Finding it really hard to cope with DCs at the moment. Can't seem to pull myself out of feeling low even though everything is pretty perfect in my life - on paper IYSWIM. Not sure whether I'm depressed, have PND or need to "pull myself together". Have had long chats with DH about how I feel and we both are considering anti-depressants route tho that scares the shit out of me. Feel like that would have to be the last resort, and I guess I would feel like I've failed by taking pills.
My advice would be to speak to a GP or HV about how you're feeling. PND can develop some time after your DC's arrival so it is possible.
Feeling low is one symptom - there are many symptoms: anxiety, whirring irrational thoughts, inability to sleep/eat, lack of enjoyment in life ...you don't need to present all symptoms to have PND.
The notion of wanting to 'pull yourself togerther' is also a classic - as if you're frustrated with your own inability to enjoy life. PND is an illness and not something, unfortunately, you can just shake off by willing yourself out of it.
It also is a spectrum of severity -it could be you have a mild case. I had severe PND after my DS arrived and had ADs and CBT. A lot of mums feel terrified/disappointed in themselves for 'resorting' to pills. This has a lot to do with the stigma of mental illness and most people overlook the fact that if you had any 'physical' illness you wouldn't hesitate to take medication and trust it would help you to mend.
It's not for everyone so chat with your GP and consider ways you can improve your mood - getting physical support (being a mum is exhausting by nature), taking exercise, eating healthily, relaxing and making time to do things you enjoy. Therapy is something you might consider - it helped me immeasurably and gave me the chance to talk about things to an impartial stranger who would listen without judgement.
Hope you feel better soon, look after yourself :-)
I think you are both right, but, knowing my GP, have the feeling that he might brush my feelings off as being an exhausted mum. Not entirely sure whether he would prescribe ADs or suggest therapy. What would I do then? Can I insist on either?
You speak to another GP. IME some are great with mental health issues, some aren't. Don't allow yourself to be fobbed off. BTW worrying about not being taken seriously is perfectly normal for someone with depression.
I agree with mollschamber - GPs vary greatly in their knowledge of PND so if you're not happy with the way your appointment goes - see someone else. I saw a couple until I found a female dr who had personal experience of PND and knew exactly what to do...it was such a relief.
As an aside I've set up a PND support grp in my local community which is really well attended (and v relaxed and friendly) and we're lobbying for GPs to be much better informed and PND to be covered in ante natal classes. There's lots to be done...
As for ADs/therapy - it's not really an either/or. Most will advise both work to complement each other. THere is no 'one size fits all' prescription of ADs - sometimes you have to try a couple before you find one that suits. I took sertraline (lustral) as it was compatible with breastfeeding, but many take citalopram or equivalents and other than initial nausea there are minimal side effects.
Hi, natsyloo. The GP told me that I am depressed but felt that talk therapy would be a better option for me so has referred me for counselling and recommended I follow an internet CBT course called MoodGYM. I'm glad in many ways that I haven't got to take ADs. I just hope the counselling comes through soon! I had to fill out a questionnaire and seeing how I feel in black and white was quite shocking.
Hi, glad your appt went ok. Did you discuss ADs with your GP? Of course it's entirely up to you whether you take them or not but it's good to rule them out entirely esp if you have to wait for counselling..of course it's your decision however.
Although it's scary to see how low/anxious you feel - it's great that you've sought treatment. There are some good books you can read out there - from CBT guides and 'textbooks' to anecdotal experiences. I read Brooke Shields' book, 'Down came the rain' and it really helped to 'normalise' my experience.
You can also practice mindfulness which is a form of meditation to help calm your mind and help you to live in the moment rather than always being scared about what 'could' happen.
Exercise is also really good for your mood, even a short walk can help.
PM me if you want to keep in touch or just need a chat x
We didn't really discuss ADs apart from my GP saying that they're not addictive. He wants to see me in a month and got the feeling that if the counselling/moodgym hadn't improved matters then he might prescribe them. Feeling quite positive today as had a call from the counsellor (very impressed with how quickly they contacted me, maybe I am a mentalist!). We set up a time for a phone assessment next week so at least I know hope is on the horizon. I just really hope I get on with my counsellor, having heard a few negative experiences on MN and in RL. Thanx so much natsyloo I will PM you (once I find out what that is!). You sound very knowledgable about all this depression malarky. Like the sound of mindfulness too, will google that later on. Thanx mollchambers for encouragement! I can't actually believe I'm going to have a "therapist". I feel like I'm in a Woody Allen film, but without the humour unfortunately. Will check in after phone assessment x