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How To Convince Yourself You Have PPD

16 April 2013

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It’s been 4 months now, so I think we can go here. I’ve had time to gather my thoughts. You’ve had time to realize I’m not depressed. So let’s talk about this without then talking about medicating me.

I think I took this test three times in three months. This little, 10-question quiz that would probably diagnose a grandmother with post-partum depression. You probably have PPD.

Observe:

3. I have blamed myself unnecessarily when things went wrong:
A – Yes, most of the time
B – Yes, sometimes
C – Not very often
D – Never

Really? Pretty sure I’ve been doing this since high school.

4. I have been anxious or worried for no good reason:
A – Not at all
B – Hardly ever
C – Sometimes
D – Very often

You know you’re asking new mommies this, right? I thought I was required, as a mommy, to be anxious and worried for no good reason. Growing up, I seem to remember my mother constantly anxious and/or worried for no good reason. If I was five minutes late coming home at night, or didn’t answer my cell phone when she called, it surely meant I was dead in a ditch on the side of the road somewhere. I thought “anxious and worried” was the job description. … Is this a trick question? 

5. I have felt scared or panicky for no good reason …

I didn’t … until the hospital’s little new mommy class and the pamphlet on SIDS. Basically, babies occasionally die, and sometimes we never learn why. So put him to sleep on his back, in an approved container, with no pillows or blankets or stuffed animals or crib liners, with the monitor (preferably a video monitor), and a pacifier, swaddled, in a room that’s not to hot or too cold, and turn on a ceiling fan.

But don’t freak out.

And besides nap time, no pacifiers, because you’ll create in your poor, defenseless baby, an oral fixation that will plague him forever and ruin his teeth some day.

Speaking of ruining him, let’s talk about vaccines and day care and disposable diapers and baby carriers and formula – because all of these things seem like little issues until you actually have the baby. Then, and only then, do they tell you that these are all, in fact, monumental issues that will either steer your child toward becoming a productive member of society, or a broke, drug-addicted slob living in a van down by the river. Those are the only two options. Don’t screw it up.

Panicky? Me? No. Never. Why?

6. Things have been getting on top of me …

I think this is the lie-detector question, because anyone with a two-week-old baby who doesn’t answer, “A – Yes, most of the time,” is lying.

Ly-ing

Because, let’s see, my body, at two weeks post-partum, was still very broken, and floppy in places that had never flopped before. Hormones, even the normal ones, were still resetting. My husband was back to work, so it was just me and the baby at home – a very messy home, which drives me crazy – and people wanted to bring food over, which was great, but I didn’t want anyone in the house either. I only had a couple weeks of maternity leave left, and I thought I’d be so ready to go back to work but then I started wondering if I ever wanted to go back to work, not that it matters because we can’t afford for me to not work. I haven’t washed my hair in days, and I’m basically being held hostage in my bed by the tiniest little terrorist ever, because whether he’s eating or sleeping, it’s on me, and I can’t move.

And all the while there’s little else to do except scroll through Pinterst on my phone, when I’m not napping myself, and look at all the beautiful women with their perfect houses and wonderful children and gourmet dinners.

I’m not sure what’s growing faster: my To Do list, or societal expectations.

Ya. Things are getting a little on top of me. Are you kidding?

It goes on to ask about being miserable and/or having suicidal thoughts, which answers juuust pull my score down out of the danger zone … for the rest of my life. Who came up with these questions?

Did you have to take this quiz post-partum? Anyone lie? Anyone looking at those questions now and wondering if you have PPD? Fess up.

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