On Friday I was diagnosed with PND. I apparantly scored 28 out of 30 on the HVs test for it :/
My DD is 9 months old and she is my world. However I have been trying to be the perfect Mum (whatever that is) for months and I have just worn myself into the ground. I've lost a tonne of weight and at 5'7 I now weigh just 46kg (7 stone 3). I clean and cook and look after my DD and walk the dog every day from 6am until 8pm when I sit down for dinner. I constantly feel like I'm not doing enough, I'm letting people down, I'm not a good enough Mum. I also returned to work 3 days a week at the start of Feb so have been getting up, doing all the chores, going to work, coming home and doing more chores. Then insomnia hit and I just got so tired.
I didn't even realise the mess I was in until my family and DH staged an intervention. I went to the Drs and was diagnosed with severe PND. He's given my Citalopram to take but I'm wary because I've had anti-depressants in the past that haven't agreed with me. Does anyone have any experience with these pills?
My HV has also referred me for counselling. This was yesterday morning, last night the mental health team phoned up and they are sending someone out within a week to assess me due to the fact I have a young daughter. Usually the waiting list for counselling in my area is at least 8 weeks. So now I'm panicking thinking that they think I'm completely mad or something. Yet the HV said that it was obvious that I adore DD and am a fit mother, I'm just trying too hard to be perfect at other things. I phoned the Dr before and he said it's very unusual for the mental health team to come out on a home visit unless they think that person is dangerous! Which I really am not and he agreed with me and told me to phone him as soon as they've been. I'm utterly terrified now!
I just needed to vent really. It's been a tough few days. All the adrenaline that's kept me going the past few months has vanished and I'm so exhausted I feel like I've got flu or something.
Gosh, you poor thing. Motherhood is extremely hard, and the hormonal highs and lows take a lot of adjusting to. Do you have other "mother friends" you can download with? Do you feel able to?
Your weight is very worrying- are you eating anything? Or is it just being on your feet that's doing this? I would imagine that they are particularly worried about that as you might not be eating enough for basic survival and they may well have identified that you need acute intervention. From what you've said I'd imagine the HV is very worried about you indeed (and not so much about your daughter). But they are trying to head something potentially worse off at the pass, so it is good that they are being very proactive.
Keep coming on here- there are many women on here who's suffered from PND and they will be a mountain of support.
Just one last thing- have they checked your thyroid and adrenaline levels before popping you on ABs? Your ability to keep going doing what you if remarkable (and enviable) but I'm just wondering if maybe you have an overactive thyroid given how much weight you're lost and your restlessness.
Incidentally, my SIL gave me this book just after I had DS and I have to say it was and remains my favourite parenting book of all time. Libby Purves' basic principle is that you can't do better than your best and there is no such thing as the perfect mother. It's extremely liberating.
I'll have a look at that book. I think I just need to realise that I can't physically do everything, something has to give.
They haven't tested my thyroid no. To be fair though I did tell the HV that I hardly eat. I just never seem to be sat down long enough. I manage breakfast and dinner but not much inbetween. I definately think my weight (or lack of) is causing most of my exhaustion.
Mahna, I've come back (sorry for multiple posts, very bad form I know!) after some thought to urge you to go for a full physical examination to rule out anything underlying. If you were ill in some other way, you would almost certainly get very tired. I just wouldn't have thought that skipping one meal a day would make you lose that much weight. How much did you weigh before? And are you looking gaunt?
I'm still thinking hyperthyroid and/or adrenal disfunction. I have no idea whether or not you have PND but I don't think you should be diagnosed quite so quickly without ruling out other things first. I'm not a doctor but I have read a lot about thyroid problems fwiw. Also you might want to consider starting a thread in a more frequented part of the site- mental health or general health for example. I'm not sure there's masses of traffic through this topic.
Hi OP, it's great that you have good family support from what you've said. The MH team will probably be coming out so quickly to cover themselves - and remember your GP's in full agreement with you. I'm not surprised you're exhausted, Love - you've gone through a LOT the last few days. I'm sure you are a fab mum, you just need to work your way through the PND. And you will. It's just at the moment you've gone from a form of coping to having to confront everything. We set ourselves such high standards, and it's crazy. If this was a friend of yours doing all you are trying to do, I'm sure you'd be concerned about her and ask her if it really mattered that everything in all areas of your life is perfect? So remember to be a friend to yourself and remind yourself that some things in the grand scheme of things don't matter - right now it's your health that's important, not the housework. And I bet your little one's lovely.
PND is shit. I had counselling for mine and it helped me.
Remember MN is here, and there's usually someone about.
PND is shit. Really, really shit. They've probably flagged up the local team because your DD is so young. TBH, it's brilliant that they're taking it so seriously, I really mean that. So often GPs just prescribe ADs, waffle about counselling and you're on a waiting list for months. If they're ready to see you now, it really will improve your chances of feeling a bit better > feeling more like yourself > feeling you can cope > feeling like you're better.
If it helps, I had weeks of the MH team visiting me on a daily basis. They're not visiting to see how mad you are but they are coming to support you. To talk to you, so be honest about how you feel. Their only worry is you, so forget DD and everyone else. How do you feel? That's what is important.
Citalopram was great for me, worked well, but I was still anxious, so am on Escitalopram now (basically the same thing, but with added anti-anxiety). I had a few side effects, but it has been invaluable in giving me some space in my mind.
Keep posting, keep asking for advice and help. So many of us have been though it and if my shit helps anyone, then it won't have been in vain!
When you have a young baby, they get you seen as soon as possible. I flagged up my feelings at 12 weeks, and got an appointment within 6 days! I had home visit for about 3 months from a nurse (every fortnight), again, perfectly normal when a young baby is involved. They are looking to protect both of you (brutal, but honest). I also visited a psychiatrist every 2 weeks.
I had very severe PND and was also suffering psychotic episodes last year, after the birth of my LO. Basically, I thought my LO belonged to someone else, that I was just 'babysitting' if you like, that his real mum would come by and pick him up at some point. During the first week, I would've left him at the hospital if I'd thought she'd been there to get him, as time went by and she didn't come to get him I thought she was angry with me....it was terrifying, but I'm here 6 months later and feel normal now.
I was on Sertraline (AD) and Quetiapine (anti-psychotic). I found the AD took a while to kick in, but it was fab once it did. If for any reason you think it's not working, be sure to let your care team know.
I just want to reassure you that you can and will get through this. And we're all here to help you out.
How do you feel you're coping with work? Is your work getting done, and done well?
Please do start taking the ADs - they made a big difference to both my sister and I, and they take a while to kick in as it is. She was on Citalopram, and found it worked well for her. I'm on Seroxat, coming off at the mo after 6 months. My PND was diagnosed when DS was nearly 18mo, I wish I'd realised I had a problem earlier. I only sought help when my insomnia got really bad, as I wasn't able to keep up the pretence that I was coping any more. I'm really open about it in RL now, everyone knows and all have been supportive and lovely about it!
Can you ask someone to be with you when the mental health person visits? It might help you cope with the visit.
Re your diet: are you able to treat food as medicine? Maybe try to schedule meals in, and regular snacks, ie breakfast at 8, handful of Brazil nuts at 10 etc etc.? Your health is just as important as your DDs, you won't be able to give her your best if you're exhausted.
Really really well done on getting help, I'm sorry I can't add anything more useful.
No advice re the weight, but wanted to hand hold and say yes, PND is shit, but you will get through it. I had it with DD1 5 years ago and was put on Citalopram. It was a lifesaver for me and after 2 years I stopped taking them because I wanted to ttc again. DD2 is now 14 months old and here I am again on Citalopram. Again a lifesaver. Thought I'd spot PND second time round, was ready for it. Except I didn't and got as far as self-harming.
Take the ADs, they will help. And this place is full of far more useful people than me who are great at listening and advising.
Hi, It's good that you're getting help now. It's good that the MH team in your area care about you and your child. Don't fret about that. It's their job to care for you not neglect you. Good, too, that your family stepped in. Lots of people are looking out for you and you child because they want you to be well and want the best for you. That is a good thing, even if it's tough to admit you are finding it hard going.
FWIW, I had severe PND and it wasn't diagnosed for four years due to us being in a very busy, over-extended urban practise. It didn't go away until I started on Citalopram. That drug was an absolute life saver. It transformed our family life, and my life. I know a couple of other women also with severe PND for whom it worked wonders too. I had very similar symptoms to yours - weight loss, insomnia, massive attempts at being perfect, on the go all hours of the day. With Citalopram you might get to feel very tired for a while (could be good if you've had insomnia). It also made me gain weight and crave carbs - really brought back my non-existent appetite. Again, that could be a side effect that actually helps you.
Good luck to you all. I hope it works. If not, there are loads of ADs around now and with good health care, you'll find one that suits you.
Oh poor you, you sound exhausted! I feel tired just reading about all the chores you do! No wonder you are depressed! Are you getting any help? Is your husband doing any chores? Cooking? Shopping Cleaning? It is good that he "staged and intervention" but maybe he needs to spend more time as a parent and a partner?
It sounds like you're doing loads! - Do you wear your pants on the outside?
Yoga or Pilates would be a great idea, - a bit of 'me time' and good for you too.
I took Citalopram after DS2 and while it helped me feel less anxious I did feel a bit detached and numb for a while. - I found it helped to have people around me a lot of the time, - Mum with me at the supermarket, sister with me while I was buzzing around doing housework etc. In fact I got her doing some of it too so that was win win
Would your budget streach to a cleaner for a while? At least then you wouldn't have to worry about that. I had PND too and it sucks, I was on ADs for it for a while, but I stopped taking them too soon and the depression came back, I'm finishing CBT at the moment and most of the time I feel okay, I just have to odd black day now. It will get better and the therapy team will help and you will be okay.
The emergency mental health team came out to see me too. They did not for a moment think I was a danger to my children. Grab the counselling with both hands. Arrange some ME time. Yoga or Pilates seems great. If you are lucky, there might be a zumba or other class just before the Yoga so you get a fun workout/warm up first!
I chose not to take the ADs, but to change my life around in stead. Get help, get out more, get exercise, and dh was very very supportive. Could not have done it without him.
I came off my medication without realising - I was travelling back and forth over the country due to family issues, and in between al the train journeys and random stop offs at people's houses I just plain forgot to take them. It was about 2 weeks before my mum said 'you still taking your pills?' - I hadn't even opened a new pack while travelling. I don't recommend that way of coming off them by the way
Is your OH completely aware of how you feel and on board with supporting you?
Hi So sorry to hear this has happened. My DS was 6 months when I was diagnosed - he is now 12years. I still remember that awfull black fog I was in thinking that I was not a good enough mother to DS & older DD. My in-laws were very negativve & unhelpful with no support offered at all. My family were totally unsupoortive too as DS was 9th grandchild & novelty had worn off. However, a fellow Mum at work advised me to see my DR who was fab & prescribed AD's - reluctant to take but best thing it took a while but eventually realised that no-one ever visitd anyway so it didn't amtter if I didnt have the perfect house as long as DCs happy & DH & I were happy what did it matter if I didnt hoover now & again. Take any support offered from team/family/friends try the ADs you can always go back after a couple of weeks if they dont suit Good Luck & remember the best Mum is the loving one & sod the ironing!!
Only side effects I had was a real craving for sleep, a dry mouth, increased sense of smell, and increased appetite. The dry mouth disappeared, the rest have stayed. I'd love to feel less sleepy and not eat so much but would never swap how I feel and behave now for a bit of extra energy and weight loss.