Postnatal depression - my story(2 Posts)
Saw that it was Maternal Mental Health Day yesterday (Wed), so thought I'd post what I kept thinking about posting about getting through PND. I know I needed to read positive stories on here when I was suffering.
I think I probably had PND mildy with my first child (8 yrs ago) but I just soldiered on. I remember being with friends who had similar age babies and they just seemed so delighted with the whole experience and I felt like a freak/bad mum for not feeling the same. I threw myself into volunteering for the NCT which kept me busy and my mind occupied a bit.
However, it was worse with my DD 3 years ago. I think I probably had antenatal depression too. I was really anxious about her & everyone in my family. I recall thinking that maybe it would be best if we (the 4 of us) died in a car crash together , before she was born,as then I'd know we were safe/the anxiety would end. I did talk to the Dr about this and she did refer me to an antenatal mental health service, but at 31 weeks it sounded unlikely that I'd be seen (NHS) before the baby arrived. It was a really shit illness filled pregnancy which didn't really help.
I waited a full 6 months post birth before summoning up the courage to go to the Dr's with the PND. I felt overwhelmed, miserable and lonely despite getting out and seeing people. Everything felt like such an effort. I felt that DD liked/loved my DH more me.
I fantasied a lot about getting in the car and driving away without them. Not sure where I was going to go, but I felt they'd be better off with my out of their lives.
I struggled to even talk to DH about it. I had to write it down. I felt a mixture of guilt, shame and embarrassment at not feeling full of joy that we had a lovely healthy baby. Other worries - work, friendship - seemed amplified too.
I spent a lot of time crying, mainly on my own.
In the end I forced myself to go to the Dr's as DH was begging me and also someone I know took their own life (not maternal related) and they were very ashamed about having mental health problems - which at the time I felt very sad about, as it is an illness like any other. Weirdly, I felt I owed it them to not allow shame to stop me seeking help.
The Dr put me on anti-d's (20mg of Fluoxetine) and luckily I responded well. At 5 weeks the tablets appeared to kick in and I started to feel I could cope. I wouldn't say I was shouting from the roof tops but I could cope and that was enough.
I stayed on them for about a year at which point I felt I was well enough to wean off them. I was lucky I didn't seem to have any real side affects, although my memories of the time whilst one them aren't as clear as they might have been. However, that is a small price to pay for feeling better.
Fast forward to now and I am feeling back to the normal most of the time.
However, I still find it difficult to talk about my experience in person, I feel like I was 'robbed' of the early months with my DD.
So, I just wanted to encourage you, if you are reading this and you think you migtht be suffering please go to the Doctor; I wish I had much sooner than I did.
for anyone who is struggling.
Thank you so much for your story-I'm reading it @ 3am in the morning whilst feeding my baby.
I'm so exhausted & yesterday @ my HV app't I admitted I'm depressed. It's my third child but there's been an 8 year gap & I'm struggling. I don't live near my family this time & my nearly 5 month old doesn't yet sleep through.
So much of what u wrote correlated with my life; I too wrote down my feelings as I was feeling so overwhelmed & eventually gave it to my DH to read-just so hard to articulate such emotion. I also had a friend who took her own life 3 years after her PND & it scares me as I don't want to drown in it all & suffer the same fate.
I was up wiv my DS @ 1am tonight then spent the next couple of hours unable to switch off & ended up in floods of tears knowing that I was gona have 2 wake up again soon & my whole life & feeling so lonely (DH working away back tomorrow) just got me in a right state-crying but stifling the tears so my kids or the neighbors don't hear me...
I know it will get better, nothing lasts forever but it's bloody hard going through it. So again thanks for sharing-good to know I'm not alone even when it's 3am, the house is quiet & everyone else seems to be asleep...
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