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Please help - I think I'm having a breakdown and I'm worried I'm going to hurt myself or someone else(31 Posts)
I've name changed for this because I am deeply ashamed of what is happening. I think I'm having a breakdown and I don't know what to do. I just screamed at my toddler so badly that my husband had to physically force me into another room. I lost all control. She was terrified.
This has been building for weeks, months, where I have become increasingly angry and shout at her more frequently. When I'm shouting it feels good to get the aggression out but also frightening. She is now frightened of me. I'm in a bad way and my head feels like it's about to explode. I don't know what to do. I have a young baby too and we moved house around the time the baby was born and we're regretting the move terribly. I just feel so fucking bleak every morning and I realise where I am. I can't think straight and I just want to run away. But I can't because of the baby (who's still exclusively breastfed). More poor husband is a wonderful, wonderful man who deserves better than me. And my children deserve more than a mother who terrifies them. What can I do to pull myself back together?
It sounds like you and your DH need to make a plan to get you through the next 48 hours, and then you need to make an emergency appt with your GP and explain what you've said here. PND is a possibility, and it is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. New baby + house move is a stressful combination .
If you're seriously feeling like you're losing your grip, go to A&E.
Are you on any mededication/? Do you have a mental health team involved?
How old is your baby? It sounds as though you are suffering from PND - there is help available for that - could you see a doctor?
I'm a big fan of breastfeeding but sometimes I think we do it when it would be better for our mental health not to. Does your baby wake up a lot at night? Lack of sleep is really bad for mental health, I think.
As for your little girl, could you leave the baby with your husband and take her for a walk and have a nice time just with her? She will forgive and forget, but for everyone's sake you need to get professional help now you've realised what a problem you have.
Oh god. I do have a problem, don't I? This is so hard to accept. I've never had mental health problems before, so no medication. I've had some anxiety issues in the past, but nothing major and not for a long time. Is this PND or just stress due to a difficult toddler and the house?
Yes, the baby wakes up during the night, but nothing particularly unusual/ bad.
Hand holding here.
First things first, you need to make a Drs appointment and see if you have PND.
Secondly, toddlers are sodding hard work, they push every button, that combined with a breastfed baby and moving is going to be tough on anyone.
Hugs to you.
Every area has a 24 hour Crisis Team. These are staffed by trained mental health professionals.
Would your DH be able to do a quick internet search, and then call them. They will be able to assess and advise what you should do.
Please don't be frightened by them, they have saved us many many times when my DC needed help.( ongoing MH and personality disorder ). They will have a chat to you or your DH if you don't feel you can speak, then, depending on how you are feeling they will have a full range of options to suggest. They are very very reassuring, I promise.
This link will take you to the Mind websites info on crisis teams.
I wish you the best, I hope you get some support very soon.
Thank you all for replying. I'm hiding at one end of the house in tears while DH deals with the toddler and the baby. I feel like I've ruined everything - I've crossed a line by losing it so badly and I can never get it back.
Don't panic just yet, I felt very similar to you, arranged councelling through work and turned it around. Turns out having a refluxy non sleeping baby was just the thing to drive me to the brink. I too thought I'd walk out and never return or explode. I didn't do either, recognising triggers and coping mechanisms helped. So did making time for me so I felt I got some of me back.
Sorry, meant to say, although the link says its for existing MH conditions, you can call them for advice.
It's okay. It does sound like you might have PND, but that's okay. I think calling your local crisis team would be a good idea. If that seems too scary you can call mental health matters. They are lovely and have supported me through lots of crises in the past. They will ask for your name, by no other details. www.mentalhealthmatters.com/
I had PND and just the slightest thing would make me think the world was coming to an end. I remember buttering some bread and dropping the knife on the floor and thinking, "Oh well, this is it. What else can happen to me today?" A fortnight on ADs and I felt absolutely great. When you think what your body goes through with pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding, it's no wonder so many women suffer from PND.
PND is a mental health issue, but it's not something that goes on forever, so don't worry that you've now got a condition that won't go away.
As for now, what about having a nice hot bath and then do something that your toddler loves, even if it's just colouring in? She might want to have a bath with you, just the two of you together.
You haven't ruined anything. Toddlers have the memory of a goldfish. DH can say Mummy isn't feeling well, make her a card. Job done. The fact you're tearing yourself to bits shows you're a good mum. Now quit it!
Years of dealing with dodgy mental health (mine and family members) has made me horribly pragmatic. You feel crap. Be nice to yourself right now. There will be an emergency Mental Health team in your area. I live in Wales and there's one attached to our A&E full of lovely ladies. They can talk to you, make referrals and get things moving. By referrals I mean to the right part of the Community Mental Health Team, any support groups etc etc. Mental Health issues don't always mean pills but there is no shame if they do. If you had an injured ankle you'd take the weight off your foot and use crutches. Somehow, as a society, we get all funny about admitting the issue is mental!
On Tuesday you can contact MIND, who can point you in assorted directions, and Anxiety UK, who at the very least provide experienced people to listen. You aren't a bad person, you just need help. Nothing wrong with that.
When I had PND it first manifested as anger and feeling very stressed.
Hand-holding too OP. There are good suggestions for getting help above. Please know that there is light at the end of the tunnel and with the right care I went on to make a full recovery. Have an un-Mumsnettt hug, a and lots of sympathy from me.
Just popping back to check in, hand holding always on offer.
Hope things are a little calmer now, and remember, as pp's have said- you are not a bad mummy, you are a great mummy who is not feeling too well right now.
You will get better from this, your little ones will not remember and with the help of your lovely DH you will have the life you all deserve.
Another very unmumsnetty hug here too.....not the done thing but I reckon you need one.
Sorry to hear you are going through a difficult time. Im in a bit of a relapse at the moment but I just wanted to say please dont be scared to reach out for help, years ago when i first went to my g.p. i was so scared but both the community and perinatal mental health teams have been a wealth of support. Your gp can hopefully refer you to perinatal team as you have a young baby.
The hardest thing sometimes is to recognise you are not coping and need help - you've done this, thats a big first step to getting better.
Previous posters are right, your dd will understand you are not well...from my experience all she will care about is mummy getting better, she'll forget about the shouting quickly.
Thank you all so so much for the responses. You're all so lovely. I got it together to do dinner and bedtime. My toddler has been unrelentingly sweet since I was a monster to her. Go figure.
Now I think about it, PND could be right. I guess I didn't connect my feelings of anger and beaten-down-ness with that - I thought I was just very tired and fed up about our house move. Also the baby is nearly 6 months old now and I've only been feeling 'on the brink' for the last three weeks or so, so maybe it's not PND and I'm just stressed and rubbish at coping with two children. I'm not a natural mother and I struggle with many aspects of parenting. I'll try to get to the GP next week and to hold it together until then.
Be kind to yourself , i'm not even sure there is any such thing as a "natural mother".
We all just bumble along the best we can, sometimes we get it wrong, but mostly we get it right.
Your life is stressful right now, two little ones to look after and a house move to adjust to. Its no surprise you find it a bit hard sometimes. For what it's worth, you sound like a wonderful mother, your little ones are lucky to have you.
Get well soon OP, like I said before, I am quite sure you will all be fine.
Oh OP, please don't worry. So many of us have been there. It's definitely not uncommon for PND to take a while to manifest itself. As PPs have said, be kind to yourself. You haven't ruined a thing. I like the goldfish memory!
Someday, when your DD is struggling with problems of her own, you'll be able to tell her about your hard times and how you managed to overcome them - which you will - because she was so important to you. God knows I could've done with that from my mother a few times over the years. It's a thought that comforts me when I think about the first few months with my daughter, before the medication kicked in. I'm not proud of how I was, but I am proud of how I dealt with it, and you will be too. Get in touch with medical help, tell them the truth, and trust in the fact that a bunch of strangers on the Internet with no vested interests can see what a good mum you are. Take care.
There is no right timeline for diagnosis with depression, postnatal or otherwise! DS1 was over a year old when I was diagnosed with PND and pregnant with DD1! I was given medication but the Conmunity Psych Nurse visits and the understanding from my family now that we knew what was going on were far more use!
You have a new baby (who you are breastfeeding as well), a toddler and you've just moved house. Those are major things for anyone and there is no such thing as a "natural mother". Be kind to yourself now, listen for that negative voice but don't try and get to the GP. I know motivation is hard to find but you need to just go! Also contact the people suggested. The support is out there from people who have lived what you're living.
Finally that fact your toddler was being sweet is further proof you are a good mother. You love her and she loves you! She wants her mummy to get better, that is a truly beautiful thing.
Thanks again everyone who's replied. I feel a bit more stable today - and in many ways it's a relief to realise that the gnawing feeling of dread I have when I wake up every morning, and have had for the past 5 months, has a tangible cause. DH did the 4am-7am 'hold the baby so he stays asleep' duty this morning and that's helped me feel a bit more human. Although I weirdly also feel heavy with exhaustion - like after a night out dancing (been a long time since I've had one of those).
I'm still a bit hazy about where best to go for help. I don't fancy my chances of getting an emergency gp appointment next week and anyway wouldn't feel comfortable explaining to the receptionist over the phone why I needed a same day apt. Can/should I call the health visitor? I've only met her once, but she seemed nice. I feel a bit awkward as I'm not sure how to ask for help or what I need, really... I don't want to come across as needy or demanding I suppose.
Firstly, it's ok to lose control sometimes. We have all been at the end of our tether. Your stressed out majorly, I'd be the same in your shoes.
These feelings will pass, don't fear them. See your GP for advise asap, but please don't judge yourself. Being overwhelmed is a far cry from crazy
big hand squeeze from me op I don't have pnd but I have a history of ongoing depression and a three month old so I sympathise. to me it sounds like you may be depressed, because depression can manifest itself as a feeling of being unable to cope, a opposed to feeling sad.
the good news is that depression is very treatable in most cases - I've lived with it for about ten years now through pregnancy and many life changes and I've never encountered anything but support and understanding from health professionals.
re breastfeeding, it's possible to take some antidepressants such as serataline in a low dosage. I'm not breastfeeding, but I was offered a lot of support if I had chosen to do so while taking a low dose of antidepressants, so that's an option to consider. antidepressants have been a lifesaver for me - they're not the right choice for everyone but they are definitely worth a try.
will your baby take expressed milk from a bottle? sleep deprivation is a real bugger when it comes to my mental health so it's great that your dp is supportive with nights.
also, your toddler will be fine this could be a good opportunity to teach her about mental health and personal responsibility in an age appropriate way, i.e. that sometimes people feel sad and cross and that's ok, but that it wasn't nice to shout and you are sorry.
I always like the 'put on your own oxygen mask before helping others' analogy when it comes to looking after our mental health as parents. in order to be the best parents we can be, it's ok to take the time and energy to care for ourselves mentally and physically.
you sound like a great mum x
Hi, I don't have any tremendous advice but I just wanted to pop on with one little suggestion. You mention your Health Visitor - I always remember my HV asking/suggesting that if I ever thought I had PND, speak to her first and she would point me in the direction of the best/most suitable GP in the surgery to speak with. I always thought that was a kind suggestion as it felt to me like she would do some of the groundwork before I got to the GP iyswim? Might be worth an initial chat there if you feel she was helpful?
Continue to be kind to yourself and give yourself a pat on the back for working out that something wasn't right and taking steps to fix it.
BWS - I am a grandmother so don't have PND but I do have depression and so I know the torment of mental illness. I just wanted to reply to something you said about "not wanting to come across as needy or demanding" - I know where you're coming from but I think you have to realise that mental health issues are serious and you are "needy" - why wouldn't you be.........and from the way you write I can't imagine you being demanding in any way though sometimes we have to be assertive. I think one of the problems with MH is that it makes us feel ashamed and guilty and we don't feel like that when we have a physical illness. 1 in 4 people will suffer from a MH issue at some point in their lives and approx. one third of GP consultations are MH related.
SO please try to stop worrying about how you're going to come across - this is a real illness and needs treatment. I don't think it much matters whether you see your HV or the GP. The HV obviously can't diagnose and treat whereas the GP can so that might be your best route, but the HV needs to know so that she can offer some follow on support.
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