From the time I was in 7th grade, I have heard people blaming behavior on hormones. I distinctly recall being in shop class and hearing a boy say to a girl, “What? Are you PMSing or something?”, probably because she had told him to stop doing some 12-year-old act like kicking her under the table.
I’m sure I’m not the only one whose siblings joked about PMS, or who heard boys and girls alike blame their own or others’ attitude on the menstrual cycle. It’s something, as a woman, I have heard almost my ENTIRE LIFE. And, as a woman, I learned how to use it as an excuse. If I’m in a bad mood, I can say, “Oh, sorry, I’m just PMSing.” If I want to binge on chocolate chips, I can say “well, I’m PMSing, don’t judge me.” (Ahem, I’ll be honest, I said that just the other night…) :-)
Now, don’t get me wrong: I completely agree with science: hormones can and do have an effect on one’s attitude and behavior. It’s been proven many times over that a change in hormone levels can have a drastic impact on one’s outlook on life. Men and women may joke about PMS, but to most of us, it’s a very real thing and can be quite annoying.
So. We’ve heard about hormones since we were kids. Now, as adults, enter: PREGNANCY. Holy Hormones, Batman! If there is ever a time to blame crazy emotional roller coasters on hormones, pregnancy is it. And quite legitimately. The hormone changes that occur in order to create a baby are intense. And after nine months of adjusting to those changes, you then have the baby, and your body changes AGAIN to produce milk and to adjust to not having a wee baby in your belly.
If you have ever been pregnant, had a baby, or lived with someone who falls into those categories, you know that often it is truly appropriate to say that hormone changes can make a person seem CRAZY! (I’ll be honest, when I was pregnant I cried like a baby to the opening scene of Star Trek. Not something I’d usually do, haha.)
When you [finally] give birth, you go through an emotional roller coaster of love, fear, exhaustion and excitement. Add crazy hormone changes to the mix and it’s quite a volatile time of life.
This is why it’s so very, very dangerously easy for women suffering from post-partum (or prenatal) depression to think, “Oh, it’s just the hormones.” Because, after all, we’ve been saying and hearing that our entire lives.
So. How did I know it was more than just hormones affecting me? To be honest, I didn’t. Not for a very long time. In hindsight, I now know I was suffering from post-partum depression after my FIRST child, and it never fully went away. It drastically increased during my second pregnancy (but, you know, “I’m just so hormonal…”) and came to a terrible climax when my son was about 8 weeks old. I didn’t seek medical help until a full month later.
In my next post, I’m going to share with you some things I’ve not shared with most people. I’m laying it all out in hopes that I might help even ONE person identify that it might be “more than just hormones.” It’s too long of a story to put in one post, so stay tuned for more very soon. Love you guys, and thanks for reading.
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