How to Handle Going Back to Work with Postpartum Depression

The Wall Street Journal blog the Juggle posted a piece on going back to work after suffering from postpartum depression. It was written, bravely, by a Journal editor named Michelle Gerdes.

Here’s a snippet:

So far, well up until this is published anyway, I’ve only told a few people at work about my PPD. Most of my co-workers were very sympathetic and supportive, although some seemed uncomfortable and quickly changed the subject. I’ve been back at work for a couple of months now and am really enjoying the business of journalism again and engaging in professional life. After this life-changing event I feel like I’m even better than I was before I had the PPD, both at work and at home.”

What would you do? Tell your colleagues, or not? How about your boss? How will you get things done while still recovering from postpartum depression?

These are great questions, ones that I struggled with myself when going back to work four months postpartum while I was still in the throes of PPOCD. I only told a few colleagues—people I also considered to be true friends. I didn’t tell my bosses. I didn’t feel it was any of their business, and I worried about the stigma, of course.

I must admit I had a pretty hard time being at work while I hadn’t truly recovered yet. In some ways it helped that I had something else to focus on, rather than what I believed were my inadequacies at motherhood. In other ways it was tough because I had such a hard time focusing and really being present in my work. It’s hard to write a marketing plan when you are so tired and confused and miserable.

For those of you that have been in this situation, what did you do? Did you hide your postpartum depression? Did you share it? Did you take more time off?