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Do you think PND ever really leaves you?

(62 Posts)
alicemac83 Thu 20-Feb-14 09:23:01

Hi all,
I might be in the wrong forum, but I wondered if anyone had any thoughts on this. I had PND three years ago, and I'm recently getting over another period of depression. I think it was brought on by planning another baby and remembering what happened last time.
I've started having some counselling, and last night I was talking about how I genuinely love working full time, and sometimes I feel like I need more 'me' time etc and how that makes me feel guilty a lot of the time, especially after having PND. I was hoping for some reassurance, but I left the session feeling even worse - and more guilty!
I feel like there's something wrong me with for wanting my own life and working etc. Can anyone else relate to this? I wonder if all the guilt etc is related to having PND and will I ever be able to let go of that?

Indith Thu 20-Feb-14 11:42:09

I had pnd after dc2. I have had dc3 since and actually when I was pg with him I felt far more right and balanced than I had in a long time. But I don't think any depression every really leaves you. I'm fine now but I find I slip more readily, stress, sleep deprivation and things make me head back towards old behaviours, old feelings resurface. The difference is that unlike when I wad suffering badly I can recognise them and work through them.

It is a long hard road.

Minesota Thu 20-Feb-14 11:57:52

Actually I agree about trying to make that experience a positive one. The PND has made me parent my children better because I have spent so many times looking at how I could do things. It has helped me in'living my dcs' nit matter what, something that came handy when dc2 happened to show signs of SN and very difficult behaviour.
I am not saying I would wish that experience to anyone. But I was decided I wouldn't let it crush me and I would make the best out if it iyswim?

ButEmilylovedhim Thu 20-Feb-14 12:06:08

Yes, I get what you mean Minesota. I'm just not there yet. I am very mindful of how I'm bringing up the dcs but I would have been equally so without the PND to be quite honest. I have a much older dc too you see. Perhaps there have been gains if one wants/tries to view things in a positive light but I still feel there has been a net loss. Hopefully I'll get there one day.

alicemac83 Thu 20-Feb-14 12:11:48

Yes, I know what you mean Minestota, when I'm feeling good I feel that the PND made me appreciate things more, like health and happiness and my DD. But when I'm low, I feel like it's kind of hanuting me.
Very complicated!
I think I'm going to switch counsellors as I think you need to feel in good hands. It's like when I had rubbish teachers at school - you just can't put your faith in them. x

Minnieisthedevilmouse Thu 20-Feb-14 12:15:26

Showy excellent analogy.

It's three years since dd1. I think it still colours me grey. I think it's 'responsible' for some struggle areas I still have with dd1. Inverted as I wonder if I allow the behaviour too...

alicemac83 Thu 20-Feb-14 12:18:16

I realise that I spoil DD quite a lot, I always buy her things, disney DVDs, clothes, toys... I think it's guilt.

Minesota Thu 20-Feb-14 12:24:56

Dc1 is now 11yo so I suppose I can say that. I would never have been able to say 'yes in some ways there has been some positives in there' when dc1 was 3~4yo. I still had fully 'reconnected' with him at the time.
And 2~3 years ago I still had these moments where I though ' oh no. I'm sure that if dc1 does X it's the effect of the PND and the attachment issues we had'
Now I have a near teenager and I am confident that even if this first months have affected him, somehow we have managed to turn the tables around.

OP I think the idea of councelling is a great one and one I wish I had done all those years ago. I remember asking my HV about some support after dc2 birth but she looked taken aback by the idea of 'consequences' of PND. The best she had to propose was parenting classes.

Minesota Thu 20-Feb-14 12:26:56

Sorry when dc 1 was 3~4yo I still had NOT recovered from our attachment issues.

mrsannekins Thu 20-Feb-14 14:11:06

Showy, that was a brilliant analogy, and pretty much sums up how I feel too. DD is now 2 and I was diagnosed when she was 6 weeks old. Although I'm not on medication anymore, I know that I need to be careful about what I eat, and make sure I get enough sleep, so in that respect I think PND will be with me for the long term, even if I'm not actually depressed. It has certainly changed me as a person, and influences my decision making now.

CraftyBuddhist Thu 20-Feb-14 14:36:49

Hi op. and pp's.

It's been sad reading sad.

I can relate to much of what you have said. We are all products of our experiences and thoughts and it would be surprising if what we have been through did not affect us now and in the future in one way or another.

I have had to work on being kind to myself. I had felt so low for so long. I think the hangover for me has been to be kinder to me. Sometimes in the grip of depression we can be our worst critic. And that critic almost stays as an unwanted houseguest after the pnd party has finished. The guilt about bonding/attachment/feeding etc issues. The worry for past and future on top of now .

In some ways I find meditation to be my saviour as it is a ten minute me time each day - longer if I can. I also find real comfort in the idea of impermanence: I am not defined by what I have experienced. The hard times did pass. There will be hard times again. But they too will pass.

thanks and best wishes to you op and pp's.

CraftyBuddhist Thu 20-Feb-14 14:50:55

I should add that anytime I hear of a mother with pnd committing suicide (there is an inquest in Sheffield at the moment) I want to cry.

crowsnest Thu 20-Feb-14 15:16:02

I haven't had PND but having children triggered Anxiety.
I have had a baby every 2.5 years for the last 7 years if that makes sense. So my 3rd baby is 18 months.
I noticed as my children got to near 2 I was feeling better but planning the next set me off again.
I keep feeling I should have another just now. hmm I think this is related to issues which are related to my anxiety. I have 2 sons and 1 daughter and im convinced im going to spend my life focusing on and worrying about my only daughter more. Im convinced this is more to do with my anxiety and this time hopefully DC3 will get to age 2 and my sanity will return and I will realise I don't need or want any more children smile.

Personally, I think because they say it takes 2 years for your hormones to settle PND and anxiety will ease then but of course planning the next baby brings it all back in your mind.

I hope that helps. It helps me to think that once my last baby is 2+ I might get ME back again!

alicemac83 Fri 21-Feb-14 14:17:41

I can't wait to consistently feel ME again.
I'm feeling quite low/anxious today as I've started to feel like I don't want to be around my daughter. I know that it's the anxiety/depression telling me this, and that actually I do love her, but it's so hard to break these negative thoughts. I was fine before the counselling, and now I feel like I'm struggling again.

crowsnest Fri 21-Feb-14 14:32:08

Was that your first session? The first session does leave you hanging a bit. I had CBT for anxiety a few years ago. It kind of drags out the past but after that I felt I got a bit more understanding from it. Understanding the why's and what's and how to go forward. Try again.

alicemac83 Fri 21-Feb-14 14:47:18

Hi Crowsnest, no it was my second session. I don't mind talking about my past etc, but I feel that it's fine as long as I get some sort of reassurance. For example, I said that sometimes I feel guilty about being a working mum, and that I feel jealous of other mums who want to be at home with their kids, and she just nodded. I kind of wanted her to say 'it's ok to feel like that,' or something! But when I left I felt like I'd created a whole new problem for myself, and now I feel like I don't love my daughter anymore! It's horrible, when just monday and Tues I felt fine with her and enjoyed her.

stickygotstuck Sun 23-Feb-14 20:16:48

Coming late to this thread, but so glad I found it. Good to hear I am not alone.

Like many PPs, I didn't know how much headspace/personal space I absolutely need for myself until DD came along.

Will try and remember what potato said about beging a recovering depressive and being aware of it so you can be proactive in pushing back the clouds before the storm sets in.

ButEmilylovedhim Sun 23-Feb-14 21:45:24

Hi sticky, nice to hear from another of our select group! How are you now? How did PND affect you? Don't answer if you'd rather not, of course.

I do find I am much more watchful of my moods and emotions now. I rather took stability for granted before.

MyriadOfMiracles Sun 23-Feb-14 21:51:10

I am currently on Prozac and about to start cbt. I was diagnosed with pnd few months back when dd was 8 months. I didnt have bonding problems but I was insanely anxcious of her health, I had constant guilt about feeding issues, i really hated myself and i always questioned my parenting. Guilt consumed me. After a couple of months on some ad's i feel infinitely better!
I think I will always have little quirks with dd though- I am very conscious of her feelings etc and am often criticised for 'spoiling' her as I hate her crying and always hold her etc. i take no notice of others though , i always respond to my dd for her well being, but for my own too!!
A counseller told me depressed mothers ae often the most attentive and loving as they over compensate through guilt. I will never ever forget her kind words. I believe it to be absolutely true!

ButEmilylovedhim Sun 23-Feb-14 22:09:15

Hi Myriad! So glad you're feeling better. I was on prozac for a while too. I took citalopram first which worked well for a while but then seemed not to suddenly, that's when I switched to prozac. They are quite amazing when they work.

You're so right! You can't love a baby too much. You're giving her a lovely start. I wish people wouldn't criticise. I think it's none of their business, they don't know what damage they're doing and it's more of a comment on how they did things. They did it differently, they were right so if you're doing it differently then you must be wrong and uh oh what if you're doing it right, they must have been wrong. Can't have that thought so it's hastily stuffed down and they criticise instead. Probably happens without conscious thought. That's my musing anyway, for what it's worth.

Good luck with the cbt! I've heard very good things about it.

theborrower Sun 23-Feb-14 22:10:41

OP, I can relate to what you're saying too. I'm not sure it ever really leaves you, even though you're 'better' if you see what I mean. As another poster said too, I still feel unsure of my parenting sometimes. I've never been able to relate to friends who have loved being a mum from the word go or who have gone on about how they couldn't bear to leave their DC with a babysitter until x age. A close friend said that having her DD was the best thing that ever happened to her. I was honest and said that I used to feel it was the worst thing to ever happen to me (EMCS, PND and all the feeling gs associated with both). That is not the same as saying she is the worst thing to happen to me. Of course not. I love her so much, but her first year was difficult.

I'm pregnant again and feeling a bit anxious about it all again, but trying not to (it feels like nothing is in my control anyway, as it wasn't last time). But I sobbed in the bath the other night because I thought "I don't want to go through all that again".

Sorry, that's a ramble. Just wanted to say, I relate.

TheReluctantCountess Sun 23-Feb-14 22:14:17

No, I don't think it does leave you. My son is seven and I had severe PND. I more or less ignored him for the first 18 months of his life, and then treated him as a mere nuisance until he was about 5. We have a reasonable relationship now.
I will always feel guilty. I feel guilty for not not being a 'mum' to him. I feel sorrow at everything I have missed out on. I feel resentment towards him but extreme grief and sorrow. I am learning to live with it...and him.

HerGraciousMajTheBeardedPotato Sun 23-Feb-14 23:51:29

We gave ds rollerblades for his 8th birthday. A few months later, I took him rollerblading at a rink. I had never rollerbladed, but I had ice-skated as a child. I staggered on to the rink and wobbled away. By the time I had done a circuit, the basic skating skills had refreshed. I returned to ds to find him gaping wide-eyed at me: "Mum, you can rollerblade! That was fantastic!"

Why am I telling you this? Because I think it's a pretty good analogy for depression.

When I say that you never completely leave depression behind, I don't necessarily mean that you will always have sadness, anxiety, whatever form your depression takes. But you will always carry that experience with you, just as you carry every experience and learning you have had in your life. You never know - it may give you strength or be of use at some point. And other people see a different 'you'. Your prejudices and beliefs are not the same as theirs - often they have none, they believe in you more than you believe in yourself, and judge you less than you judge yourself.

MyriadOfMiracles Mon 24-Feb-14 09:01:24

Hi butemilylovedhim thanks for the reassurance smile I agree that people do push you to do as they did - as if it deviates from their way they may feel intimidated / inferior. Not everyone , but a fair few- consciously or unconsciously.
I didnt think this 10 months ago though- so every suggestion etc was met with antagonism on my part as I felt everyone was criticising me- I felt so alone and scared :/
I do often wonder if my pnd did affect bond with dd , i always say it didnt as I loved her from the start, but i sometimes question if i experienced the same love other mothers do initially . I know now that I am madly inlove with her- it is like an all consuming , powerful love that I was just too tired/ scared / lonely/ depressed basically!-to have initially.
However i do think a lot of mothers have the same experience who do not suffer pnd- so maybe it was normal.
Anyways, for me its too early to make sense of it all! I have only been taking ADs for 2 and half months... Looks like i have a long road ahead of me- I am feeling much more confident and positive with it thanks to the ADs though.

ButEmilylovedhim Mon 24-Feb-14 11:29:06

TheReluctantCountess so sorry to hear that. It's a truly awful experience. It's good things are improving though. Have you had any counselling? Mine helped me so much.

TheBorrower congratulations on your pregnancy. Hope it all goes swimmingly this time. Have you told your midwife? Maybe they can put some help in place ready in case you need it. You may not though.

MyriadofMiracles I think that's completely normal! It takes time for love to develop fully even if there's that bond straightaway. That bond not being there at the start or for quite a while is normal too. Birth and its aftermath is a shocking business! You might not have a long road ahead. One of the mums in my antenatal class had PND but was only on the anti ds for a few months and was absolutely back to normal and very happy very quickly. That might be you too.

thanks and unmumsnetty hugs to all you lovely posters (((()))) Hope you all have good days x

LadyInDisguise Mon 24-Feb-14 12:00:05

My PND did affect the bond between me and dc1. Mainly because the PND was never diagnosed so I never had the opportunity for ADs etc.... I remember when everything lifted, dc1 was about 2yo. The best image I had for the situation was this feeling that once I had a baby and someone somehow had replace my lovely baby with a monster (aka an unsettled toddler!).

But the wish to 'make everything right again' and to 'ensure that I gave the best life possible to dc1' means that we have developed a really nice strong bond together.
it took time, a lot of time. And some effort to make everything right again. But it did and I think this is the most important thing to keep in mind. That there is no reason for things to stay as they are and that they will get better. And also as Myriad said, the PND might also bring some positives in your life. I know it did.

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