Coping With Postpartum Depression, Pt. 2 - Kimberly Thompson

 You have had a baby within the past year, and you’re pretty sure you are depressed. Where do you go from here? Let’s get started with some practical ways you can help yourself heal and experience joy in your baby and joy in life.

Believe that feeling good again is possible. Many, many women have recovered from postpartum depression, including me. If you are having trouble believing it, talk to women you know or read stories about women who have come out on the other side.


Some great books to encourage you are:


• Down Came The Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression by Brooke Shields


• Behind The Smile: My Journey Out of Postpartum Depression by Marie Osmond

It is not a coincidence that both of these authors describe recovery as a journey. I share my own journey out of multiple episodes of postpartum depression in my book, Perfect Mothers Get Depressed.


Step back from your dark thoughts and realize that the depression is driving a sense of hopelessness and worthlessness. Let this point soak into your soul: Depression hijacks the way you think about yourself and your life. Understanding this puts a tiny wedge between the real you and those dark, depressed thoughts. You can work that tiny wedge until you feel quite distanced from the depression. Some ways to work that wedge are:


•Keep a journal. Seeing your thoughts in writing helps you to get distance from them, and at a later time you can evaluate their logic and usefulness.


•Practice mindfulness. More than a concept that you learn once, mindfulness is a way of life that takes practice but pays off in enhanced quality of life. It is about living in the present moment. Everywhere I turn I see a magazine that features an article on mindfulness, so it’s very easy these days to get an introduction to the concept. I regularly offer a series on mindfulness and acceptance as part of my Wellness classes. Taking a class gives you the structure and support that most people need when starting a mindfulness practice.


Balance asking for help with giving yourself the chance to be competent. Depression can push you out of balance. Some depressed new mothers have a hard time slowing down and letting go of perfection. Others have a hard time believing that they can take care of their baby and themselves at all. Whenever you fall out of balance, you deprive yourself of something that you need.


     I am Dr. Kimberly Thompson, a clinical psychologist in private practice in Lubbock, Texas. I work with mothers and their children to help them heal, grow, and live their most vibrant lives. My particular expertise is pregnant and postpartum women, and moms of “littles.” My book, Perfect Mothers Get Depressed, is available on Amazon and from Praeclarus Press. If you live within driving distance of Lubbock, you can work with me face-to-face; if you live anywhere else in the state of Texas, you can work with me via online therapy. Send me a message if you need more information, or call my office at (806) 224-0200 if you’re ready to book an appointment.