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Live webchat with postnatal depression counsellor, Liz Wise, Tuesday 17th April, 1pm

(154 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Sat 14-Apr-12 12:59:44

Liz Wise is joining us on Tuesday 17 April between 1 and 2pm. She was introduced to us as a possible webchat guest by a mumsnetter who described how she'd 'changed her life'. Liz is a specialist postnatal depression counsellor who has been supporting mothers with PND for the past fifteen years, Having had severe PND after both her children, she has a great deal of personal and professional experience. Liz is also the PND co-ordinator for the National Childbirth Trust and sits on the committee for The Association for Postnatal Illness. She has also produced the popular DVD, Understanding Postnatal Depression.

Postnatal depression affects approximately 20% of mothers in the UK and can be a very isolating and frightening condition. Around 10% of fathers experience paternal depression. Symptoms include, low mood, anxiety, exhaustion, inability to look forward to or enjoy anything and sometimes irrational thoughts. It is temporary condition which can be helped by the right support and/or treatment. Join the discussion on Tuesday at 1pm or send questions in advance to Liz here. For more information about postnatal depression see www.postnataldepression.com.

HJMP Sat 14-Apr-12 14:03:46

How do you think GPs/health professionals can be encouraged to take PND seriously but also appropriately?
When I was pg with dd3 I was concerned about PND after having had it twice before. GP was supportive but MW and consultant dismissed it as unlikely.
Only service offered in my area is a support group which has been unsuitable for me to attend due to a work client being in the group.

do you ever wonder if the term 'pnd' in it's medicalised glory serves to silence the social reality women face upon having children? re: it detracts attention from what it is about having a baby in our society that causes depression in many and instead plants the idea that it is just somethign 'wrong' with each of those individual women and not a pattern at all?

blue2 Sat 14-Apr-12 16:15:39

Hi Liz
I attended one of your day courses a few years ago while I was a Homestart Volunteer - it was incredibly informative, and filled in a few gaps for me as I'd had bad PND after my son was born, but only knew of "my" story.

I see that there are almost no support groups for this illness; what would I need to do to start one up? I am not a healthcare professional - but does that matter?

I'd be interested to hear your response.

Many Thanks

Great question swallowed!

Hi Liz,

I suffered from severe postnatal depression after the birth of my daughter. My husband realised pretty quickly and encouraged me to seek help but I was convinced that it was just sleep deprivation. How do you differentiate between a woman 'just' being sleep deprived and it being PND?

heather1 Sat 14-Apr-12 18:42:27

Dear Liz,
I am interested on your thoughts about a link between PND and PMT.
I had doctor diagnosed PND after the birth of both my children. Subsequently my PMT significantly worsened (also doctor diagnosed). I saw a nutritionist with a track record of helping women with PMT. Though supplements, diet and exercise no more PMT then and now 5 years from the birth of my youungest (my PMT was just like the PMD but only around the time of my period.)
The nutritionist thought there is a dietary and consequently hormonal link. I think its a shame more diet and exercise help arent given to women disgnosed with PMD.
Do you agree this could be the situation for some cases? I havent tested it out by having another child!

That's interesting Heather and links to my question.

I had PND with my DD (now 3.5) and again with my son (now 1). With my dd 150mg of sertraline worked; with DS I caught it early (6 weeks) and tried both sertraline (200mg) and mirtazapine (30mg) at different stages and altho they helped some symptoms, I was left feeling like I had pmt all the time; black moods, snapping, feeling rage. I went on the mini-pill 5 months ago and there was an overnight transformation. I am now on the mini pill and 150mg sertraline and am much better. My question is, will I have to remain on the mini pill indefinitely and is there an underlying cause of this hormonal imbalance?

Sunflowergirl2011 Sat 14-Apr-12 19:25:58

Hi Liz, I too have been through one of your support groups and it was great, thank you. Blue2 - I have set up a support group through our local nct branch, might be an route for you? ( very informal, I'm not a professional either).

agnus castus for pmt - it has done fantastically in clinical trials and is prescribed in some european countries. sorry - always want to mention it when someone says they have pmt as it really can work wonders.

HJMP Sat 14-Apr-12 20:34:49

Y to the pill. I'm on the pill for PMT and although my PND is still there I've been better since on it.

i was on the pill for pmt till we realised i can't take the combined pill due to aura migraine history and the progesterone only pill made it worse. the pill definitely helped in that at least i knew when i was going to go stark raving mad and could choose when to have the pill break and incur it. sorry for the tangent.

TruthSweet Sat 14-Apr-12 22:54:08

I am interested in the lesser known PNI - PND-OCD & PN -Anxiety. Why are they always bundled up with PND (lists of PND symptoms always seem to list 'anxiety, obsessions, intrusive thoughts, repetitive behaviours, etc...' as part of PND)? This seems to mean that mothers with non-depression based mental health problems get overlooked and not dealt with properly.

I have a friend (genuinely - it's not me though I have had PND-OCD!) that has had depression in the past (so know what it feels like) but now feels she is having OCD behaviours - her GP just keeps telling her it's PND and trying to treat her 'depression' which of course isn't working.

Non-mothers with OCD/anxiety don't get treatment for depression they get OCD specific treatment so why do mothers with PND-OCD/PNA get treated for depression?

realhousewifeofdevoncounty Sat 14-Apr-12 23:53:06

Looking back I more than likely had Pnd after dd. But I kind of agree with swallows, in that for me it kind of felt like a normal response to the massive change in my life. I was recovering from a cs, I had had no sleep for weeks and suddenly there was this thing that was so dependent on me I couldn't even go for a wee anymore, let alone eat or drink, and it wanted to suck on my boobs all the time which really hurt, but I couldn't stop doing it or I would be a bad mother. It sometimes baffles me how people DON'T get Pnd. I think it is made worse by society painting motherhood as this amazing experience - you bond straightaway, it all cones so naturally and it is all lovely. But so many people I speakto don't have that experience and feel like massive failures if they don't. For me, my love for dd has grown daily, bonding wasn't instant and the newborn phase was hard and even dark at times. I still don't know if it was Pnd or just a normal response to what is an incredibly hard and testing time of life for a lot of people, compounded by guilt at feeling that way as it is supposed to be so "magical".

peanutpie Sun 15-Apr-12 00:02:19

I spend a lot of time reading stuff about people talking about stuff like co-sleeping/bfeeding/weaning stuff. I think I genuinely feel on the outside of this. Having a baby is just about basic survival - at times it feel like just me or them. Late pregnancy and the early bits of a new child are utterly horrible. These other 'choices' are utterly beyond me. And it seems to go on for a long time, years even!
So grateful even for you to be publicsing this website.

scottishmummy Sun 15-Apr-12 00:36:30

am working but will catchup later
great choice of guest btw

WorriedBetty Sun 15-Apr-12 02:17:10

I have just had an amazing conversation with friends of mine whose dad has just died. One of these two have a child. The whole family are in love with her.

My sister had PND and is much more negative about her worth since.

In a really amazing conversation about how childhood memories come flooding back when one is linked closely to a child my friends and I wondered a) if PND research accepted/backed up the idea of a boost of childhood memories when a child is born b) if PND affects this boost of childhood memories and goes on to affects the relationship a sufferer would have with their parents and c) does an abusive childhood cause negative childhood memories to surface after childbirth and cause PND?

good q betty. because there are so many factors aren't they? yet the pnd label medicalises it under the carpet in a way. there are lots of very good reasons why a woman may experience distress and develop depression after having a child - especially when you take in that they include onset within a year as 'PN'. the childhood memory floodgates is an aspect i hadn't considered. (i applied for phd funding last year to look into this area but didn't get it sadly)

Memoo Sun 15-Apr-12 10:33:18

I developed severe pnd after the birth of my 3rd baby. I had periods of psychosis and ended up in hospital. 2.7 years later I still suffer very badly at times. I am on 5 different types of medication. I wondered how long can pnd continue? I feel rediculous that I am still struggling after all this time.

PeelingmyselfofftheCeiling Sun 15-Apr-12 12:06:30

A friend of mine suffered severe PND which came on very suddenly. She was diagnosed and put in ads, which she says worked for her, but it occured just before her first period came back and she says the more dramatic improvement was straight afterwards when she felt much less hormonal. Is there a known link between PND and pmt? And, without wanting to imply any criticsm of women who choose not to breast feed, is there any link between breastfeeding 'holding off' PND (my friend was not breastfeeding therefore her periods returned very quickly)? It's risky ground I appreciate.

dontlaugh Sun 15-Apr-12 15:56:44

Is there a link between PND and traumatic birth? Is PND actually a form of PTSD or are they related?
I definitely had PTSD after my first birth, due to terrible staff, and an OP baby. I often wonder if I would have suffered as badly and for so long in silence if the birth had gone smoothly. I didn't even have the baby blues after the second (dream birth at home, also OP but not a problem). It is something which I do think about often, and how the harsh reality of a labour/delivery ward is often shrouded in mystery - stirrups, scissors and shouting are all that spring to mind when I think of our local one, based on my own experience.
What can be done to assist women overcome the gap between their expectations and the reality?

gafhyb Sun 15-Apr-12 19:20:03

dontlaugh - my question exactly.

And also, i am watching with interest the discussions pertaining to swallowedafly's question

gafhyb Sun 15-Apr-12 19:23:24

To me, the whole area is, of course a muddle of psychological, physical and social issues. Forgive me if this sounds clumsy, but it has sometimes struck me that there's "acceptable"/understandable PND - hormonally-related in a woman with no history of mental health problems - treatable with antidepressants, and the altogether more "messy" sort. Are they 2 separate disorders

HateBeingCantDoUpMyJeans Sun 15-Apr-12 19:30:37

Mine I guess is similar to joy and swallowed... Where does'normal ' life after a baby end and PND begin?

Guess I sneak in a second seeing as my first has kind of been covered.....Is there any link regarding pre natal depression /anxiety and post natal illness? Is it a case of one or tge other or is it mix and match? And how do you think diagnosing pnd years after tge birth fits into all of this? Are pre and post natal depression just a way of saying a woman with children is depressed?

gafhyb Sun 15-Apr-12 19:33:45

I wonder if the things that make you prone to anxiety and depression, are likely to be triggered by becoming a parent (I'm speaking personally, here) - issues relating to control, perfectionism, black and white thinking. Added to by sleep deprivation, and by societal expectations.

Sorry, am wittering now.

you're not wittering at all gafhy

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