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How to help my sister with PND?

(4 Posts)
Worriedaboutmysister Wed 06-Aug-08 17:25:28

I posted this in chat first but someone suggested I try here too.I hope someone can help me with this. My sister had a baby 2 weeks ago and had a difficult birth. She was having nightmares and flashbacks and some halluicinations involving her DS, so she saw her GP who diagnosed post traumatic stress syndrome and referred her to a (private) counsellor. That was about 5 days after the birth.

Since then she has been acting very oddly, picking fights with everyone including throwing her mother in law bodily out of the house over something incredibly trivial, saying she hates our parents and they will never see her DS again and various other things. We are all walking on eggshells with her. She has always been a bit of a difficult character but nothing like this, it is totally out of character. She says the counsellor blames our parents for her state of mind and that they are obviously toxic. She isn't bonding at all with her DS although he is fully cared for physically - she never cuddles him or holds him unless he needs a nappy change, bottle etc.

I am worried that she has PND and that is getting quite serious. What can I do? She won't even talk to me about it and I have only got this information about the counsellor etc whilst she has been ranting about how horrible everyone is. If I ask her a direct question she will go off on another rant. I am worried that if I contact her GP or HV she will find out it was me and never speak to me again. I also think she is putting on a front of coping in front of other people and worry that she is able to hide her state of mind from the health professionals she does see.

Can anyone offer any advice? I am absolutely frantic with worry.

DettaJnr Thu 07-Aug-08 23:11:44

She may not realise it now but she is lucky to have you noticing what she is doing.

PLEASE talk to your sister's Health Visiter and voice your concerns.

You can't live her life but you CAN help her. She may not recognise it as help at the moment. It is very early days.

I remember reacting like this when I had my first child and feeling SO out of control and everyone who came to help me annoyed me... Now (7yrs on and 3 children later)life moves on and you start to believe in yourself when you have a supportive family.

Dalrymps Thu 07-Aug-08 23:33:04

Yes, you need to do something, it might be that post natal psychosis thing if she's getting hallucinations also. She'll thank you in the end i'm sure, doesn't sound like she knows quite whats happening at the moment. Well done for looking out for her.

Kaz1967 Sat 09-Aug-08 10:50:06

Post traumatic stress it is not uncommon after a traumatic birth, she is lucky it was diagnosed so quickly many women live for years with it not knowing what it is and it can lead to depression. I have 4 friends who had/have it from things that happened during delivery. She needs to talk to her (or you or her partner) Health visitor or Midwife. She is possibly putting on a front with professionals I know I did when I had depression (still do to some extent I was a nurse no way I can be sick that is for other people) he may be scared they will take LO away from her if she really talks about it it is a very common fear but does not happen. Although in most circumstances the counsellor will not break a professional confidence if they feel she is a risk to herself the baby or anyone else they will refer her on to other services.

There is a fantastic self help organisation called Birth Trauma Association it's well worth suggesting she contact them it does help to know you are neither alone or going mad. and the Birth Crisis @SheilaKitzinger.com site has some great info esp this page which you may find helpful

This page is a good way of explaining things to family

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