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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?

2littlerascals Tue 25-Feb-14 09:35:53

Had severe depression after having twins. It has lifted when I realised it wasn't actually about being a mum/not working but around deeper emotional issues. I had always used work to escape them. I'm not saying you're like me but worth thinking about if the depression has its roots elsewhere. Also had a therapist who really didn't help. Don't hesitate to walk away if she's no good. Have you tried mindfulness? It helps me a lot to just calm down mentally. Keep at it and good luck!

2littlerascals Tue 25-Feb-14 09:53:51

Just to add there can be, as I had, an underlying mild depression issue before you have kids that explodes. At least when I got severe depression due to trauma and history and twins well it all erupted. Some quality help and right medication helped and is helping me. I ave no happy functional family. Hubby does long hours. Bullied out of job when local friends as new mum... Hardly any wonder I got v ill. I think it leaves you mainly with a fear it could happen again, knowledge that people are fragile and some are blissfully unaware of this. However it can also leave you wiser and with great life and parenting skills. Know some good books if you're interested.

MyriadOfMiracles Tue 25-Feb-14 10:50:44

I would be interested in the books 2littlerascals?
Sorry to hear about your depression, I agree too that underlying mild depression can often explode into major depression (pnd) after baby. I think this was the case with me. However, i still feel generally quite ignorant on the subject! Not much support round here for is pnd sufferers. Not entirely confident about the cbt either. But as I say the ads have really lifted me. Would love some good reading material too though.

2littlerascals Tue 25-Feb-14 13:30:37

Ok. Well I had insurance covered stay in priory hospital so got access to good stuff and latest thinking. The mindful path to self-compassion is a great book for learning to be kind to and look after yourself. The mindful way through depression is great and has a CD with meditations that help you calm the mind. Feeling good the new mood therapy is a very good CBT book, as is CBT for dummies.

Guilt is a symptom of depression but also a symptom of motherhood - guilt if you work as not with kids, guilty/bored if you don't work as not bringing in cash and "kept"...

Symptoms of depression: low confidence, lethargy, too much/too little sleep, too much food/drink/fags... lack of interest in things, isolating yourself, negative spiralling thoughts, feelings of low self-worth,. Ooh so lovely!!!

I find getting outside helps, exercise helps, social contact of any positive kind, not watching bad tv, sleep, mindfulness, supportive friends, animals, but mostly developing a kind inner voice focussed lovingly on my own health and happiness and that of my family - as well of course as others. I've always been a perfectionist beat yourself up to succeed kind of person... I've also had to contend with a lot of traumatic and unpleasant events and abusive people so needed to learn how to deal better with those.

alicemac83 Tue 25-Feb-14 15:35:01

Hi everyone, I actually stopped the counselling and started again with a new lady who was amazing! She basically said that there is way too much pressure on mums these days to be happy, work, do it all etc etc. When I told her I commmute, work full-time etc she said 'and don't forget your other full-time job -being a mum.' She also told me to draw a picture of my depression as I saw it and then basically tell it to 'f*ck off!' She was so funny, and so real. It was lovely.
I am a writer and I'm serioulsy thinking of writing a book about this issue. I would have loved to pick up a book written by real mums about this - and the issue of it staying with you in good ways and bad. I never read anything about this - just that it would go. It's so interesting xx

HerGraciousMajTheBeardedPotato Tue 25-Feb-14 17:07:17

I prefer showy's blanket analogy, but a lot of people find this book explains what depression feels like very clearly.

MummyBeerest Tue 25-Feb-14 17:17:34

I totally agree wrt the connection of underlying depression issues and PND. I have depression, but definitely had PND when my DD was born as it was unlike any low I'd ever experienced.

I think I'm better with it, but there are some days where I just feel like a complete failure. As a mother, wife, human. I don't regret having DD, but wish I'd had taken more control of my depression beforehand rather than just winging it while pregnant.

Counseling has helped, but it is difficult to find a good counselor IME. PND is so under reseached, and it takes a particular counselor to approach such a thing with an open mind. I had a doctor flat out say that I must have had deeper issues because "women usually love being mothers."

Hard as it was, I did not let that stop me from trying to find help elsewhere.

That's a journey that I think should never stop.

Good to hear things are better OP, and best of luck to all those in the same boat.

MyriadOfMiracles Tue 25-Feb-14 18:25:09

Ty 2littlerascals i will get onto amazon this eve!
I am not doing cbt though. I have asked for some more intensive therapy on the nhs. The lady is going to see if its possible. I think cbt is fab but I would prefer a bit more therapy iyswim...

2littlerascals Tue 25-Feb-14 19:32:11

Yes OP cbt gets a bit formulaic. However the feeling good book is pretty helpful.

Zzzzmarchhare Wed 26-Feb-14 19:44:39

Very late to the thread- but no I don't think it ever leaves you. It can sometimes be a positive thing though- I went to a local support group and we were told to do force yourself to do nice things and just enjoy them, recognise that it is needed for you to be well.
I've carried this on, and whilst I still feel the PND is hovering I am much happier with life.
I keep going to get the mindfulness book- not sure what's stopping me

slightlyoverwhelmed Wed 26-Feb-14 19:51:54

I had PND after my second daughter (now 15 months) was born (although I was never diagnosed/treated). I found settling into motherhood with my first daughter pretty easy, she was a pretty easygoing baby and I lived in an area where I had a lot of friends with new babies and my husband was working reasonable hours and although there were days were I thought, "I haven't left the house much today", I didn't really feel that sense of motherhood-shock. I went back to work when my first daughter was 10 months old. By my second daughter, I had much more of a sense that my life had changed, we moved to a new area, for various reasons, it wasn't practical for me to go back to the same job and I just felt quite unsupported by my family. I was quite unwell at the end of the pregnancy and I found the birth pretty traumatic (although I recognise it wasn't the horror show that some people have). She didn't sleep well and was a much less easy-going baby, I really struggled for 6-8 months but overtime, life started to slot back into place again and I think there were a few key moments that for me just signified that things were getting back on track and that I had a good and strong relationship with my second daughter too. I still don't feel like a "good mum" in the way that I did before my second daughter was born but I am happy and I think that I will feel like that again. I don't blame myself for the depression - in retrospect, I was trying to make too many big life changes at once and I should have sorted out more support but it's easy to say that in hindsight. I don't feel guilty about being a working mum - the money has been very useful to us and I think you have to be honest with yourself about the kind of person that you are and I am too independent to want to be at home all the time. I am starting a different role in a couple of months and am pleased to be getting back to work. It is a really interesting part time role and I think will really suit me.

I have found Dorothy Rowe's books to be very helpful. I also found "Out of me" by Fiona Shaw to be a good read about PND.

This is a really helpful thread and it was really useful to me to hear other's stories. Thank you.

alicemac83 Thu 27-Feb-14 09:49:12

I'm really pleased you've found this thread helpful. I think it's a topic that's rarely discussed. Once you're 'better' everyone thinks that's it, and the only thing written about is it coming back with another baby. Nobody talks about the fact that it shapes our lives.
I think on some level it's always been with me since having DD 3 years ago. I used to love being at home, but even now I always plan a full weekend of activities so I can get out of the house, and if I have to stay at home with her if our nanny is ill I find the prospect quite daunting (even though it's always fine.) I think it's a trauma that takes a long time to get over, and also I still find it quite hard to accept that it happened to me. I always feel envious when friends have babies and feel happy from the start. But it's one of those things, and I'm sure will make us stronger in the end xxx

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