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Post Natal Depression - long road back

(22 Posts)
whitepeony Wed 29-Jun-11 21:15:40

Starting this thread to record my journey through PND.
My baby is 8m old, been hiding PND for months, mainly because I was embarrassed and worried what people would think.
This was very stupid.
Last week I had a nervous breakdown
I'm under care of mental health team, home was filled with social workers, doctors and a psychiatrist who have set up a care plan which involves wonderful nurses visiting every day, another psychiatrist came today, trying to manage my care at home. They're hoping to avoid me being admitted to a mum and baby unit, but if I'm honest, my mood is so low and black I'm beginning to despair that I'll ever feel 'normal' again.
Cant be alone, cant drive, frightened to go out.
Very difficult to relate to my baby properly but desperately putting him as my top priority in terms of care and play. Also scared I will lose my wonderful but bewildered partner. Who would want to be with someone who has turned into a depressed, suicidal shadow?
Hopefully the anti-depressants will start working soon....I pray they do.
I dont even recognise myself.

EveryonesJealousOfGingers Wed 29-Jun-11 21:18:05

Hello whitepeony I am so sorry you are going through this. You are in the best place now, at home with lots of support. I went on to 20mg of citalopram when DD was 8mo and it took a week to kick in, then I just woke up one day and thought - I feel like me again.

EveryonesJealousOfGingers Wed 29-Jun-11 21:18:29

Has anyone suggested any support for your DP?

whitepeony Wed 29-Jun-11 21:35:22

I was on Citilopram for the first day or two but was upped to Escitilopram and now going up to a stronger dose as its just not working.
I keep hoping that I'll wake up and feel like 'me' again but so far it's been a familiar feeling of creeping dread 5 mins after I wake. I feel so dark that every moment is a fight not to do something stupid.
My partner has had to go away on essential business so my sister is with me, a condition of my home care is not being alone.
No one has offered him any specific support, apart from taking the time to take him to one side each time I am visited to update him and guide him how to best support me.

EveryonesJealousOfGingers Wed 29-Jun-11 21:42:32

How long should it take for them to kick in? You can't have been on them for very long? You will feel better, you really will. Keep fighting it.

Glad you have your sister to support you, does she live nearby too?

whitepeony Wed 29-Jun-11 21:50:52

Thank you x
I saw my GP last thursday who immediately put me on citilopram, then the major breakdown happened on saturday morning. Mental health team descended and upped me to escitilopram and created care plan.
Saw psychiatrist at home this morning who wants me to go up to a higher dose of escitilopram as they are a bit concerned at the lack of progress, so yes, only 7 days on the tablets so far. Early days
One thing I can say, I will never moan about the NHS again because the care I have received is amazing, just wish I could respond better and quicker. My sister does live quite close by but has had to move in for 3 days whilst OH is away to care for me.

EveryonesJealousOfGingers Wed 29-Jun-11 21:57:51

Don't put pressure on yourself to respond to treatment. And that is what the NHS is there for. Give it time and take one day, hour, minute at a time. It's great that your sister is with you, and will give your DP a bit of a break too. Do they get on well? Hopefully they can support each other to support you, IYSWIM.

I was lucky in that a close friend had had PND and she was quite forceful with me about not letting myself get to the point she did. So I was nothing like as bad as you when I went to the GPs. But I know a little bit of what you are talking about. I felt hollow, I couldn't even smile at DD some days let alone take her out, I thought my relationship with DH was going down the pan, thought we weren't getting on any more. Felt completely empty and numb.

Take any and all support that is offered, be it the NHS, family or friends. It's very early days and you will feel more functional soon I am sure. Stick with it, don't give up on yourself, try to at least remember what normal felt like and focus on the fact that this is a blip, not who you are.

EveryonesJealousOfGingers Wed 29-Jun-11 22:09:45

Listen I have to clear up the kitchen from dinner <slovenly> but will be back tomorrow. Hang in there. Let your sis look after you and try to get some sleep. If I was there I'd give you a big hug x

whitepeony Thu 30-Jun-11 00:13:19


Thanks so much for your lovely words of advice and support. Just cleaned the kitchen myself....only took all day lol.......but have managed to prepare good food for baby's lunch tomorrow. Im trying to focus on making sure he still gets excellent care with the support of a great childminder who has been taking him pretty much every day so far.
I dread the mornings, haven't been sleeping well despite the fact that DS does. But the first two hours are murder. Struggle to shower, dress and most of all eat. Appetite just gone.
Progress is slow, but only had two bad urges to harm myself today. Thats an improvement at least. The doctors says it could take up to 3 weeks for my mood to improve with the drugs.
I just have to keep faith that I will improve but it is so hard, my once bright, active mind has turned to a foggy, confused mess.

EveryonesJealousOfGingers Thu 30-Jun-11 11:30:45

That's great well done on achieving all that yesterday! You are doing a great job of making sure you son is ok - you love him and that's what's really important.

I found sleep was the key. Are they able to offer you any sleeping tablets just to help you through while the ADs are kicking in? It might be worth asking because it really helped me.

I know just what you mean re your mind, I just didn't have head space for anything other than the daily stuff for ages - and in fact am only just getting to that stage now, 8 months on. But I could cope with that once I was feeling more human.

Keep fighting the urge to hurt yourself - if you can, tell your sister or DP how you are feeling so they can help you ride it out. You will feel better.

Em3978 Thu 30-Jun-11 11:46:32

Hi, I don't often answer these threads, but I read yours and it was like reading my own story. When my DS was 8 months I also had a total breakdown, even though i'd been on antiDs all his life, they just weren't working and it all went wrong. Mental health crisis team etc were great and I had a home-care plan like yours. I wasn't allowed to be alone, but had great friends a family to help me.

Anyway, I took it day by day, there were good ones, there were some really bad ones, but my DS is now 3.5 and I've been off the drugs since november last year.

I can't offer any ground-breaking advice, but just let you know that it does, eventually, get better. take one day at a time. find something, anything to focus on. Learn your depression triggers (mine is excessive tiredness - great with a baby!) and learn how to avoid them. I sent my son to nursery one day a week and it honestly saved my sanity to have that day alone.

I really hope its gets easier for you soon and you find a drug that works (I tried 4 before I found the right one!) to help you feel better soon.


EveryonesJealousOfGingers Thu 30-Jun-11 12:17:29

Great post Em

EveryonesJealousOfGingers Fri 01-Jul-11 14:56:02

How are you today whitepeony?

whitepeony Sun 03-Jul-11 20:47:40

Hi all

Don't panic! I am still here.....just. Sorry to vanish for a few days but have been very up and down to put it mildly.
Thank you Em and Gingers xx It is reassuring to know I'm not alone.
The escitilopram has started to take effect, I woke up yesterday and didn't feel the full force of the black cloud hitting within ten minutes. It's been nice to see daylight again and to actually feel a bit more connected with life, my partner and my son.
Still got the crisis team coming out every day. Tomorrow will be my first day in over a week on my own with baby. Don't feel too daunted but have phone numbers at hand if I get overwhelmed.
A bit of warm sunshine has helped too. Popped my naked son in the paddling pool for a bit and laughed for the first time in ages when he promptly did a big poo!

Thank you lovelies xxxxx

EveryonesJealousOfGingers Sun 03-Jul-11 21:48:44

Excellent news I am so glad to hear it, sounds like a lovely day today and that will set you up nicely for tomorrow. I will be at work but will pop on at lunchtime to see how you're doing. smile

lottieloulou Mon 04-Jul-11 09:41:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EveryonesJealousOfGingers Mon 04-Jul-11 12:54:56

Hi peony how are you getting on today? Hope you've managed to get outside with DS, it's beautiful here.

Went to a BBQ yesterday with my NCT group, it was lovely as the friends who hosted have a lovely house a huge garden and a veritable menagerie! It was fab watching the DCs meet the tortoises and attempt to feed the chickens. They were all physically inside the hen house at one point!

Enjoy the rest of your day if you can - and even if you don't feel great, make yourself go out, just to the park, push DS on the swing, have a coffee - whatever, you will feel much better if you've done something with the day however small. x

whitepeony Mon 04-Jul-11 22:26:41

Hey there x
Good day today. Even tho DS woke at 4am for a feed, I managed to get decentish sleep. DP gone by 7am so got DS up myself, fed him with banana porridge, got him and myself dressed! Trust me that's a miracle!
Even better, we drove to the supermarket and got a few bits plus some new toys, felt so proud not to have any panic attacks being around people again. DS loves all the colours and people cooing at him too.
Spent rest of day playing and developing his taste buds, discovered he loves avocado and smoked fish mashed together, felt good cos this is a healthy meal.
Got him out in the garden for more playing, remembered to slather him in sun cream. Nurse came out at 3pm and was really happy with our progress. The crisis team have changed my category from red to orange; which is great news!
Getting there slowly, thank god for anti depressants!


EveryonesJealousOfGingers Mon 04-Jul-11 23:06:24

Excellent! Well done that is brilliant, I am glad you are feeling better and you've done more than I manage on some of my at home days! You should be very proud of yourself smile

whitepeony Thu 07-Jul-11 20:55:37

Bad day today....hope the drugs aren't failing?
Had appt with GP, she was lovely, very supportive, has signed me off work for 2 months and anticipates I will need to be off till at least Oct.
Got an email about a family issue that really hit me. Then had another email about another contentious issue that just finished me off.
Clearly I'm not up to coping with anything remotely stressful, it knocks me really hard, but it also scares me how weak and vulnerable I am still. I know its early days but I just spent whole afternoon sleeping to shut out the stresses and woke up feeling very low again.

EveryonesJealousOfGingers Thu 07-Jul-11 23:09:55

Look, this doesn't mean you are on a downward spiral. You are vulnerable at the moment so of course horrid news knocks you back.

IMO drugs do a great job but they do not stand on their own. I have been on ADs for 8 mths now and am just sorting out a referral for CBT. I think I need coping strategies - how to move on from my difficult birth/first months, and release the feelings of jealousy (of other people who had a more normal time of it) and sadness, and how to deal with stress that comes from everyday life.

I wish I had sorted this out sooner - I know I am inclined to take things to heart and go over and over negative things in my mind, and I need to change my thought patterns. Worth you considering I would think.

Sleeping is totally natural I think that's all I want to do when I feel low. As you say, it shuts everything out. Go with it but try to take positive action at the same time. Speak to your GP about counselling/CBT. Look into childcare for whilst you are at appointments (I am drafting in 3 friends to take turns looking after DD for me). Do something small with DS every day even if it's just going into the garden or a walk to the swings/coffee shop.

Talk to people. I have had a rubbish few days but chatting to two friends on facebook the other night really really helped and I feel so much better now. Don't be afraid to admit you feel shit.

Thinking of you and will be back on tomorrow xxx

EveryonesJealousOfWeasleys Sat 09-Jul-11 14:37:25

Hello, how are you today? 11 days since you first posted so I am hoping you will have settled on the ADs now. Hope there's some sunshine where you are smile

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