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If you've had PND or come close to it...

(8 Posts)
TheBookofRuth Wed 22-May-13 20:28:11

....What support from other people did you want or need?

I'm keeping this vague because I don't want to out myself, but I'm becoming rather concerned that a loved one is really struggling with her new DS and is at risk of PND. The problem is she keeps rejecting all offers of help (not just mine) and seems to be isolating herself - refusing all visits and invites, even from close family. I'm worried about her - we all are - but don't know what to do for the best.

I'm a fairly "confront things head on" person so my inclination is just to go round unannounced and insist on being allowed to help - whether by doing some cleaning/washing, or taking the baby for a while to give her a break, or babysitting so she and her DH get a break, or whatever - but I don't know if that would just make her feel worse, like I'd just decided she couldn't cope and needed me to step in.

I don't think that at all, btw. I just think the early days/weeks/months with a newborn can be bloody hard and we all need a break now and then. I would have cracked up without support
in the first few months with my DD - and she was one of the people who gave it to me.

Should I keep my distance and just continue to offer support even it's rejected? Or should I be more proactive? I genuinely don't know what to do for the best.

Originally posted this in Chat, hoping it'll get a response here.

Hoophopes Wed 22-May-13 20:38:35

Casseroles on doorstep, help with older siblings etc if any is not intrusive but helps. Tough one. Just let her know that you are there is best I can say.

Sunflowergirl2011 Wed 22-May-13 20:39:14

I had PND after DD2 was born. what helped me was people who offered to take the girls so I could sleep, or at least have some head space on my own. For me, that would have been out of the house so I could stay home in peace and quiet. I would not have wanted them to talk about me not coping,or mention PND just quietly helped iykwim. By the way, you sound like a lovely friend, I wish there were more people like you around, I think lots of people are willing to help but don't want to offer. I now make a point of always offering close friends cause I think even without PND the early days are hard.

galwaygirl Wed 22-May-13 20:39:41

Hi, it's really tough to answer this as PND can be very different for different people. I felt like I should answer as I also banned people from visiting. Even now I'm not too sure why - I think it was partly that I was so overwhelmed the idea of even having to talk to people was too much, partly that I didn't want to discuss the birth which was the worst experience of my life and partly because I felt such a failure and didn't want people to see me and see that. Also. Was having complications with a ruptured episiotomy so needed to air that. And actually I spent a lot of the time crying and just couldn't face people.
I don't know how I would have reacted to someone showing up. I know I wanted to hide how bad things were. I would have had trouble letting people do anything as had extreme anxiety so wanted to do everything myself. Actually a couple of things that would have elbows would have been someone to go to the shops and so our laundry to free up some time. No way in hell could I have let someone else mind DD or take her for a walk as I was hallucinating about bad things happening to her.
Above all I would have hated people telling me how to mind her as it would have reinforced my feelings of failing.
So I guess if it was me what might have worked would have been if you went over and shared a (made up possibly) story about how bad you foid the sleep deprivation and the change and helping with practical stuff like shopping, laundry and housework. Make out that it's normal to find things really hard and exhausting.
Sorry probably not much help at all! I know my friends and family were concerned about me but knowing that at the time made me feel even worse!

galwaygirl Wed 22-May-13 20:42:44

Sorry for typos and can see the difference already in responses.
I'm not sure how common the crippling anxiety I had was but if you offer to mind the baby and are refused or she doesn't want you to help with any aspect of care of the baby please don't let her see if you take offense. I couldn't even let DH do anything for DD.

TheBookofRuth Wed 22-May-13 21:21:08

I wouldn't get offended at all, although if I'm honest I am really struggling to understand why she's keeping me at such a distance. I cried in her arms when DD was a few days old, so would hope she knows I'm the last person who would judge her.

I think maybe all I can do is continue to let her know I'm here if/when she needs me.

Alicia26 Thu 23-May-13 06:26:06

Hi Ruth, one of the hardest things about having PND for those who have it and those around them is that people don't 'understand' and never will unless they have experienced a mental illness themselves. My advice to you would be not to try to analyse it or sort it. Only meds and time can do this for your friend. If she knows you are there she will come to you when she is ready and before long, as long as she addresses the PND early, she will be back to normal as if it never happened. It is so hard for loved ones and a 'big ask' to not be able to have answers or to be let in to help but your friend can't help it at the moment. I feel so sorry for her if she has it. It was a horrific time for me but thankfully I addressed (a friend told me i had it as i didnt recognise it myself) it early and got help and I am 100% better now and have been for the past 12 months x

MumWithCamera Fri 24-May-13 00:00:11

don't have a lot to add, but yes, taking care of trivial stuff like shopping and meals can't hurt..

I found people telling me they "remember how bad it is" really annoying as I felt like I was doing something wrong and my baby was different.. but listening and agreeing that what I was going through was tough, meant I felt "heard"

structure is important, as is going out the house. if you can get her out to baby groups or investigate mum-support groups that might help, will be difficult perhaps to get her to go initially but in the long term would help if she's overwhelmed... good luck!

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