The FDA recently approved the first oral medication to treat postpartum depression.

The FDA states, PPD is a major depressive episode that typically occurs after childbirth but can also begin during the later stages of pregnancy.

According to the CDC, one in eight women in the United States who recently gave birth experience postpartum depression symptoms.

Tiffany Engen said during her second pregnancy, she experienced multiple perinatal mood disorders.

I experienced pretty much every perinatal mood and anxiety disorder that you can experience. I had severe anxiety, depression, perinatal OCD and intrusive thoughts resulting in PTSD from that experience, said Engen.

She said that she began to experience symptoms while she was still pregnant.

It was just like a light switch went off and all of a sudden, my brain made me see and think all these very horrifying and disturbing things, said Engen.

She explained she didnt know that others were also experiencing similar mental issues as a result of pregnancy.

I didn’t know that it was a thing at the time. So I felt like a complete freak and a basket case. I was really afraid of the judgment that I would receive if I told someone what I was experiencing, said Engen.

Tucson Postpartum Depression Coalition Board Member, Sherry Duson said there is still stigma surrounding it.

Stigma usually produces silence. People dont want to say anything and they just think Oh my gosh, it must be that Im not cut out to be a mom. I’m not good at this, and I don’t dare say anything, said Duson.

However, she wants women to know they do have options for help. The coalitions goal is to support maternal emotional health through education, support and advocacy.

She also said the recently approved oral medication, Zuranolone, is something they hope can help some women. She said it is supposed to work quicker than typical antidepressants.

If there’s a new medication thats going to be a little quicker to get somebody back to good, you know, thats promising, said Duson.

However, she said medication is just a piece of treatment.

Its just one piece of the puzzle when somebody is trying to recover from perinatal mental illness. its not something thats just going to fix the problem, medication is one piece of the puzzle, said Duson.

Engen said that eventually, she was able to get the help and resources that she needed. She found that therapy and other non-medicated approaches were best for her.

I did eventually come across a therapist, which was fantastic and we connected and I’ve been working with them ever since. .. I started acupuncture, massage therapy, and I started working with a naturopath, said Engen.

Engen currently lives in Tucson where she said she has access to resources, but she was previously living in the Yuma area, where she said the resources and education needed were not available. Now she works to give back and help others from the Yuma area who may be experiencing what she did.

I’ve actually managed to get two therapists out there certified in perinatal mental health and a lot of the midwives and care providers are getting trainedSo I’ve definitely turned that around for that community, said Engen.

One common message was shared loud and clear between the two women, help is available.

You are not alone in this. It is more normal and more common than you can even believe and think that it is, said Engen. There is safe and healthy help out there available for you.