control over it.
  2. Brain Fog-  You tend to forget  things from time to time. It’s all a misery to you.  You try your best to remember the right words, but nothing comes to mind. Then you try to multitask, but you cant do this. You find yourself in the middle of the intersection and realize that you flew pass the stop sign.
  3. Scary thoughts- Your thoughts are interrupted by “what if”, which begins to take over. What if something terrible happened? These thoughts are known as intrusive thoughts that interrupts your daily life which are a sign of postpartum anxiety and OCD.
  4. Numbness- Here I go again, I cant feel anything but just emptiness. You are going through the motions but yet you are not feeling it inside. You feel disconnected from everyone.  You couldn’t care less about things and you don’t want to mention this to your doctor.
  5. Insomnia-  Ahh…the little one is fast asleep and they say take a nap but nothing happens. You lay there at night wondering when will I get some sleep. You should be exhausted after one week of taking care of the little one, but still you lay awake at night wondering when will I fall asleep.
  6. Physical symptoms-  My stomach doesn’t feel good again and my head hurts really bad. I begin to panic once again and I feel like I am having a heart attack. You feel aches and pain all over your body and you know that you don’t have a cold or flu.

I was inspired to write this blog on behalf of a fellow colleague Dr. Christina Hibbert who is a psychologist, mother and author of “This is How We Grow.”  Dr Hibbert shared that she was a expert evaluator on a postpartum case for over five years.  The woman is a 23 years old mother who has been sentenced to 40 years without parole for child abuse. How or Why? is this happening?  According to Dr. Hibbert the woman is suffering from postpartum mental illness which included  postpartum posttraumatic stress disorder (due to a horrible experience with childbirth),  postpartum obsessive-compulsive disorder, postpartum depression and later postpartum psychosis.  The baby at the time was adopted after recovering from injuries and the 23 year old woman parental rights was severed.  The woman also had an emergency hysterectomy during childbirth so she was childless.  During her trial she was not evaluated for mental illness, but this incident was considered a child abuse case and she was the abuser.  The prosecutor of the case sentence her to four back to back 10 years sentencing which total 40 years imprisonment.

Presently in 2014, she served 13 years in the state prison system and through several help by attorneys, advocates and experts that worked pro bono, she received “clemency”  of her current 10 year sentence.  Recently, she had an hearing and after a total of six hours and after drilling Dr. Hibbert and other expert witness her clemency was denied.

Postpartum psychosis is a very real issue “that affects 1-2 of every 1,000 births in which  the mother becomes detached from rational thinking” (Hibbert, 2014). The symptoms of postpartum psychosis includes the following:

  • Delusion or strange beliefs
  • Hallucination
  • Feeling very irritated
  • Hyperactivity
  • Decreased need for or  inability to sleep
  • Paranoia and suspiciousness
  • Rapid mood swings
  • Difficulty communicating at times

It is important to know that there is help out there and the sooner someone gets the help the better life will become for you.  If you know of anyone that may be suffering from this illness, please encourage them to speak to a professional.

 

References:

Hibbert, C. (2014). Postpartum psychosis + Mental Health Stigma = 40 years in prison: Its time to speak up! Retrieved from http://www.drchristinahibbert.com/blog/

Postpartum Psychosis. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.postpartum.net/Get-the-Facts/Postpartum-Psychosis.aspx