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I Didn't Know Postpartum Anxiety Even Existed Until It Happened to Me

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A friend and I were talking the other day about a post I had written on my blog about anxiety. In this post I talked about how I used to be a laid back, go-with-the-flow type of person until I had a child. And that my child having health concerns and medical conditions had added to me becoming an anxious person.

I didn’t experience what I thought anxiety was supposed to look like.

When I leave my son at home with my husband or we leave him with someone else, I just know something terrible is going to happen.

When my husband heads out to work every day, I fear he won’t come home.

My anxiety began spilling over into every aspect of our lives. I became worried about everything, terrified of improbable outcomes of every situation.

My friend said something that really resonated with me: “I feel like people are talking a lot more about postpartum depression, but I feel like most people have no idea about postpartum anxiety.”

I was one of those people. I had heard a lot about postpartum depression. I had been to a class on it, watched videos about it, talked about it with my doctor. But they never mentioned anxiety.

They didn’t tell me about this irrational fear that would overtake me. This grinding in my stomach that would occur. The mind racing or the panic sweats. I wasn’t depressed; I was nervous. I chocked it up to hormones. I thought it would get better in a few weeks or months, like all of the other postpartum symptoms.

But it didn’t.

My son is 4, and I still have issues with it. I still think the worst is about to occur. That something terrible is going to happen. That the bottom is about to drop out. I sometimes find it hard to live in the moment or enjoy it because I fear it won’t last. Which can make it really hard to feel happy.

I’ve found that turning to my faith has helped immensely. And talking about it with my husband and close friends. Talking about it makes it feel more real. Allowing someone else to hold my hand and walk me through it, and to sometimes tell me I’m being irrational helps. Sharing with others who might be going though it with me. Telling them that in the end, it will be OK. You can feel “normal” again.

If you feel like you’re suffering from postpartum anxiety, tell someone. Get counseling if you must. Tell your doctor; they even have medications that may help. Don’t hold it in like I did for so long. You don’t have to feel this way. There is a way out.

Follow this journey at Mrs. Bishop.

The Mighty is asking its readers the following: If you could go back to the day you (or a loved one) got a diagnosis, what would you tell yourself? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

Originally published: March 23, 2016
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