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.
SS: How do you currently manage your symptoms?
I: I am under the care of a therapist and a psychiatrist. With behavioral therapy and medication, I am able to get better control of my symptoms.
SS: What advice do you have for women who are experiencing postpartum depression?
I: The biggest advice I have is that they should have faith in Allah subhanah watalla. Have faith that Allah will get them out of anything, but also know that Allah gave us resources. We should utilize those resources without feeling guilty or ashamed of our symptoms. There is nothing wrong with getting help. They should accept the fact that they need help.
They should always keep Allah in their lives and be strong. Don't ever think that Allah has abandoned you. Sometimes, He has other plans for you that you might not like or accept, but they're there for a reason.
If you have experienced postpartum depression, please share your story below in the comments section or send us a message through the contact form.