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a personal request relating to pnd

(25 Posts)
huggybear Thu 28-Apr-05 14:29:50

This ia a personal request so please feel free to ignore.

I'm doing a health promotion project as part of my course and am focusing on post natal depression. I think that awarenss should be raised so that people realise how common it is and seek help earlier.

If anybody wouls like to share any experience of post natal depression, symptoms, support available etc it would help me get a deeper understanding of the issue. No quotes, names or anything will be used in my presentation as it is fact based.

Like i said i am aware that this is a sensitive subject so feel free to ignore


FLUM Thu 28-Apr-05 14:31:43

I thought it was generally agreed that pnd was no more common than depression generally. I keep reading that recently.

Toothache Thu 28-Apr-05 14:34:43

I definitley will! I suffered for 18mths after ds was born.
I firmly and passionately believe that a lot of PND can be prevented... or severity lessened by knowledge and support from pregnancy onwards!
Mentally preparing for PND second time around and knowing that my family, HV and GP were all on standby to help if it happened again truly helped me beyond belief. My dd is now nearly 9mths old and I have felt none of the hopelessness I felt for so long after ds was born. I'll gladly speak about it.

Toothache Thu 28-Apr-05 14:38:17

Flum - I've never read that anywhere.... besides what difference does that make to Huggybears project? It doesn't change the fact that women feel the need to hide PND as though it's a bad reflection on them as parents. Surely raising awareness will help women get help and recognise it as an illness not as a failing on their part.

WigWamBam Thu 28-Apr-05 14:45:11

I agree that women do sometimes feel the need to hide PND. I became depressed when my dd was about 8 months old, I saw my GP but refused treatment because I was breast-feeding, and I was told that if I wouldn't take the ads, they wouldn't treat me. Apart from my dh and the GP I told ono-one.

I still have the depression, but whether I can still call it PND is questionable as dd is now almost 4 years old. I only started taking ads 8 months ago, and have still told no-one. It is hard to seek help, as there is always that fear that you are a terrible mother and someone will take your child away. I felt (and still feel) a complete failure as a mother, and maybe if there had been more support available to me, and if I had been given the option of other forms of treatment, I might not have felt so bad about it all.

Toothache Thu 28-Apr-05 14:48:29

I feel like I totally failed ds. And have also got the guilt that I have been fine since dd was born and don't feel as though I have failed her at all.

I didn't go to a GP until I was getting a bit better when Ds was 18mths old. I thought they would take Ds away from me.

FLUM Thu 28-Apr-05 15:42:27

Sorry Toothache, don't know much about it. But have read couple of articles recently that said that. Was interested as had a friend who had it really badly but had never had anyother form of depression in her life. will look for articles

Toothache Thu 28-Apr-05 15:54:40

Flum - I had never been depressed before then either. It hit me really hard. When ds was 9 days old I slumped and never recovered. I was suicidal at times and couldn't understand why. I also developed agoraphobia and if I had to put the bin out I would run and try not to look around me. Truly awful time.

It's awful to say it, but I don't remember anything much about the 1st yr of ds's life, just remember this overwhelming urge to either curl up in a ball or throw myself in front of a truck. I thought that would be the best thing to do since I was clearly a terrible person to be around ds and he would be better of without me.

Toothache Thu 28-Apr-05 15:56:31

And I don't think a day went by that I didn't cry so hard my head hurt.

On a number of occasions DH nearly phoned an ambulance as I was so hysterical I wet myself.

FLUM Thu 28-Apr-05 15:58:25

Jeeeezus. poor u.

Toothache Thu 28-Apr-05 16:04:10

It all started to calm down when ds was about 18mths old. Strange as it sounds, when I felt that bit stronger and more sane.... I went to the GP!! Only then did I tell anyone.
Haven't suffered at all with dd, thankfully.

I wish I had been as mentally prepared with ds as I was with dd. I was armed with knowledge and knew the signs to look out for to try to get treatment ASAP.

I just want to talk to every pregnant woman about it so that I can perhaps prevent someone else suffering in silence and missing one of the most important times in a childs life..... being a baby.

MaryP0p1 Thu 28-Apr-05 16:18:12

I was diagnosed with PND with my second, not my first and though I wasn't bad it was a awful time of my life. I have to add though I felt worse and more depressed, angry, unable to cope even more during my pregnancy than I did when I finally had DS. I found that even though I recognised I was suffering and asked for help I wasn't even acknowledged as having anything wrong with me let alone getting any support. I find this very scary as I was very volitile towards my family, flying off the handle at everything and anything and often frightened myself yet received no support at all. If I had been on the other side of the having the baby thing I would have received an awful lot more support than I did, I think.

Toothache Thu 28-Apr-05 16:28:05

MaryPop1 - Antenatal Depression is something that is only now being acknowledged. There could also be a good case for treating depression in the latter stages of pregnancy to avoid serious PND. I was given the Edinburgh PN Test by my MW when I was 32 wks pregnant, scored 18 and was immediately huckled through to the GP. He prescribed AD's, but I took one and didn't take another as I felt so out of it!

expatinscotland Thu 28-Apr-05 16:46:00

My story is almost identical to Toothache's, although now I'm fairly certain that my depression whilst pregnant w/DD. Like Toothache, I had never suffered from depression or anything like it before DD.

Within hours of her birth, what had been just been a pretty down feeling slipped into a very deep depression. I think this was intensified by the fact that I had a 24 hour labour that resulted in an assisted delivery, and yet as there is no well-baby nursery in the infirmary, DD was placed in the room with me to care for. 32 hours with no sleep, still recovering from anethetic and traumatic, painful birth. And no help with baby. I wanted to end my life and was found by a junior doctor trying to prise the window open so I could leap out b/c I felt I'd made a horrible mistake and my poor husband and DD certainly didn't deserve a person who wasn't 100% overwhelmed with joy at birth.

Like Toothache, I don't remember much of DD's first year and was undergoing treatment for 18 months. Not just with ADs. I also needed anti-anxiety drugs, sleeping tablets, etc. to cope.

I'm now being monitored as well. It is early in pregnancy. The hopelessness, despair and anxiety, however, appear to be coming back. I've got an appointment for next week, however.

MaryP0p1 Thu 28-Apr-05 18:35:20

I had a relatively easy labour with DS and my DH said the next morning when he saw me it was like I was back again after being away. All throught the pregnancy I remember feeling like I was watching myself behave like a mad person but having no control. Almost like an alien had come down and taken over my body. I remember waking up the next morning and feeling like was back. However a week later the feelings did come back again. I went back to work at 10 weeks and that seemed to do the trick for me. I was too scared to take AD's for fear of not being able to come off them again. I think if the labour had been more difficult I possibly wouldn't have had that week without the alien and probably worse PND.

MaryP0p1 Thu 28-Apr-05 18:38:40

Expats, if you felt anything like I did while I was pregnant when you gave birth you have nothing to feel guilty about. Depression seems to make us do and say things which are completely out of character. Nobody derserves bad things to happen to them and you did not deserve to had the terrible time you had. You and your family needed support and you did not get it, thats the sad thing.

expatinscotland Thu 28-Apr-05 21:06:22

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Toothache Thu 28-Apr-05 21:36:10

Expat - I'm sure now you have all this experience and knowledge of the signs of PND that by receiving treatment early on you can reduce the severity dramatically.... if not avoid it all together!! Just try not to let the fear of PND make you more anxious and therefore more prone to succumb once again. Be strong, keep your expectations realistic and make sure EVERYONE around you knows what you went through and the efforts you are making to fight it again. Hound the HV and GP (if need be!!) to get great support whilst you are pg. My HV came around once a week for the last 7wks of pregnancy and just spoke to me about how I felt and she would snap me back into reality by simply saying "You know it's OK to be scared of it happening again.... and it is/you are normal". Hearing that made me feel SO much more confident that I would not let it consume me again. I think with ds I just gave up, I felt hopeless, didn't know why so just gave up. This time I was so determined to show myself and everyone else that I could be a normal Mummy, who was brimming with pride!

I am very open with people in RL about the fact I suffered with PND. I like to let people know that it can happen to anyone...even if you're not high risk.... and I also want people to know that you CAN get over it and go onto to have another child without the bleakness.

PrettyCandles Thu 28-Apr-05 21:57:24

Expat - not allowed to eat or drink - that's appalling! No wonder you were in a bad way afterwards, especially after a difficult birth.

My story is almost exactly the same as Toothache's, although I was diagnosed when ds was 6m. I only felt that I had truly recovered when dd was over 1yo - about 3.5y after ds's birth - when I realised that I had come through the hardest part of dd's babyhood without developing PND again.

I was very very lucky - no I am very very lucky - to have the support of some very excellent people:

first of all my dh, he was truly a rock for me, even though it was just as tough for him. He took me seriously, never belittled me for what was happening, and never did anything to encourage my hideous opinion of my ability or suitability as a mother;

also my first HV, who never asked me to leave after my appointments (I sometimes stayed with her for 2 hours at a time) and diagnosed my PND and refered me for treatment to the health trust's Peri-Natal Outreach team.

The PNO team - I was afraid that I wouldn't be treated if I refused ADs, but they were perfectly willing to treat and support me nonetheless, and I had regular meetings at home with a CPN, and later an Occupational Therapist. I don't know how much help the OT was, but having a person there to listen and not feel embarassed for burdening them was excellent.

My second HV (I changed GP practice) - a wonderful, warm, intelligent, wise and experienced woman, who has supported and guided me for the past 4 years or so.

The GP who listened and refered me for counselling to the practice Family Therapist.

The Family Therapist who opened the door for me to start thinking about myself and why I behave the way I do.

The Neuro-Linguistic Programming practitioner I saw for half-a-dozen sessions, who built upon what the FT began, and also taught me strategies to use to modify my behaviour.

The psychotherapist to whom I was refered by the PNO team, who opened a huge great disgusting can of worms in my head, and consequently enabled me to decide what I wanted to do about the things that bothered me.

And finally, all those people all over again, whom I put on standby for myself the second time around as a safety net to catch me should I fall into PND again. I am firmly convinced that the reasons that I didn't fall again were (a) the new ways of thinking that the various therapies had taught me and (b) the 'safety net'.

Nemo1977 Thu 28-Apr-05 22:05:44

Hi I suffered pnd from when DS was around 2mths and still do now. He is 18mths.
Symptoms not sleeping, no energy/interest suicidal thoughts and plans, self harm, agrophobia, anxiety and panic attacks, low confidence and self worth, just generally complete opposite of everythign i was before. I didnt have pnd that made me resent my ds if anything he was and is the only thing that gets me through.

help I was lucky as was a mental health worker so knew how to access services. I went to gp who gave a prescriptions for anti depressants and packed me on my merry way.
I then contacted HV who reffered me to a Mental health social worker who came out to visit every week, after about 3mths she had me assessed by psychatrist and psychatric nurse. I was then reffered to see a psychologist and also to have a CPN come out every week. This still happens and I see CPN [community psychatric nurse] and a clinical psychologist once a week. I am no longer on meds as i got pg [lost baby but am pg again so glad i didnt go back on meds]
I had my medication changed 4 times in totaland last meds were good but stopped ocs of pregnancy. Have been told when I am 7/8mths pg then I will be put bakc on medication to prevent things getting so bad again.

hope it helps if u want anymore info feel free to cat me

MrsMiggins Thu 28-Apr-05 22:25:33

Nemo1977 "I didnt have pnd that made me resent my ds if anything he was and is the only thing that gets me through."
I'm so glad you've said this. I feel exactly the same as you but I feel absolutely fine towards my DS & DD. In fact on days when I cant face seeing people, i'm so glad I have my children for company. I thought PND meant you had all those negative feelings for yourself & towards your children so glad to hear I am normal.
I have only been diagonised a month and have just had my worst week ever.
My DH thinks I'm making it up and I dont really have anyone to talk to apart from 1 friend and the dr. Am seeing dr tomorrow so hopefully that will help.

Nemo1977 Thu 28-Apr-05 22:27:27

mrs m aww hun its a hard battle and no pnd doesnt have to mean u hate ur child....if u wanna talk hun then feel free to CAT me as I will listen which a lot of the time is all we want / need.
Actually my email is

mishi_c23 'at' hotmail 'dot' com

handlemecarefully Thu 28-Apr-05 22:43:41

I didn't particularly recognise that I had PND until really quite late on. But it's very clear to me now (i.e. now that I am on ADs and feel so much better).

It manifested itself with irrational fears and anxieties about my child's health (not the normal worries but obsessional type stuff which had me at the doctors virtually weekly) and overt anxiety about whether I was feeding my child correctly / stimulating him sufficiently etc.

I also had to be out of the house and doing something all day because I didn't feel able to deal with my child at home without any diversion for more than a couple of hours.

My temper was extremely volative and disproportionate and, for example, when dd (2.9) spilt her apple juice on the floor I was apoplectic with rage and had to shut myself away in the utility room to prevent myself from half killing her.

My first thought on waking was "OMG I've got to look after them all day, I don't want to get up"

Christ - I feel so much better now, and am calm and collected with both ds (1) and dd (2.9) - I'm also enjoying them

hatsoff Thu 28-Apr-05 22:58:49

huggybear - my experience was that with dd2 i was borderline pnd. My gp didn't spot it but a wonderful health visitor did. She recognised that I was teetering on an edge and came to visit me at home once a week for about 4-5 weeks. And I have to say taht this kind of preventive measure was fantastic. I am totally convinced I owe not plummeting to her support. She didn;t do much - just chatted and listened - it's easier to talk to a professional than your friends and/or otehr mums. She caught it early, and nipped it in teh bud, so to speak. And I believe quite passionately that this muct be in ervyone's interests, including the nHS. I think too that GPs need to be more aware, and more aware of other, non GP, services on offer

PrettyCandles Fri 29-Apr-05 14:05:25

Oh, HMC, I remember that - the apoplectic rage at such trivial events. Two years on I am still rebuilding my relationship with ds as a result of my irrationality at that time. But something that I have learned as a result of having recovered from PND, is to forgive myself. My wise and wonderful HV always says "You don't have to be a perfect mother, just a good enough one" and until I got to the other side of PND I never quite understood, accepted or believed her. Now I do, and life is so much better for all of us. The rage still hits me from time to time, but it doesn't take over and upset as much because I am better able to let go of it and also to forgive myself for having been enraged.

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