A few years ago, Shelley Shook, with her husband Toby by her side, was lost in the emotional maze of postpartum depression. The Shooks got through it, and now, Shelley is using her experience to offer women postpartum depression support.
Shelley says the depression started after the birth of her daughter, Shelby, now 6.
“I went into a severe depression,” said Shelley. “I was almost like a zombie. I didn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep. I was suicidal for probably about two months and just couldn't function. Basically didn’t even want to take care of her as a baby.”
“It was scary,” said Toby. “You have a woman who wanted more than anything to have a child and love that child, and then right before the birth and right after the birth, it was a different person.”
Shelley began seeing a psychiatrist, who prescribed meds and a therapist.
“But I’ll tell you, what I wanted most of all was to talk to another woman who had been through this and had the same dark feelings and thoughts and who could tell me, ‘Hey, you know what? You’re gonna be OK,’” said Shelley.
It took many months before Shelley shook postpartum depression. Then, she met another woman who was living her experience.
“So, she and I met and I was able, thankfully, to help her, and then she and I formed a non-profit called Wings for Wellness to help other families through postpartum depression,” said Shelley.
Shelley came out of her depression, and she and her husband now have two children.
“This is a real chemical imbalance,” said Shelley. “It’s not just something you can overcome by willing yourself to overcome it.”
Wings for Wellness will hold a pregnancy expo Saturday at Fellowship Church Dallas for expectant mothers and mothers who are struggling emotionally. It will mark the third pregnancy expo Shelley has put together, but Wings for Wellness only began a few months ago.
Shelley hopes it grows exponentially so that families fighting postpartum depression can get the understanding they need from someone who's been there.
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