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Help with post natal depression

(12 Posts)
LittleMammaTo2 Wed 10-Jun-09 21:06:50

Hi, has any one out there got any advice on how to cope with this, ways I can help myself etc.

I have 2 children, oldest was 2 in Feb youngest is 4 months old today. This pregnancy was unplanned so that was a bit stressful in itself as I felt I wasn't ready to be pregnant again and had only been back at work from maternity leave for 4 months, husband wasn't working due to ill health so money was tight and pregnancy was stressful. Had low lying placenta so had to wait until 37 weeks to discover whether had to have c-section (thankfully didn't). 2 weeks before baby was born I was made redundant (husband still not working at that point so was very worried about money etc etc).

At 8 week check doc said she thought I was suffering mild PND, since then I am aware that I have got worse. I cry all the time at the slightest thing - the other day because someone got to the mother and baby space at the supermarket before me.

I feel like I've lost part of my sense of identity in losing my job - I'd been there for 7 years. Feel like I have no life outside of the family and I find looking after 2 children extremely stressful. In turn this makes me feel useless as I have friends with 2 children or more who appear to be coping fine.

I find it difficult to talk to people about this so haven't told mum etc as I feel like that would add to my feelings of being burdened (she is the kind who would make a huge deal out of it and hassle me about speaking to doc and getting treatment etc).

When I spoke to the doc she said very rarely do they prescribe anything - she suggested I talk to friends and family and get as much support as possible. I feel I can't do that because I don;t want people to judge me and think that I'm rubbish. 2 friends I might speak to are both going through pretty big personal problems of their own so don't need me crying on their shoulders.

Am aware that I'm now rambling so what I wanted from this thread was to know if anyone had any self help techniques or coping mechanisms that i could try. I get to breaking point at least once a day and feel like I just can't go on.

Thanks for listening if you got this far

CeeCee67 Wed 10-Jun-09 21:56:45

I had PND with my baby. What you've been through, with losing your job, is enough on its own to make anyone feel depressed. Adding to that the worry surrounding the birth, your husband's ill health and money concerns, it's perfectly normal to feel as you do.

For me, what helped was:

Giving myself permission not to feel 100% elated (as a new mum I felt I was supposed to be jumping for joy and running marathons, rather than feeling suicidal and that I'd ruined our lives).

There was a specialist ante/postnatal counselling service the hospital ran - yours might do the same and you could tap into that. Your doctor/obstetrician/midwife/health visitor should know about this.

I refused drugs and going into hospital - however, as a short term measure, antidepressants do help some people.

Be kind to yourself - accept as much help as possible, be it having someone help with cleaning, shopping or whatever. Get out every day if you can - the daylight does help - and rest. Eat as well as you can.

No-one will judge you or think you're rubbish. Your hormones are also still in turmoil after having a baby - don't underestimate the power of them.

You are clearly doing a great job as a mum - and you will get better. I would recommend specialist help as although my GP was supportive, he wasn't experienced in this area.

I hope you start feeling better soon.

xxxxxxx

CeeCee67 Wed 10-Jun-09 21:56:52

I had PND with my baby. What you've been through, with losing your job, is enough on its own to make anyone feel depressed. Adding to that the worry surrounding the birth, your husband's ill health and money concerns, it's perfectly normal to feel as you do.

For me, what helped was:

Giving myself permission not to feel 100% elated (as a new mum I felt I was supposed to be jumping for joy and running marathons, rather than feeling suicidal and that I'd ruined our lives).

There was a specialist ante/postnatal counselling service the hospital ran - yours might do the same and you could tap into that. Your doctor/obstetrician/midwife/health visitor should know about this.

I refused drugs and going into hospital - however, as a short term measure, antidepressants do help some people.

Be kind to yourself - accept as much help as possible, be it having someone help with cleaning, shopping or whatever. Get out every day if you can - the daylight does help - and rest. Eat as well as you can.

No-one will judge you or think you're rubbish. Your hormones are also still in turmoil after having a baby - don't underestimate the power of them.

You are clearly doing a great job as a mum - and you will get better. I would recommend specialist help as although my GP was supportive, he wasn't experienced in this area.

I hope you start feeling better soon.

xxxxxxx

LittleMammaTo2 Thu 11-Jun-09 10:47:04

Thanks for the reply. I think I'm with you in that I don't want to go down the drugs route (am breasfeeding anyway so not sure this would be compatible at all).

If you don't mind me asking - how long did your PND last. At times, especially when the youngest is crying I just can't see an end to this or a way out. i understand that it's different for anyone but am just interested.

I have spoken to my husband about it and he does try but I don't think he really understands and says things like - oh great - you seem a lot more positive today - which makes me feel like he thinks it's all going away. As well as working full time he also goes to night school once, sometimes twice a week and it's always over the children's bedtime. These days are the worst for me because I spend the entire day dreading bed time. Our 2 year old has been a chronic sleeper from 5 months old, she only started sleeping through in Jan this year and in the past month or so seems to have reverted back to getting up during the night and screaming at bedtime. This makes me feel instantly sick, I spend the entire evening listening out for the slightest noise which might indicate that she's getting up and just can't relax at all.

I find it hard to juggle bathing the eldest whilst feeding the youngest in order to put him to bed. Inevitably, as last night, he goes down ok then as soon as I have finished bathing my eldest he wakes up and starts screaming. Last night I was playing relay between them both for over an hour. One would settle and the other would start etc etc, at times like that I am beside myself and can't help crying. I only have from 8pm till 10pm free of them and when bedtimes become a nightmare this time gets shorter and shorter. Sometimes I end up having only half an hour a day to myself with both children in bed. I try my best to never cry in front of my 2 year old because she's not stupid and I know it would upset her. Sometimes it's just impossible.

I get cross as well and worry in case I ever get to the point where I would take it out on the baby - this is something I am scared to death to voice to a doctor in case they think the children are at risk - do you think this is common?

i will try and summon the courage and confidence to go back to the doctors and see if there are any groups locally that I could join - how I'd ever find the time to attend i don't know!

This is how I feel on a daily basis:
terrible parent
uselsss
worthless
unable to cope
angry
upset
guilty
trapped
burdened
demanded

and loads more besides

mieowcat Thu 11-Jun-09 22:45:27

hello,
I just read your post and just wanted to say
'hang in there'. i know that is kind of an unhelpful statement but i sort of recognise some of the emotions you are feeling. I have a 17mo dd and a 6 wk old baby boy and am struggling with my mood. my baby has reflux so is vomiting 20+ a day and is bf so is always hungry so im feeding constantly. my hubbie works away a lot so i often have a whole week alone, it is a nightmare at bedtime isnt it?! i dont have the same worries about redundancy as you and that must be so stressful.
i am feeling trapped, and keep wishing i could run away for a few days to a hotel and sleep! i also understand the feeling of upset and guilt, i keep thinking i am not balancing my time well with the kids as i am always bf ds.
i wonder if these little ideas may help?
plan few hours out one evening a week just for you time, and get dh to babysit, maybe go to the gym, or swimming or join a local night school class?
keep telling yourself these feelings will pass, as each difficult 'stage' with the kids will improve , eg the sleeping.
im going to my gp on monday and would consider antidepressants, they do help to just 'lift' you enough to cope with these current issues/stages. i am a qualified psychiatric nurse, so am taking my own and my colleagues advice!!i hope this ramble helped just a little?
lots of love and keep strong.
xxxx

Clairef29 Thu 11-Jun-09 23:16:15

Poor poor you, my heart goes out to you, I suffered from PND and didn't have all the extra worries of redundancy and having 2 children to look after as I only have 1. You must be incredibly strong to be keeping going as you are and the only reassurance I can give you is that you will get better in time. Mine took around 6 months to improve but it was approx 12 months before I felt 100% again. I was on antidepressants (citalopram) and did find they helped but I wasn't bf. The other thing I found helped was that my GP referred me to a cognitive behaviour therapist/counsillor who gave me different ideas to try that really helped. One of my major probs I found was that I'd get to the end of the day and feel like a complete failure because I hadn't completed all the jobs I wanted to do that day, mainly because I was so exhausted from lack of sleep but also because I felt I had this big black cloud over my head that totally zapped all my energy. So what I had to do was make a list of things I would like to achieve in a week and then each day choose 1 or 2 things off the list to complete. The list had to have all sorts on it including nice things like meet a friend for lunch (which at the time felt so hard to organise!)and had to be kept in a visible place. Each time I completed something on the list I put a big tick next to it and this helped me get back a sense of achievement and also made me feel less useless. Its also surprising when you see it all written down quite how much you expect of yourself and by breaking it down to 1 or 2 tasks a day it seems less daunting. Really hope this helps a little; the only other thing I can say is keep talking cos you are not alone. Anyone who has suffered knows how hard it is and will be more than willing to help. One last thing, I looked into my local Surestart group who were fab and also were able to put me in touch with a "sleep counsillor" who worked wonders at helping us sort out dds sleep pattern (without using controlled crying which I had tried once and never again!!!) Within 2 weeks she was sleeping through and that really did help me start to feel human again! Good luck, big hugs x

LittleMammaTo2 Fri 12-Jun-09 09:15:12

mieowcat - I totally know what you mean about wanting to run away and be by yourself for a few days - I've felt like that too. I've walked out of the supermarket a couple of times now because I felt I just couldn't cope when he starts to cry, my poor husband has been left with 2 kids and a trolley to deal with and a loopy wife wandering around the car park!

clairef29 - will try the list thing - i do lists anyway but am probably guilty of putting too many tasks per day.

BTW at the risk of sounding stupid what do the DD's and DH's stand for - I understand who they're referring to but no idea how to use them hence always writing "husband" and "youngest" etc etc - thanks

Am feeling a bit brighter today - broke down in front of mum yesterday - she did her usual of not talking about it at all but did take youngest for me for 5 hours which was great - she brought him back at bedtime after giving him a bath etc - it did help me to feel better.

Am so grateful for all your replies/responses, thanks again

Clairef29 Sun 14-Jun-09 21:19:25

Hi again, hope you've found all the posts useful, as far as the list thing goes yes you prob are guilty of trying to do to much! Thats why its important you only choose 1 or 2 things per day!
Re the abbreviations; DD is darling daughter, DS darling son, MIL mother in law, DH darling husband and so on....there is a page somewhere on mumsnet (MN) that explains them all cos it can be confusing till you get used to it! Think it might be under the "useful stuff" tab at top of page. Take care and be strong x

MildredRoper Mon 15-Jun-09 16:29:47

Hi, I can completely identify with what you've written and I just want to say that I feel for you and that things will get better.

I think your GP sounds as if they are being rubbish. I don't think 'go away and talk to your friends' is good enough.

I hope you can find the strength to go back and ask about counselling if you don't want to do AD's. I was offered Ad's, although I didn't take them in the end. I was also given counselling which I found very, very helpful. I know a lot of it depends on what is available in your area, but I really, really don't think the GP is offering you the support they should.

Take care.

LittleMammaTo2 Wed 24-Jun-09 11:23:53

Just been to see GP. Am being referred for counselling. Still telling me to tell friends and family and ask for help and support but I just don't know if I can.

Mum knows now and is looking after DS for a day a week whilst DD is at nursery. Not actually sure what I'll do with myself as I haven't had a day to myself for over 2 years now!!

I'm not sure what I think about counselling to be honest but I'll give it a go

peskykitty72 Wed 24-Jun-09 13:20:41

Hi,

Just wanted to recommend a fantastic website that helped me greatly whilst I was going through PND.

PNI.org.uk. Just google 'veritee pni' and you will find it.

The forum is run by and dedicated to women suffering with the many different forms of post natal illness that occur and I found it to be very friendly, open and honest with lots of support on offer.

Good luck xxxxx

LittleMammaTo2 Tue 28-Jul-09 10:58:29

Just an update really - went for my intial assessment with the counsellor on Friday. He was very nice etc and it was good to offload on someone in the knowledge that they wouldn't go home and worry about it (as family and friends would). However, he said there is at least a 6 month waiting list for counselling and most probably even longer for parental counselling as the lady who provides it is on long term sick. He persuaded me that i would be ok by then so not to bother with the waiting list and instead referred me to a ocuple of local groups who do day sessions in other types of therapy (art therapy etc).

Now I don't know what to think. After speaking to him I really think that having someone to talk to would help me as I felt a lot lighter and brighter after his session. As he rightly says, i may well be fine in 6 months time and not need the counselling but at least it would be something to cling on to in the mean time.

Generally, i have been feeling better over the past few weeks. have started going swimming and trying to make time for myself. Also trying to stay positive and stop myself from sinking into the negative spiral of bad thoughts. Had a bit of a backward step since the weekend though and am thinking that maybe it's because I know I've kinda reached the end of the line in terms of outside help.

Don't really know what I'm trying to say to be honest, just needed to have a rant

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