October 15, 2013

My Journey: Depression

By Kara
Introduced by Amy

Kara is from my hometown, the good ol' town of Shelley, Idaho.  I was friends with her older siblings, as well as her husband's big bro.  When she told me about her experience with depression after having a baby, my heart hurt for her.  Man, after you have a baby your hormones are wiggity-wack...I cried a lot.  But, there is a real difference between baby blues (which I had) and true, full-on, crushing depression.  Kara tells us her story straight from her heart.  During a trial like this, it can be easy to feel alone, but I know that there are many who secretly battle depression.  For Kara, the battle was gut-wrenching, but happily, she was able to find the help that she needed, and the surprising source of her depression! 

Our new little girl, Emery.
About a month after Emery was born I started having some bad days. (This is when my mom started noticing something was wrong).  When Emery was three months old, it really hit me: I was depressed.  One night in particular, I couldn't stop crying and I called my mom to come ASAP.

The next day, Dr. Clark fit me right in to her (very) busy schedule because of the message that I had left her.  Having my husband, Jared, and my mom there meant a lot, because I was such a mess.  My doctor decided that I did need to go on some medicine and suggested I go to Idaho to have more constant support as Jared was in school and gone quite a bit.

I headed to Idaho for the week, spent time with my family there, as well as the close friends and neighbors I had grown up with.  The next week my mom and I headed back to Utah to spend time there so I could be with Jared too.  I was an emotional wreck.  I had good days and bad days, good times of the day and bad times of the day--but I just kept crying and crying.  The medicine I was on made me feel sick and I had no appetite.  I ended up losing 9 pounds in the first 3 days I was on it.

A month before my first appointment.
The majority of the time I hated life and I disliked being a mom.  I wanted to go back to how things "used to be."  After some time in Utah, my mom and I headed back to Idaho; we decided it would be best because Jared was busy with school and I needed more support than I was getting in Utah.  I needed to be around people constantly and to be busy-- I couldn’t handle any “down time” or I would hit rock bottom.

After a rough weekend of “being brave” and going back to Utah, I went back to Dr. Clark.  She decided that I needed to add another medicine to what I was already taking because my case of "postpartum depression" was pretty severe.  That afternoon I headed back to Idaho with my mom.  It was so hard to be away from Jared but we skyped, texted, talked on the phone, and constantly communicated in any way we could.  I kept myself busy by staying with people and setting up my own “babysitters.”  I especially spent a lot of time with my sister; she was a huge strength and support through these months.  I started to have some good days--days when I felt normal during parts of them.  Jared and my mom commented that they saw the old me again and were happy about it.  He came for the weekend, and when it was time for him to leave I was a mess again--I cried and cried.  We went to friends' house and talked to them and received support, and I was able to pull myself together for Jared to head home.

Monday was an okay day, I was a mess in the morning, but pulled myself together by the afternoon. Tuesday I went to Amber’s house and shortly after arriving, it hit and I was terribly depressed.  I tried to keep busy, I did her dishes, I helped her clean, but nothing was working.  Thoughts of hurting myself entered my head and I texted my mom in panic.  I knew these thoughts were dumb, and had no idea where they came from, but I was ready to quit playing this game, I didn't know how to get the thoughts to go away.  Eight weeks was a long time to feel this way and I was sick of it, I knew that I wouldn't ever do anything, but I was scared.  I needed help, real help.  I was finally open to going to a counselor, something that many had suggested but I wasn't open to.  But, at this point, I just wanted any kind of help that I could get to make things better.

My mom came and picked me up and took me to the P.A. I had seen before I got married.  We talked about how I was feeling, the medicines I was on (vitamins, essential oils, the meds for depression, the med I was on to help increase my milk supply, etc.).  She told us she would be right back and left for a minute.  She came back with her phone and started explaining that the medicine I was on to increase my milk supply (Reglan) had side effects of severe depression and anxiety and suggested that I go off of it immediately.  She told us that she wouldn’t even prescribe it because of all off the terrible side effects it can have.  I was on a double dose 4x a day and had been on it since about a month after Emery was born.  My mom and I started thinking back and the timelines matched up perfectly.  She started noticing changes in me about the time I went on it, and when it was doubled was about the time things got really bad and I went in to the doctor for the first time.

I went to bed with hope that night of things changing.  There seemed to be a light at the end of the tunnel.  The next day I started feeling better.  I spent the day with my dad running errands.  Thursday I woke up after sleeping in and felt pretty good.  I spent the next four hours with just Emery and didn't have an anxiety attack.  I did it.

I am so thankful for a doctor that figured out what was going on.  I really didn't have postpartum depression but had been suffering from a medically induced depression.  We have since found out that the med I was on is only supposed to be used for a minimal amounts of time and is suggested for Chemo patients who are having stomach problems.

Right about the time that I realized what was going on.

We were away from Jared for Emery's first Halloween because of the amount of support I constantly needed.

"Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals" -(Home Alone).  It was so good to be "normal" again at Christmas and to get to enjoy our little family TOGETHER.

My family today!
My journey was a rough one; one that I am still finishing as I adjust back to being "normal" again.  It is a trial that I needed to go through...It tried my patience, strength, and hope.  It made me rely on my Heavenly Father, family and friends more than I ever have.  It is something I never want to deal with again, nor want anyone to have to deal with.

Depression is rough; it is hard; it is real.

A year has passed since that first doctor's visit and life is fabulous.  We’re living our state of “normal” and loving every minute.  Emery continues to be a joy in our lives and teaches us new things constantly.  Life couldn’t be better!

Thank you Kara for your courage in sharing your story!  I was so inspired by her faith, as well as the love her husband, family, and friends showed her; they were such an incredible support system.  

How about you, friends?  Have you experienced depression?  What did those around you do that eased your burden?  We'd love to hear. :)


  1. this is Kara's Mom. This has got to be the scariest thing I had ever been through up until that time. Please if you start to change rapidly and have been put on new drugs check the side effects. I feel honestly we owe this P.A. so much . She brought Kara back.In a lot of ways I feel she saved her life. Honestly within missing 2 doses of this medicine I could see a tremendous difference. We have been so very blessed

    1. You are such a wonderful mom, Sheila! I was so touched by how you stayed by your daughter's side as she became a new mom. That's what family is all about. :)


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