September Health Report: One woman's journey to overcome Postpar - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

September Health Report: One woman's journey to overcome Postpartum Depression

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Posted By: Bayley Bischof Channel 8 Eyewitness News 

About two months ago, Gwendolyn Johnsen was born.

Soon after, her mom Katie was struggling.

"I just was not able to feel like myself at home,” Katie Johnsen said. “I wasn't able to feel like I could be happy with my kids, my relationship with my husband was struggling and I was starting to become sad and angry– just all the time."

Caring for three children, recovering from a c–section and trying to help Gwendolyn gain weight took its toll on Johnsen’s mental health.

"It came down to getting really upset at my oldest child one day and then coming up to my husband and saying this isn't normal, this isn't right,” Johnsen said. “He remembered my doctor saying there was someone here I could call."

She called Bryan Women's Care Physicians where she met Jill Brandl, a mental health nurse practitioner.

Katie was diagnosed with post partum depression.

"Post partum depression can be triggered by many things,” Brandl said. “Some of the risk factors that are more common are if a woman has struggled with depression in the past...women whose infants may be having health problems."

She says one in seven women struggle with the condition, but it's widely misunderstood.

"It's definitely under reported and under treated,” Brandl said. “I think there tends to be a misunderstanding about symptoms thinking that its just baby blues, it'll pass and in some cases that can be true but a lot of times if the symptoms have been present for more than two weeks or so then it's time to seek out some help."

This is what Johnsen did, and now she says she's on the road to feeling like herself.

If there's one thing she'd tell other women like her, it’s this.

"Your mental health is so important to take care of,” Johnsen said. “Without that you're just not living up to what you could be."

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