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Is shouting at your kids a symptom of PND?

(26 Posts)
Sugarmag Thu 28-Apr-05 10:19:36

I know that sounds a bit like the start of a bad joke, doesn't it? Here's the thing - a few months ago a friend of mine told me she had post-natal depression. She'd been feeling down, she wanted to stay in bed all day, she didn't want to be around her children - or anyone else for that matter and everything just seemed flat - like life had no colour in it. I knew I'd been feeling pretty stressed out, but I thought to myself - well I don't feel as bad as she does so I'm sure I'll snap out of it. Besides, there's a lot going on in my life just now to make me feel this way, right? Except, actually my life is pretty good. Ok, my kids have a really bad run of colds & fevers the last few months, which means they miss nursery, I miss work, they don't sleep well so I dont' sleep well. All good reasons to be stressed. But they're feeling better now and instead of enjoying that I'm just sitting around waiting for them to get sick again. I can't seem to shake that feeling. And I get so angry at them all the time - mostly at my daughter. She's 4, and yes, she's very good at "testing" me. But this morning I shouted at her because she asked for my help to open the toothpaste. it wasn't hard to open, I'm quite sure she could have done it herself, but did I really have to shout at her?

Some days I do feel down or tearful, but only occassionally. Mostly I just feel angry - and my daughter ends up taking the brunt of that. I'm sure that' s not fair to her. Then I do end up feeling down because I know I should be more patient with her. Except even when she's not testing me - when she just wants to play, I can't be bothered. I tell myself it's perfectly normal for a 33 year old not to want to play sleeping beauty for the 1000th time - but maybe it's more than that?

So what I want to know is - can feeling angry all the time be a symptom of depression?

WigWamBam Thu 28-Apr-05 10:29:10

Sounds like stress to me rather than depression.

Toothache Thu 28-Apr-05 10:49:58

Sugarmag - I'm inclined to agree with WWB. I suffered from PND for 18mths (probably more) after ds (3.10yrs) was born. I felt much as your friend has described.... and worse. You're irritability does seem to linked to your stress levels. Don't beat yourself up about it.... can't think of anyone who does not shout at their wee ones occasionally for something trivial.

Perhaps you could look at ways to relieve stress and I'm sure you and your children will reap the benefits. There are homeopathic remedies for stress... and Bachs rescue remedy. Or starting an activity you can actually enjoy doing with your kids.
I'm crap at playing trains and power rangers!! And find ways out of it all the time... DH is much better at all that.

Sugarmag Thu 28-Apr-05 11:08:26

I'm actually a big fan of homeopathy - my first-aid kid is never without a supply of arnica & arsen alb! But I don't think it's really the answer in this case. And I do yoga once a week which I love but the benefits never seem to last until the next morning.

It's what to do in the heat of the moment that's the problem - how do I diffuse the anger before I start shouting rather than after. I'm good at shouting, then taking a deep breath and apologising. But surely that's the wrong way round? I shouldn't have to apolgise to my 4 year old all the time. If she deserves to be shouted at then fair enough, there's no apology needed. But if she doesn't then it's no good saying sorry after the fact. What's that going to teach her?

Sugarmag Thu 28-Apr-05 11:09:34

I don't know, maybe I'm on the wrong thread here....?

KBear Thu 28-Apr-05 11:39:51

I sometimes shout at mine over silly things and instantly regret it. Things like "put your shoes on" and half an hour later DD hasn't and I've got a train to catch and two children to drop off first and pressure at work etc etc. I often say to DD "sorry I'm grumpy, I'm not grumpy with you I'm a bit stressed today. It would really help me if you..." - she responds well usually but she is 6. DS is 3 and also responds well to the mummy at end of tether situations!

Remember you're not alone, we all need a good rant from time to time. I'm thinking of joining a gym or going to aerobics in the evening when the kids are in bed to get rid of the stress of the day. (bit nervous though!).

I think shouting is good in a way, if you shout you are venting your anger and you can always say sorry. Better than it building up to something worse.

I know I'm rambling, sorry, but I know how you feel.

Sugarmag Thu 28-Apr-05 11:52:13

Thanks Kbear, it's good to know I'm not the only one. But what if you always feel "at the end of your tether". I agree shouting is a good way to vent from time to time, but I'd also like to teach my kids other ways of dealing with their emotions. I don't have much chance of teaching them something I can't seem to do myself. I'm just tired of feeling angry all the time. Do you know?

Toothache Thu 28-Apr-05 11:52:26

Sugarmag - The short fuse is stemming from someplace and homeopathy can help to keep you calmer. It helped me cope with stressful situations much better! I have to disagree with you and say that it may be just exactly what you need. Could it be hormonal? Have you noticed that you are worse at a certain point in your cycle?
You have to find out WHY you are getting so angry so quickly.

I think it all sounds perfectly normal though, but if its a change in how you normally are then there must be a trigger. Having children who are ill and need to be at home is a real stress point for DH and I! Wondering who is going to stay off when and whose job will it impact the most. My 2 have just had Chicken Pox one after the other which was a total nightmare!

I don't know if there is really anything else that can be said. If there is a magic remedy for making someone bite their tongue then I'm first in the queue!!

Sugarmag Thu 28-Apr-05 12:04:24

Hmm, I'll maybe do a bit of research into the homeopathy thing again - I've certainly got plenty of resources at my disposal. It's the sort of thing I do regularly for others but rarely for myself - silly, isn't it? (By the way, I know a great source for homeopathic remedies if anyone is interested - they can source you pretty much any remedy you want and have it to you in a day or two).

Anyway, it's good to know it's not some big shameful secret to shout at your kids for no reason! I still feel I need to reduce the frequency of it but at least I feel a bit more normal now!

KBear Thu 28-Apr-05 12:12:57

Also I think it's a cliche but you know you have a problem with shouting so you can address it and you can therefore solve it or make it better.

There are mums I know that shout constantly at their kids and talk to them horribly all the time who truly have no idea the impact this has on them. There is one mum at the school who I would dearly love to pull aside and say "can you hear yourself? - you wonder why she is rude to you when you speak to her like that". But of course I wouldn't.

I find myself moody as hell at PMT time and my DH often says "heads down kids, mummy's shouty". Which makes light of it and snaps me out of my warpath (or makes me want to kill him ).

Sugarmag Thu 28-Apr-05 12:21:48

Yes, I know mums like that too - and I would dearly like to think that there is some difference between us and that at the end of the day my kids will benefit from whatever small insight i have into my behaviour!

I know one mum who's a bit like that - I've never spent time with her and her kids where she hasn't shouted at them. Plus she's fairly conservative and VERY competitive. So in my more wicked moments I imagine that when our DDs are in their teens hers will be the one who leaves the house looking like an angel then as soon as she's out of sight she hikes up her skirt, slaps on the makeup & earings, takes out the fags she's been hiding in her pencil case and hangs out behind the school with all the "wrong" kind of people. Wherease mine will of course be head girl and captain of the netball team (or hockey or girl's football or something). We can all fantasize.

Thanks, I'm smiling again now.

handlemecarefully Thu 28-Apr-05 23:19:20

It was for me.

handlemecarefully Thu 28-Apr-05 23:20:37

I shout a good deal less now that I am medicated.

handlemecarefully Thu 28-Apr-05 23:22:33

I think if you genuinely feel angry all the time then yes it could be an indicator of PND.

handlemecarefully Thu 28-Apr-05 23:23:35

And if you post staccato style with one sentence per post over three separate posts this is another indicator

Sugarmag Fri 29-Apr-05 13:31:00

I don't feel angry ALL the time - it does come and go. But I can be fine and then it comes on so suddenly! My daughter just seems to trigger it but I can't blame it all on her. I can wake up in a pretty good mood. Then something will happen and it will seem to ruin my whole day. I'll get mad or upset and then for the rest of the day I feel like I'm walking around with this weight in my chest.

motherofboys Fri 29-Apr-05 14:19:02

Sugarmag - you could have been writing about me! I know that I too shout too often and it leads me to being an inconsistent parent because my reaction changes according to my mood I know none of this is good for my kids (or DP) - I drink camomile tea, do yoga twice a week, and trying to teach myself deep breathing/meditation techniques
trouble is my DS1 - now 9 - is displaying Mum's temper so I am feel i am running out of time!!

Sugarmag Fri 29-Apr-05 14:58:00

oops - too late. DD is 4 now and she's the one who has my temper (and stubbornness). DS is way more laid back. Something to do with not being a first child I think.

Sugarmag Sat 30-Apr-05 07:40:51

Hey motherofboys - sorry when I read your post yesterday I thought you said DS was 9mths, not 9! So maybe 4 isn't too late after all.

You hit it right on the head - I know what kind of parent (and what kind of person) I want to be but all too often my mood dictates my parenting style - and not usually in a good way. It leads to my being inconsistent and this is definitely confusing for DD.

Take this example. A few months back I tried to make an effort not to argue with her about things that weren't really important. She wants the television on for 5 more mintues - fine - not worth an argument. That sort of thing. So one of the things I decided not to argue about was where she sits in the car. I always have in the back seat of my car a car seat for DS, an older car seat for DD (the kind that just uses a seat belt) and a booster seat for any of DD's friends. Thing is, she likes to sit in the booster (she claims in her 4 year old logic that her seat is boring). Well if it's safe enough for her friends what reason do I have for saying no? So fine, if it's not raining or anything (takes longer to do the seatbelt on the booster) she can sit where she likes.

Now, yesterday afternoon we get in the car - "mummy can I sit in the booster?". I could have said yes. I could even have said no. But what did I say because I was in a bad mood - "Do whatever you like, you will anyway". Which isn't strictly true and isn't really fair I just felt like saying it - how awful is that!!??

I'm definitely on the wrong thread - not depressed just a very bad mother.

KBear Sat 30-Apr-05 07:53:17

Hello again Sugarmag, I see myself in your post! Sometimes the stroppy child comes out in us all and we dig our heels in just like they do. I still maintain that stress and pressure are the root causes with a heady mix of PMT thrown in for good measure.

I'm glad you started this thread cos it's made me think about how I behave sometimes and I am trying to tell myself off before it gets out of hand.

Last night was prime example. Stressful day at work as ever, couldn't calm down and let it go when I got home to wonderful family. DD was an angel but I was being moody and generally wanted to be left alone. So I made myself a coffee, got changed, washed my face and then sat on the settee with her and talked about her day, made a big fuss about her 10/10 for spellings, talked about the weekend coming up etc etc. By the end of it I'd snapped out of it, she went happily off to bed and I enjoyed my evening.

Rambling wildy but hope you get me!

motherofboys Sun 01-May-05 17:40:43

I guess knowing is at least better than ignorance??

Sugarmag Mon 02-May-05 10:25:23

Let's hope so!

Sugarmag Mon 02-May-05 22:33:23

Well, just wanted to say DS, DD and I had a great day today. Spent the whole day at a nearby park - lunch, swings, sand, pony rides. Got home at 5 o'clock with two exhausted but happy children....and a happy mummy too. DD and I had a few "moments" but I seemed to be able to head them off today without letting them escalate. It's not really hard to do when I try - I suppose the trick is to try and remember that when I'm having a bad day.

I think the other thing I need to remember when I'm having a bad day is that it's just that - a bad day and that it will pass. thanks everyone for listening and sharing - sometimes it helps just to get it out. And probably a lot cheaper than therapy!

motherofboys Tue 03-May-05 14:37:42

Great to here about the good times too! I am having a bad day today and hope I manage to avoid taking out on the kids later???

Sugarmag Tue 03-May-05 15:35:35

Well, aside from getting absolutely soaked before we're having an ok day here so I'll try to send some positive vibes your way!

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