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Can PND be diagnosed after a year? Feeling lost and hopeless.

(38 Posts)
CarrotsAndApples Sat 27-Jul-13 11:49:57

Hi,
Name change for this as finding it hard to talk about possible PND in real life. Sorry it is a bit long.

I would like to know if anyone succeeded with a PND diagnosis and treatment when their baby was older? I feel like I have lied to everyone about how bad I have felt, and it is only now I am starting to have some better times that I can look back and see how bad it was. I still feel really awful so am wondering if I could still ask for help now?

Kids are 3 and 5. Traumatic birth with first child, stressful jaundice treatment, crying baby who didn't sleep. I was pleased to be home after finding hospital hard, so put on a brave face. Sometimes tried to tell HV etc but always just linked to lack of sleep. I cried when the baby did, tried to sing to him just to stop me crying as much. Found it hard to cope but just assumed it was me being a bad parent. DH found it hard too.

Second baby I felt very guilty with as I couldn't give enough attention to as I already had a toddler. Took longer to bond. Close relative of DH nearly died when baby was one week old which meant no time for me and new baby. Sounds so selfish to write that down! Then we moved house. So external stresses as well as kids.

Now I feel very angry. I shout too much and have a failing relationship with DH. I am exhausted and miserable. I feel like the family would be better off without me. When I read about Post Natal Depression I feel like shouting "that is me!" but I have no one to tell. I once tried to tell the GP but wasn't brave enough. I find talking about things hard.

Can I get better? I don't want to feel like this forever.

valiumredhead Sat 27-Jul-13 13:02:57

It doesn't matter if it's pnd or depression the fact if you feel awful and need help. Make a gp appt asapbrew thanks

valiumredhead Sat 27-Jul-13 13:15:25

If you can't tell your doctor then write it down and give it to him.

CarrotsAndApples Sat 27-Jul-13 13:37:56

Thanks. Think writing it down might help. I have kept it inside for so long it is hard to take action.

celestialbows Sun 28-Jul-13 20:41:17

I totally get where you are now, I can't help much at the moment but would be interested to hear how you get on. My kids are 2 & 3 and I've been struggling for a long time! Wishing you all the best.

LEMisdisappointed Sun 28-Jul-13 20:45:15

My PND was diagnosed when DD was 2.5 and i was in a bad way sad You don't have to feel like this, there is help out there - go to your GP, print out your OP if you feel better about it. Oh and yes, you will feel better, i promise xx Getting the diagnosis was a massive relief to me, i was like, ok, im ill - thank god for that, i can do something about it - medication and counselling worked for me.

HoopHopes Sun 28-Jul-13 23:53:26

Can you ask your health visitor for a chat. They will be used to what it is life in a family with those aged children and may be able to offer some practical help or ideas.

For what it is worth I doubt whether life with a dh will ever return to normal until children much older... Think it is more common than people let on to struggle and for it to affect relationships as parenting is exhausting!!! Lack of sleep, increased housework jobs, change of roles in the home, demanding children, extra jobs due to children, work, etc etc .... And dh who goes out to work and may not be main carer of said little ones cannot understand how frustrating it is when they do or don't do certain things.

I found going to meet with other mums helped normalise a lot of what I went through with a young child.

Not saying you not got a mental health illness but much of what you write I imagine is common to mums with young kids.

CarrotsAndApples Mon 29-Jul-13 00:53:56

Thanks for the replies.

I think that some of what I find hard is just "normal" busy family life with toddlers. That's why I have never asked for help - on "good" days it just feels like whingeing - I am lucky to have two lovely children and a house etc.

But the bad times really are bad - I can't stop crying and it upsets the children when they find me in the kitchen weeping. I don't know if I can be helped. I also don't feel like I deserve help sometimes. I am worried about if I might be offered medication, side effects etc.

But I also wonder, what if? What if I am, or have been, ill? What if it isn't in my head? What if it wasn't my fault, and I tried my best, but still was ill anyway? It would feel like a relief to find out I think.

CarrotsAndApples Mon 29-Jul-13 01:01:47

Celestial - sorry to hear you are struggling. Keep doing your best, I'm sure you do a great job with your little ones.

LeMis - thanks for telling me about your diagnosis when your DC was 2.5. Out of interest, did you manage to find the strength to tell someone, to "self report" - or did someone on the outside spot that you needed help?

Hoop - yes, seeing other parents does help. I have one friend who I chatted to about the crying and sleep issues recently - it was useful. I have found it hard to confide in my HVs - only see them at public weighing clinics or GPs - not private so I was scared of breaking down if they asked me how I really felt. I don't know anyone who has had PND.

TheDoctrineOfAllan Mon 29-Jul-13 01:07:55

I started counselling when DS2 was 1.5 years old. I think it was PND triggered but took that long for DH to convince me I needed help. I am much better now. Talk to your GP xx

LEMisdisappointed Mon 29-Jul-13 09:03:55

Carrots - I went to my GP, although i had an incident involving the practice nurse (she was lovely and i was pretty much at meltdown stage - i was convinced i would die). I had already been to the GP to discuss things by this stage and she had given me the option of ADs and put me on the waiting list for counselling. The meltdown galvanised me into taking the medication and it made such a huge difference. It wasn't an instant cure, but it helped and counselling helped further. I was and am very open about my illness and because of that i discovered that so many mums were in a similar situation. My HV was shite though to be fair.

You say something interesting there "what if im ill? what if it isn't in my head" This is a double edged sword - if you are ill, it is in your head, that is where things have gone askew. The thing with it being "in your head" actually gives you the power to overcome it - maybe you'll need medication, maybe counselling, exercise is very good and healthy eating etc - maybe a combination of the above, but don't rule out "in your head" as ill - it is an illness. We all question it, but everything we feel is physical - when we feel happy our brains release certain chemicals, scared, we release others - if this goes wrong, we can become ill. Being shattered, stressed or having our hormones thrown into disarray by having a baby will change things, for some people they don't settle down by themselves.

Talking to my GP was the best thing i ever did and she is brilliant, not overly sympathetic - i didn't want "oh you poor love, how awful for you" i wanted treatment and that is what i got. Take control now and go to your doctor. Medication isn't without side effects although they are minimal for me, it is very common for some shitty side effects in the first week or two before they start to work but they settle down and go away.

stella1w Mon 29-Jul-13 09:11:13

I had a traumatic birth and thought i had pnd. In fact i had ptsd and the got pnd becuase i had undiagnosed ptsd. If you had ptsd tjhe treatment is v different to pnd. Whatever you have you sound v unhappy. When i had the ptsd/pnd i was v shouty and v tearful all the time. Please go to your gp and if gp is crap, change gps.

Littlefish Mon 29-Jul-13 09:12:02

I started counselling when dd was nearly 2. I don't know whether it was PND, or depression/low mood triggered by issues surrounding being a mother and issues about my own mother, but either way,I needed some help. I self-referred without involving my GP.

CarrotsAndApples Mon 29-Jul-13 12:00:15

LeMis - thanks, I am going to try to get a GP appt this week. So worried about it :-( I feel like I am reading a thread about someone else - feel detached from it when I am feeling "well". But in my heart I know I at least need to ask.

Stella - I have wondered about PTSD. I had flashbacks about ambulances for a long time after my first birth, and cried at the GP when I was registering as pregnant the second time. She asked me if I thought I was going to die the first time (i was very ill, rather than the baby) and I was in floods of tears - I was so worried about being pregnant again. I spoke to a midwife about reviewing my notes after both births, which helped. But not enough. I wonder if counselling would help? Generally I hate talking about things though. What treatment did you find useful?

Littlefish - how did you find your counselling service? Was it just a private advert?

Thanks for all the replies.

TheDoctrineOfAllan Mon 29-Jul-13 14:02:51

There is an association of coubsellors - I think it's BPAC or something but google will find it and you can look up
Ones in your areas and their specialisms.

Littlefish Mon 29-Jul-13 14:37:17

I googled for the British Association of Counsellors, or something like that. you can put your postcode in and it brings up all the Counsellors in your area. it also gives you details of all the different sorts of Counsellors there are, and the different ways they work.

I would suggest going for one session and seeing how you get on with the counsellor. If you don't think you will get on with them, there's absolutely no harm in not booking any more sessions, and trying again with someone else. It's really important to find the right person.

CarrotsAndApples Tue 30-Jul-13 18:00:10

Hi, I saw the GP today. It was hard but she was nice. I printed out what I wanted to say, which was helpful.

She has diagnosed depression, possibly PND if I feel that the symptoms trace back to when I had my children. She has put me on the waiting list for counselling and suggested Sertraline (AD) for at least 6 months.

I am going to try to tell DH next. Thank you so much to Mumsnetters for giving me the courage to ask for help. I am very grateful.

valiumredhead Tue 30-Jul-13 18:20:36

Oh well done you xxx

LEMisdisappointed Tue 30-Jul-13 18:20:46

I am so pleased that you did this Carrots, it was very brave of you to do this - well done!! It takes a lot of guts. You should take up on the ADs, i don't take sertraline, i take a similar drug but i hear that sertraline is very good and the drug of choice lately due to fewer side effects. You should have a look through the MH section you will find lot of people experience of sertraline. Like other ADs, there do tend to be side effects to start with but mostly people just feel a bit icky and tired, they usually go within the first few weeks and folk start to feel better and more in control of things.

You have just taken the first and hardest step towards getting better flowers

katieAashley Tue 30-Jul-13 18:27:37

Deffinatly seek advice from your GP, it's more than fine to ask for help with depression or PND after a year of giving birth, also to be honest when you go and see your GP you only get an allotted 10 at an initial visits so its always best to right down a quick summary of things you want to say, question you want to ask, and what you want the doctor to do for you, " what out come you want from the appointment. You might find just talking to a professional about it briefly will make you feel tones better smile mum to be ardent nurse smile

stella1w Tue 30-Jul-13 19:12:37

Re ptsd...emdr really helped. My ptsd therapist said trad talk therapies can make ptsd worse because you are stuck in the memories rather rhan moving them on. I had flashbacks and nightmares and panic attacks etc. It wasn't til i heard the mother of a british student who was horribly murdered in japan talk about her experiences that i realised i had ptsd. Emdr is pricey privately but i only needed a few sessions. Ptsd is not just about war zones etc, it is common in car accidetns, childbirth etc.

CarrotsAndApples Tue 30-Jul-13 20:46:45

Thanks Valium and LeMis - I nearly didn't go into the medical centre because I was scared and worried - but knowing I has a piece of paper in my bag with it all written down made me go ahead. And your encouragement. I have another appt next week to discuss ADs.

Thanks for your post Katie.

Thanks for the PTSD info Stella.

valiumredhead Tue 30-Jul-13 20:54:06

Hopefully the ad's will work but if they don't there will be one that suits you and helps. It's a bit trial and error ime.

You did so well going today, it's a massive thing especially ad it's been going on for so long, you should be very proud of yourselfsmile x

CarrotsAndApples Tue 30-Jul-13 22:04:09

Thanks Valium - I tried to tell a midwife last Jan, and a different GP last Oct - both times I didn't manage to. I do feel calmer tonight, knowing that "someone else knows" and the world didn't end. DH had a terrible day at work today so I haven't spoken to him yet.

Bit worried about side effects of ADs but going to do some reading over the next few days.

valiumredhead Tue 30-Jul-13 22:15:43

Don't read the side effects, all medicine has side effects. Put faith in your doctor, take them and see how you get on. You'll drive yourself distracted looking for every little symptom.

CarrotsAndApples Tue 30-Jul-13 23:03:22

Thanks, will do. It was some of the side effects comments i has seen on MN - but I will try to think about the positives instead.

HoopHopes Wed 31-Jul-13 14:53:03

Try to remember all medications come with long lists of side effects, like antibiotics etc but rarely do people have them or they last.

I found sertraline helpful.

Also as counselling can be painful etc so can medication for a few days but it does not stop people doing it etc. that is how I try to think of it. it can really help to be on medication before doing counselling etc so not so low so get most from it, as it is time limited so want to benefit from it as much as possible.

katieAashley Wed 31-Jul-13 16:25:12

Also remember, AD have a acculimative effective and will take at least few weeks for you to feel the full benefits, all the best wink

valiumredhead Wed 31-Jul-13 16:52:49

Also worth noting that sometimes you can very few side effects that don't actually last. I had leg aches /cramps with seroxat but they went after a few days and I felt much much better x

CarrotsAndApples Wed 31-Jul-13 19:09:17

Thanks for the encouragement everyone. I feel less alone hearing from other people who have been through this already. I can't express my gratitude enough.

Overall I felt better this morning, but I felt very jittery and shaky this afternoon - not on the ADs yet, think it was "coming down" after being a bit "high" with adrenalin after seeing the doctor yesterday.

Going to try to get another batch of courage ready to tell DH tomorrow. I am sure he will be supportive - just that he really hates his job and is quite down himself. Feel bad that I will be adding to his worries.

valiumredhead Thu 01-Aug-13 13:34:16

Hi OP, how's things today?smile

Catnap26 Thu 01-Aug-13 13:46:26

Going through pnd at the moment with second child,first child is only 53 weeks older than second.feeling very guilty about spending time with either of them.very tearful today.all I can say is once i told people how I felt I started to get a lot more help especially from gp and hv there needs to be more support for pnd though x

valiumredhead Thu 01-Aug-13 13:52:20

I think there's support but we are in danger of feeling that we have to be super women and don't seek it out.

CarrotsAndApples Thu 01-Aug-13 17:09:19

Hi Valium, doing better today, thanks. Took younger DC swimming with a friend which was fun. Feeling like house - tidying, shopping, cooking - is on top of me today.

Hi Catnap - sorry you are going through PND - glad you are getting more support. I think it is very hard to ask for help - I just feel like a bad mother when things are going wrong - and don't feel worthy of help, even though it might be there. Good luck - two little ones close together in age is challenging at the best of times. When they are older I am sure they will be great friends!

valiumredhead Thu 01-Aug-13 17:33:43

I'm 12 years on from severe pnd and looking back I had such ridiculous expectations of myself as a mother.

Swimming sounds funsmile

valiumredhead Fri 02-Aug-13 14:30:07

Hi, just checking insmile

CarrotsAndApples Sat 03-Aug-13 20:15:13

Hi, thanks Valium, busy at home with kids yesterday, bit shouty and stressed. Need to try to talk to DH - it is on my mind and bothering me that I haven't had the chance to talk to him honestly. Hard to find time as the kids are bad sleepers. Hope it goes ok.
Hope you have a good weekend Valium.

valiumredhead Sat 03-Aug-13 20:27:39

Thankssmile

Tbh, you don't have to bare all with the first conversation, it could be as simple as 'I've been struggling a bit recently but I've seen the doctor and he's suggested I take some meds' and leave it at that for a bit until he asks some more questions. It's hard finding the right fine for a 'big chat' but it doesn't have to be that x

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