This is an interview with a woman who experienced postpartum depression. It is part two of a two-part interview. Click here for part one.
*Please note that this story contains sensitive and triggering topics.
Samira Saleh: SS
SS: What happened after you went back to your husband's house?
I: When I went back, I really couldn't stand being in the country anymore. I needed to get out. So, I left. I got on an airplane and went to the United States to stay with my family. After going back to the States, I started school again and kept myself busy with finishing off my college degree.
It was hard, really hard. I felt like I was pretending to be someone else so that my parent's don't worry about me. I made it seem like everything was perfectly fine. But it wasn't. My grades were dropping. I had no clue what what I was studying. I was sad all the time... extremely sad. I knew I couldn't have anymore children and I loved kids so much. I felt useless. Long distance relationship after such an experience was not working out for my marriage. My marriage was falling apart. I thought about hurting myself. I started planning out different ways of ending my life. I thought about overdosing. I felt so useless... I didn't even have the guts to end my own life. I just couldn't do it.
SS: Did you know you were depressed?
I: No. I thought it was just a phase of sadness that would eventually go away. I figured if I ignored it long enough, it would just vanish and everything would go back to normal.
SS: Did you get professional help for your depression?
I: No, I didn't get any help.
SS: What made you not get help?
I: I spoke with a close friend a lot who helped me get through some of my lowest times. She encouraged me to get professional help, but I was certain I didn't need any help. I didn't really believe anything was wrong. I knew I was sad and not feeling like myself, but I just believed it would be a phase that would go away on its own.
SS: You had two successful pregnancies after your first, correct?
I: Yes, I did. However, with each pregnancy, I was told I wouldn't be able to have anymore children.
SS: When did you decide to get help?
I: It took me a very, very long time to get help. About seven years after my miscarriage, I finally sought help.
SS: How did you manage your depression in these seven years?
I: I didn't really manage it. I just sort of put everything aside so I can get through each day. Depression between each pregnancy was at its highest and it was very difficult to get through each day. However, a friend told me to read Ayat Al Kursi and the last verses of surat Al Baqarah all the time. I read these verses repeatedly throughout my pregnancies and after each pregnancy. They helped me get through some rough times.
SS: What pushed you to get professional help?
I: I felt like my life was falling apart and I was literally losing my mind. I had no more control of my kids and I felt as if my entire life is just completely out of control. I was also overwhelmed with emotions. I kept blaming myself for so many things and kept feeling guilty for everything that has happened.
My anxiety was out of control as well. I was working myself up so much that I had several panic attacks.
My friend who had tried pushing me to get help insisted this time that I go. She said I should just give it a try, no strings attached.