NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - One East Texas mother is starting the conversation about postpartum depression, after experiencing it following her second child's birth, she feels breaking her silence could help others struggling.
At least 600,000 women are diagnosed with postpartum depression every year, but this number could be even higher due to those suffering in silence.
"It was hard for me to know I was supposed to feel a certain way after having a child, from being so happy after my first, I was so confused why I was feeling this way," Shaylee Engle said. "I was guilty all the time, restless, irritable and I would take my emotions out on the people I loved."
Shaylee and her husband James have been married for five years. The birth of their first child, Aniston was an easy transition for this new mother, however after having her second child she started experiencing symptoms of postpartum.
"It took a lot for me to realize I had a problem, I am one of those people who tries to make everything be okay. I would push things under the rug and put on a smile," Engle said. "I remember the day I just couldn't stop crying. This is when I first told my husband I thought something was wrong, and that I needed help."
What she didn't know was the number of other women struggling, and said the stigma around speaking out leaves many moms feeling like a prisoner of their own minds.
"I felt guilty I wasn't doing enough for them, and thats part of the postpartum because your mind plays tricks on you, and you start to believe the lies," Engle said.
This is when she finally reached out for help, and said many feel they are all alone in this struggle. She hopes by sharing her message it will encourage others to seek help as well.
"I finally told my husband, I think theres something is wrong. I think I need help, but it took a lot for me to say that, but I am so glad that I did," Engle said. "He was so supportive, and it really brought us closer together as a family and as a couple because I got to see how amazing he was with girls."
Engle also sought medical opinion, and said as hard as making the phone call to a doctor's office about the way she was feeling, she is still so glad she was proactive and caught the symptoms early. As she struggled through some of her darkest moments she realized she wanted to use her story to help others feeling like they can't speak out.
"I didn't want anyone to feel the way I was feeling," Engle said.
She opened up to friends online, and said the support she was able to give and receive was another weapon used to fight this battle. Above all sharing her story in her bible study, and relying on her faith are the things she credits to helping her survive, and continue the healing process.
"I am a woman of faith, and I look to scripture for strength and hope and it made me a better person. I probably wouldn't take it away, the trial I went through, because it helped me with my walk with Christ," Engle said.
She said as difficult as her journey was, the lesson she learned is what she hopes will encourage others. Now as she moves forward she shares what it taught her, and how it changed her life for the better.
"It taught me a lot about the Lord, and about myself that I can be resilient, and get through these tough times," Engle said.