COLORADO SPRINGS – On the heels of Mother’s Day Your Healthy Family is delving into a very serious mental health issue many moms deal with, postpartum depression.
Kamala Rheaume is a Colorado Springs mother of three, who says her postpartum depression grew more severe with each child. At its worst she says it was crushing, “I felt like it was never going to get better. I felt like I was not a benefit to my children anymore, that they would be better off without me because I was so tired, and I was so anxious. I was having these negative thoughts that I couldn’t explain – or will away. I couldn’t think my way through it. Even after reaching out for help at times I was finding it just wasn’t enough.”
Kamala says she knows postpartum is different for each person, but for her, “I felt it was like being in the bottom of a well. It was dark and I could hear people and they were telling me they were there to help me, but it was so distant that it just wasn’t getting through.”
Kamala says her postpartum got so bad after delivering her third child, thoughts of suicide entered her mind. “I had gotten to this point where I thought, ‘I just don’t want to do this anymore. I’m hurting my family. I am not contributing to them in the way that they deserve. I’m never going to get better.’ I just thought to myself, ‘let’s just make this better for everybody.’ Looking back now I can see that it was the postpartum depression talking, not me.“
Kamala’s biggest hope in sharing her story is that the stigma around mental health treatment will be decreased in our society in general, and that women who are suffering like she was will have the strength and courage to get the help they need.
Kamala says, “If you have any doubt, if you have any question about, ‘is this the norm for me just?’, just ask. There is no harm in going to your health care provider and asking, ‘Hey, this is how I’m feeling right now, is this normal and what can I do about it?’.”
Dr. John Fleming, MD, PLLC, with the Southern Colorado TMS Center treated Kamala and says even for the worst types of depression there are new effective treatment options emerging all the time. “Treatment resistant depression and postpartum depression are so hard for patients to deal with and for doctors to deal with. The good news is that we are seeing more and more developments and while we’re all frustrated with the slow pace of improvement it’s at least happening. People should not give up, there are lots of options. Come and get help, go and get help, let’s see what we can do. If medicine has failed you before, there are new things now. It’s important not to ignore depression.”
Kamala adds, “I truly hope that as a society that we can start to break this stigma around postpartum depression. That we can start to feel empowered as women and even as families to speak up and say, ‘this is where I’m at and I need help.’ and that’s okay.”
Over the next several Monday’s in May Your Healthy Family will be talking about many of the new treatments available for postpartum depression, and drug resistant depression, and where those treatments stand in Southern Colorado today.
Next Monday Kamala and Dr. Fleming will share the treatment that helped successfully turn around her postpartum depression.
The Southern Colorado TMS Center is a proud sponsor of Your Healthy Family