Geeta’s Story of Battling Postpartum Depression

5 minutes

A passionate public speaker, chocolate lover, and supermom to a one-year-old baby, Geeta was a student of Psychology at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, TISS Mumbai. She then became the woman behind a reputed foundation working with mental illnesses, primarily depression.

Post her pregnancy, she suffered from post-partum depression which took a major toll on her mental health. But like any survivor, she fought it out and emerged victorious. We at YourDOST got a chance to interact with her about her journey of battling depression. Presenting the interview excerpts here for all new and expecting moms:

1. When did it all start? When did you come to know about Postpartum Depression? How did it affect you and the people around you?

Ever since the pregnancy kit showed me two lines, I had been a lukewarm cucumber. I was, of course, happy that I have a fetus inside me, but I was always anxious. I turned into a perfectionist who wanted nothing less than ‘bestest’, for the baby to be. I wanted to eat the right food, do the right reading, travel less, eat more, exercise more, blah and blah and blah.

Mind you, this was more or less self-imposed and at some level uncontrollable. I had good times, no doubt. But I had changed. I crossed the 38th week of pregnancy. I even clearly remember the date. It was 17 Apr 2015. I was brushing past a Malayalam magazine which had an article on the Don’t & Dos of pregnancy.

I started scrutinizing it as if it was the answer sheet to an exam question paper. I started developing irrational fears, doubts and set myself on a guilt trip. Mentioned it to few friends, they were as supportive as supportive can get.

A little munchkin of a baby girl was born, head full of hair (that’s how I wanted it), big eyes and small lips. I could not ask for more. But I was scared. I was scared to look at her. I thought I have done something wrong to her. What if she has an extra finger? What if she has a big birthmark on her face? What if her hearing is poor? The What-ifs never ended.

2. When did you decide that you are unable to deal with it yourself and need intervention? Was there a specific instance that triggered that? 

The fear and anxiety started forming loops – structured loops. I started losing sleep and appetite. I was irritable, sensitive, panicky and sad  – deeply sad. 9 weeks passed, until then, no one knew the intensity of what was happening to me. I was finding it difficult to sit in one place and feed the baby. I was restless. I started talking about suicide. My family was in shock. They reacted in different ways – sadness, anger, shame. We rushed, with one suitcase and baby’s essentials to psychiatrists, one after another. Finally got admitted to a hospital under the instruction of a psychiatrist, for emergency treatment.

3. How did therapy help? How long did it last?

I was scared of psychiatric treatment and was very resistant. I was forcefully admitted to the hospital, along with the 10-week old baby and was put on medications. I could sleep. But nothing else had changed for the first few months. Recovery was slow, so to say. The treatment took around 6-7 months.

4. How do you feel now, and any message to people who are going through something similar?

I feel strong. In retrospect, I also feel bad and ashamed about how ill/underprepared we are as individuals, families, society to handle those inflicted with mental ailments.

Thanks to this phase of my life, I have started a venture by the name It is a foundation to spread awareness about mental illnesses and break the social stigma and taboo associated with it.

To the survivors:

(I would like to call you the survivor. Because you are going to be a survivor. It’s just a matter of time.)

  • As hard as it may be to believe, please fake believe at least, that you will recover from this. It is not a terminal illness. It is a temporary medical condition. Medications will work. Therapy and counseling and support groups will have a positive effect and impact. Have faith, Have hope.
  • You might be starting to get used to wallowing in self-pity. You might be tending to attract all negativity to you. It is just your wounded brain and mind playing games with you. Don’t take it too seriously. There is nothing insurmountable that has happened to you.
  • Please take a conscious effort to maintain personal hygiene. Take help from your mother or spouse or sibling if you are unable to do it yourself, especially bathing.
  • Do not hesitate to seek help. Maintain a private journal. Note down even the smallest improvement you have made each day.

Disclaimer: Name changed to protect identity.

Did you too survive depression? Please do share your story with us – it might inspire others like you and give them the confidence to open up. Also if you wish to seek guidance and support we are here to help. Do connect with a YourDOST expert, today!

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