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How quickly can PND happen?

(53 Posts)
michelleseashell Thu 02-Jun-11 13:56:20

Or is this just sleep deprivation and the effects of constant noise?

I was feeling top of the world for the first four months after having my baby. Now I've suddenly become a mess. I feel like I'm having a breakdown.

Every day he's started making this constant noise. I don't know why. He's not in pain. I think he's just realised he can make sounds. But he's easily frustrated too so unless I sit with him the noise gets louder and louder until he suddenly bursts into tears. He's stopped sleeping at night. He was only waking up once or twice and now it's every hour and he screams if I put him in his cot so he has to sleep with me and I can barely doze off with him there because of the awkward position I have to lie in.

Anyway, I've started to feel like I'm going insane. I've been hiding in the next room from him with both of us crying. The noise from him is making me feel ill. Even when he's happy now it's got the point where I just want to put my hands over my ears so I can't hear it. I've begged him to please stop. It's so bad that I've hit my head because I just can't stand it anymore. He won't let me put him down but he doesn't want me to pick him up either.

I don't get any sleep at night and I feel like crying every morning. The house is getting more and more untidy and looking at the mess is making me feel sick.

I can't eat. I don't have time. I get so hungry that I feel like I might pass out but whenever I go in the kitchen the thought of washing a plate and making a sandwich makes me feel so exhausted that I just leave without eating anything.

My husband works late every night and I don't have any family that can help. It's just me on my own every day. And now I don't even want to see anyone. I just want to hide. It's too hard to get an appointment at my doctors. I've called but they're always booked and say call tomorrow morning but I'm too tired to think about it in the mornings.

All this has happened in about ten days. Am I depressed? I just want the noise to stop and to lie down somewhere quiet and dark for a while. I've started to get hysterical over it and get thoughts about ending it all so I can sleep.

Please help someone

Mummyloveskisses Thu 02-Jun-11 16:01:36

I feel like crying for you xxx ((((hug)))) I started my PND when DS2 was 5 months old.... up till then I didn't feel I wasn't coping and then all of a sudden it hit me.... try this online test (its the one the HV will do) then if your score is over 10 you need to ring your HV straight away and tell them you have taken the Edinburgh Test and give them your score.... they will know what to do xxx

The best thing to do is get diagnosed straight away and start talking HONESTLY about it to everyone (family, friends and medical professionals) I felt a huge weight had been lifted after just one chat with my HV...


Jacksterbear Thu 02-Jun-11 16:09:57

That sounds like pnd to me. I agree, call your hv asap. Or turn up to gp surgery and refuse to leave til you've seen someone. What you said about gp appointments really struck a chord as I was too terrified of explaining to the receptionist why I wanted the appointment and I put off phoning for an appointment. Don't do what I did and put it off. You need to talk to someone asap.

michelleseashell Thu 02-Jun-11 17:21:04

Thank you so much for replying.

I did the test and I got 25. I remember doing it two months ago and I got 7.

It just feels like everything has suddenly spiralled out of control. It's just all got too much for me to do on my own. They're really busy at the doctors at the minute, updating things. I really don't want antidepressants. I think I need counselling. I wanted to be the perfect mum and now I feel like I'm not and everything is all such a mess. I've tried talking to my husband about it and he is understanding but he responds to everything I say with 'yes but...'

Mummyloveskisses Thu 02-Jun-11 19:43:44

I scored 19 and it was the biggest relief to realise there wasn't something abnormal about me. Well done for recognising it xxx I was agains the anti depressants and thankfully I managed not to take them, but please don't beat yourself up about having to take them if that's what happens.... you don't need the doctors to start getting better its your HV support that will get you through this, I 100% agree with the counselling its what made the biggest difference being able to talk about all my feelings and have someone understand me and give me stratagies to help too.... it feels so good someone telling you your going to be ok..... and Michelleseashell (love the name) your going to be fine xxx My husband was the same to begin with and he didn't get why I wanted to try and recover with out pills but I just kept talking.... I said I knew it would be hard to live with me while I was getting better and that he wouldn't understand my feelings or where I was coming from alot of the time, but that was ok I didn't expect him too, but we married in sickness and in health and at that time I was sick and needed him just to support me by helping with the cleaning (he was doing practically everything), listening to my worries without offering solutions and I told him that my HV said I needed to hear things I had been good at that day (like had I dressed myself and the children (on days I managed it) or did I feed them) silly things but it made a difference in building my self esteem back up.

I wanted to be perfect too but as I got better I realised very few people are perfect mum's and dad's but what we can be is the best mum we can and I can tell you are already just by you wanting to be better and identifying somethings wrong.

Your only job you have to do is ring the HV and give them your score.... you can do that right now get the number from your red book and ring... they have answering machines on overnight and they will contact you asap..... unfortunately it may take 3 days (mine did) so the sooner you call the better. Good luck x

PrincessAurora Thu 02-Jun-11 20:54:45

In the meanwhile, have you got anybody who can help you even for a couple of hours during the day? Even that tiny amount of time can help momentarily. Babies that young are not yet shy or scared of strangers in the same way they might be later on. Could you get a baby sitter or a friend over for you to get a few hours sleep?

Do get that appointment asap pls. And remember, you are coping hun and you have already achieved so much under a very severe case of sleep deprivation which is enough to make anybody feel completely knackered! Hang in there for a bit more..

Where are you based?

michelleseashell Thu 02-Jun-11 20:59:35

Thanks so much. Really! I've been feeling like I've been going mad and like I should just leave my husband and son because they'll be better off without me. I've had two breakdowns recently where I'm crying and hitting my head and at one point I started unfolding the washing and putting it on the floor because... Well I don't really know why. It just seemed like there was no point even trying to tidy anymore and I might as well make a mess. That sounds pretty crazy, huh?

I took antidepressants once before years ago and they just made me feel weird. I still want to feel like me. I think I would rather talk to my doctor than my health visitor though. My health visitor is a bit hyper. I remember I couldn't get a word in when she was talking to me.

My husband cleaned the house this morning because I said it was making me feel bad. Only now seeing it clean is making me feel guilty. So it's still not any better. Does that make sense? I can't tell him because he's trying to help.

I just feel so tired.

Thank you so much for helping me.

PrincessAurora Thu 02-Jun-11 21:08:48

Listen, EVERY book, leaflet and any other kind of advice out there for new mums is to accept every kind of help offered by any old random relative, stranger, loved one or enemy! Don't you ever feel guilty about that! I'm sure you have and will be given millions of opportunities in the years to come to clean that house of yours. You are just tired now so please please be happy you don't have to do it now.

Besides, I'm jealous, I hate cleaning!!! envy

PrincessAurora Thu 02-Jun-11 21:12:02


michelleseashell Thu 02-Jun-11 21:57:46

I know, that's what making me worry about my sanity! Husband cleaning up? I should be thrilled!

I'm in Leicester. I do go to baby group a lot and my health visitor thinks of me as being very chirpy and happy. I think I'm one of her favourites. Which makes it quite challenging to approach her with this. I do have an understanding doctor but the surgery is being refurbished and it's very chaotic there. I could get seen with some determination but I'm frightened of causing a scene and all my intentions tonight will all go out the window once I've had another night of no sleep. David, my son has never slept through a single night since he was born. So it must be over 120 nights I've gone without sleep.

There really is no one who can help me. None of my friends have babies and we live near my husbands family. They're nice but I don't feel like I can call on them when I'm desperate. My mother in law comes round once or twice a week but all she ever talks about is his sleeping and what he's eating, like I'm doing something wrong because he won't sleep and pushing me to feed him differently. She sometimes takes him out on trips but only for an hour and I feel like I should be running round the house catching up on the housework while she's gone. So by the time she brings David home and I've fielded off her advice, I'm even more tired than I was before. That's my only help apart from my husband and he works such long hours and he's so tired that I feel awful for not having his dinner ready and the house tidy. Then I panic all night that David is keeping him awake.

Talking about this makes me realise it isn't just this last two weeks. I've been getting more and more stressed for a while and now I just can't cope anymore.

PrincessAurora Thu 02-Jun-11 22:37:19

I'm also thinking some kind of support group for new mums.. Is there such a thing? In addition to the GPs appt that is. Don't give up on that. It's not your problem they are refurbishing. What happened if you had an acute infection for example, you would still need to be seen by them asap!

MILs are another kettle of fish. I agree and totally understand that they often cause more stress than was ever probably intended. I once blew my top with my MIL when all three of us were trying to bathe our then three-week old.. We were all stuck by the bath tub and DH and MIL were debating whether the temp of water should be 36 or 37C.. Granted, it was valid, but I was tired, I knew the water wasn't too hot by any stretch of imagination and was waiting this debate to finish for what seemed like half an hour - with a baby in my arms. In the end I just said that instead of debating about one degree perhaps we should actually bathe her! Guess my tone of voice gave me away.. ggrrrr... MIL disappeared downstairs very quickly. I did feel guilty about it then but she's been very nice since.. Heheh.. Believe me, they DO understand - they've been there..!

It may seem alien but you could try and suggest to her that you are actually exhausted and have not had any sleep and maybe she could take him for a few hours.. Just tell her that you have not had any sleep and seriously need to catch up on it. There is absolutely no failure in admitting it. New mummies need sleep more than anybody. If you are bf'ing you could always say that as an excuse, that the lack of sleep is affecting it..

Also, I understand people being houseproud but believe me, you have got give up on that. Seriously. Actually, next time she goes on one of those walks, give her the house keys and TELL her you are going to go to sleep for a bit. TELL her so you know she won't expect you to do anything around the house. And don't think about it any further than that. The house will still be standing afterwards. Please be selfish. It is for you and David.

skintagain Thu 02-Jun-11 22:50:33

PND for me was late and lingering. It was a horrible joyless existence where my dcs irritated me and nothing gave me pleasure. I ticked the boxes of a good life, supportive husband, family close by.... But if one of my fricken children whined for me once more .....

PrincessAurora Thu 02-Jun-11 22:55:34

Also, think of this period as exceptional. Different rules apply. This is the hardest for new mums to realise (well, it was for me). You will have many years to come to prove your tidying skills to your MIL and to your DH. Now is not the time.

It should be their responsibility to recognise that you are displaying symptoms of PND. Have you discussed this with you DH? He loves you and David so will understand that there is something else that is affecting you, which is beyond your control. It's a chemical imbalance and you cannot help the way you feel. You are exhausted and it's not because of not being able to cope with the situation but a physical imbalance in your body.

Remember, noise as well as sleep deprivation are very efficient weapons used in the army and warfare. If it affects very strong young men, it will affect you.

Like said before, you are doing extremely well under the circumstances!

skintagain Thu 02-Jun-11 23:00:05

I've just gone back and reread the whole thread. I could weep for you. It's do familiar I didn't want to take antidepressants but they were so effective. It was that first step of admitting a problem that was the hardest thing to do. Funnily enough, the gp seemed suprised that I had lasted 10 months without getting depressed! It's so normal. Don't feel ashamed. The difference now with regular sleep, good social interactions (and medication) is enormous. You owe it to yourself to have some relief from this hellish existence.

Mummyloveskisses Thu 02-Jun-11 23:32:17

I know exactly what you mean, I felt so guilty if DH so much as empty the dishwasher, let alone the dusting, hoovering, tidying etc he was doing.... but the honest truth without him doing it, it wouldn't have got done and in the end it went a long way to getting me better....

I know you say you would rather see your doctor but the HV is the one who can help with your day to day well being... the doctor can provide medication and refer you to a counsellor but the HV is on call for you daily and will fit you in daily should you need her xxx Just because you have PND wont change her opinion of you, honestly, she will still have you as her favourite smile

They also have a scheme where they have a trained/training HV helper (don't know exact name for them) to come in and help with your DC. I never took them up on it (too embarressed about the mess) but its an option open to you xxx

I am so glad more people answered you, you can see just how common a problem it is, and take comfort there is a cure and end to feeling like this x

michelleseashell Fri 03-Jun-11 06:21:12

Thanks so much everyone. I had started to see everything as on a downward spiral- the house is only getting more messy, the baby is only getting more unhappy and hard to placate, I'm becoming a worse wife and my husband is going to start dreading coming home to me. I wouldn't expect much of someone with a newborn but I thought by now I should have everything all nice and have a routine. It's the modern influence. I'm supposed to do this and this and this but with no help. Like I'm supposed to have a baby in the exact right blankets at the exact temperature in his cot just so, but yet I'm not to let him cry. But those two demands are not compatible. It's maddening.

I don't want to be my health visitor's favourite. I don't think she should have favourites. She thinks I'm great because I'm so good at breastfeeding and I always go along to her groups. But that's not fair on the people who couldn't breastfeed and the truth is, I feel like an idiot sitting at her group singing these embarrassing songs. I hate going. I'm just better at pretending than some people. That's not a good thing though.

I can't go at the minute though because I have a big bruise on my head. I don't want people to see it and think my husband did it. I might just not go back.

PenguinArmy Fri 03-Jun-11 06:37:55

Can you visit another HV? Honestly they won't judge you or your DH for your bruise.

I sympathise I also felt like I hit a massive wall around this time. Didn't help I was back at work ft and DD was waking and feeding every 2 hours.

DH really came through. He took over the entirety of house. Even at night when DD woke he would get her up, pass her to the bed for feeding and put her back in the cot. Just this helped me not to wake up quite so strongly. This enabled me to carry on at work and focus on surviving that. If I had of been in the UK I would have sought medical help, as it was admitting the problem and letting someone else take the responsibility got me through. I thought at the time that it couldn't be PND as it was so many months after the fact.

CountBapula Fri 03-Jun-11 06:58:22

I've had a similar experience - maybe not quite so severe, but same triggers - extreme sleep deprivation and a baby with a demanding temperament that screamed a lot. Around four months he started waking every hour - I was so exhausted I could barely function. Totally relate to what you say about making a sandwich being too much. My DH did so much cleaning and tidying and helped with the babycare and I felt guilty because he works too. But I was just so exhausted. We don't really have family nearby - I have lovely friends from my NCT group but they all seemed to be coping so much better, going to classes and on day trips etc. They all went to a playgroup but it started at 10am and I never went because I was too tired.

One day I started sobbing for no reason while changing DS's nappy. I don't know why - he was in a fine mood and I don't mind nappies at all. I was just so tired. I wanted to leave for a few days and stay in a hotel and just sleep. I was breastfeeding (still am) and I love doing it but it was exhausting feeding all through the night.

I'd mentioned to my HV (who is lovely) that I thought I might have PND and she said she didn't think I did because I had make-up on confused hmm I think she thought someone with PND would have let themselves go - stringy hair and unbrushed teeth etc. But I did my hair and make-up every day as a coping mechanism, to reconnect with my pre-baby life and give myself back some control.

I went to my GP when DS was 6 months. I took a test for PND and one for general depression and scored moderate on both. She took it seriously, and referred me to a counsellor.

I've now had five out of six sessions of cognitive behaviour therapy and it has made such a difference. DS's sleep has only just started to improve and he's 8 months old now - what the therapy has done is help me accept the sleep problems a bit more and find new ways to approach and rationalise them. We set small goals each week - eg to arrange to see friends or take DS on an outing (I used to avoid going out because DS was a nightmare when overtired but slept badly on the move). It just really, really helps to have someone to talk to. I am still finding things tough, but I don't feel depressed anymore.

I've been so impressed and heartened by how seriously my GP took this and the help offered by the NHS which was made available very promptly and has been excellent.

Sorry about the essay. Go to your GP. Antidepressants are not the only route. For me, even going to the GP and having her confirm that I was suffering from depression, and that it wasn't my fault, really helped. All the best to you.

michelleseashell Fri 03-Jun-11 11:28:35

No thank you for writing so much. It really helps to hear that I'm not the only one who has struggled. You know, you spend so much time on your own in the house or with other mums who all seem ok that it feels like you must be the only one. Though I bet other mums would think I'm doing great from the outside. I never leave the house without doing my makeup and hair. It's exactly the same as you, I need that to make me feel like I'm still me. It makes me feel sick to see myself in the mirror looking like old and tired. I convince myself that if I look better, it will make me feel better. But it doesn't because David is always crying by the time I'm ready to leave.

I'll talk to the doctor soon. Basically when I call, they say you have to come in at 2 and we'll try and see you between 2 and 3 but we don't know what doctor you'll be able to see or call back tomorrow morning and we'll try and get you a time but all their appointments go unless you've got half an hour to sit redialing. It's just making it so difficult. And I'm frightened of talking to the receptionist and saying no I really need to see Doctor X for twenty minutes at least and I can't hang around in reception because I've got a baby and it has to be her because I don't know how I can talk to anyone else. I don't think I can be that forceful over it.

PrincessAurora Fri 03-Jun-11 12:01:17

Can you tell them you have a baby and that waiting at the surgery is very difficult for you because he is so young and very restless?

CountBapula Fri 03-Jun-11 13:39:41

Don't worry too much about getting a longer appointment - mine was just a standard 10-minute one. We talked, then she gave me the questionnaires to fill in in the waiting room. I gave them back to the receptionist in a brown envelope, and made another appointment (at the doc's suggestion) for the following week. My referral came through really quickly.

Obviously GPs and healthcare varies across the country so it may not be the same for you, but I think the important thing is that you start the ball rolling. I agree with Princess - I'd show up at the surgery at 2 and ask them if you can be seen as a priority because of the baby. I'm sure they will be sympathetic.

For the sleep issues, feel free to come over and join us here - these threads (this is the third instalment!) have been a real sanity saver for me. There are loads of mumsnetters there with non-sleeping babies, and we all just support each other, share tips, vent our frustrations and occasionally indulge in a little dark humour. It might help, because as you say it often feels like everyone else is coping so much better and you're the only one. I hadn't met anyone on real life whose baby slept as badly as my DS did/does so finding this little network in cyberspace has really made me feel less alone.

Good luck and keep posting - let us know how you get on.

CountBapula Fri 03-Jun-11 13:44:38

By the way, my DS was a grumpy little sod quite unsettled at four months, but now he's mostly really happy and smiley, and babbles and chirps away to himself. He's generally a lot nicer to be with. Four months was a real low point for me, but it does get better. For me, things started to improve around 7 months - he seemed much more contented once he got more mobile and could communicate with me better, and the days suddenly took on more of a structure once he was on solids. I know that seems like ages away, but it will get better.

skintagain Fri 03-Jun-11 18:52:31

I met my antenatal group nearly 4 years ago. I found out for the first time last week one of them had PND. She always wore make up. She boasted how well her son slept. Her house was beautiful. Her husband was attentive. I was really surprised, but not shocked. We PND sufferers do such a grand job of covering it up.

michelleseashell Fri 03-Jun-11 23:03:53

Today was a lot better I'm happy to report. We went for a walk to the park. His constant noise has progressed to a constant mmm sound which is quieter at least. I think the major thing is that I'm trying to be happy that I achieved a shower and a walk to the park rather than thinking about all the things I couldn't do. You know it's not that I didn't do them, it's that I couldn't do them.

I am going to wait until things are less hectic at the surgery before I go. I really need a proper appointment that I can prepare for in advance and where I don't feel rushed and therefore panicked. I'm going to ask to be referred for counselling. I really don't feel comfortable with taking antidepressants. I know they work for people but for me they make me feel weird. I used to take drugs many, many years ago and they make me feel a bit like I've taken uppers which brings back bad memories for me.

Thanks everyone so much for your help. I'll keep updating here. I know one good day doesn't mean I'm better.

Mummyloveskisses Fri 03-Jun-11 23:37:35

No but its the start... and it probably comes due to speaking on hear and beginning the realisation you have PND.... remember I said I started feeling better from the moment I realised I had an actual reason for feeling how I was feeling.... xxx

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