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Feeling all mixed up!(3 Posts)
Sorry, a bit of a long post coming up:
So, I'm 32 weeks pregnant, due in April. I have a history of postnatal depression, plus winter depression which has recurred since my DD (now five years old) was born, and currently battle with insomnia. I'm not on any medication for any of these, but i'm not averse to it in the future.
So in December, my mum had a breakdown, and is relying on me relatively heavily for emotional support over the phone as I am 500 miles away so can't go to see her due to work and my daughter's school pick ups and drop-offs etc. Mum is currently on sertraline, and is also receiving CBT, but it doesn't seem to be making any difference. She phoned me today to say she felt suicidal and she just couldn't cope any more. I really don't know what to do to help her, and her whole demeanour plus the things she talks about are acting as a massive trigger for me. I hate seeing her like this, it makes me feel sad, makes me feel guilty for not being there, and it also makes me realise what I look like when I'm in that state, and I never want to go back there again. Of course the fear of all this is making me not sleep, which normally starts the cycle of anxiety for me. I've been bingeing on sugar to try and numb the anxious feelings, have been running away from doing anything remotely CBT or meditation related as it just reminds me of how it's not working for my mum. I've been trying to mask my feelings from my partner, so as not to make him feel like my mum is making me feel right now. I know he would be supportive, but I just don't want to cause him the same horrible feelings I get when I look at my mum.
I know I'm not helping myself, but I'm just a lost as to what to do and in what order. So, should I be phoning the doctor on my mum's behalf to tell him she's not getting any better and that she needs to up her dose of antidepressants, or should I be looking after myself first, admitting to my feelings and tackling my sugar addiction? My baby is due in under eight weeks, and I feel unprepared emotionally for what I know is to come. I feel I should be managing everything better in terms of looking after my mental health, and I know I'm not, there's just so much going on right now and I don't know where to start.
Thanks for reading if you got this far XXX
Speaking from experience put yourself and your (and babys) health first. If you go under then you can't support anyone else, and right now you need to be getting in the best place mentally yourself for when baby arrives.
Definately share with DP. DH and I both have mental health problems and have learnt the hard way that trying to protect each other by keeping them to our selves generally backfires spectacularly!
Your DM is obviously having a really hard time at the moment, but she is an adult and she needs to be the one going back to her GP and discussing how she is feeling, including the suicidal feelings. Make sure she has the samaritans number, and knows that she can go to A&E or contact crisis team, if she feels she needs to. I also think you need to set some boundries with her. Explain kindly that you are struggling yourself and can't offer her the support you would like to at the moment. Maybe set days and times when you will or wont be available. I know when my DM was going through a hard time a few years ago I wouldn't always answer the phone, if I didn't feel up to it.
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