Talking About Depression


I tend to keep things mostly superficial on the blog here, but it’s my blog so I do what I want. I want to write a little bit about depression, postpartum depression specifically. It’s not something that I thought would ever affect me, but it has.


For show notes and the podcast episode, click here.

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Briana of The Life Beats Project (if you don’t listen, please do! So many great episodes) asked me if I would talk about my experience with postpartum depression on her podcast. I gladly accepted. As I was prepping for the podcast, I realized that I’ve never really shared my experience in a public forum like this. I tend to keep it quiet for the most part; I’m not afraid to open up to expectant or new moms. I’m not one to push advice onto other parents (plenty of people did that to me as a first-time mom, I became resentful of it), but this is something I’m incredibly passionate about. If my advice helps a mother, I’m happy to pay for the social cost of bringing up something so “taboo”.

I feel like many approach talking about depression like a pre-teen says the word, “sex”: in hushed, embarrassed tones. We need to change that.

I GET DEPRESSED. I’ve had struggles with postpartum depression (and depression beyond the baby). I’M ON DRUGS FOR IT.

There. I said it. It’s out! I’m not afraid to admit I’m on anti-depressants. I’ve been on and off them since I was pregnant with Felix. And it’s been an up and down thing. Some days, my mental health is the equivalent of a couch potato trying to run a marathon without training. I’m a hot mess. Some days I don’t want to get out of bed; but the world keeps spinning, work keeps piling up and the babies still need attention. You’ll hear more about it on the podcast.

So I thought I would write some notes of my own as a companion to the podcast episode. If you or someone you love has or may have depression, I hope you give it a listen.


Follow along my #calligraphyquoteoftheday series here


If you’re in the Utah area, Intermountain Healthcare has a free seminar on understanding mental illness this June 15 at 6pm at Alta View Hospital.

If you’re a person of faith, you may be familiar with encouragement that “praying harder” or “having more faith” is the best way to cure depression. Eye roll, right? This talk given by LDS Apostle, Jeffrey R. Holland is perfection and addresses that issue beautifully. It goes beyond just “Mormonism”. I encourage you to give it a read.

Don’t get overwhelmed by the thought of talking to a doctor. Just recently, I found that my depression was coming back. I started withdrawing on a weekly, sometimes daily basis. I went back to the last professional that I had seen (my nurse midwife from June’s pregnancy) and talked to her. I felt safe because I had seen her before. She was caring and respectful. Now I’m back on track with my emotions and thoughts under control. If it’s been so long since an appointment you still don’t know who to schedule an appointment with, try a primary care physician first for your annual appointment.

Jenny Springer’s interview on The Life Beats Project is fabulous. She talks more about long-term depression and how she self-medicated for years before getting help. I love how she talks about “feeding the right wolf”. Working your way out of depression isn’t just talking to a specialist and taking a pill daily. You have to do the things you need to in order to FEED your happiness. It’s a beautiful episode.

Sometimes you may find it easier to confide in a friend rather than a close family member. It’s totally okay. It’s hard to share those feelings. Starting that conversation can be one of the hardest, most awkward things to do. You can do it. Find someone who you can be accountable to.

I hope that this is helpful to someone. If you have questions, I’m happy to answer them in the comments. Let’s take back the stigma that depression is something to be ashamed about. 



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    1. Alysa says:

      Thanks for sharing this, Melissa. Grateful for your transparency.

    2. Kell says:

      I’m not sure I’ve ever commented here, but I’ve been following your blog for quite a long time (years, maybe?) and always love the beautiful pictures.

      I just wanted to say that vulnerability is scary, but amazing. I regularly share on social media about my struggles with depression and grieving after my partner dying almost four years ago, and it’s only brought more love into my life.

      If you haven’t had a chance to see it, I recommend watching Brene Brown’s TED talk on vulnerability. Her book on the topic is fantastic.

      I wish you the best with continuing to figure out the best path for you through and/or out of depression.

    3. I’m sorry to hear you’ve been struggling! I’m still taking an anti-depressant even though I’ve been stable for six years now. I feel blessed that I have a resource that helps balance the chemistry in my body so I feel like the normal version of myself instead of fighting every day to function. I’m glad to see the stigma starting to fade. I recommend finding a good therapist to the people I talk to who are currently struggling. A friend even went to my excellent former therapist and found the help and direction she was seeking. Thanks for sharing the inspirational article and episode. Elder Holland’s talk is amazing, especially since I used to feel so guilty when I heard church talks on cheerfulness and happiness, but the effort it took to even try was overwhelming. Over time, therapy helped me understand cognitive distortions and put things in perspective while the medicine relieved the anxiety and depressive episodes. I can’t express how grateful I am for feeling like myself for so long now, when there were time it felt hopeless. A good support system of family and friends as well as my faith were also instrumental in recovery and stability. As much as I would wish for a quick fix so the struggle would just go away, it really did take time and effort to change by consistently use the tools and coping strategies I learned to become stable. Thank you for sharing your beautiful talents on this blog. I’ll pray for you <3

      • Melissa says:

        Thank YOU for sharing your words! I couldn’t agree with you more. I’m just so happy to hear you’ve been stable for six years! It’s encouraging for me to read that!! Thank you.

    4. Cynthia says:

      Well said, Melissa! I have struggled as well, especially after my 3rd. And I’m on medication, too! To feel like myself and make me a better mum, I am grateful.

      ‘In the end, I am the only one who can give my children a happy mother who loves life’ ~ Janene Wolsey Baadsgaard


    5. Shelby says:

      Melissa, you’re awesome. We don’t know each other, and even though I sound like a total creep, I love you. I’ve been reading your blog for a loooooong time and still get excited to see a new post because you are so authentic and fun! As most people never guess, I too suffer from depression and I would never have seen it coming from you. But that’s just it! We hide these darker sides of ourselves away and feel ashamed, which is so unnecessary. In recent years, I’ve been working on being more open with my issues with depression. Thanks for continuing to be such an inspiration!

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