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Struggling with possible PND

(20 Posts)
Nuttycoops Sun 12-May-13 21:50:37

Hey all, very new to this so not sure what I'm doing really but needed to talk to someone as I feel I have no one that I can be honest with.

About 3-4 weeks before my 2nd son arrived (6 weeks ago) I started having real panics about coping with 2 children. I already have a 16month old. Since then though things have been getting a lot worse; seriously up and down moods, verbally unkind to my hubby, very short temper then full of the joys of spring again, lethargy, can't be bothered to do anything (even play with my boys sometimes) blah blah blah. Now I've been putting it down to being massively over tired-I don't sleep very well at the best of times but now I lay awake listening to my new addition waiting for him to wake or if hubby does the night feeds I pretend to sleep but listen to check he's doing it right! However, although I didn't want to admit it, I think now maybe that I have a problem!

The health visitor gave me the 6 week depression questionnaire thingy and I actually answered it honestly...big mistake!!!!! She told me I had PND and now wants to visit weekly for 'chats'. In my head this can only mean one thing...she doesn't trust me with my boys and if a health visitor knows how I feel, then my doc will too so I can kiss goodbye to any future jobs where I have to admit to having mental health issues.

I'm terrified my boys will be taken away from me and now my hubby has been researching PND and thinks he's an expert!!!

Please help me...I'm scared!

Decoy Sun 12-May-13 22:44:40

You haven't made a mistake, and your health visitor and GP are there to help you. They've seen it all before as so many women do suffer from PND through no fault of their own. I know it's easier said than done but do try not to worry, and be kind to yourself.

PurpleThing Sun 12-May-13 22:53:25

If you read some of the adoption threads on here you will see you have to be really, really terrible to your children before anyone would take them away. But it is a very common concern in your situation, so much so that I think it is actually a symptom of pnd.

It's not that the HV doesn't trust you. She is coming round to offer you support, someone to off-load onto. And to keep an eye on YOU in case you take a massive turn for the worse and start to feel desperate.

With those job health questionnaire, I just don't answer unless it is relevant to the job eg have a bad back.

There are loads of people on MN who have had pnd, don't worry, it's not a sign of weakness and it is possible to get over it.

Choccyjules Sun 12-May-13 22:57:33

PND is an illness, not a weakness. The HV is doing the right thing by supporting you. If people were worried about the children they would have to discuss it with you in the first instance (unless in 'immediate danger' type situations), please don't worry.
When I had PND I didn't want to take medication in case DH ever brought it up in court (we were facing separation at the time) and my GP said she would state that in her opinion during my whole illness I had never been an unfit mother. I just needed some medicine and counselling because I was unwell.
Sending hugs your way.

Choccyjules Sun 12-May-13 22:58:16

Crosspost, Purple!

Triumphoveradversity Sun 12-May-13 23:03:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Nuttycoops Mon 13-May-13 12:37:44

Hey lovelies, thank you all so much for your comments. Just reading them has made it all make a little more sense. I think I know in my heart of hearts that my boys are safe and not going anywhere but I seem to be so much worse since talking to the HV last week. Is that normal? It's like she's made me realise that a lot of the things I've felt and done recently are all linked to the PND, which means its been going on for longer than I realised.

I think the biggest thing that's getting me down now (apart from not being able to stop eating!) is the lack of interest I have in absolutely everything. I just don't want to do anything. Even getting out of bed was an effort this morning and then I feel guilty for not interacting enough with my boys and wishing the day away until bedtime!

It's just not right is it?! I've always been a really independent and strong person (been a teacher for 12years) helping anybody with anything now I feel I'm letting people down because I'm not there for them as much now.

Sorry to moan peops just don't know who else to turn to x

Decoy Mon 13-May-13 13:43:06

Lack of interest in things you used to enjoy, and feelings of guilt/letting people down are classic symptoms of depression. Once the PND is treated, your enjoyment in things will return. So don't blame yourself, you have nothing to feel guilty about and you're not letting anyone down. It's the PND talking when you feel like that, and it won't last for ever. Has the HV suggested you visit the GP at this stage? Medication and a counselling referral are very useful for many sufferers. But perhaps your HV feels it hasn't come to that stage for you?

Nuttycoops Mon 13-May-13 15:47:20

Hi Decoy, I'm seeing the HV again on Thursday. She didn't say too much about a doctors appointment but then I don't think I would have been particularly receptive at that point if she had. I think the only option she could see I'd accept was her coming back for a chat then we could go from there. So I guess I wait for that.

Quick question though...is it possible that a labour not going quite as planned could have been a trigger for all of this? I know I had. Couple of moments before No2 arrived but wonder now if his rapid arrival may have may things worse? See, I'd planned a h

Nuttycoops Mon 13-May-13 15:47:32

H

Nuttycoops Mon 13-May-13 15:51:19

Home birth and right up to the last minute as I was about to climb into the birthing pool we'd set up all was going well. Rang the hospital to get someone out to us and they refused saying they were too busy. So with contractions every 2 mins we made our way in leaving my Mum who was desperate to be with us at home with my eldest. She then decided to call my sister who trundled over with her 4 wk old to babysit so my mum could be with us....typically me I was beside myself for letting hubby down and giving In to go the the hospital, for causing worry to my Mum and for Dragging my poor sister into the equation. Hence didn't relax during the latter stages at all. No2 can so quickly he has then had cranial problems and blah blah blah.

Think it's all linked at all?

kerstina Mon 13-May-13 17:19:48

I think if you have mentioned it here then yes it could be linked definitely as having a home birth was obviously important to you and things did not pan out as you planned. However if pnd is hormonal then you could have got it anyway if you see what I mean. I think counselling is probably a good idea so you could explore your thoughts about the birth or you could bring it up with the hv as I think it is very common to feel as you do. Your hv sounds great with the support she is giving you.

Nuttycoops Mon 13-May-13 17:56:52

Thanks Kerstina. It really has helped chatting on here. My HV scared the life out of me initially but think I will go along with the 'chatty' thing. Anything's worth a shot right?
Thanks again all.

working9while5 Thu 16-May-13 10:16:50

The thing about PND is that in some ways it's sort of normal, especially in those early weeks. An absolutely HUGE number of women feel this way on and off at this point and your panic about having a second one is totally normal. This is one reason why the questionnaires ask you to rate your feelings based on the last two weeks and to give a sort of average.

I had PND which was assessed as being borderline-severe. This basically meant I was basically struggling with everything/flat/anxious/feeling out of it but just not suicidal. It was tough.

One of the practical things I would say to you is to recognise that certain patterns of thinking make this worse. Particularly following and paying too much attention to thoughts of "it's not right", "I shouldn't be feeling like this", "I should be able to snap out of it", "I've always been [insert positive description of self-image here] and feeling this way means that I must have been wrong/I will never feel that way again/I am a terrible mother/I am making my children suffer" etc etc.

These thoughts will come and go and that's okay, but it can be hard if you start to believe them. It's best to recognise that it is what it is. You're feeling rubbish right now but that doesn't mean anything about you or who you are or have been or will be. You're just feeling a bit rubbish.

The other thing you can do that really helps is just to get up and act "as if" you didn't feel so rubbish. It sounds so simple when you write it but I know it isn't really. Be kind to yourself and don't put pressure on while doing this, make the same allowances you would as though you had a heavy virus but had to go into work... don't do anything taxing but do the basics. Get dressed. Do what needs to be done.

I always found getting out helped. It can be incredibly difficult. When I was at your stage I would go so far as to say it was hell... but it feels so much better when you feel that the feelings are not taking over your life and then you don't get caught up so much in what you should/could/ought to be doing.

Something that really helped me was a course I bought online called "Mindful Motherhood" (www.mindfulmotherhood.org, I think?). It had lots of meditations you could do with the baby which I did while he was sleeping. It's a bit of a blur but it did help!

This will pass. Just don't buy into those negative thoughts that will be coming because you have PND. Just realise it's part of it and pay no attention to them, sort of like they were annoying bees buzzing around you. Don't bat them away because it will only make them come back at you and maybe sting you but don't make them the focus of your day either.

Decoy Thu 16-May-13 15:12:58

How did you get on with seeing the HV today?

Nuttycoops Thu 16-May-13 21:25:48

First of all thanks for remembering me Decoy and wow Working9while5 that all makes total sense! And pretty much the HV said similar things today actually, try focussing on the positives instead of the negatives all the time and try not to over analyse everything (which I do massively). Thing is I really didn't see the point of her visit...she hasn't cured me, not given me anything to make me stop feeling like poo or given me a magic wand to make me want to get out of bed in the morning so what's the point? I feel like I'm just totally wasting her time yet she's coming round again Monday and will continue to do so for several weeks yet. She said I might be worth getting something from the docs to help me sleep but then I instantly panicked that I wouldn't be able to hear my boys if I'm out for the count (not that I do anything apart from wake my hubby in floods because I'm stressing that I'll do something wrong if I tend to them)

So since the HV came last Thursday I've had major ups and downs. I was an absolute wreck Thursday-Monday, not doing a single thing pretty much but then had two relatively good days where my husband was working away so I had no choice but to get on with it! Now today again I've been awful! So is it as simple as I'm being a lazy moo, need to suck it up and get on with it? I just don't understand how I can change literally over night. It's like I'm two different people and I have no control Over either of them.

working9while5 Thu 16-May-13 21:40:58

No, the important thing is to be compassionate to yourself. Getting up and getting on with it can be helpful but it's not because you're a lazy moo/idiot etc etc, it's because it distracts you and it prevents you from spending time following thoughts that increase your distress. It is not an easy thing to do, it is actually pretty tough. It helps if you schedule pleasant things and are kind to yourself e.g. if you were really ill with a virus or broken leg or whatever in this situation, you wouldn't rush around trying to do everything and you would feel crap about it and also probably try to avoid anything that was going to cause further pain.

I wouldn't expect to change overnight either. One step at a time. Antidepressants really help and I would really consider them. If you are breastfeeding, you can take sertraline. It won't cause you to sleep more heavily. A lot of people find that it makes them feel more alert and you are advised to take it in the morning so that it doesn't stop you sleeping at night! Is your partner supportive and understanding of how you are feeling, have you been able to discuss it at all?

It is common and a bit of a symptom to feel that you are wasting everyone's time. Guilt, shame, feeling a burden.. these are really common experiences associated with PND. The Health Visitor can't do much but listen I guess but actually that can be a great support, too.

Can you access any talking therapy? I took my baby with me to all sessions! I started when he was 6 weeks old and I have three sessions left, he will be a year old next month. I never thought we'd manage it but we did!

Nuttycoops Thu 16-May-13 21:59:14

That's awesome news that you're coming to the end of your sessions...yay you :@) and from what you say, it sounds very much like you could now run your own sessions for others! It's clearly helped you hasn't it?!?

My hubby's been absolutely amazing, picking up the pieces and looking after our boys brilliantly. He's not taken the bait when I've deliberately tried to pick fights, comforted me when I've needed it and also given me space when he can tell its the right thing to do. We've talked about everything now-we hadn't until fairly recently because I felt ashamed admitting to him how I was feeling but it feels good to have it all out in the open. To be honest, he knew something was wrong long before I did!

The HV did say today about planning in some 'me' time which is not something I've had for a very long time. I tend to always have one or both boys with me (tell a lie, I went to the dentist today :-). So guess we'll try that. It just feels wrong as we've planned to have children sorry should be our full time responsibility surely-but that's the PND talking right?

Lastly Peops, do you think I should tell my Mum and sister? They e both got some pretty heavy stuff going on at the moment so the thought of burdening them with my troubles too isn't a pleasant one but then having it all out in the open sounds good. Having said that, I'd hate for them to change the way they are with me if I did tell them...checking up on me, feeling sorry for me, worrying etc etc etc.

Any advice?

Decoy Thu 16-May-13 22:08:29

Yes, please do tell your mum and sister. You need their support and you won't be "burdening" them. Just tell them you wanted them to know.

Agree with working9while5 that antidepressants can help lift your feelings without making you sleep more heavily. They're not the same as sleeping pills or tranquillisers. They may give you a better quality of sleep though. And yes, be kind to yourself!

I hope you can manage to fit in some "me" time... what might you like to do?

Nuttycoops Thu 16-May-13 22:21:07

At the moment? Run away and hide :-). Or even just disappear for a nice long bath with a glass of wine would be nice. To be honest I'm not really sure, it's been so long Ive forgotten what I used to do.

As for the antidepressants, I've always been so sceptical about them. Are they not along term option? Are they easily addictive? And don't you have to be seriously down to warrant those? Clearly I'm incredibly naive on this subject.

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