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Any other relatively 'high functioning' working mothers with depression/ sucidal thoughts out there?

(190 Posts)

I wondered if could find some support with others feeling like me. Rather than a thread thats all MeMeMe, it would be great to hear from and support others and get support myself.

I've got 2 DCs, work in a full on job though 4d a wk, it might as well be full time. I've had PND since DC2 (now 16mths) and it got worse after returning to work. Its lead to sucidal ideation, despite meds this has continued. Right now things are bad and Im constantly thinking of ways out though I know I cant /wont act on it.

Anyone else?

madeuplovesong44 Mon 24-Mar-14 22:46:23

Hey sheissmall. I'm sorry to read how tough life is for you at the moment. Mental ill health is so cruel and such an isolating thing to deal with. Do you have good family support/ friends you trust to share with? You say you take meds but have you been offered any therapy to help deal with your negative thinking?

I have a mememe thread and have received amazing support here from some very kind ladies. I hope you do too.

I too have two young children and work 5 days a week and suppose i am fairly high functioning and i have a catalogue of mental illness diagnosis including bipolar depression.

I find that people struggle to relate to my despair as i appear to be coping. I have thought of suicide every day since my baby was born but no one would believe that. I have found writing it here almost validates in my mind how relentless mental illness can be.

Sorry if i am not saying anything remotely useful buy just wanted to let you know you are not alone. X

mouse26 Tue 25-Mar-14 08:20:46

Hi, I don't really have the suicidal thoughts but do have days where I just want to disappear, I wish I just never existed. I have 2 ds's and work full time. I'm on citalopram at the moment and it helps massively BUT I still have the bad days. I don't like to tell my dp on those days that I'm struggling, he's put up with enough from me, and my work colleagues just see the happier me and think everythings ok.

monicalewinski Tue 25-Mar-14 08:48:38

I'm another who just wanted to let you know you're not alone. Whenever I see people talking about depression, it always seems to be the extreme end of not being able to leave the house/clean/wash etc.

I am what you called high functioning I suppose, I feel those things sometimes but I have to carry on - I have a full time job and 2 boys and my husband goes away quite a bit as do I. I just got to the point in 2012 where everything got too much for me, took citalopram for about 6 months, came off them and then had another massive crash about 4 months later (2 days before husband came home after 4 months away, just gave up 2 days too soon). I have been on citalopram since, have had health problems and major op during at time and still ploughing on.

My thing is that I want to run away (rather than suicidal, although I have felt suicidal at my very worst). I have an overwhelming urge to just drive and drive and disappear sometimes, so I don't have to cope anymore.

Not much help to you I'm afraid, but just wanted to let you know you are not on your own - just because the world sees you as being fine and you don't fit the standard mould of 'depressed'. Me me me all you want! smileflowers

HarrietVaneAgain Tue 25-Mar-14 09:00:54

Hi I am In the same situation as you with two small boys and a demanding part-time job that would take over everything if I let it. I manage both but haven't exactly covered myself with glory in either aspect of my life. This all puts a strain on my relationship with DH so I get little support there. He hates that I can't cope. I had PND after DS2 which was low level and wasn't treated when I went back to work it developed into terrible anxiety to the point at which I spent the day obsessing about things that might harm the children, then the depression set in... CBT had helped a lot as I think would real life support if I had any.

PlumProf Tue 25-Mar-14 09:08:34

Hi, so sorry for your pain. It really really does all get easier and then the mood lifts. Meantime, if you are having proper suicidal thoughts, get back to the GP. I was you once and I shudder to think the impact I would have had on my young family had I taken that final step. I was signed off work for a couple of months and was then able to arrange my life to give up work for a couple of years. That enabled me to enjoy small children instead of running to stay on the same spot. And you know what, my career was fine after that anyway. It is easy to be so exhausted and to see no end to the exhaustion if you are a working mother without proper support....what with work and child care it is easy not to have any time for friends or socialisation.

Can the children go and stay with grandparents for a couple of weeks to give you time to catch breath? Or can you take a week or two off work (leaving child care in place) to reflect and regroup? But my main message is please please please share your thoughts with a medical professional. If you have started thinking of ways to commit suicide then that is a great big red flag and you need to prioritise your own mental wellbeing in order for your whole family to keep the Mum they adore. PM me if you like but I am not a medic - just been there, done that. If you are in London, I am happy to help btw. My DC are now grown and I have retired very early.

avocadosandwich Tue 25-Mar-14 13:45:12

That's me sad Two kids, both bright and confident, married to a successful man, working myself as a freelance writer and yet have been suffering from depression and self-harming since last autumn. I had my meds increased a fortnight ago and have begun counselling, and I do feel the clouds are beginning to lift, but it has been a truly dreadful time for the whole family. I'm pretty good at putting a brave face on things, but it got to the point where people were noticing that I was losing it.

Is there anything in your life that you could scale back while you recover? I have never been a quitter, but made the decision to resign from something that was tipping me over the edge (school governor) and while I feel incredibly guilty, it does help to know that I've put that particular responsibility down.

Please keep talking.

Thanks for all your replies. I am sorry that there are others feeling like this too it's pretty dreadful and so hard to explain.

I did a long post on the train this morning that didn't publish frustratingly.

I don't have any support and more less deal with alone. My H doesn't do depression and so never asked how I am. I suppose I could tell him but I know he doesn't want to hear it really.

I feel very isolated in my thoughts and existence.

Today has been really bad. Started off ok but soon spiralled downward. When I was walking from office to the tube I felt as if going to London bridge and jumping into river would be preferable to going home. It's not that I don't want to be with my children. I don't seem to be able to connect the impact of suicide with the act itself. This bit worries me a bit.

I do have some virtual cbt which is helpful in that I get someone to talk to but it's early days.

I may need to get the meds reviewed. I'm reluctant she to the side effects of increasing the dose or changing meds.

I should also be frank with my husband about things but I'm very afraid of his reaction. He can be quite hard work and I think he might give me a "I don't need this" type reply and be angry for me raising it. However he is getting annoyed with my total aloofness and lack of contact with him. This is all unsaid- I can tell by the vibes

Feeling so sad today

I also don't have any outlet for a break from kids. No family nearby to take them. Even overnight.

duchesse Tue 25-Mar-14 16:20:27

I hear you, sister. I've had depression since I was a child and it's more part of who I am than a massive hindrance. I've done everything I've done so far with the depression sitting on my shoulder making disparaging comments. I guess I'm not doing too badly all things considered.

Do you think, sheis, that you could do with some time off? Your life is pretty relentless with no space in it to recharge batteries, ever. Sounds to me like you could do with a week alone by a pool somewhere warm with a stack of novels and time to think.

Do you have friends you can talk to about this? If your DH is no good with stuff like this, can he be relied on to allow you the space to talk about it with others? Evenings out, or even days out with your friends for example while he looks after the children.

Grockle Tue 25-Mar-14 16:25:22

Yep... me. sad

PlumProf Tue 25-Mar-14 17:56:20

You poor lamb sad. I hear you. You may in fact not be depressed - just overburdened and overwhelmed. I really do understand how you feel. No previous generation of women has had so much demanded of them.

You have to make some sort of change to help yourself. Is being signed off work feasible? When I went to my GP, with no history of MH issues, and confessed that I was thinking of ways of finishing it all, she immediately signed me off for 2 months. It literally saved my life. I coped with the guiklt by reasoning that my work would have had to find a replacement/ do without you if I had jumped in the river so were no worse off, and indeed didn't have the hassle of an inquest etc. I also realised that my DC would NEVER find a replacement for me and never have anyone as devoted to them and that even if I was doing a bad job, it was better than any alternative they had.

Also, don't assume your DH realises how low you have sunk. Perhaps show him this thread and you might find he comes up trumps once he realises that you are not just "having a moan" but are seriously ill.

If you were at London Bridge today then you are very close to me indeed (less than 10 minutes). If you like (no pressure) do pm me and I would be happy to meet (I guess you have zero time but even 5 mins on the station on your way home may help you feel understood) and even see if I can give you some practical support. Please don't suffer in silence by not sharing your feelings in RL. It will help with the feelings of isolation.

Take care xx

Meglet Tue 25-Mar-14 18:04:04

And me. It's a mix of life time depression, being a LP, possible ASD and possible menopause kicking in. I feel like faulty goods hmm.

halfwayupthehill Tue 25-Mar-14 18:09:44

Lovely post plumprof

WhatWouldFreddieDo Tue 25-Mar-14 18:14:22

Yup, me too. Have 3 children, work full-time, although mostly from home.

I've been on a tiny dose of citalopram on and off and on again since dc2, so 10 years.

I function well because DH is hugely supportive and I know would do anything to make me better - so I can't imagine how difficult it must be for you. If your DH isn't in the loop or supportive, no wonder you're overwhelmed. Can you make some time to have a serious talk with him?

NewJobNewLife Tue 25-Mar-14 18:22:58

And me. I have to make dinner for two little people. Right now, but can I come back later?

Hello to all those in the same situation. How sad it is but nice to have some support here.

Prof-your post is so lovely. It's made me feel looked after in a way I've not felt in years. Your logic about getting signed off is no worse than jumping in the river is very true.

HR already know about the issue as I confesses to mentor recently. She wanted to advise them in case of performance issues. I have never been signed off. Would I still get paid ? Not sure what I could do with my time as I have a nanny so have to earn to pay her. Plus I can't knock about the house with her and the little one. It would cause havoc!

Please come back later new job ?

Whatwould I'm glad that you have good support from you husband. That's how it should be.

Not sure why mine is so rubbish at this stuff. When my first child was about 1.5wks old. He had gone back to work. I had a dreadful night and day with baby screaming non stop. I called him and said I was worried I couldn't do it. He went berserk and said he didn't need that right now. It was awful.

Anyway sorry for the tangent.

SilverStars Tue 25-Mar-14 19:24:57

Hi, very similar here. Classed as high functioning too. Work, child, partner and have no family nearby and none that would help even if nearby. More I care for them when see them.

For me, I find work a good distraction from my head. Also am trying to show myself some compassion, be kind to me as it is helping break the negative cycle. I was told by one health practitioner and rightly told that I was looking for someone to rescue me when the answer is in me. Hard at the time but a year later on am realising the truth in that for me anyway. So trying to allow myself a bubble bath, some me time whatever that is as a parent and do things that help me. If that makes sense.

It is horrid. And very hard for people to understand when coping to the outside world. Sorry to hear your re struggling OP.

PlumProf Tue 25-Mar-14 19:30:21

Sheis it depends on your contract. At a lot of larger employers (especially in the City) the first few weeks at least would be on full pay.

You would need to ask the Nanny to take the DC out of the house for a large part of every day to give you a break (I agree about not knocking about together as that would be only stressful). Is that feasible?

Or you would need to go away. Sigh, I am sure that would be tricky if your DH couldn't be back in time each night - working mums don't get a break, do they, but then he would HAVE to cope if you were not around and would HAVE to figure it out so all things are possible.

I am glad you have spoken to a mentor. I hope he/she is equipped to give you good advice.

Lastly, I really don't think an employer would ever sack you for being off work for a few months for stress - they are more likely to be worried about you suing them for being the partial cause - but, even if they did (they won't) in the round, ANYTHING will be better than you continuing to feel this low.

I also remember being worried about money if I gave up work, but somehow things worked out. If you are employing a Nanny then I am guessing that both you and your DH earn reasonably and that you don't have massive debts (sorry, big assumptions) and somehow you would get by if you need to. This might just be a time that you use up some of your savings and can rebuild them in the future.

Take care. I am unusually out all day tomorrow so won't be posting for most of the day but will check on you tomorrow night at the latest.

Have a good evening. Cuddle those lovely children and go easy on yourself :-)

SilverStars Tue 25-Mar-14 19:31:10

Sheiis regarding being signed off work it depends on your work's sickness policy - some pay full pay for set time, then half pay, then SSP only after that. Some companies refer people to OH if off for more than 4 weeks, to see what support needed to return, to see if can return etc etc... Wrht looking into what they offer you at work.

Would getting a fit note from the dr help. That is not signing you off full time but giving you a note for reduced hours for a while? That would give you time for you - go to a gym class, yoga, walk in park and grab a coffee, fit in a counselling session ( if go private can get one within weeks and if NHS can take months but not always depends on area).

Or as you have a nanny would she work a few hours extra one night a week to give you time to you regularly? Would that help?

howdiditgetthisbad Tue 25-Mar-14 19:39:28

Hi, certainly not the only one - I have two DC, one with additional needs caused by me making some very bad decisions around medical care in late pregnancy. I am currently a PhD student and in my final year and I workk four days a week. My DH works FT and thank god is hands on with the older child. Baby and DH are my protective factors according to a MH assessment. Until baby was born I wished I didn't exist several times a day.

I have had depression on and off since a teenager, took a massive overdose at 17, but as my father died a few weeks later my issues were swept under the carpet. I had PTSD after my AN child was born, untreated it led to depression, exacerbated by my second pregnancy. I'm under a great deal of pressure to medicate, I receive art therapy on the NHS.

Lack of sleep and a truly terrible diet (I'm very overweight atm) are making my MH worse without a doubt. We have very little support except a a home start volunteer who is just amazing. I find solace in meditation and being outside, not easy with very young children.

Meglet Tue 25-Mar-14 20:12:00

howdid the pressure to medicate is appalling. I'm glad I'm old enough, and stubborn enough, to stand my ground and refuse. I've tried it in the past and it's not what I need. I know I need counselling, sleep and more exercise but that's like gold dust.

The last GP who presribed me amytriptiline (sp?) for IBS and depression said the drugged sleepy feeling woud wear off after a few weeks. Me "oh, will you do my job and look after the kids for me while I'm sleeping it off then?". He didn't have an answer to that. FFS.

howdiditgetthisbad Tue 25-Mar-14 20:59:17

Hi meglet

yes, I think more support as a mum and more sleep would help a great deal -when baby was much smaller she slept twelve hours a night for several months, its the closest I've ever been to recovered in the past few years . I work W/T/F/S and my lowest point is Tuesday evening when I am truly exhausted but need to prep for the 'week' ahead. So far I have refused medication but thats based on a hatred of nausea side effects and cosleeping.

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