Post-partum depression isn't "real"

I don't feel so great guys. It's like I'm wearing a lead hat and earmuffs when it comes to feeling things (besides worry). The baby is eleven weeks old, past the time when I should be back to normal, but I'm in this weird perma-schlump. I finally worked up the nerve today to call my midwife about possibly getting a prescription for anxiety and/or depression. What does that call for exactly? I don't know, whatever people in my spot usually get. Left to my own devices I'd say wine and painkillers, but seeing how I've been out of the latter for over two months and the former just makes me thirsty (who are these people who can drink bottles of wine end to end? Human ponds? I'm out after two glasses) I'm guessing they'd say an antidepressant.

The midwife gave me the number to a hotline with the assurance they'd hook me right up. Great! Maybe I will stop crying at the drop of a hat and actually have some damn fun. That's what it feels like to me. I'm incapable of having fun. Joy and happiness seem like abstractions to me, like the type of things people feel in movies. Like the need to serenade a lover or run from a dinosaur.

I called the hotline and a woman asked me if I was hearing voices or if I was about to murder anyone. Sensing that was not the time for a joke, I told her maybe I wasn't in such a bad spot after all. Voices? Wow. She assured me that was just some kind of screen question and moved on to asking me if I had insurance. I haz. She gave me another number to call.

This third number was going to be the real deal. By the way, when you're feeling like joy is just an abstraction for other people and you can barely force your feet to climb down the hall to your crying baby, it is incredibly difficult to make three phone calls in a row. I did it between tears because my family needs me and they deserve a mom who isn't constantly pissed off/weepy/wishing they were playing "statue" instead of "shrieking giggle slappy fun times". Why are kids so happy, I wonder? They seem to be happy no matter what is happening to them (besides vaccines or having to wait until after dinner to eat cake). Anyone of us could just up and die from an aneurysm at any minute, not to mention the astroids shooting directly at us from space and my kids are all "la-dee-da, we love everything!" I envy.

I called the third number. By now my explanation of how I have been feeling was even more devoid of emotion. Robotic. "I had a baby eleven weeks ago. I don't feel back to normal. I think I'm depressed. Also anxious. Maybe I need a grief counselor, too." And throw in an oil change!

More questions abounded about my insurance and then we hit a road bock. No, they didn't take Aetna, who apparently only covers "real" illnesses. Wait, what? One in eight women experiences post-partum depression. It can be dangerous. Mental illnesses can be debilitating and fatal. OH WELL, says Aetna. TOUGH LUCK. TOO BAD. HOPE YOU'RE RICH! I'd need a therapist to get any kind of anti-depressant and that would all be self-pay. $150 an hour to talk about myself to a stranger.

I guess I'm cheap, but that seems like a lot of money to me so I guess I'll just stay depressed and talk to you people for free.




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