Rage: The Scariest Symptom of PPD

ppd-rage

It was the rage that frightened me. I had expected to feel down, sad, and grumpy. Which I did, that’s for sure. But rage? That was not something I expected from postpartum depression. And the rage is what drove me to get help.

About five weeks after my second daughter, Grace, was born, my husband could tell I was not doing well. So he decided to surprise me with a half-day at a local spa. I was thrilled. Nails, facial, massage … and no baby or toddler attached to me for a few blissful hours. Heaven.

But when I came home, I could hear Grace’s crying from the basement. My body tensed immediately and the relaxed feeling was gone. Hubs told me that Grace didn’t eat the entire time I was out. She took a little milk from a bottle but then wouldn’t accept the bottle again.

She didn’t accept a bottle EVER again.

And I could feel the rage start to build from that day.

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I felt trapped by my colicky, non-sleeping, no-bottle-taking baby. I was frustrated with my toddler, Anne, who was throwing tantrums constantly. And I was really questioning my decision to leave my full-time writing job for the occasional freelance gig.

I felt overwhelmed, sad, anxious, and angry. Every. Single. Day.

Then one night I really lost it on Anne when she was having a tantrum. I couldn’t control the words flying out of my mouth. I wanted to smack her and make her stop (which thankfully, I didn’t). I wanted to be anywhere but there.

The rage coming out of me was other-worldly. Thankfully Hubs was there and was able to intervene. I feel physically ill when I think about how I acted and what could have happened. It was the most terrifying feeling I had ever experienced.

I called both my primary care and OB docs the next day. Working together, they got me on Zoloft and into therapy right away. And I felt better within days. The sadness, the lack of interest in life, the anxiety … it all got better with the Zoloft.

The rage, though, took more work to get under control. The Zoloft helped. But the therapy was what made it much, much better.

Four years later, I am still managing my depression. The PPD got better, but then morphed into another kind of depression when my dad suddenly died. Who knows what it technically is now — but I’m still dealing with it.

And the rage is still there. It’s the most difficult part to manage and from my experience, the least-talked about symptom of depression.

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That’s why I’m writing this post. I want all you moms out there to know that if you deal with PPD, depression, and especially the rage that can accompany it, you are not alone. You are not a bad mom. It can and will get better—if you get help.

Being a mom means doing hard things. And sometimes the hardest thing is asking for the help you need. I know that first phone call was incredibly hard for me to make.

But now I understand that depression happens to regular people. These scary feelings do not make me a bad mother. And with medication, therapy, and healthier life choices, I feel more like me again.

Yes, I’m still fighting the depression, sadness, and rage. But now, finally … finally I feel like I’m winning.

About the writer

JD Bailey is the creator of the website and online community, Honest Mom. With candor and humor, JD writes to connect with other moms and raise awareness about women’s mental health. She’s been published in print and around the web, and was thrilled (and terrified) to be interviewed by Katie Couric about depression and anxiety in moms. When she’s not writing or mom-ing, you can probably find JD on Facebook or Twitter.

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Ellen 2 weeks ago

PPD is real, but it doesn’t happen to all Mother’s. I breastfed all 5 of our children, 1 set of twins for 8 full months. I guess I’m just a very relaxed, lay back person it didn’t affect me. Our youngest being 33yrs.old, I have times now in my 60’s I can be down, but I find things that I like to do and do them. It certainly helps me. We take time and go on a long week end to just get away. It helps. Hobbies help wonderfully. Good luck to those who need the extra help.

Holli 2 weeks ago

Thank you! My bf left us because of PPD.

Kirsten 4 months ago

I’ve just recently had my second son, and both my boys were c-section babies. With my first i went through 24 hours of labour (with no drugs or any kind of help for pain… i wanted a natural birth) before i had an emergency c-section. I felt horrible. I didn’t get to see my baby for almost a day as he was in NICU and i couldnt get out of bed. we struggled with him and teething the stress of moving, my boyfriends older three kids who live with us. And it wasn’t until four months ago I found out I was pregnant again… and delivered my second baby in April (another c-section!) My baby’s nearly three weeks old. My other son almost eleven months… With the stress of everything, I’ve just recently recognized i have PPD. I’m still in the process of getting help. But reading all these blogs and everyone’s comments. Knowing i’m not the only one. Helps so so much. I’ve been feeling like the worst person in the world. the worst mom. I have three beautiful lovable step kids, and two wonderful babies… and here i am feeling sad, angry, hopeless wanting to run away from it all… but now that ive found out and am getting help. i feel a little better. so thank you, all of you. for sharing your stories, theyve helped me so much this past week…

Lesa 4 months ago

All so true and more. I have been a suffer for 5 years. I appreciate this type of reading as it makes me feel less alone. Thank you

Michelle 4 months ago

Rage was definitely a terrible and terrifying symptom. Right along with intrusive thoughts… it was like waking nightmares.

Jen 4 months ago

Thank you. My daughter is almost 6 months. My husband just thinks I’m miserable and it’s my own fault. I’m angry. So angry. All the time. I lose it all most daily on my 3 year old…I lose it when my infant won’t fall asleep. I didn’t know this could be a sign of PPD. I’m making a call now because I can’t handle the anger. The sadness and the anxiety. I thought it was just me and my own fault…

Cruella 5 months ago

Thank you for sharing this. I need help. I just spent an hour screaming at my 6 year old, to the point that he was shielding me from him with his arms saying, “You wish you never had me!” My God, what am I doing to my children?? LIfe is stressful lately and I am not coping. at. all. I’ve been on anti-depressants and it was almost worse! I like the suggestions of vitamin B, yoga and therapy. I’m terrified that my children will leave as soon as they are old enough and never want anything to do with me again. I love them so much. Will they look back on their childhood and only remember a scary mommy??

erima 6 months ago

Thank you. I needed this so much I went to the doctor and he gave me medication but my whole family is against it so for a week I haven’t taken it but I feel so crap. The rage I’d terrible it sends me spiralling further down into such dark thoughts

A Mom Like You 6 months ago

One of the side effects of antidepressants is extreme fatigue. If you can tough it out, it goes away in about a month.

A Mom Like You 6 months ago

Your wife is very sick. If she won’t talk to her doctor you NEED to, ASAP or sooner. If she refuses treatment there are ways to compel her into treatment, they usually include the person being a danger to themselves or others. Do you believe you children are in danger?? Or is she blowing smoke?? If you believe your kids are in danger you can call the police or have her forcibly committed.

Keep safe.

A Mom Like You 6 months ago

Rage is terrifying. It’s irrational, mean and uncontrollable. It’s not like anger, it’s nothing like anger. Anger is not even in the same category as rage. Anger is a response to a situation, rage is……. well, it’s scary. Rage needs professional help and probably medication, anger needs a glass of wine and a hot bath. Rage builds and builds, there is no stopping it. You feel it coming, you know what’s happening, but can do nothing to stop it.

Having done rage and PPD, but not together, my heart goes out to those who have both. I can’t imagine having a new baby and dealing with rage.

Here’s my advice, for what it’s worth. :)

* Firstly. GO SEE YOUR DOCTOR and a psychologist. You are sick, not crazy. You can’t just tuff it out and wait for it to get better, it won’t get better, at least not for a very long time. This type of rage is hormonal, and usually manageable with medication. The hard part is finding the medication that works. Remember you are not weak or crazy, you are ill!!! Your brain is sick, stick with the treatments, that little goobery face with the toothless grin, is worth the weekly trips to the doctor(s). The sooner you do this, the easier treatment will be, delaying getting help just makes getting better harder.

*You MUST have someone that you trust COMPLETELY. They MUST be prepared to tell you when they see things are starting to slide, this happens waaaaaay before you think it does. And you MUST listen to them, no matter how badly you don’t want to. They are trying to help, that is all they are trying to do. They are not mean, superficial, ignorant, ungrateful, moronic a-holes, they are your friend. Your BEST friend, only a bestie can take on this job.

*When you feel it building, find a way, ANY WAY, to remove yourself from the situation, so you can have some time to work through it. Make arrangements with a trusted neighbour, family or friend to drop the kids off or call for help, with little or no explanation or notice; or ask someone to come stay with you – Grandparents love this one. Kids do not need to see their parents raging, and personally, I don’t think it’s all that safe either, you are not thinking clearly. Rage is probably closer to Post Partum Psychosis than PPD, untreated bad things would certainly happen.

*Know that this maniac is NOT who you are, you are suffering a hormonal imbalance over which you have absolutely no control. YOU ARE SICK!!!

*Don’t punish yourself, your behaviour has not been done on purpose. Tell yourself that this is not you, the real you is still in there, she’s just stuck in a bad situation at the moment. If you have to, write up cards that read something along the lines of “I am not my rage.” “I am a kind, caring, loving mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend.” “The real me is still in me somewhere. She’s just on vacation in Antarctica and will come back someday soon.” “My family loves me and I love them.” Or whatever makes you feel better, anything to remind you of who you really are. Post them where you need them most and can see them.

*Let people help you. Your family and friends see you are in crisis and want to help you. Let them.

*Trust your husband/significant other/partner/spouse. Trust them completely. They know this maniac is not you and want to help, they want YOU back as much as you do. Let them. This is the kind of trust couples are supposed to have, but very often don’t. This could be the one thing that saves your relationship.

*Relinquish control. Believe it or not, the world will keep spinning, your baby will keep growing, the flowers will keep blooming, whether – you wash the dishes/laundry/floors today or not; baby gets a bottle because no one wants to wake you up; Dad dresses baby in an outfit that is too big/too small/doesn’t match/has stains on it/has gunk stuck to it/was worn yesterday/etc.; baby gets fed something you don’t think they should have yet and are completely fine; the lawn doesn’t get mowed for another week; whatever task, item or idea seems so important in that moment, goes unanswered. This goes back to trust.

*You are not a bad mother and have not ‘ruined’ your kids lives. Talk to them when you’re calm, they know something is wrong too. Explain as much as you think they need to hear in an age appropriate manner. Apologize to them if needed, they will forgive you and still love you, no matter what.

*Lastly, everyone will be okay, including you and your kids.

My rage was a direct side effect to medication I was taking for endometriosis, after it returned with a vengeance 8 weeks post op, BEFORE we had kids. I wanted to kill people, really kill them, and since I was a cop I had the means and knowledge. It took every ounce of self control I had not to kill, or maim, people in my daily life, that and giving my boss my gun. I wasn’t allowed in stores alone, after I made a store clerk cry after she politely asked “debit or credit? “. My husband wouldn’t let me go to stores, or anywhere really, alone. Not to protect me, but to protect the world from me. It was the right thing to do, and I’m thankful, and tremendously grateful, he had the kahonas to do that for me, and that I trusted him enough to allow him to do it. I was still raging 3-4 months after I got off the medication, just not as bad. We made it through the 6+ months of my rage episode and have now been married 16 1/2 years. We have talked about it and he said what got him through it was the fact he knew this wasn’t the real me, I listened to him, trusted him and let him help me. It was intense and hard, it was very. very hard and I’m back to so semblance of normal, I am allowed out alone again and no longer want to kill people. 😀

From the sounds of it, you may be suffering from PTSD. It’s not uncommon in moms. Even now, mention it to your doctor(s) and see what they think. PTSD is hard, but manageable. I have this too – depression, chronic pain and PTSD. As a result when my hubby tells me I need help, I listen.

Thanks for making mental illness in moms okay. I see a lot of people sought help after reading your post, some felt less alone and some finally didn’t think they were crazy anymore. That’s why these particular type of posts are written. Is it not?? It’s not easy to admit you’re human.

Megan 7 months ago

Thank you! Thank you for this website and this article. My son is now 4. Husband and I split last year due to my uncontrollable anger and his infidelity. At a point of acceptance and recovery. Loosing my family forced me to reckon w demons and i am thankful for the lesson. Couldn’t figure out why I went off the deep end w rage after my son was born. Besides not sleeping for 3 years even though ridiculously exhausted, a high needs baby and running a business w hubby, I am not proud to say that the transition into wife and motherhood was not pleasant and it consumed everyone around me. I am thankful to know that there are other mothers dealing w the same. I have begun taking Maca powder for hormonal balance-which is a miracle worker and I would suggest it for all women, and men. It’s a natural root. Thankful to have support and the ability to research and educate myself in this path toward healing. Blessed be to all you mothers who are struggling to find balance

Michelle 7 months ago

I agree with Jen…It’s not taken very seriously when it should be. My mum’s best friends’ daughter had a breakdown because of PPD. She never got over it. To this day, the bulk of the childcaring duties are handled by her hubby, her mum and the family help. She used to be such a bright and vivacious girl. She’s a completely different person now. It’s very sad

Julie 7 months ago

Please get your kids to a safe place. You need to protect them first and them get your wife help next. I obviously don’t know her but I’m betting this is not her. She has had some kind of breakdown and needs help. You also might want to think about some counseling for your daughter, even temporary, to help her deal with this scary time. So please, take your kids to your mother’s or another relative. NOW.

Julie 7 months ago

I have a history of depression and depression and anxiety run in my family (both sides!). I’ve been in therapy for years so my doctor referred me to a psychopharmacologist to go over my options. I also had an appointment set up with my dr for one week after the birth. My husband and I talked about it and I suspect he did some research on his own. He was prepared and reminded me every day that I was going to be ok. When I had my second the ppd set it faster and was more intense. But with my husband, my doctor and my family I got through it. My kids are 2 and 4 now and I’m starting to see some depression symptoms flare up again. My dr thinks I need a medication tweek. The keys to surviving ppd are to assess your risk (your OB can do tha) and be prepared with a support and care plan. And as everyone else has said: you are not alone, you WILL get through it with HELP.

pay per download 7 months ago

Very nice write-up. I absolutely love this website. Keep it
up!

Ashley 7 months ago

Thank you for this post I sought treatment for the same reasoning the rage and angry outbursts I was feeling like some vicious monster after seeing this post I realize its not just me which is such a relief!

vanessa 7 months ago

You need to take the kids and get to a safe place.

vanessa 7 months ago

Thank you for this. I never knew rage could accompany depression. I think I have more rage than sadness most of the time. I thought I was some sort of monster. Everybody else who has talked about depression, PPD, or even just regular new mom stress has only ever mentioned sadness. thank you.

ash 8 months ago

Thank you for the post, it helps to know that I’m not alone with the rage and other ppd symptoms. I feel like everyone I talk to just feels the anxiety, sadness, and depression. It’s refreshing to know I’m not alone in the anger feelings I’ve been feeling. Thank you so much!

Lilly 8 months ago

You should really turn that dog over to a shelter or foster if you can’t deal. they will understand. Animals are without guile and dont deserve to be abused because you are going through problems. I understand your pain but please for the sake of that dog, give it to a shelter.

Dan DeBartolo 8 months ago

Tonight was horrifying. My wife and I had our third child four weeks ago today. I’ve stayed home on personal leave since the begining of December, but must return to work this Monday.

My wife has said often during the last week that I’m not cutout to be at home. I’m doing my best, but I do get frustrated with my 4.5 year old girl and 3 year old boy. However, I am helping whoever I can during this bug transition.

My daughter went out with my wife today to do some shopping and take a break, but apparently my girl had a tantrum in a store over not getting a toy she wanted. My daughter has been especially whiny the past two months and it grates on my wife’s nerves something terrible. Today this led to several smacks in the bottom once they wee back in the car. My wife called me to tell me she was dropping off my ungrateful bitch and she would be my problem. I said little and told her I would deal with it.

Later my wife tells me that she can’t go in with my daughter acting his way. It HAD TO STOP!

The remainder of the evening seemed ok until bedtime. I was responsible for getting my kids to bed, and my daughter was not taking “no” for an answer on an issue that didn’t need to be a big deal. She yelled at me and told me she was going to do what she wanted. Just then my wife stormed in from our bedroom where she has need feeding out newborn. She grabbed my daughter by the leg and arm and thee her in to bed. She began spanking hard her exposed legs and backside.

She proceeded to yell at my daughter and say horrible things. She then grabbed her around the head with her hands and got in her face to tell he she wa going to drive my daughter out the road and kill her. “life would be better then.” My wife been mock laughing at me while I died to calm her down. She said no – I can’t stand this little bitch anymore. Let’s do it! Let’s kill her and bury her. No one will know!

She’s proceeded to yell in front of my 3 year old who came in the room to protect his user as well. “I don’t want you anymore. You can’t live here anymore!” “Your brothers don’t deserve this.”

When it was finally over my daughter was sobbing and terrified. I felt like I was on another planet. Later I tried to talk to her about rage I hadn’t seen before and maybe it was PPD. She mocked me and said that it was my fault and my daughters fault for being such brats all the time. It was genetic and my mother’so fault as well. She has reached a snapping point and the only people to blame were my daughter and me. She said that she will kill my daughter if she continues like this. She said it very calmly to me and it freaked me out. She said she didnt need help, but we had to send our daughter away somewhere.

I know my wife. She is stubborn. And I just don’t know what to do right now.

Rebecca 8 months ago

I feel a little better having found this. I have a four year-old and, in retrospect, feel like I had terrible PPD after he was born…and I feel like it has never ended? After my husband confessed to me that he wished I was a better mother last year, I had a bit of a wake up call and sought counseling and medication, but have not really felt any better. Each of four different medications made it almost impossible to function as a mother or wife: I felt extremely drugged, with an inability to concentrate or focus. I have fluctuated between trying to find the right medication and then taking none at all and trying to control my emotions through other avenues (working out, diet, yoga, etc.), but I still have not found the answer for myself. Has anyone had this experience? When people refer to PPD is there a time limit on that? I’m grateful that this post was written, as I’ve had similar thoughts/feelings/experiences and I’m just horrified with myself. I’m so thankful that there is some sort of hope…that so many of you have found a light at the end of the tunnel.

Mel 9 months ago

Thank you so much for sharing this. I thought I was alone with this symptom of PPD.

New mom 10 months ago

Thank you. The rage is what made me go to the doctor. Nice to read something that is exactly what I am experiencing

Ayla 10 months ago

I’m guilty of the rage. I’m so sleep deprived right now, my three, almost four month old has developed this habit of waking every hour at night. I co sleep so I’m always rolling over and nursing back to sleep. It’s beginning to wear on me. I haven’t slept longer than three hours at a time in a week. Ifind myself so frustrated that I end up getting in my baby’s face and growling at her. Growling. Like a dragon or something. I feel horrible about it. It scares her so much and she doesn’t deserve it. But I don’t have a lot of help. I pretty much have nobody to watch her. It’s getting really bad. If I had insurance I would try to get mental help but it just isn’t an option.

danielle A 10 months ago

I had rage too. Either rage or just feeling dead like I didn’t care. Everyone was completely blown away by and in love with my adorable son and I was like “yeah he’s cute.” I didn’t care. I knew that wasn’t normal. I couldn’t be as excited as anyone. Went to therapy. Made a lot of life changes, moved pretty far away from my parents who don’t care about me at all. I try to eat really healthy, take vitamins, minerals and herbs and thankfully my dh is helpful and supportive

Kim 10 months ago

I have PPD and I concur about the rage. I had no idea it was a part of depression and I have been dealing with depression on and off ever since I was a teenager. But ever since my daughter was born I’d get into these rages where I was yelling, crying, screaming and throwing things (not at anyone and my rages weren’t caused by my children). The crazy part is that while I knew my tantrums and how I behaved was crazy and unacceptable, I had truly believed I was justified in feeling that angry. Fortunately, for me, my medication has completely removed the rage aspect.

tbraci 11 months ago

Jen I also have the same feeling and am trying the same self medication. Regular Yoga, Vitamin B and sending my kids to day care twice per week. I am still having the scary outbursts of Rage about once every week or two. Today I was so upset that it made me vomit. Thanks for sharing your story. It is nice to read that it’s not just me and perhaps I do need to seek therapy as my next step. I hate anti depressant pills so much and really hope to avoid that.

Mm 1 year ago

I came across this by googling ppd and rage and I am SO GLAD you wrote this! I thought something horrible was wrong with me! I have always battled depression but since I’ve had my fourth baby (four boys!) I have been so angry… mostly with my three year old. I can’t handle him sometimes and my SO works second shift so I am home with them all evening. I was so scared because I thought — this is not what depression is — but thank you! I am calling my doctor firs thing in the morning because I unfortunately have lost it and spanked and that is NOT LIKE ME at all! I literally feel like my skin is crawling sometimes and I don’t understand it because I LOVE being a mom! Thank you times a million for this post!

Sarah 1 year ago

oh man. The rage is why I got help, too. The rage is what I’m afraid of now, 8 days out from my due date with my third. i will definitely do medication right away if I need to this time. Without hesitation. Its so not worth it, and it isn’t fair to the kids or to me. Life is just too short.
Thank you for talking openly about this.

Amanda 1 year ago

After my first it was self loathing…and things got really bad with my husband. A few years later things had improved greatly and we decided to have another…and while pregnant the rage began, my poor first, I feel so guilty sometimes. I got help and was on Lexapro for a long time and I talk about my feelings with my husband and my mom and my friends and on facebook. I preface each post with something along the lines of “I’m not looking for attention, I’m venting because if I don’t I’ll spiral down…”

It’s been almost 4 years since my second baby,and I feel 100% myself again. No rage :) No depression or anxiety really either. it takes time, longer for some than others…but it does get better. We are not bad moms. Light and Love to all of you who’ve struggled with or are still struggling with PPD, you are not alone!

latrice bell 1 year ago

Thank you so much for sharing this i am in the midst of it and it helps to know I am not alone. Thanks to these posts I am now considering medication.

Victoria M. 1 year ago

I can’t stand the cliched “am I the only one?” comments, but that is exactly what I’ve been thinking for the past 7 weeks of my newborn’s life. I’ve battled depression on my own since middle school and I knew that after having her, I’d pretty much be a classic case of a new mom with PPD, but I didn’t expect the rage. The night that I finally decided I need medical help was the night she was gassy and tired and crying and I yelled at her to shut up. She was 5 weeks old, but the look on her face crushed me. She looked at me like I’d betrayed her and really, I had. I’m her mother, I’m her world and the only one here to nurture and love her and I yelled at her.
I’m on Prozac now and going back to work full time has helped, but I’m so scared I’ll do something like that again or something worse.

Jen 1 year ago

I was in an accident where I hit a pedestrian and the boy (19) died. I got pregnant with my second child a couple months later and my son was born 1 day before the 1 yr anniversary of the accident. I experience rage like this everyday,almost all day long. I always attributed it to the accident. now I think that I have PPD on top of my PTSD. I started taking my meds again and they DO NOT HELP WITH THE RAGE!!!! I don’t have perscription insurance and most meds are way out of my price range! This post had me literally BAWLING at my desk! I thank you so much for making me realize that I need additional help and there are women out there that feel this way also! I am so afraid that I am going to go to my dr and tell him what is happening and he is going to call the authorities on me and my kids are going to be taken away! My husband doesn’t understand why I’m so angry all the time and I believe if I don’t fix it soon, our marrage will be over. Thanks again for the hope that life can get better. I will call my dr tomorrow

Alexa 1 year ago

Thank you so much for sharing this. I have experienced similar bouts of rage and frustration and just lack of interest… in mothering. And after the episodes pass, I am so ashamed and sad for how I have spoken to my children. After reading this post, I am more inclined to seek out someone to talk to. And I am a fan of the medicine too. It helps tremendously. But it doesn’t completely solve my issue. Thank you.

Martes 1 year ago

What a huge weight lifted off my body at reading these posts! This symptom is not stressed enough! My coworker told me about this site and I am so greatful. Women feel insecure just talking about this topic, let alone admitting to dealing with it themselves. I am completely convinced that our society has done an excellent job of steadily trying to strip us from our womanhood/motherhood by making us think and feel like we are never good enough, we will never be good enough and that “super women” is a title that the world warns us we must own in order to be worthy of even being called a mother in the first place. It is a rat race track that us mommies have damn near been forced to perform on while the world sits back and watches from the side lines yelling out every foul, every turn over, every mishap, and every mistake.
When a women is brave enough to speak up and parent the way she chooses to parent, and not try and fit inside anyone else’s cookie cutter shape, she is immediately judged and labeled a failure. There is definite strength in numbers moms!

Anon 1 year ago

I have just stopped taking zoloft, almost 18 months after my second daughter was born. My biggest worry is what of the rage comes back…dealing with a three year old is not easy for anyone, but for someone who has battled PPD, it can feel like an insurmountable task to deal with the constant demands of a preschooler. I hope that I can manage without the antidepressants. But if I can’t, I know that it is important to reach out for help. There is no shame in admitting that you need help md seeking it out!

Cas 1 year ago

When I was pregnant I was prepared for feeling blue and the crying, but I never thought I’d feel so angry I just wanted to tear things apart and scream and lash out. My doctor put me on zoloft two days ago and I hope it helps. I can’t stop raging at m husband. I just want to feel like myself again.

great_post 1 year ago

Gah. “red hot inner rage”.

great_post 1 year ago

The rage is what I remember from the first year after my son was born. I even explaned it to my husband as “red-hot inner race. All.The.Time”. I was just so angry. I since got help, but I still struggle with necessary anger almost every day. But it’s not “rage” anymore.

Anastasia 1 year ago

Thank you for talking about this. When I tell people that while I was sad, anxious, and had no “get up and go” when I had ppd, the thing they give me weird looks about is when I tell them how angry I was. I’m not an angry person, but I resented the baby, I hated my toddler, and I couldn’t stand my husband. I wanted everyone to go away. I snapped at and (emotionally) hurt both my husband and my son. It breaks my heart now to think about how I treated them.
When I got on Zoloft it lifted. I didn’t go to therapy, but the medication helped immensely.
Thank you for talking about this symptom. It doesn’t get nearly enough press.

ct momma 1 year ago

Something to be aware of: my rage and depression actually started in month two of my pregnancies with both my boys. With one son it lasted about a year after he was born and with the other it lasted about three years. I had no symptoms with my daughter (in between the boys). What we came to realize was that I was HIGHLY sensitive to the male hormones in my body. We decided it was best to not have any more children because we just couldn’t risk it, but we were blessed to have a surprise (family) adoption that blessed us with our youngest son. it was a different kind of illness with each boy, but an illness none the less. if you find yourself having changed, even while pregnant, please seek help.

Whoa Nellie 1 year ago

no doubt about it that I’m better now! my ex insisted on sole custody and I didn’t fight it because I really wanted away from everyone and everything. best thing I ever did. I became a better parent from afar and was able to tackle bigger things down the road. I regained my self confidence that had been abused out of me for 8 years (two years together before the son arrived) and went on to do lots of things he said I was too stupid to do. Sure, there are times albeit rare when I feel the rage under the surface but I am able to keep that dog on a leash. Lots more things that went on that I’m sure there isn’t enough space for here, but there was every kind of abuse except for sexual and it made me question myself every day. the ex ended up being in an abusive relationship where he was the abused and I thought it a particularly sweet piece of instant karma. True to form for most abusers, he was a big p***y when he was getting knocked around so I had to get involved because our son was living there with them.

LAS 1 year ago

Whoa Nellie, I feel like I just read about myself! I’ve been taken in handcuffs to the psych ward and understand the ‘nearly criminal’ behavior completely. I’m so glad that you got away from that asshat! There’s way too many of them out there, male and female, that need to STFU. If it makes you feel any better, I was told by my ex (in the hospital, post brain tumor removal) that I was no longer loved unconditionally because “there is always something wrong with you.” You know, because my severe PPD, car accident and subsequent back injury and surgery, and then brain tumor I clearly developed all on purpose, just to piss him off. I hope you can find a doctor to work with if you still need one. I’m broke because of my divorce and health issues, and my doctor tries to give me samples as much as possible. I hope you are feeling better!

Whoa Nellie 1 year ago

dear god, reading your post just made me realize that I had PPD for a lot longer than I thought with my son, who is now 24. Thanks to my ex who moved us to a town where we knew no one and had no resources and no money, I wasn’t aware of my son’s existence (other than for necessities like food, sleep, and hygiene) for his first 7 months. Then one day something clicked and I was like “oh, there he is!”. Then I had periods of a rage unlike anything I had ever experienced, the kind that made people shut up and back away. That went away and was replaced with days of time where I didn’t want to get out of the bed at all, but only did so I could go to work and get away from everyone – up to and including my child. I hated myself, my husband, and my child. But I was told by my loving husband at the time that I needed to just “snap out of it” that it was all “my fault”. There is a six month period of time that I don’t remember because I was so far down. Then came the rages again where I very nearly did something criminal because I couldn’t stand the tantrums and the backtalk and the willfulness. Then we got divorced. That’s probably what saved me and others. And no, I never went to the doctor for this at any point in time (total of six years), mainly because we never had any money and it was beat (sometimes literally) into my head that it was “all my fault”.

Tamy 2 years ago

Yes this is scary, but you have my respect for admitting all this on a public forum. Thank you. Problems don’t go away and only grow worse if we hide in shame. The shame factor is what cause us women to isolate when we have these types of problems. We worry about other people thinking poorly of us and so we suffer in silence. You are helping to break that silence with this post.

Infinity Blues 2 years ago

Don’t hate yourself, Acknowledge there is an issue and seek help immediately. If you do not have insurance there are clinics. When you know better, you do better. And you are the most important person in her life, be a hero.

isha 2 years ago

Am you are not alone its my problem also i am facing it everyday…dont know where to get help. but atleast can talk to our doc

Isha 2 years ago

hii…thankx for the post …now i think i have this PPD ..my daughter is 3 yr old and at times i cant tolerate the tantrums and i really beat her i tried controlling but once in a month when i no more can take it she gets it and i just cant cantrol it..until my rage is over. i am full of guit just after that curse myself and just hate myself i dont know how and what to do. where i leave people dont take get much help but atleast i knw now what it is. i’ll se a doc now. thankx

Amanda 2 years ago

People who never experience the emotional captivity like this definitely have no concept of the seriousness of the trauma it puts on you and your kids. I’ve talked to my OB, got some meds, and for a while was in therapy, not just for PPD but just to have someone to speak to about life and it made a huge difference!

Amanda 2 years ago

I have endometriosis and it also causes the mood swings and emotional symptoms that can be from PPD. You are in pain all the time so you aren’t going to be your happy self. So pain control and anti depressants can help alleviate the pressure physically and then emotionally.

Amanda 2 years ago

Thank you so much! I have a 2 going on 3 year old and my husband has taken a job in another state and so it’s just me and the terrible 2’s/3’s. I’ve battled PPD since he was 4 months old. It usually rears its ugly head at any transition point, turning 1, no more breastfeeding, eating solids, learning to say ‘no’ all are changes that threw me and would throw my life out of balance.

It’s like you put into words what I can’t! I feel like the worst version of myself and it’s all because of my response to my child. nothing else creates this feeling as much as he does. He’s a boy, full of energy and strong willed and without a helper I can’t get through it like I’d like.

People don’t understand how such a sweet child can create hideous emotional reactions because they aren’t living it daily and so no one understands that help is needed!

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Jenny 2 years ago

I could have wrote this whole thing myself. The intense feelings of unbridled rage that keeps you feeling hopeless and ashamed. My lovely child is now 15 months and I still continue to be a stay at home mom. While I have never hit my child, I have come close many times. I have been rough with her, more than I should. I have screamed, broke things, and cried. While raising her was hard enough my hubby thought it would be great to get a dog, thatdestroys everything and he wouldn’t really take care of. Instead that would be left to me. I have beat that dog mercilessly and attempted to choke him to death a few times. I don’t write this to brag, in fact I feel the lowest I have ever felt, afraid of myself and pondering suicide on a now weekly basis. I feel hopeless, so angry and sad, I don’t recognize the person who looks back at me in the mirror anymore. My family and friends kindof let me fall through the cracks. It’s been obvious for awhile that I need help, I need a break, I have no one to watch her, in fact in 15 months I’ve been away from her probably no more than 20 times. Hell, I haven’t even seen a dr since I had her. I’ve just shut myself away from the world and slowly accepted the notion that I was an isolationist hermit, a shadow of my former self. You are not alone in this. Though it is not comforting at all to read that you seriously need help, it is reassuring that you are not a total monster. Maybe by the time you read this I will have gotten help and found myself again.

JD @ Honest Mom 2 years ago

Hi Foxy! Do you see the comments now? I think the Scary Mommy site must have been transitioning to Discus when you read the post.

Foxy 2 years ago

No comments? No comments on a post as significant as this? I am struggling, and so appreciative to read this and hear that the anger I’ve felt since my sons birth might be more common than I thought.

chrisb 2 years ago

I was doing homework with my 4-year old after getting home from preschool at 5 pm. I had a long day at work. She had a hard day at school. It was her first day back after being home sick for a couple of days. She was practicing writing her first and last name. She did a great job the first few times. Took her time and wrote it neatly. By the third time she got sloppy.

I corrected her with patience the first few times then rage set in. I became frustrated and kept erasing what she did telling her she did it wrong and to try again. Then I noticed that she became hesitant and unsure of each letter she wrote. That’s when I came to my senses, recognized the rage, and reminded myself “wait, she’s 4.” Unfortunately, the damage was done, the words have been said, the affects of my negative approach to “helping” my daughter with her homework have already surfaced. She was just tired from a very long day at preschool. She’s ONLY 4. Why did I have to act this way?

This wasn’t the first time something like this has happened either. It happens more often than not. And boy do I blame myself. After all, who else is there to blame? Aren’t we all responsible for our own actions? It must be because I’m just not a good mother. Why can’t I do it? Everyone else seems to be doing it just fine. No one else seems to have these issues. Right?

My baby girl is the most precious thing to my heart and soul and she deserves nothing but the best. She deserves a better mommy.

I’ve been suffering depression for 4 years now. I’ve tried talking to a therapist but my budget won’t allow that anymore. I tried locating support groups for this sort of thing in my area but couldn’t find any.

Thank you for this blog. It helps me so much to know that I am not alone. I’ve finally found the support group I’ve been looking for all this time.

anne 2 years ago

So glad I found your posts. I think I am suffering from depression, and I have had such a hard time admitting it. I want to cry all the time. I am so mad at my husband for everything. I love my kids, but I just feel like I can’t do anything right even though, I feel like I’m trying to love them & meet their needs and be the best mom. I feel good about what I do at work. I just don’t feel like I’m good at being a mom & wife. This morning was terrible and I have been crying most of the day. Not sure who I should talk to. My mom just says that “some days are just hard.” Thanks ladies… not alone.

Erica 2 years ago

Thank you. This post is bringing me to tears. Nightly I sit here while my kids are finally sleeping and relive my entire day of failures. Angry outbursts, the times i thought of smacking them, the times I wanted to run out of my house. I wish I could be better mom for my kids right now. I need to get help but am scared to tell my hubby…I fear he will think i’m crazy. My kids are 23m and 8m. It’s just so hard and feeling like there’s no one to talk to because I feel like they will all judge me so harshly for having these feelings. Reading this post makes me feel not so alone. Thank you.

JD @ Honest Mom 2 years ago

Am. – if you are feeling this desperate, go to the emergency room. They will help you and can provide resources for mental health help, even if you don’t have insurance. You need to take care of yourself so you can take care of your kids. Thinking of you – JD

Am. 2 years ago

I honestly am so happy i found this, yet it still does not help me. I am terrfied of what i am doing to my children (3,5) emotional and psychologically! I was diaganosed with depression and anxiety disorder two months ago, then lost my medical insurance until recently. And i have been having major freak outs, only at my boys! And they are horrific! I told them once i wish they were never born, today i wanted to drop them off somewhere so i couldnt hear their voices. who the hell does that! I dont deserve them, i dont deserve anything! This was all over un eaten yogurt! I honestly dont know how to tell them what is wrong with me! Im hurting them! Help! I dont know how long i can just try to brush my feelings off and pretend its ok…….

JD Bailey @ Honest Mom 2 years ago

Very interesting. I do have IBS and have for ages. Will look into Celiac. Thanks.

JD Bailey @ Honest Mom 2 years ago

I hear you. I really do. I 100% get it. Hang in there and keep working with your therapist or whoever you are getting help from. Big hugs. -JD

JD Bailey @ Honest Mom 2 years ago

I’m so glad that what I wrote helped you, even in a small way. I wish you all best and I hope you feel better very soon! -JD

JD Bailey @ Honest Mom 2 years ago

Hi Julie, good for you for making an appointment. Many people don’t understand PPD and fear anything “wrong in the head.” People who tell you to try to pray through it or just get over it DO NOT UNDERSTAND, even if they are trying to help you, in their own way. Getting help is the brave, strong thing to do. I will you all the best. -JD

Charlotte 2 years ago

Wow, I felt the same way, but didn’t think it was PPD. When I read the questionnaires, I didn’t really have the symptoms they asked about. They were close, but not so severe; so I thought it was just hormones.

My twins were delivered by emergency C-section to save my life (HELLP Syndrome) 6 weeks early, entirely unexpectedly. I went to the hospital (with my husband, luckily) about a pain in my chest and 6 hours later, I was getting a spinal. I didn’t see the girls until almost a full day later, which felt like a week, and I wanted to nurse them, hold them, see them… but I couldn’t get out of my damned hospital bed because they wouldn’t take out the catheter etc etc etc…. They were in the NICU for 3 weeks; I went to see them every day, I nursed them, I watched them, but I didn’t have that instant natural instinct to sing, read or talk to them or even think of them as much more than amazing tiny living little creatures; they seemed like something from a fairy tale, not my own flesh and blood. It seemed surreal.

I was in mourning over the loss of the childbirth that I had imagined. Things didn’t go the way they should have and I didn’t handle it well at all. I didn’t connect to them like I expected. I used to wonder how mothers could abandon their children, but just then, I could understand it. I would yell, cry, get frustrated at their nursing; I wouldn’t wake up at night when they were screaming from the foot of my bed. It was horrible. I sat with them in my recliner 80% of the time my husband was at work. I wasn’t one of those lets-go-to-the-mall-and-walk-around moms. I had two tiny, needy, pain-in-the-ass babies and the last thing I wanted to try to find a place to nurse them at a mall or park or whatever. So I did *nothing* for most of my maternity leave.

I didn’t suspect PPD until they were maybe 2 years old, when I started thinking about quitting a job I absolutely love, of course by then it was full-blown depression. I felt hopeless, out of control, guilty about everything.

All in all, Zoloft saved my family, too. I’ve been trying to see a therapist for more than a year; I’ve gotten as far as leaving a voicemail to set up an appointment, but couldn’t bring myself to return their call when I missed it. I think about it every day, and somehow just can’t bring myself to make that call. But I feel better now. I can enjoy things. I love my kids, I love my family, I love my life. I just struggle a little bit getting through everything.

Thank you posting this… more mothers, and women in general, need to understand that those feelings are common. They don’t mean you’re a bad person and they don’t mean you’re crazy. Medication (the *right* medication) can do wonders. And if you feel anything unlike your normal self, even if your symptoms don’t match the pamphlets, talk to your doctor. Don’t let it build up…

Xiomara | Equis Place 2 years ago

Thank you for saying this aloud. I struggle with depression, and rage is the scariest symptom of all. I feel as if I cannot control the words coming out of my mouth when I get really really angry, and then I feel such guilt afterwards. I want to be a better mom for my son and a better girlfriend so I’m getting the help I need, but sometimes it doesn’t’ seem to be enough.

Debi 3 years ago

This may be a long shot, and I LOATHE sounding like one of those ‘born again’ non-smokers, new christians, etc. But the rage you described really hit me viscerally. I had this too. Only it showed up after surgery. Everything aggravated me, birds tweeting, my kids just giggling, people chewing. Rage is the right word, my irritation was out of control. It took all my efforts just to not be violent, let alone speak politely! I eventually got other symptoms (headaches, fibro) but the first to show up for years was the rage. About 10 years after the rage first showed (I was 17) I was diagnosed with Celiac disease. Understand also, that my aunt and my dad also have that rage. They’ll be fine, and then they aren’t. I went gluten free and within 2 weeks the rage was gone. The depression was gone, the headaches and body pain were gone. So when I read about your rage, it really just struck a chord and I had to say something. Research symptoms of Celiac. A lot of time people don’t have the stomach symptoms, but instead have psychological ones.

ppd mama 3 years ago

thank you for your honesty! today i begin therapy (for the millionth time). I have a history of depression, diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder about 3yrs ago. Anyway, been on Zoloft since week 6 of pregnancy. I seriously have come to believe that I hate my husband, the rage and anger is unreal. I’m relieved to read your post. i never knew it was a symptom of PPD. The shrink i’m seeing today specializes in PPD. Reading your post makes me feel less mean and more in need of therapy. thank you, thank you, thank you!

Julie 3 years ago

After one too many days of feeling like my only choices were to scream at two innocent children for being children or to hide and hope that they didn’t need too much, I have an appt for an evaluation. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I remember screaming at my then 2yo for having an accident and putting his underwear on backwards. I wanted to ask for help but was so irrationally fearful that my husband’s command would find out and he would be dropped from flight school. It seemed to get better after she was born but still had episodes of sudden, intense RAGE. I am now 11wks pregnant with the third and the same out-of-control feelings are coming back. My favorite is when I try to explain what’s happening and get everything from “pray about it” to “you need to get over it because you’re a mom and they need you.” I know my children need me and I desperately want to be better but I am finally willing to admit that I am going to need some help to figure out how to do that.

Nicole 3 years ago

Hi Chris, I was wondering what the therapy was called(my phone won’t let me view the link) I am doing a therapy called EMDR for my PTSD. It seems to be working but I’ve hs 4 sessions and am still fighting the symptoms. I am very interested in the treatment you are talking about and would love to know more about it and is it offered in the US

KBar3 – MMR 3 years ago

I’m so thankful that you put yourself out there and let other women know they are not alone. I recently thought I was ready to go off my meds because I didn’t think they were “doing anything.” I had so many friends and family talk about how they “felt” better when they found the right meds for them. After trial and error, I never really “felt” different. It wasn’t until I weaned off of them (following my doctors orders) than I hit a wall a few weeks later. Two Saturdays in a row I found myself in bed, but never made the connection. Not until I flipped out on my daughter for something stupid and meaningless All of this anger and rage poured out of me before I realized what I was saying. I have never felt so horrible in my life, and I’m tearing up just thinking about it. The next day I called my doctor and went in to see him. He put me on something new. I now know that the meds are going to make me feel different in the way where everything is puppies and rainbows, but it does make me feel normal. I wish I could take that moment back, but I know I can’t. I can only make sure I’m taking care of myself for her.

Jackie 3 years ago

This was a great post!! My second was a colicky baby and would scream for days. I was so angry with everyone. I hated my life, I hated my kids, I wanted to be nowhere near anyone least of all my family. I didn’t feel like that with my first so I knew it was a normal feeling. After a 36 hour stretch of screaming when she was about 8 weeks old, I caught myself screaming at her and wanting to shut her up with a pillow – I broke down – it was not normal!!! I told my Husband – he was against me getting help – but I went to my Dr. the next day and went on Celexa – it helped so much, even my Husband said it was the best thing I did. She is now 6 years old and I am still dealing with it but it is under control now. Moms needs to know that it is not a weakness and getting help is the right thing. It is more common than people think.

Amy 3 years ago

Thank you for posting this. I’ve had PPD with all 3 of mine and nobody gets the rage part. It’s bad enough to feel like you’re failing the wonderful little person you worked so hard to bring into this world, but then to be so angry with them is heartbreaking. It’s comforting to know that other people have dealt with it too.

JD Bailey @ Honest Mom 3 years ago

PS – feel free to contact me via my Facebook page or through email if you want to chat about it!

JD Bailey @ Honest Mom 3 years ago

Hi Jackie – I can tell you from my experience and from my doctor’s recommendation that Zoloft and Paxil are the SSRIs of choice for nursing moms. I took Zoloft the whole time I was nursing my baby – she refused bottles and I didn’t have a choice, but I did my research and Zoloft is as safe as you can get. Here is a recent study on SSRIs and nursing:

http://www.webmd.com/depression/features/moms-antidepressants-are-safe-for-nursing-infants

I too, was scared to take the meds and also scared not to. I can tell you taking them was the best thing I ever did for me and my family.

Also – my milk did not dry up. Not by a long shot. I haven’t heard that as a side effect.

Jessica Schenck 3 years ago

So sorry you cant get the proper medication, that just doesn’t seem realistic in this day and age to not be able to. Keep doing what your doing and maybe seek self help books in your library. There are cognitive therapy programs you can also find beneficial. Midwest Center has a great one that helped me tremendously. You will overcome, one day at a time!

Cheryl T 3 years ago

Thank you for sharing this, and for your honesty in talking about something that is incredibly difficult to deal with. I can totally relate – some days I feel like I have become a different person since having my children (and not in a good way), and it’s nice to know I am not the only one who struggles with this. I am hopeful that, with some hard work, the rage will become a thing of the past – for everyone’s sake. Thank you again.

Charlotte 3 years ago

Wow i can’t believe how many comments i had to scroll through to get to the bottom. I am blown away that my problem is so prevalent. Totally bawling as i read the post and all the comments; i feel so much less alone and now i realize that this is almost kind of normal. I got psychiatric help and I’m so happy to report my life has never been better; now i realize my Mom suffered from this too!!! I was starting to behave just like her and i think once my hormones got back to normal levels plus therapy i have not had a rage episode in years and hopefully my baby girl (age 7) wasnt damaged by them Nor remembers them (she was 1-3 at the time). Thank you so much for your courage and honesty and to all these moms who have opened up; i can for give myself now. We need to band together and get this out in the Open so other moms don’t have to suffer alone. God Bless You All–

PLL 3 years ago

I can not thank you enough for this post. I went through the same thing last year after I had my 2nd child, but was afraid to tell anybody for fear they would take my kids away (despite the fact I never acted on my feelings). I eventually got help, but before I did I searched the web DAILY just trying to find other moms who felt this bizarre anger too, with not much to show for my searches. This needed to be put out there. THANK YOU!!!!!

Jackie 3 years ago

Did you have any problems with nursing and taking the medicine?
I’m more or less losing it. I have a three-year-old and a4-1/2 month old. I find that I hate myself just a little bit more each day. My three-year-old is such a good kid but I just can’t seem to stop myself from yelling at her. Half the time, I realize I’m being unreasonable but I just cannot stop myself. For pity’s sake, she’s three,of course she wants my attention.
The big problem is the baby. I adore her, I really do but Christ of a cracker, why won’t she let me put her down?!?! And the idea of a bottle? Nope, not gonna happen. My doc gave me a prescriptionforZoloft and told me if I really need it I can take it but what about nursing? Will she be ok with the meds? Will my milk dry up? I don’t know what to do and I don’t know who to ask! The doc was not helpful at all! I’m scared to take the meds but I’m scared not to also.

Charise @ I Thought I Knew Mama 3 years ago

Thank you so much for sharing your poignant story, JD! You are one strong mama to have gone through this, and good for you for getting the help that you needed so immediately. I’m sure this post will help so many others.

JD Bailey @ Honest Mom 3 years ago

Yes, sounds like PPD/depression. Please do call your doctor. *hugs*

JD Bailey @ Honest Mom 3 years ago

Call your doc, Jenn. For sure. You sound like you are dealing with the kind of depression I deal with. You are not crazy. You have a way-too-full plate, are exhausted, and don’t have enough support. Meds and therapy – and sleep, if you can cut some stuff out and get it – can help. *hugs*

Tired momma 3 years ago

Thank you for this. Yes I am a mom of 4 and yes I’m tired all the time and yes I love my children dearly. But as soon as I ovulate I am out of control. Not sure if life stress, working, having 4 small children is enough for me to say I’m depressed but I do know that I have rage for 2 weeks every single month for the past year. I spent all if last night reading each post and it made me realize that I am not alone. Unfortunatly others are suffering but there is definite comfort in that I am not alone. This month I am monitoring my mood and then seeing the doctor for help. I want to be able to look back and day I enjoyed my time with the kids while they were little. I also want them to have good memories of their childhood and that can only happen if I am mentally healthy. Again thank you!

Heather B 3 years ago

Thank you for this! I was diagnosed with PPD about 3 weeks after my beautiful girl was born (Nov. 2010)–and the reason I finally got help was because of the horrible things I was picturing myself doing to her. It was insane–one minute I was so anxiety ridden I couldn’t get off the couch, the next I’d be gazing at her and crying because of how much I loved her, and the second she’d start to cry–well, it got ugly (in my mind). I finally broke down and called the emergency doc line that a group of OB’s in my town have, and a Dr. talked me down for over an hour. He called my OB the next a.m. and he put me on Zoloft right away. Within 2 days or so I was feeling better, and I stayed on it right up until I got pregnant for the second time. Now I have 5 weeks left in this pregnancy, and while dealing with issues non-medicated has been difficult, I’ve continued in therapy, and am managing the best I can. All I know is that I have a bottle of Zoloft on standby–and it’s going to the hospital with me when I deliver. No way am I going to head down that road again–it’s not worth it.

Anna 3 years ago

I had no idea rage is part of PPD, very important and eye-opening post, I’m glad to have read it. And it’s amazing how many people have been helped by this post – one of the great things about the internet age is the ability to help people not feel so alone.

Sue 3 years ago

I love this post (you know what i mean) – it’s pretty much terrifying to admit you might need help and then GET it! I really appreciate you sharing your story…I don’t know why i think it’s awesome and brave for other women/moms to get the help they need, but i’m so hard on myself and think i need to just buck up. The thought of talking to my husband about how overwhelmed, anxious or stressed i am makes me feel like even more of a failure, honestly. I am totally struggling with this right now- i admire you taking the steps you needed to take and gaining control & the upper hand over it!

Andrea 3 years ago

Yes. SO much yes. Thank you for sharing. This is so important to remind people that they are not alone in their experiences. Many of us can relate.

Jenn *commenter before me* – please DO get help. You aren’t crazy and you aren’t alone. (hugs)

j 3 years ago

I thought I was doing better. About 3 days or so, I was quiet. then last night..again with the instant Rage. I just want to be…something other than this. Not tired, Not unhappy, No crazy thoughts. I know from all of these posts it will get better with support and I am glad I am not the only one fighting this battle.

Anonymous 3 years ago

Can a Mum have PPD when her kids are 2 and 5? I have complained to two different Docs about my rage and neither of them said anything about PPD. This has been going on since my first was born. Yeah, living with this SHAME for 5 years now. The damage I fear I am doing to my kids is terrifying. I don’t have any family around me and most of my friends work so I rarely get a break. My husband is always so busy.

I think I need to make a phone call. Thank you.

brett baker 3 years ago

Could not agree more with this comment. I never cry reading blogs, but this one? Oh man. It’s so nice to be understood.

Jenn 3 years ago

Well.. I guess I’m not crazy after all.

I work 42+ hrs a week, as does my husband, plus he’s in school. But he is little to no help beyond a playmate. Like a fun Uncle. I get the 3yo and 8mo ready in the morning, take them and pick them up from daycare, tend to the dogs, dinner, housework, laundry, bath and bed (plus middle of the night wake ups) by myself. I average 4hrs of sleep, on a good night, and pretty much survive on caffeine. So the rage, anxiety and apprehension I always just chalked up to exhaustion.

Until last week. I held my toddler by the arms during a tantrum and yelled in her face like a psychopath. I honest to goodness don’t even remember what I said. Minutes later, the baby started crying and I screamed “shut up” up to the ceiling, stomping my feet like a child. I was mortified. I got the neighbor to sit with them and I sat in the bathroom and cried. It felt like an eternity. I don’t think it was very long because the neighbor asked if I was sure I didn’t need more time. I smiled and showed her out. Inside, though, I was praying she would never leave.

I told my husband about it when he got home. He told me I needed to chill out. Kids throw tantrums, babies cry. I’m a mom. It’s what I do. This coming from the youngest son of a mom who raised SEVEN kids alone with an abusive alcoholic. So, to my husband I’m a whiner.

To me, I need help.

I know that now, after reading this post and the subsequent comments. I am NOT alone. I am NOT crazy. I will NOT turn into my mother. I will NOT let the cycle continue.

I need help.

Rachael 3 years ago

Thanks for the advice :) if I have to go back on the meds I’m defiantly going to have to do some resurch first

Mercy 3 years ago

It seems PPD is more common than we’d like to think. I know I experienced some after my 3rd was born. My older two were 3 years and 19 months, and I remember locking myself in my bedroom just to get away from their crying.Thankfully it didn’t last long, and I’ve never had to go on medication. But it’s good that it is an available option for those who need it.
Nowadays PMS can make me freak out and yell at my kids, and I have to tell myself that I’m not bad, just enduring hormones and it will be over soon.

Not just ppd 3 years ago

Thank you so much for writing this. I have suffered from depression on and off for years.

I don’t know if I. Had ppd when my children were born or not. However, we went through 4 years of infertility and had to have our children 12 months apart. Our oldest then went on to develop special needs. As the years went on I got so completely overwhelmed that the rage showed up out of nowhere and I never even noticed it until this post.

I am already on Ned’s but. Just contacted my doc to tell her about the rages. I was describing it as anxiety, which it also is. But it is so much more than that. I really appreciate this post and I really hope that my doc can do more for me after telling her of this new symptom.

I feel like I have been crying out for help and no one is helping.

Brooke 3 years ago

Reading everyone’s stories makes me tear up. I seriously thought I was the only crazy one. I have had Jackyl and Hyde (sp?) syndrome since having my second child. I have felt like the worst mother ever but just can’t get control of it. My doctor prescribed Prozac, which has not helped at all. Maybe I should ask about zoloft since it seems to be the going choice for your docs.

SAHM on a funny farm 3 years ago

Another unbelievable post, JD. You are such a giving woman to share your honesty! Thank Thank Thank you for it. I do believe rage is not understood or talked about nearly enough as a horrible symptom of depression. I had never heard that before but can completely understand it. And the comments that follow your post on Scary Mommy were incredible! So many women sharing and connecting and not feeling alone! They shared with such openness because of you! Awesome job. Thanks again for bringing awareness. All the best!

Kim 3 years ago

Thank you for sharing. What you described is exactly what I felt after my first! I too had no idea that rage was a symptom of PPD. It took me almost five months to get the help I needed. This is an important issue that continues to need more discussion.

JD Bailey @ Honest Mom 3 years ago

I remember when you wrote about this on your blog – or maybe we just talked about it? But I remember thinking how brave you were for sharing – and was like “ME! Me too! I felt like this!” And I was so happy someone knew what I was talking about…

Margaret 3 years ago

Wow. I could have written that post myself. After screaming at my crying, beautiful 2 week old baby, I made sure there was someone else at the house with me every night (my husband was out of town). I knew deep down that I would never hurt my daughter, but the rage I felt scared me pretty badly. I was also horrible to my other 2 kids-screaming at them and throwing things across the room (soft, unbreakable things, thrown not AT anyone, but thrown nonetheless). I went to therapy and got on Zoloft, and am dealing so much better now. Thanks for posting-I thought it was only me 😉

kirsten oliphant 3 years ago

Thanks so much for sharing this! Such a vulnerable thing to share, and I’m sure your story will help encourage other women!

JD Bailey @ Honest Mom 3 years ago

Jen, I’m so sorry this is what you are dealing with. So sorry. But I am glad you are healing. I, too, have found yoga to be incredibly helpful. And also – I am off all hormones. They can make PPD/depression worse. I will never be on them again.

Kathy 3 years ago

I went through this when we adopted our child (as an infant) over 9 years ago. The first 6 weeks consisted of her taking quick naps, no measurable sleep, constant crying & screaming PLUS a recurrence of my husband’s cancer, as I continued to work a full time job … I was one raw, violent nerve. I felt that I couldn’t tell anyone, because no one I knew admitted to such feelings. I finally sought help after I realized I was sitting on the basement stairs, softly banging my head against the wall. I always feel so bad when I read about shaken babies, because I know how easy it would have been to lose what little control I had. I can still remember the feeling of being so overwhelmed, angry, scared … I just wanted her to stop screaming.
The good news is that the medication helped me (stayed on it for a looooong time because I didn’t trust myself to go off) … and she is now 10, happy, a wonderful child.

Lyndsey 3 years ago

Talk to your Dr. It sounds like you need to switch meds. It’s trial and error sometimes to find the right one for your body.

Kate in MI 3 years ago

By the way, my baby was actually 8 months old then. PPD is a sneaky, sneaky bastard.

Kate in MI 3 years ago

Holy crap.

I remember grabbing my 2 1/2 year old’s arms when my brand new baby was screaming (reflux issues), and wanting to just … squeeze. hard.
But I didn’t. And I went to the doctor and discovered that not only did I have a raging case of PPD, but also depression AND hypothyroidism. I was so much better after even a few days of Zoloft and Levothyroxine. SO MUCH better . I just scared the crap out of myself.
I never want to feel that again.

JD Bailey @ Honest Mom 3 years ago

You are not alone. I am touched that my post helped you. It will get better! Call your doctor. Hugs to you. :-)

JD Bailey @ Honest Mom 3 years ago

YES. Depression lies. I have quoted The Bloggess many times. :-)

JD Bailey @ Honest Mom 3 years ago

You just made me cry. Thanks for your support. xoxo

JD Bailey @ Honest Mom 3 years ago

Amanda, it would probably be good to talk to a doctor about how you are feeling and your symptoms. You don’t have to endure this on your own.

JD Bailey @ Honest Mom 3 years ago

Jan, definitely call your doc. Definitely. Sounds like PPD to me. Your rage/anger/sadness doesn’t have to be directed at the baby. Mine was often directed at my older child. Just talk to your doc – OB and/or PCP – both helped me…

JD Bailey @ Honest Mom 3 years ago

I am not sure what the range is, technically. But I do know that the treatment of my PPD and whatever I have now is the same: meds, therapy, exercise, sleep, eating right. Not that I do all of those well! But I try!

Jan 3 years ago

So I thought to myself quite a few times, ” this can’t be ppd” cause my baby isn’t the issue. I love her, she is perfect, but I still feel overwhelmed and have the rage. Sometimes I think, “maybe I’m just married to an asshole”, but I swear I used to like him! I’ve asked for help and he just tells me im being dramatic, I think I’m calling my dr tomorrow and getting a second opinion

Heidi 3 years ago

Thanks for sharing this. It took me a full 18 months to realize that I needed help. The rage is what shocked me too. I thought I was the only one who was telling my baby to “shut the fuck up” and thought I was the worst mom in the world. Thank goodness for a supportive husband and a medical practitioner who convinced me I wasn’t crazy.

Cindy 3 years ago

OMG have I been there! I adopted two little boys at the same time and became an instant mother and did not even realize I had PPD! It was the worst time of my life and these two wonderful children came along just a short time after my father had passed also. Rage? oh yes, been there. After recognizing that it was getting worse, I reached out to complete strangers on this wonderful website who gave great recommendations and helped me to help myself. Do not try and fix it on your own, do not think it will get better on its own, ifyou need help, reach out. There is always help.

Amanda 3 years ago

I HATE my PPD…after my son, who HAS made it to two years of age, I had the WORST case of PPD. It almost transcended into post pardum psychosis. I have’t saught help, and worked through it, yes the rage is still there, but then again it was there in the first place.

Angela B 3 years ago

Thank you for posting this. I went through this and am still recovering from PPD. I was a single parent – no father and no real family support. I didn’t think we would make it through and sometimes it’s still really hard. We = my daughter and I. Now almost 3 years old.

Rebekah 3 years ago

Thank you for sharing your story. I “knew” I was struggling with PPD but was too ashamed to admit it or get help. This story reminded me of those scary times when I lashed out and screamed at my poor baby. I just attributed it to lack of sleep and became somewhat of an alcoholic. I wish I would have gotten help then, maybe I would remember more of her being a baby. Now she is 2 and we are very happy, but I will never forgive myself for “numbing” myself to the point of not remembering very much at all. Even my husband suggested I get help, but I was just too stubborn. I hope this helps more women to know that many of us struggle and it is okay to admit it.

Windy 3 years ago

Thank you so much for sharing this. I was fortunate enough not to suffer from PPD with my first child. My husband and I are considering a second and I am so glad to have read this. Nowhere have I ever heard that rage is something I should be looking for in relation to PPD. And my OB’s office even does a PPD “check” as part of routine followup (which sounds like even that is way more than a lot of them), they have you complete a questionnaire, etc. and ask you some questions. I can remember being asked about saddness (your hormones are going crazy, so how much is too much?), anxiety (first time mom, of course I wonder if I’m screwing up…), lethargy/tiredness (um, have they HAD a newborn?) and the like. Even those questions seemed silly because even a woman without PPD is going to be experiencing them, right? How do you know if yours crosses the “oh, there’s a real problem here” line? But nowhere in any of it was there anything about rage and anger.

I can only imagine the hell so many of you have been going through at this. I’ve lost my temper with my toddler and felt ashamed and like I’m a bad mom and a horrible person. I just can’t fathom what all of you must go through. My heart goes out to you. Thank you so much for being brave enough to share this and educate and connect moms everywhere. I am DEFINITELY going to share it with every mom and would-be mom I know!

Amy @mommetime 3 years ago

Jen, hugs to ya, Mama… I admire you for listening to your body; I am so sorry for the troubles you are experiencing… good for you for knowing your truth and taking measures to take care of yourself. Wishing you lots of peace.

Tara 3 years ago

I have two children and am pregnant with my third. Each time my PPD has gotten worse. I’m in therapy ( prob for the rest of my life), because I think that it never really goes away, we just learn to manage it. This might sound silly, but do you know what helps me enormously with the rage? Tae Bo. The punching and kicking helps me let it out in a safe way and I get a workout to boot! It’s easy to pop on a video( they even make short ten minute increments ones) and to duke it out with the air in the living room.

MotherLode 3 years ago

Holy crap. Something just clicked. Is THAT what I’ve been going through? Is THAT why? I thought PPD was just the Depression – the sad, apathetic, tired feelings, which I didn’t experience. But rage? Yup. Anger? Yup. Slamming doors while yelling at my six year old and holding my newborn? Yup. That newborn is two years old now. That’s two years of crazy emotional roller coasters that I could have fixed. I had no idea!!! Thank you, ten thousand times, THANK YOU FOR WRITING THIS. I will never go through that again – at least, not without seeking help.

Teresa 3 years ago

I thought I was the only one who transferred her rage onto her husband. I actually threatened to kill that man to his face during a rage attack. It scared both of us so badly that I went to my six week appointment and demanded Zoloft. I took it for a decade. With perimenopause the rage I felt simmering under the surface for years has eased. Hormones completely affect brain chemistry, I don’t care what “they” say about it. I also will not hesitate to get back on meds if things get bad again, because I deserve to not feel that way all the time.

debbie 3 years ago

Sweet been there done that. It gets better but now I get it in the form of PMS and I HATE it. I never suffered depression or PMS before children. I hate the person it makes me and made me. I hate it but I know I get it and it’s learning to deal with that’s the trick and I’m getting better..it will not beat me..nor will it make me feel like a bad person or bad mother..I am neither of those because Im fixing it and doing the best I can xx Deb

Stacey R 3 years ago

How refreshing to not be alone! I’ve cut myself down so many time about how I can’t control my anger…meds are helpful for sure but trying to stop myself in the middle of a rage is really REALLY hard. Hubby doesn’t get it, kids think I’m evil, soooooo hard. Just knowing that others have the same problem gives me hope.

Bethany @ Bad Parenting Moments 3 years ago

You are helping so many with this piece. Feeling like an island is what stops people from getting help. Brave moms like you are what start the healing process. Knowing it’s going to get better if you just make that first call. So proud to be your friend.

Jaimie 3 years ago

Thank you so much for posting this. I’ve been dealing with exactly what you describe since I had my son just over a year ago, and it’s really encouraging to hear it gets better. I, too, am on Zoloft and in therapy, and I’m just starting to feel good again.
Thank you again!

Michelle 3 years ago

What makes me the craziest is that I have my degree in psychology, so knowing about it and being able to fix it are two different things–making the whole situation even more frustrating!!

Do I know that my amygdala has essentially taken over in those moments and that my prefrontal cortex can’t quite reign it in? You betcha! Does it do a darn bit a good for me or my piece of mind? Nope nope nope!

Despite all of that, the guilt STILL gets to me!

I do the best I can each day. As my therapist says: at the end of the day look back and tell yourself, ‘nobody died–mission accomplished’

Heather M 3 years ago

talk to your doctor as soon as you can. medication and therapy will help. i’m not sure how it works in europe but here in the us you don’t have to get therapy in order to get the medication. i wish you the best and remember depression lies.

Heather M 3 years ago

Thank you for this post. My son just turned 3 months and i just got the help i needed. I thought i could handle it and that it would go away. i cried almost every day for 2 1/2 months. i lashed out at my husband and family members. it didn’t and i was stubborn. My husband knew something was wrong but was hesitant to say anything. I talked to two of my girlfriends and they gave me the courage to go and get help. so now i’m on zoloft, 2 weeks now, and i feel a million times better. neither my ob or the dr.’s at the hospital gave me very much information pre-birth on ppd. let’s get the word out there. if you have it you’re not broken, you’re not a bad mother or a bad wife, you don’t love your child any less you just need some help to get back to yourself.
since getting help i’ve talked to more friends and they’ve needed help too. please, let’s get the words out there that this is a treatable disease because, as thebloggess.com says, depression lies.

Jenny 3 years ago

Bravo for writing about this truthfully. It’s not easy to put yourself out there like that, but it’s so important for other moms to hear it and feel like help will be there if they go looking!

ScaredMommy 3 years ago

Four weeks ago, I told my husband that I wasn’t in love with him anymore because I thought I would be better off alone. Last night, helping my 6 yr old with a school project, I slammed my hands down on the table and screamed in his face. I cried myself to sleep last night wishing that I could take it all back. Today, I cried as I read this post, finally realizing that I am not myself and I need help. Thank you for saving my family.

Shenny 3 years ago

Thanks!
I have been on Cipralex for 6 years and want off sooo badly.
I have been weening for 5 months and its been hell.
These drugs are so scary.

JD Bailey @ Honest Mom 3 years ago

Can you try a different med, like Celexa? I have been on many different meds (because sadly for me, they lose their effectiveness after 6-9 months) and haven’t felt like I needed to drink. Though I do like my nightly glass of wine!

Ena 3 years ago

I’m a supermom. So my friends tell me. I have 4 kids and I’m skinny and looking good. But they don’t know the HORRIBLE TRUTH. Nobody, except my hubbs, does. It’s awful!!!! And I’m crying my eyes out right now – and I usually never cry!
I thought I had borderline!! Everybody thinks that I know everything about motherhood – but I had no idea about rage being a PPS!!!
I wish I had known that 8 years ago when this horror started with my 1st kid!!
I keep telling my husband that sth terrible will happen … I’ll make him read this … I already texted him.
I have 4 such exceptionally beautiful children … and I’m so terrible …
I’m a stay-at-home-mom and I’m aware that doesn’t help but I just can’t decide and give the youngest 3 to daycare …
Please, somebody help me … I’m from Europe – is the med over here called Zoloft, too? Or is there any other med??
How long does it take to see an improvement??
Is it possoble to get through this without meds and without therapy??
Omg, omg … I just don’t know how I’m gonna survive this … and my kids, too … but I do LOVE them, I do, I do!!! The worst time is in the middle of the night … they look like angels … and I feel like a monster …

Thanks, guys *

JD Bailey @ Honest Mom 3 years ago

If you haven’t yet, talk to your doc. With a husband in the military, you definitely need the support. Thank you to your husband for his service and to you and your family for supporting him. I have the utmost respect for military families.

Heather 3 years ago

Thanks for writing this JD. It’s frustrating when you tell people that you’re having a hard time with PPD, and they some how think poof it just goes away. People who have not experienced PPD or depression, have no clue or understanding the struggles that go on everyday. They don’t realize what an accomplishment it is just to get out of bed in the morning, take care of a little person who isn’t the most cooperative thing in the world, and get to work. Now getting anything done at work is icing, but still a major challenge. Things get even more compounded when they have no compassion and you end up feeling alone and isolated. I certainly did not want to go through this again, and this is why we only have one child.

Meds do help, but it does take tweaking to figure out what works best. I feel and understand your struggles. I still have them. It is frustrating that PPD and depression is such a taboo topic. I think that if it was more accepted our struggles would not be as great. I know for me support from my coworkers would have been wonderful, but it doesn’t always work that way. Hopefully it won’t be this way for our children.

Thank you again for writing this piece. I hope you continue to win your battle. And for the rest, keep fighting. You will get the upper hand. Your children will be glad you did.

JD Bailey @ Honest Mom 3 years ago

Julie, I commented on your post. Message me if you want to talk further. Hugs!

JD Bailey @ Honest Mom 3 years ago

Elisa, good thinking. Where I live (Massachusetts) there are PPD support groups and also “regular” depression support groups.

My husband was shocked at the rage, too. But he gets it now. People think PPD/depression and think “sad” – and that’s a very common misconception that “sad” is the only symptom of depression. Definitely show your husband this post and the responses. Best of luck to you!

Beth 3 years ago

Thanks for this post. My children are 7 and 9 now, and I still struggle with rage. I have to remove myself from them at times, which can be hard; I’m a single mom with no one there to help take the reigns.

Laura 3 years ago

Thank you for posting this. Isn’t it ridiculous that not only do we not share our stories of PPD, but even when we do, we still hold back from each other? I have felt very alone because of these same feelings of rage. Thank you for making me feel connected- to other moms, to myself, to the world. Sometimes, I just want to scream and swear. Or throw things. Or God knows what else I’ve locked away. And it’s terrifying because I am not that person. It’s especially hard because my son is 18 months old already and I’m not “better” yet. Yesterday was a bad day. I didn’t get more than 90 min of sleep at a time during the night, and I just lost it in the morning. Had my husband take my son out of the house, threw my phone as hard as I could against the wall, and just cried. Then when I saw my baby, I just felt shame. He’s perfect to me, and I am so not perfect for him.

JD Bailey @ Honest Mom 3 years ago

“People really don’t understand that the strength and immediacy of the rage makes [just calming down] virtually impossible.”

I think that’s the best description I’ve ever seen of how it feels.

Amanda 3 years ago

I have PTSD and I know my risk for PPD is very high. I’m not on meds now (I’m 13 weeks preggo) and the depression and anxiety can be too much to handle. I know the second I give birth I’ll have to get on something, otherwise I may explode. But I also want to breast feed, so the decisions are going to be tough ones.

Mamaintheburbs 3 years ago

Such an important post, thank you! I suffer from depression and def fight my rage on a weekly basis. Thankfully my husband helps me step away from the situation when my toddler is throwing a tantrum. I’m a SAHM and its hard on all of us to be “on” ten hours a day. I’m hoping in time my meds work and I feel less rage.

JD Bailey @ Honest Mom 3 years ago

Yes – take the meds. Absolutely. There is NO SHAME in taking them, and I nursed my baby for 16 months or so – the whole time being on meds. So if you are nursing, it’s no problem – just double-check your med is compatible with nursing.

And I understand the hope that things will just get better. That’s how I felt, too. But for me, they didn’t. And the way I thought of it, I had a baby, toddler, and husband whom I owed it to to try and get back to being me again. And that’s what the meds did – they made me feel like me.

Good luck to you. I wish you all the best!

Gina Jacobs Thomas (@totallyfullofit) 3 years ago

I feel like I’ve lived this exact experience. And it was horrifying. Horrible. Zoloft definitely helped. So did therapy. And the RIGHT therapist that got to the root of my anger and rage. So many people think depression is weapy, can’t-get-out-of-bed, withdrawal behavior. For me? It’s anger. Irritation. With everyone and everything. It’s just how I’m hard wired. But at least now I’m equipped with tools to combat it. It still rears it’s ugly head, but I can recognize it faster, make steps to prevent it. It’s not easy, but it has to be done.

JD Bailey @ Honest Mom 3 years ago

Oh, Jo, it’s not your fault. 13 years ago PPD was most certainly not talked about anywhere as much as it is today – and today it’s STILL not talked about enough. I’m so sorry you went through that.

Perhaps you can talk to your daughter about the fact that you had PPD so she can understand what you were going through. Maybe even show her this post and all the regular moms out there who felt the exact same way as you.

And also? When I was 13 I said all sorts of mean things to my mom. She knows how to push your buttons, I’m sure. But maybe if talk with her about it someday when she’s in a good mood, she’ll understand a little more about those days when she was a baby – and what you were dealing with.

JD Bailey @ Honest Mom 3 years ago

Tara, I was scared to take meds, too. I totally understand that. When I was in college I had my first experience with depression. It lasted my entire sophomore year and through the following summer. I saw a therapist and she really wanted me to take meds but I was afraid. I suffered through. It was terrible.

Then when the PPD set in after my second child, things were different. My kids were involved. My husband was involved. It wasn’t just me dealing with these feelings anymore. So I did a lot of talking with my doc. Did lots of research into possible side effects. And talked to moms who took meds.

I made the decision to take meds. For me and for my family. I took 20mg of Zoloft (which is a low dose) and it changed my life. CHANGED MY LIFE. Seriously. I never felt high or strange – I just felt like me again. And therapy helped me further manage the rage feelings.

I encourage you to talk to your doc and get the facts about the meds. Ask all your questions. And then make a decision. You owe it to yourself and your kids. If you feel that kind of rage, you need to do something about it – you don’t have to feel that way. I wish you all the best.

Chelsea Williams 3 years ago

Great, honest post! Loved it. I think it really is one of those untalked about things, something people need to start opening up about xx

Jennifer 3 years ago

I am so sorry you have had to deal with PPD. But I do appreciate you blogging about it. I too have had a similar experience and lost a few friends along the way. You have captured it in a way that was simple to understand. Thank you

Ena 3 years ago

Thanks!!!!!!!!

Cindy 3 years ago

OMG. I wrote this to a friend TODAY. She just had a baby. I told her about the rage. That it is a symptom. A symptom I didn’t know about because it is never listed with depression symptoms. I dealt with it for 2 solid years. 2 YEARS. I just thought it was me. And it still comes from time to time. I brought it up to a nurse when I had my second child and she told me that it was a symptom of depression. I wish I had known. You are THE FIRST person I have ever seen mention this. I can’t even believe it.

Tracey 3 years ago

thank you for talking about it. Mine crept up on me after my second child. I was angry all the time. I felt unloved. Worse, I felt no love for my children. 7 years later, with treatment, things are much MUCH better.

Meredith 3 years ago

JD, I love this post and could relate to so much of it. My son had horrible colic too and so many of my feelings after he was born scared me. I was a terrified, furious new mom. Thanks for writing this and making it something we can talk about.

Emily 3 years ago

That must’ve been so awful for you. :( Good for you for getting help and sharing. Us mommies have it so hard and we need to talk about it. Sometimes that’s half the battle.

Melissa 3 years ago

I totally understand. I went through the same thing with the rage/PPD with my 2nd child, 3.5 yrs later still being treated.

I had back to back set backs that allowed it to manifest into a form of depression that is expressed through rage, not your typical weeping, lying in bed behavior that is often displayed on TV.

The guilt is mind blowing and it allows the “what-if’s” to move in. What if I damaged my child from being this way? What if baby #2 doesn’t love me because I’m damaged? What if baby #1 resents baby#2 for breaking mommy? Yeah, what a ride….

I full heartily agree, meds are great.

Anyone reading this, please don’t think you can “fix” this on your own. Please get help, call a friend, family member, anyone, preferably a woman, and even better one that has been through it.

Good luck ladies. Remember, if motherhood were easy it would be called fatherhood.

Katie 3 years ago

Thank you for this. I was the same. I had PPD and the rage was bad. It was the rage that had me call my dad bawling asking what was wrong with me. He and my husband and my mom got me help. Thank goodness.
We as moms need to start talking!

Toulouse 3 years ago

Wow, JD! This is so honest and so brave. I had blues after both of my babies but luckily didn’t experience a lot of rage. It scares me to think what I would’ve been like…despondent I think. It’s really awesome of you to share your experience so others can relate and get help.

Lindy 3 years ago

Thank you for writing this. My son is 18 months old and I went through this when he was first born. Before he was born I was on three different meds for mood problems. I stopped when I got pregnant. After he was born I felt no attachment to him. I cried and begged people to take him from me. I didn’t want to be his mother. I talked to my ob, she said we would talk at my 6 week appointment. I went to a therapist. She met with me for an hour and said she would see me in a month! I went to an er. They could send a social worker to evaluate me within 36 hours. I NEEDED SOMEONE TO HELP ME NOW! Finally after 5 hours a dr in the er just coming on her shift talked to me. She prescribed two of my old meds and sent me on my way. 18 months later with constant help from my friends and family I am no longer on meds and I am the best mother for my son. I love him with all of my being. To anyone out there suffering, please get help. If you feel no one listens, keep talking! I never felt I could love my son or feel connected but with my families support and persistence I do!

2LittleBoys 3 years ago

My sister-in-law stormed out of my wedding with her 3-month old baby flailing in her arms in a fit of PPD rage. Took me a while to figure out that her behavior was largely due to PPD, but she still doesn’t recognize it in herself. And I don’t know that I will ever forgive her. Really important issue, thanks for the great post.

Ameena 3 years ago

Love your honesty.

I was extremely angry when my daughter was born. She too was colicky, didn’t sleep, screamed, cried, wouldn’t eat. It was a nightmare. I never wanted to hurt her but I definitely hated being a new mother.

I wouldn’t say that I had PPD though, I was just miserable. So I hired a nanny and went back to work and instantly was much happier.

Things eventually got better but I knew that I could never, ever have another child. I admire mothers who do it and then do it again. I wish I had it in me.

So glad that found the help you needed and it’s so helpful for others to read this! So many of us can relate.

Erika 3 years ago

This SO spoke to me. Even though my kids are school-aged now, I can remember feeling that rage. It was only after I came out of it that I recognized I’d been depressed after my first child was born. Looking back, it’s those intense feelings of rage that, even though I never acted on them, make me so sure I was not myself back then.

MILF Runner 3 years ago

I wonder how many of us reading this will be thinking “I could have written this post”. Thank you so much for being our voice. Much love to you :)

Julie @ nextlifnokids 3 years ago

I’m sorry to hear that Carly. I hope we feel better soon :)

Antigone 3 years ago

God bless you!!! *Hugs*

Steph at The Healthy Mom 3 years ago

JD, thank you for your honesty. I think this is something that so many women don’t want to say out loud. And you did, making many others feel less alone.

While I didn’t have PPD (I don’t think), years later I did feel the rage and depression. I’d lose my shit on my kids and, like you said, would start to hear things come out of my mouth that I wasn’t proud of. When I started taking Lexapro, much of that resolved.

Thank you for your honest post, Honest Mom!

Tara 3 years ago

I’m so scared to take meds but I’m more scared I’m going to hurt my children if I don’t take anything. I usually smoke weed but I have more important things to spend my money on. But when I smoke, I’m way more relaxed and give my kids what I think they deserve from a mom. I want to stop feeling like I want to throw my kid off a bridge or knock her teeth out. She’s only 2 years old. My anger is not her problem. I need help but meds freak me the hell out.

Tobi 3 years ago

I felt like I was reading my autobiography, thank you for sharing and making me feel like I’m not the only one! Just finished 18 months on Zoloft for ppd , baby #5, I wouldn’t have made it without my docs support and help.

Steph 3 years ago

You are a wonderful person. Thank you for writing this. Be proud of the difference you cannot even comprehend you made by putting this out there.

Chantelle 3 years ago

And there ARE meds you can take if you’re nursing an 8 week old :)

Jennifer 3 years ago

Take. The. Meds. It changed my life.

Chantelle 3 years ago

Mama, you are FAR from being the only one. I am exactly the same as you. So often angry but then hit with bouts of rage. It sucks and I HAAAAAAATE myself acting that way. Please just try taking your meds for the next 6 weeks or so. Just try. If by April you don’t feel like like a whole new mommy, then you can stop. I promise you, the different I felt after just a few weeks was incredible.

Jennifer 3 years ago

Been there in that hole and felt completely alone. I wish I had read this after my first, who was colicky, was born. My PPD started in halfway through the pregnancy & lasted until I got on zoloft a year! after my second was born. I thank God for it every day, and for people like you who show me I’m not alone.

Jo 3 years ago

I have dealt with ppd about 13 years ago. I never got help. I felt like I was a horrible mother. My daughter would be crying and I would leave her in the room in her crib to cry. I did feed her and change her diapers when she needed them although I didn’t breastfe ed. Unless her father was there. Then I expected him to take care of her. I don’t know why I couldn’t, I just couldn’t. About 2 years ago I had my last baby. I had no problems with ppd but to this day my now 13 year old daughter throws it in my face that I didn’t love her and I didn’t want her because I didn’t take care of her the way I do her baby brother. At least that’s what she got from my ex. I admit it hurts when I hear her say this and I feel like a horrible mother.

Rachael 3 years ago

I know I thought maybe I was becoming an alcoholic. I would go on the meds again in a heartbeat if things got bad but I’d have to go to aa as well I think

Abby 3 years ago

Really appreciate this post. I think the raging side of motherhood is experienced by many, even those who aren’t suffering from diagnosable PPD (indeed, including those who are years away from their most recent “partum” – *raising hand*). Having felt extreme anger/frustration towards both my kids, it’s reassuring to know that others out there have felt the same way. It doesn’t feel right in the moment, it doesn’t feel right after the moment, but it does feel right to know that mothers have support in the same network that gives ideas on potty-training and how to bake a Hello Kitty birthday cake: fellow mothers.

Chantelle 3 years ago

Look through the comments here pouring in. You are NOT a bad mom and you are NOT the only one. <3

Shelley 3 years ago

I am just going to put this out there in case anyone elsehas experienced the samething. After (and a little beofre for other symptoms) having my kids I could no longer tolerate dairy. Even to this day if I have a moment and eat a piece of cheese cake or pizza my mood changes drastically. I only experience rage after having had it. Have gone years without any dairy and same for the feelings of rage. Just in case this could help someone else, I know people are reluctant to try a nondairy diet but for me and my family it was the answer.

Chantelle 3 years ago

Maybe talk to your doctor/therapist about switching meds? Mine were helping me but not making me feel like myself again until I switched. Different meds affect different chemicals in your brain…

Heather 3 years ago

Amy it can most certainly be ppd! I started having symptoms (well when I actually admitted it to myself) when my son was 18 months.

Chantelle 3 years ago

Agreed. I feel 15% is an outrageously low number AND makes moms even more less likely to consider getting help.

j 3 years ago

Thank you for posting this. I really thought that my RAGE was just me being a HORRIBLE person. I honestly didn’t think that anyone else would scream and yell at the top of their lungs like me. I had the depression/anxiety and all the typical symptoms. I have always seemed to have that demon on my back. But I just had my 3rd daughter 8 weeks ago, and it seems that shortly thereafter all the rage surfaced. I used to be angry before, but the RAGE Got So bad. Sceaming at the whole house. Just about 3 weeks I called my dr to get some medicine. I haven’t taken it yet. I am hoping I will get better without it. I am glad to know I am not the only one who has all that rage. I hate being this way. THe guilt is overwheming. Thank you for letting me know, I’m not the only one.

MommieDaze 3 years ago

I experienced this same thing eight years ago after my oldest son was born. Except I didn’t know then that I had PPD, and I didn’t’ get help because I didn’t have insurance to see a doctor. Somehow I managed to come through it, most of which I owe to my husband. Looking back though it would have been easier on all us I’d gotten help. Such an important message! Thanks for sharing. It’s nice just knowing I’m not alone.

Heather 3 years ago

I can’t tell you how good it feels to read something like this and know you are not alone and that you are “normal” on some level. Thank you for getting the word out!

Chantelle 3 years ago

You are definitely not alone, nor are you a monster. You ARE the perfect mom for YOUR kids. Hang in there <3

Michelle 3 years ago

Bravo for writing this!!!

Rage has been my primary PPD symptom and it’s very hard to find anyone who understands. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard advice about trying to count to ten or just calm down. People really don’t understand that the strength and immediacy of the rage makes that virtually impossible.

Thank you so much for putting a spotlight on this! I plan to share this in hopes that it helps others to understand just a bit more.

elisa 3 years ago

Thank you for writing this. Im gonna make my hubby read it bc he doesnt seem to belive that the rage is apart of my depression. But i am (kinda) glad to see that im not alone in this. I really want to start up a support group in my area for women who deal with this.

Julie @ nextlifnokids 3 years ago

I’m far too much of a wuss to post this on my facebook page out of some form of complete shame and embarrassment, but I wanted to share it here and thank you Jill for inspiring it. I’m still in awe that I clicked “publish”. #scaredtodeathrightnow http://www.nextlifenokids.com/2013/02/what-i-wont-tell-you.html

Nicole Dumas 3 years ago

I am going through the rage right now. I have a 3 year old and a 6 month old. I am doing it alone because my husband is always gone with the military. I am having a hard time adjusting and not having help. I lose it easily and quickly with my 3 year old. Its overwhelming and I’m exhausted. I feel horrible, but I’m glad I’m not alone!

CRYSTAL 3 years ago

i dealt with this two for 2 years before getting help. i was so stubborn and kept thinking I would just snap out of it. i would have periods of feeling great and in control and would snap in an instant and be right back to square one. i didn’t even know rage was something that happened when dealing with depression so I just assumed I was just a terrible person and that made it all worse.
I love that you are helping to get the word out.

Chantelle 3 years ago

Ack, I meant I’ve been *good about keeping myself from going overboard lol

Chantelle 3 years ago

Really?? I’m not on Zoloft, but Effexor (a similar medicine) and it seems like ever since I started, I’ve wanted to drink more as well! Ive been well about keeping myself from not going overboard. My doctor has just started weaning me off my meds and now I feel the “urge” less and less. How strange! I wonder if its a rare or “not talked about” side effect.

Cindi 3 years ago

I had no idea that what I dealt with was PPD. I, too, screamed at my baby one day because I was supposed to pump every 2 hours–every 4 hours at night–to get my milk to come in, and my infant would cry so much it was impossible to keep up that schedule.

I wanted to breastfeed so badly, but my son needed me and would cry. I ended up screaming at him one day while he was strapped into his bouncy chair in the middle of my bed with pumping gear strewn about–I can picture it like it was yesterday. After a few minutes of yelling, it hit me what I was doing. I couldn’t believe I was screaming at him when all I wanted to do was help him.

I still feel guilty about the whole thing–screaming, my inability to breastfeed even after getting help from a lactation consultant, letting my little guy get dehydrated so that he ran a fever (which, of course, ended up with a trip to the doctor and me sobbing all the way home because I couldn’t manage to feed my child properly). Those first few months were a mess, and I wish someone had suggested I was suffering from PPD.

After screaming at my son, I decided that bottle feeding was just fine. I still got frustrated and yelled at the whole house for months, but I tried to keep my rage to myself as often as possible. I discovered that throwing stuff in my closet was a safe outlet. Imagine. That was my solution, but it could have been so much better had I known what I was dealing with!

I found out later that my son was VERY tongue tied, which was probably why he couldn’t latch on. Not even the lactation consultant nor his pediatrician caught that. It took visiting an orthodontist when he was 7 to figure that one out.

As for my milk supply, I’m not sure why it wouldn’t come in. Perhaps I was too stressed out. I still blame my inability to breastfeed for his horrible allergies (he’s now 13). Mommy guilt is the worst!

Thank you for putting your story out there to enlighten us all. The mommy guilt has abated a smidge. :)

Chris 3 years ago

The second lot will be post traumatic stress. :( I had it for years and it took a lot of work to clear it. However, if you are able look up ‘the journey process’. Try to get the UK site if you can rather than the American one. The latter is a bit scary and intimidating. It’s basically and intensive therapy course that can make you better in one session. Can. Mine took six but I had a lot to get out. If you can do it and face your demons it’s amazing! Good luck to you and best wishes. :) Xx

Rachael 3 years ago

Ps I’d like to thank you for opening my eyes. I have been dealing with depression/anxiety and I had no idea the rage I was feeling was a part of that I just thought I was a bad person. Thank you.

Chantelle 3 years ago

Thank you. I had ppd when my girl was born. At first my main symptom was… indifference toward her. Then I felt the rage when she got her 2 month shots. My infant who usually never cried, cried for nearly two days straight. I actually had to call my mom (who lived like 3 blocks away) to come over take her away from me because I was afraid I was going to throw either her or myself out of a window. Still, it took years for me to ask my doctor for help, I figured I just had suddenly developed a bad temper. It wasn’t until I found myself practically screaming in her face that I finally made the call to my dr. I truly hope your story will make any other moms out there feeling this way to get help. It’s not embarrassing to call your dr about this. It’s healthy

Danielle 3 years ago

Thank you JD for talking about this. And thank all you other scary moms for discussing your experiences in reply. I have never heard that rage is a symptom of Postpartum Depression. Luckily I did not develop PPD with my daughter. If I had I probably would not have known to get help if I had experienced rage rather than sadness. That’s some scarry stuff. Now I know what to look out for with my second child.

Rachael 3 years ago

A question for all the mums on Zoloft. I’ve been taking it for the past year which had helped me greatly but I found I felt the need to drink. I’ve never really had a problem with alcohol but couldn’t seem to go a day without it. Now I’m weaning off the meds the need to drink is going and I find even though I want a drink I can go without. Is this just a coincidence or am I just weak? I wouldn’t change a thing though Zoloft helped me do much and ill gladly go back on it if I can’t manage without it.

Arnebya 3 years ago

Hell, my youngest is 3 and I promise you I still wonder if PPD is still what’s going on (sure, there are other things.) What’s the range, though? I was never diagnosed and so now with therapy and a mild antidepressant I wonder.

Jenny 3 years ago

JD, I struggled with that rage. I had postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety after the birth of my youngest daughter two years ago. I had no idea that this blinding rage directed at my immediate family was a symptom of my depression. I was so ashamed of my inability to control my emotions. I thought I was a complete failure. Thank you for speaking up and helping to smash this stigma.

Sassy 3 years ago

I feel this post so much. I have always had rage with my depression. It has become one of the “easiest” ways to tell if things are starting to get out of control for me. Personally, I’m finding exercise and diet changes are working as well as my prescription drugs ever did, but there was a long time when I really needed those drugs.

JD Bailey @ Honest Mom 3 years ago

I went through a very long, slow weaning process under the supervision of my doctors to get off the meds. Very slow. I was med-free for three or four months. Now I take a tiny dose of Celexa every other day during times that I really need it. But it is possible to get off the meds – you just have to be careful. And ready.

Annie 3 years ago

Dealing with PPD for 4 years and other life events also morphing it into something else…I had 2 emotions, anger and sadness. I must have been really good at hiding it…but I know some people saw there was something wrong and looked the other way.

We have to stop looking the other way, stop the stigma, stop the silence and being afraid to admit there’s something wrong.

I cringed reading this because I knew what was coming. I’ve been there. I’m getting help now too and I am so glad I’m not alone. Thank you for being brave and shedding light on what needs to be the MOST talked about symptom, instead of the least.

Jessie 3 years ago

Thank you thank you for being honest about PPD. I suffered for years after each of my boys was born. It was awful. I tried to commit suicide after the second one. I cried, I screamed, I had awful, scary thoughts, and I didn’t love my first child for the first six months of his life. It was incredibly scary. But, with Zoloft and intensive therapy, I’m getting better–in fact I mostly feel fine. I now have a two year old and a six year old, and I love them both. I don’t always love being a full time stay at home mama, but I do recognize that time is fleeting, and it’ll be over before I know it.

Kristen Mae 3 years ago

It’s bravely honest posts like this that give women the courage to seek help. You have probably prevented a child from being needlessly hit, a mother from feeling crushing guilt; you might even have prevented a death.

xoxo

Sarah 3 years ago

The rage took me by surprise too. My son was almost 1 when it happened. I’ve been a sufferer of chronic depression for most of my life, but had usually turned it inward; my family didn’t even know. My husband and I kept an eye on my emotional health just after James was born, watching for PPD, but it never materialized. James was not an easy baby – he screamed a lot, was not a gentle nurser, wanted to eat all the time, and wanted to be held all the time. I was working from home and keeping him home with me, and I got more desperate, anxious, and stressed every day. In the second half of his first year, I would find myself crying for long periods of the day, which of course only caused my son to cry more. A month short of his first birthday, I was finally convinced to put him in daycare. One morning, he was giving me heartburn in the morning, refusing to eat his breakfast and screaming at me to emphasize his decision, when I lost it. I was almost apoplectic with rage, screaming back at him, kicking walls, hitting furniture. My only saving grace was that I didn’t harm him. James was terrified and screamed more. My husband managed to defuse the situation, and I managed to get James dropped off at daycare, but I spent the rest of the day curled up on the couch, hating myself, wondering what kind of monster I was, and asking how on earth I was supposed to face my son again, let alone mother him the rest of his life. I didn’t realize at the time that rage was a symptom of severe depression. My therapist quickly put me on Lexapro. I’m a different parent now. I still have my depressive episodes, and I still get angry, but the rage is gone, the happy times are frequent, and I’m far more even-tempered. I love that you shared your story, and I urge anyone experiencing unusual changes in personality to make an appointment with their doctor immediately. Save yourself the time and misery we went through. Get your self back.

Kristin 3 years ago

Such an important post for women to hear. That moment when you must – MUST – put the baby down in a safe place and walk out of the room (or in the case of small apartments, find the bathroom as a refuge) and let it out is important to recognize. Because usually the wave does pass.

So glad you were able to find help right away – and it is just one more reason that ALL of us need to have ready and effective access to whole health care. So many women are not in a position to pay a co-pay for “emotional issues.”

At the very least, getting acknowledgement and affirmation of the emotions can be a start.

Jessica Cobb (@DomesticPirate) 3 years ago

Thank you. I’m currently pregnant with our 4th and had my first serious case of PPD after our 3rd. I’m terrified of becoming that person again once this baby is born, but know what to look for and how to manage it this time (hopefully…).

Amy 3 years ago

Thank you!!!!! I have been feeling a kind of anger lately out of the blue that is completely unlike me, and it is scary and exhausting. My youngest is 18 months, so I don’t think it can be PPD, but just knowing that other women have gone through this makes me feel so much better. I have just recently been considering getting help.

carly 3 years ago

I am in the same spot, Julie!

Shenny 3 years ago

Ya its all good until you try and get off of the meds.

Dena Stelly 3 years ago

Mary, more doctors need to do what you just said. I know mine did not and that’s something that should be done in every hospital.

Jo 3 years ago

Tell it like it is! More moms need to know that this is a possibility and, even more importantly, that they can get help. Zoloft is what worked for me, too. I’m so glad you got the help you needed.

Kirstin 3 years ago

I was shocked by the rage too. I didn’t know where it came from. It took me a year after my 3rd baby to seek help. At first I just thought it was my hormones getting adjusting after the baby but then after 6 months I was still the same, then winter came and it go so much worse. Finally, after a horrible winter, I got help. My doctor stated that you can develop it up to 2yrs after. I think I waited so long because I didn’t know much about PPD and honestly, I was in denial about it. She turns 4 tomorrow and I’m still on medication. I’ve tried to wean myself off it a couple of times but the rage is why I’ve gotten back on it. Like the others have said it’s still there it just doesn’t get out of control when I’m not on medicine.

Megan 3 years ago

I want to commend you for having the courage to share this very personal journey. Thankfully, I’ve never had to experience what you are going through and I hope I never will. I was terrified with each of my pregnancies that this would be the case for me afterwards and I just feel so lucky that it was not. I would like to believe that I would have the courage to seek help, but I don’t think that I would be so courageous as to share those thoughts with the world. I am so glad you did because there are too many people who don’t seek help for whatever reason. I’m sure that shame is one of those reasons, but it shouldn’t be. There are people who have been trained properly who can help, who want to help, and who will help. All they need is for you to tell them that you need help. Bravo! I hope that things are trending upward for you and that if ever they are not, you will be just as courageous to make that call again.

Karyn 3 years ago

Thank you again for your honesty! The rage is what spurred me to get help too – I felt the same way. Hubby would send me out for some time to myself but as soon as I came back to the colicky 7 month-old and hyper (but normal!!) 3 year-old the stress and anger would start to build again. I would scream, slam doors, kick walls, and then sit and sob hopelessly asking myself how I could possibly be so angry at my beautiful children. I was so lucky because for me it was like flipping a switch…as soon as I was on the right medication, the fog lifted and I felt like my real self again.

Mynameis 3 years ago

Wow. Thank you so much. This really eye-opening. I thought I was just tired. I knew I had a bit of PPD with my first but I felt so much better after the second was born. But the rage is there. Directed more at my oldest and it makes me feel like monster. This post makes me feel so much better. I’m not alone. I’m not a monster. Just a mom. Who is not perfect. But I’ll be okay.

Paula 3 years ago

My first two daughters were born 17 months apart, while I was in grad school. I felt like a nervous wreck and had rage issues too. I ended up on zoloft for a while. It helped a lot. I was able to ease off that when I stopped taking birth control pills (extra hormones bring on irritability and rage for me). Maybe a year later, I got pregnant again and halfway through my pregnancy, the rage and panicky feelings came back. My doctor prescribed zoloft again. It took the edge off the rage and anxiety. I think I discontinued it a month or two after my daughter was born. My husband had a vasectomy so I knew my hormones would stay pretty level without BC or another pregnancy. Occasionally I’ll have another one of those days when I feel like the littlest thing will set me off and I turn almost rabid. But it’s only occasional now and is controlled pretty well with regular exercise. I’ve never heard anyone else talk about it though. Thank you for posting this.

Tara 3 years ago

Thank you so much for posting this! Depression runs in my family and post partpartum is one of my biggest fears after I deliver.

JD Bailey @ Honest Mom 3 years ago

Kathy, I had that feeling too – “I understand why babies get shaken” – it was terrifying. Simply terrifying. Thank GOD for my supportive husband, meds, and therapy, because I never got to that point. Thank GOD.

R 3 years ago

I had PPD after my first son was born, nearly 12 years ago. I also got what they call the Adoption Blues after we adopted our second son – that is when the rage showed up for me. There were so many things wrong with him – no fault of his own, or ours – but it was so overwhelming. It still is. I just found out that I’m pregnant again, and I’m reeling. I am taking welbutrin, it has been the only medication that has helped with the rage. My doctor and I discussed the risks of taking it while I’m pregnant, and the benefits outweigh the risks. I can’t snap on my kids. I’m also glad I’m not the only one who went all psycho bitch after a baby!

Kiran 3 years ago

Brave post, JD. I went through the same thing. 3 1/2 years after my last child was born, I even question if I ever fully left it. I never dealt with depression before pregnancy. It was something that happened to other people, people less strong than me.

Mary 3 years ago

Thank you for this fantastic post. I was so lucky the closest I came to PPD was feeling really down for a day after we came home from the hospital.
However I had a different doctor with each birth. Both of then sat down with my hubby and I and explained in great detail to my husband what he needed to watch for and to call the clinic immediately if he saw any of the symptoms. I was just happy that they were so prepared for the possibility of PPD.

Misty 3 years ago

Thank you! My daughter turns two this month and you have described me to a T. However my OB and general docs did not attribute my feeling of rage to PPD. I already have anxiety and depression and was switched to a low dose of Zoloft when pregnant. I had no problems till my daughter was born. They increased my dose when I expressed a need to kill my husband in his sleep, that’s it, no other help. I had no idea rage was a symptom of PPD. So thank you for letting me know that I’m not just some crazy, angry bitch for no reason. I’m going to go and call my Mom and cry now! Oh, and my other two children are 22 and 15 years old. The more I think about this the angrier I am with my doctors!

Michele C. 3 years ago

Yes, the rage is the part that scares me so much. I too spiraled into PPD after my second baby was born, but just didn’t recognize it or thought I could battle it out for a long time. Last summer, just after she turned 2 years old, I finally sought out therapy after snapping at my kids one too many times for just being 4 and 2. Now I’m starting Zoloft for the first time, and while i’m not enjoying the adjustment of the meds, I can already see a difference in my reactions to the kids, etc. Lightyears better than before. We’re not bad moms – we’re all trying to do so much more in this age of the online world, constant comparisons and pressure – and we need to admit that we need help. It’s the hardest part, but the bravest part, and shows just how strong we are. Good luck with your continued winning!

Kate 3 years ago

Just, thank you for writing this. Thank you.

Kathy 3 years ago

Thank you so much for opening up about this. Women don’t talk about this symptom. I think they just feel too ashamed. I know I did. More than once I had to set my son down in his crib while I locked myself in the bathroom and screamed and cried. I actually started to understand how babies get shaken, which scared the crap out of me! I too got help and am so thankful nothing happened. Maybe if more women open up about this, more women will get help!

JD Bailey @ Honest Mom 3 years ago

Alexis – that is a very important point – that you can nurse and take SSRIs. I think that is something many, many moms don’t know.

Bri 3 years ago

Thank you! We see all those adds on TV and they never talk about the anger. I am so glad I am not alone. I too take meds to aid the PPD but the anger is one I battle still from time to time. I scares the crap out of me.

Becca 3 years ago

Thanks for sharing this. Every little bit of awareness about PPD is so very important for all moms. We need to support each other – and talking about it is the best way to make that happen.

Beth 3 years ago

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! When I first decided to go in for depression, it was because I flipped out on another driver and was yelling and screaming in my car. I then got home and continued to just be so mad, that when I dropped a pan I was going to use to cook with, I became more mad I could not even see straight. It was at that point that I feared not only my safety, but the safety of others. I went and got on anti depressants, and the lack of rage was one of the first things I noticed to be gone.

PPD is such a varied creature, and is still not taken completely serious. I know people who just shrug it off, or tell others to just buck up and be thankful. I know I am thankful for my daughter, but that does not stop the anxiety, the loneliness, and the panic from setting in.

Beth 3 years ago

I am so glad you got the help you needed! Rage is definitely not the emotion that is discussed when dealing with depression. It leaves me shaking sometimes

Amy 3 years ago

I’m on Depakote, which helps with the rage I felt after a friend committed suicide. It also helps me manage my seizures. Thankfully I didn’t do anything too over-the-top before I started taking it, but there were some broken dishes I had to clean up.

Marica – Aprovadimamma 3 years ago

THERE ARE SO MANY OF US. Let’s keep talk about it, met’s make people understand it’s part of motherhood, it just IS.

Kristin @ What She Said 3 years ago

My PPD hit a little later – it didn’t peak until around 7 months postpartum, which my doctor actually said is quite normal. But in hindsight, I realize it began around 3 months postpartum… and it started with the rage. Usually against my husband, but sometimes directed toward my innocent infant.

I also struggle with a low-grade form of chronic depression called dysthymia. I’m mostly able to keep it in check these days, but when it does start to manifest, it always does so with the rage. My daughter is now three and I’ve blown up at her a few times when I’m feeling low and frazzled. I look back on those instances with a shame and terror that physically hurts, it’s so acute.

Depression is a vile disease that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. The thoughts of hopelessness and worthlessness are frustrating and heartbreaking. But the rage… that’s just frightening.

Felicia 3 years ago

Oh lord. I am so glad you posted this. I had terrible rage in the middle of the night with my crying infant who only wanted me and all I wanted was just 4 hours of uninterupted sleep. I felt so guilty, like I was some kind of monster. It was so overwhelming there were so many times I almost caused physical harm to her, jesus I feel sick even confessing this. But goddamn it feels good to know that this is a symptom of PPD. I thought I was a horrible person, I would have to set her down and walk away so I could regain my composure. I never confessed it to my husband, now I wish I had.

Amanda 3 years ago

Wow, I could have written this post. Same thing happened to me with my second. The rage. RAGE!!!!! Out of control, red seeing rage. So freaking scary. I’m still on celexa 4 years later because I’m scared to get off of it. Fortunately nothing serious happened but my goodness it wouldn’t have taken much.

Hip-Baby Mama 3 years ago

I’m happy to see more and more women writing about PPD and depression thereafter. I posted my story recently, too. http://austinmomsblog.com/2013/02/04/depression-hurts/
The rage is the worst. It just adds to the non-stop overwhelming feeling which leads to the self-loathing. Like Evin said, Shit.

Carrie 3 years ago

Thank you so much for this post! I often feel alone in my symptoms, but they are just like yours. Zoloft has been my life saver and even though I still have sad days, and angry days, and days where I question all my choices, I always find SM and regain some sanity back. Thank goodness for sharing experiences to know we are not alone. It really takes a lot, including therapy and my supportive hubs to keep me going.

sabrina ellsworth 3 years ago

Thank you for this! There is no worse feeling than feeling alone. It is nice to know that I wasnt not the only Mom who felt this way.

Alexis 3 years ago

Studies show that 15% of women have PPD. I suspect that number is low. I suspect that the real number is much much higher only since people hide it SOOO deeply and fiercely it gets under-reported. Or that people who have rage, anxiety, etc. don’t consider themselves as “suffering from depression” because they don’t feel classically “depressed.”

Good for you for getting help. Good for you for sharing your story. And letting people know that treatment DOES work. That you can be a nursing Mom and take antidepressants. Thank you for sharing.

kez 3 years ago

Wow. I forgot about the rage. I remember wanting to be somewhere, anywhere else. But rage. Scary stuff.
I still get it now sometimes, when I feel out of control.

Callie 3 years ago

So, so true. My first PPD experience was over 4 years ago, and I still struggle with the rage, even with medication. I wish I could say that the medication has been a lifesaver for me, but I’m honestly not sure it has helped all that much. I’ve tried medication, meditation, and therapy, and I still feel the rage/apathy/sadness that I felt at the beginning. Sure, it’s waaaay less acute now and I never feel like I will lose control with my kids, but it’s still there.

Betty 3 years ago

Thank you so much for this! It’s not talked about nearly enough and I have felt that same rage at times. I’m glad you were able to find the help you need and I am as well.

Evin 3 years ago

Holy shit. Seriously, I thought I was the only only only one. I thought I was a horrible person, the worst mother ever. I’m crying right now. Shit. Wow. Thank you.

NTrick 3 years ago

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Yes.

Life with Kaishon 3 years ago

I am so glad you are able to talk about it and share now. I am thankful that is behind you now. So scary and difficult.

Nicole 3 years ago

Thank you so much for writing this. I am 34 weeks pregnant with our third child and have been feeling this way for the last few weeks. Like you, my rage nearly got the best of me when my 4 yr old was being 4 and completely obnoxious, and thankfully my husband was home that day. I have been speaking with my OB about options, have an appointment with a counsellor and am seriously considering meds. It’s nice to know I’m not alone.

Julie @ nextlifenokids 3 years ago

I’m sitting here bawling now because I’m currently dealing with this. I needed to read this today and appreciate you do much got posting it. The outward rage is awful and I also feel trapped due to my NEED for isolation. I don’t want to pick up the phone and most days I can’t leave the house. Therapy has helped a lot, but I’ve been refusing meds because I’m nursing. I know I’m not alone, but I feel alone all the time, even when my house is full. Thank you for the hope and reminder that this too shall pass.

Debbie 3 years ago

Thank you for sharing your story. I am so very proud of you for realizing this was a big problem, before something terrible happen.

You are a wonderful mother for realizing that your children could be in danger.
Blessings to you,

Debbie

Ninotchka 3 years ago

Beautifully written. Thanks for putting this out there. A scary symptom indeed and so common. As mothers, we’re in the trenches every.single.day. (second, minute, hour) and as you say, it can be incredibly hard. A regular practice of self-forgiveness is key but not always easy to learn & assimilate.

Amy 3 years ago

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I have PPD/PPA as well. It started with, and was really bad with my first. So much so I did pretty much the same thing as Motherhood WTF, several times. I thought I was all clear with the second until she was about 3 months old. And then I realized my big girl was not being a brat, I was being a shitty, depressed Mom and taking it out on her. I uped my Zoloft dose and am doing much better. It’s scary how much PPD can run you down and run you over. I wish more people would share their stories. I am always willing to talk openly about PPD and keep vigilant watch over new Mommy friends. I never want anyone to suffer like I did/do.

Jessica 3 years ago

This is such an important post, thank you for sharing with such honesty JD. It will help so many who are suffering alone.

Anna @ My Life and Kids 3 years ago

Such an important message for moms. Thanks for sharing this JD!

Allison @ Motherhood, WTF? 3 years ago

Thank you for putting this out there. I had the same experience my second was born. The rage took me entirely by surprise and I still feel so ashamed by it. The incident that drove me to get help was when I found myself standing over my crying colicky infant, maybe 5-6 weeks old, in the middle of the night. I had my face inches from hers and I was screaming, “Shut up! Just shut the fuck up!” Can you imagine? In my baby’s little face.

I suddenly became aware that I was the last person I wanted near my baby. I left her there, woke up my husband and told him that I can’t be near the baby because I hate her. He thought I was just tired but I convinced him that he needed to take the next day off of work because I seriously could not be near the baby. The next morning I called my OB and was prescribed Zoloft which absolutely saved my entire family.

I don’t tell this story often because I still feel so awful about it. PPD is something that is not talked about enough. I didn’t recognize it in myself until I called my doctor and she told me it’s PPD. If more people were as open as you are, I maybe would have seen the signs and gotten help before I sunk so low.

Analisa 3 years ago

Thank you for sharing this! I’ve been treating my ppd with St Johns wort and omega 3s and it’s been getting better, but yesterday my rage came rearing back. Your post has motivated me to seek outside help and medication beyond what I’m
doing.

Jackie 3 years ago

My main symptom was rage. Because of JD’s post on Honest Mom a few weeks ago, I realized that the rage was not part of my personality, but it was part if my PPD. I was able to seek help and get on meds and I feel so much better.

You Know it Happens at Your House Too 3 years ago

This is an amazing post JD. So many moms don’t recognize what is going on and just blame it on the hormones. It is so much more than that. Thank you for writing it, and for sharing!

Erin 3 years ago

Thank you for sharing this in such an honest and candid way….I dealt with the same thing and since seeking help and medication I’m able to be a much better mom. I can only imagine how many moms are struggling alone at home thinking that they are just weak.

Hollow tree ventures 3 years ago

Rage like that sure is terrifying – good for you for spreading the word about getting help for it.

Jaime 3 years ago

Thank you for writing this post. It’s so important to spread the word that this is a very common symptom of PPD.

Ilikebeerandbabies.com 3 years ago

I. Feel. You, Girl! Thanks for putting it out there!

jen 3 years ago

Unfortunately, here in Asia PPD is not taken seriously. I went to my doctor after feeling this symptoms and she said that it’s only stress and it will go away on its own. I almost jump out of the window because I feel guilty everytime I lash on my kids. I went to another doctor and she gave me birth control pill that will help my “hormonal imbalance” and it gotten worse. I will call my husband crying and he will find me curled in a corner desperately trying to stop myself.
After seeing to many doctors, and finding no one to help me I treated myself. I do yoga, I take vitamin B complex, change my diet and send my kids to daycare two times a week. I’m healing now and becoming the woman I used to be.