Of her experience with PPD, the usually bubbly reality star said, “It wasn’t fun! It took a couple months for me to come to terms with the fact that there was even something wrong. I kept blaming it on baby blues and adjusting to motherhood. It wasn’t until Tye suggested that I go and talk to my doctor and see if there is something he can do to help.
I was in such denial that it was postpartum depression because I, like many other people out there, associated postpartum depression with women that want to hurt their babies or hurt themselves. And I didn’t have any of that. I was just always unhappy with me and unhappy with everything around me and nothing made me smile and I felt empty.
I was just going through the motions and I just couldn’t figure out why if I had everything in the world to be happy and thankful for, I just couldn’t feel happy. The doctor actually said that was classic postpartum depression but we just don’t hear about it. What we hear about is the 0.1 percent of women that do hurt their children.
It took me a year to talk about it. There’s still a lot of shame and embarrassment about it because a lot of people don’t talk about this side of it. I am a very happy person normally. I am someone who has been in complete control of my emotions and for the longest time I wasn’t. And I’m still dealing with it. I wouldn’t say I’m 100 percent yet, but I’m working on it and I know I’m getting better.”
Melissa also explained why she felt the need to go public about her experience with the disease. She said, “I was talking about it with my doctor and I told my friends one at a time, and I felt this huge release just telling people. It was amazing what I felt like – I wasn’t hiding it anymore. I didn’t have to explain why I was having a bad day or why I was upset. People were understanding. And the more women I talked to, the more I heard, ‘You should talk about this publicly because I dealt with it, and I didn’t say anything because I don’t hear people talking about it.’
I was reluctant, and I still am a bit reluctant to talk about it, but I hope there are other women who are going through this think, ‘I’m not alone and I’m not crazy.’ It happens and it’s chemical. So much happens to your body when you’re pregnant and sometimes you just have to understand that you don’t have control over some of it.”
Melissa shared that husband Tye Strickland was a rock of support through the ordeal: “Tye was awesome. And I know it was especially hard on him. If I were him, I would’ve been going, ‘Where’s my wife? Why has she not come back yet?’ But he was so patient. And every time that we talked about it he said, ‘We’ll get through this.’ Everything was a ‘we’ or an ‘us.’ It was never, ‘You need to get better,’ or ‘What are you going to do?’ That definitely helped the process.
He didn’t judge me, he didn’t blame me, and that’s all that you can ask for. This was new to him too, and he would ask all the time, ‘What can I do to help you?’ and I would look at him and go, ‘I don’t know.’ I literally didn’t know. I didn’t know what was wrong or how to get better. As the husband, that’s got to be frustrating because he couldn’t do anything to fix it.”
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