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As with all health-related issues, please seek advice from a RL health professional if you're worried about anything.

Struggling to cope with my wifes PND

(17 Posts)
skscotchegg Wed 15-Feb-17 13:34:38

Hi there, I really am finding it hard at this point. Our baby girl will be 11 months in 10 days time and my wife has been suffering from PND the whole time.

My wife is a fantastic mother and has always been an amazing partner to me throughout our three and a half years together but the the past 11 months things have got harder and harder and gone from bad to worse.

I've tried to stay strong and always tried my best to support my wife but recently its becoming more and more difficult and upsetting.

We will have good weeks and bad weeks or long stretches where things seem more relaxed and no arguing or drama/chaos. I've had to learn to live with my wife over the past year in this abnormal situation. Often my wife wont cuddle me, kiss me, talk to me, or say she loves me. Some days I sit alone in the dining room and eat my tea by myself when I get in from work, and often she doesn't text me all day whilst I'm at work.

At the very beginning I didn't know what was happening, after about 4-5 weeks when I returned to work after the baby was born I noticed a big change in my wife's moods. She would be crying or even screaming by herself and I didn't know what was going on. Eventually I got advice from mumsnet and elsewhere and I contacted the doctor who gave my wife a call and booked an appointment. Then eventually my wife went onto antidepressants and they took a while to kick in. Around 6-7 months I noticed a big change and my wife seemed to be getting better. She was no longer getting angry or stressed and was crying less and she seemed happy and everything seemed to be getting better. Then my wife decided to come off the antidepressants because she thought she didn't need them anymore. And she didn't speak to the doctor before doing this and didn't seek professional or medical advice. So then shortly after things got really bad, I noticed my wife was starting to get angry and upset again. And since then things have been really rubbish.

When our baby was 10 months old my wife's maternity leave came to an end, we organised a childminder and found a great childminder not far from our house and I thought everything would get better once my wife returned to work. I thought been away from the baby and having more freedom and socializing at work would make her happy again. But the week before she was due to go back to work, she seemed to go into panic mode, she broke down crying a few times and she seemed scared and anxious about both going back to work and also someone else looking after our baby girl. After 2 days of work she said she couldn't do it anymore, she said she couldn't cope. And then I realized that the job she was doing was very difficult to go back to for someone who was suffering from PND, because my wife's job is working in a rest-bite center and looking after people. So obviously this is an extremely hard job to do if you're struggling to look after yourself. So she decided not go back to work and she went to the doctors and explained how she felt and the doctor has give her a sick note for one month which she's planning on going back to soon as extending for a 2nd month. I supported her with this decision and said it's for the best. She can't do that job anymore so she will need to find another job and she's studying in accounting so she's hoping to get a job doing that soon.

I've always been a full time dad when I'm not at work, I do the housework and I look after the baby when she wakes up during the evening and through the night, and then again in the morning. My wife has never been able to cope with getting up through the night so that has been my job for the past year.

So this brings us up to present time. It was about four weeks ago now when DD started going to the childminders and DW attempted to go back to work. During this past four weeks my wife has been taking antidepressants. I really don't think they have kicked in yes as the weekend we've just had was a weekend from hell. My head felt like it was in bits and I've started to get insomnia and can't sleep at night. I'm sad all the time and I probably cry 5-10 times each day. I cry when i'm at work, I cry when I'm in the car, I cry in bed, I cry no matter wherever.

I'm so sad because I can't help but think where we've come from, and how great everything was before PND entered our lives. We got married on 5th July 2015 and to be it feels like we got married just a few months ago, like it only just happened. We found out my wife was pregnant 9 days after the wedding on our honeymoon in Greece.

It often feels like my wife hates me, because she says things like "you've ruined my life, my life has been taken away from me, it's your fault this has happened, you forced me to have a baby, I can't forgive you for what you've done!"

Yet we planned to try for a baby 6 months before the wedding, and then we changed it to 1 month before the wedding, and then we just didn't expect to get pregnant straight away. We were discussing having a baby for about 1 year before the wedding.

She's been blaming me for this for the past 11 months, and no matter how many times I try to explain or I try to talk to her or I try convince her otherwise, she believes in her mind that I'm the reason she got PND. She actually specifically says the words "you're the reason I've got PND".

As a husband all I want to do is make my wife happy, I love her so much and I just want to make her laugh and smile each day. These days I find this very hard to do. Especially since most of the time she just seems to find me very irritating and doesn't even want to speak to me.

I married my wife because I love her so much and I believe in my heart that she's my best friend and my soulmate. I'll never give up on her because of the love that I have for her. I'm just posting on this website today because I'm find it hard to cope. I don't feel like I've had much support this past year from anyone. The health visitor stopped coming round after about 6 weeks and I've never seen her since. I really wish the health visitors and midwives came round every month for the first year and then they would know whats going on and could support us but I guess our government doesn't want to pay for it.

I often feel really alone and sad, and I just really miss my wife, I feel like she's been taken away from me, like the depression has taken her and clouded her mind. And there's nothing I can do but wait for her to come back.

I'm sorry for writing a long post and I hope I've explained everything the best I can.

xStefx Wed 15-Feb-17 13:39:17

Hello, please ask Mumsnet admin to take the 2 names out ( your daughter and wife) as they may be a little identifying.

PND is so hard, and ever harder for a male to understand. You seem to be doing your very best. I bet your wife feels that life has been taken away from her too, its so hard becoming a new mum for some (is was for me).
I didn't want to read and run but I am not a professional and would be too scared to suggest anything.
You sound like a lovely husband, your wife can not help the way she is feeling as you know. Good luck OP, I hope you manage to get some good advice on here.

MummaGiles Wed 15-Feb-17 13:40:30

I'm not sure what to advise but you've mentioned your daughter and wife's names in the post. Flag it to MNHQ to change it so it's not so identifying. I hope someone comes along with some good advice for you soon.

skscotchegg Wed 15-Feb-17 13:43:37

I didn't realise I did, maybe because I've been half asleep. How do I speak to an admin to edit it...and does this website not have an edit button for your post?

Ouriana Wed 15-Feb-17 13:48:06

Your wife has only been back on anti depressants a few weeks, hopefully in another couple if weeks you should start to see an improvement again but this time she needs to stay on them. Stopping taking them suddenly can be disatrous as youve seen, she needs to talk about it properly with a doctor before reducing or stopping them.

Would it be possible for you to get some counselling, I actaully think you would both benefit but it should be seperate.

Also, make some time for yourself away from your wife and child. An hour at the gym, pub, or just having a coffee, make sure you get some time too.

I had horrific PND and if its any help I didnt improve til my baby was about 1, and I have every admiration for (my now ex) DH for how much he did for me and helped me and stood by me after I screamed he had destroyed my life.

xStefx Wed 15-Feb-17 13:50:56

I think you can report your own post and in the reason ask them to remove the 2 names. No edit button im afraid :-(
Anyone with PND advice for this gent? Chin up OP, Your wife is still in there somewhere and still your best friend. She is just having a touch time and needs some help. You sound like a nice husband.

skscotchegg Wed 15-Feb-17 13:52:05

Thanks for your replies so far, I've just clicked the "report" button and asked them to edit my thread. I actually wrote this thread yesterday but it wouldn't let me post it for some reason so copied/pasted it today.

Didn't mean to add names, I've been so tired this week because my daughters been ill and been waking up a lot throughout the night.

Also I've been having insomnia and anxiety and not sleeping on a night, even when I am really tired it takes me ages to get to sleep. This has just started over past week.

Since the terrible weekend we just had, I just feel so sad all the time, I keep trying to lift my spirits but its hard when there's so much sadness in our house.

confusedmamabear Wed 15-Feb-17 14:01:14

I had PND so can completely understand, my husband also found it hard to deal with. I agree with a previous poster, you both need help but perhaps separately so you can both be honest about how your feeling. She is still in there trust me, and you will get her back. I tried to come of meds for anxiety without help and I was worse than before I started taking them! It's so important to keep taking them, even when you feel better. I think the health visiting team is still involved until 5 years of age so maybe give them a ring and ask for regular visits (I did that and it helped loads). I also think it would be helpful for your wife to have 'me' time every day, even if it's only 30mins in the bath away from baby. I also think it's important for you to do the same. So, my advice would be contact your health visiting office and explain the situation and ask for more regular visits, try and convince your wife to stay on her meds, both of you get some professional help (there are free counselling services in a lot of areas and many free phone numbers if money is a problem or waiting lists are long) and possibly come back here when you feel you need too. This in itself could be some help to you, even if it's just to clear your mind and have a bit of a rant. You could call it your 'safe place' smile hope this helps a little...

Somerville Wed 15-Feb-17 14:09:54

When you're not sleeping, everything feels worse. Take all the sensible steps (no caffeine in the evening, limiting screens a few hours before bed, etc..) and if the insomnia continues then go talk to your GP.

Caring for someone who is very ill - whether that's a physical or mental illness - is hard, because as well as supporting them you need to accept that they are not in a place to accept you. So you have to take responsibility for building a support system around you, or seeing a counsellor, to give you.a place to vent.

Somerville Wed 15-Feb-17 14:10:28

To support you, I mean, not accept you.

HelenDenver Wed 15-Feb-17 14:17:34

The ADs will take a while to kick in agai .

skscotchegg Wed 15-Feb-17 14:45:58

Oh I forgot to mention in my original post, she has just started going to see a councilor, she's only been twice so far. And she's found a free charity councilor for us to go to as well. We're going this Saturday so I'm really hoping this will help and I'm hoping things will get better over next month.

I'm going to take your advice though and I'm going to speak to my GP about how I feel and also see if I can setup a councilor for just myself.

Mumchatting Wed 15-Feb-17 21:04:57

You did so much to support your wife. She should really appreciate that you have been waking up every night for the night feeds. That's the hardest part in my opinion, waking at night. So well done. I have no experience with PND so can't advise but I feel for you and for your wife and I'm sure all will he fine with the right help.

Bluebellevergreen Wed 15-Feb-17 21:08:37

OP the mental health visitor came around last week and (we already knew this) made sure my DH knew that dads can also get PND.
I am saying because you sound very low and I think maybe you could go see the doctor and ask. It is possible that you are suffering from it too.
I hope it gets better for you all flowers

handsoffmecrownjules Wed 15-Feb-17 21:09:15

So sad to read your post OP. This must be so hard for all of you, but it WILL get better. I suffered from PND - only diagnosed when my twins were 8m old but i had been ill for some time. Anti-D's took a while to kick in but once they did, the fog started to lift and, with counselling, I could start to re-discover my own identity (when i first went to my counsellor I could literally not find one positive thing to say about myself). I returned to work at 1 yr and for me - together with everything else - this was the game-changer as I began to really feel like me again. My DP was fantastic throughout all of this, but I don't doubt that it must have been very hard for him too - leaving me every morning to go to work with me crying and begging him not to go. I'm glad you are also considering going to see your GP too OP as it could be that you too have PND (or are certainly depressed). As others have said, you will both get through this and you have already taken the first massive steps in asking for help. Please don't be ashamed to ask for help from family and friends too. I remember in the depths of it all my DP was supposed to be going for a weekend away with the 'boys' and I really wanted him to go, but he was frightened to leave me and I was scared of being alone with the babies. So I literally sent out an email/text to a few selected friends saying I was struggling and asking if any of them could spend a few hours over the weekend to come and be with me.......within a few hours, I had the whole weekend covered. People want to help, they just need to be asked. You could also check out Homestart www.home-start.org.uk to see if you could get some help/company for your wife for a few hours a week too? Wishing you all the very best and do keep us posted.

SleightOfMind Wed 15-Feb-17 21:19:33

That's really positive that your DW has sourced counselling for you both.
She clearly hates the way things are as much as you do and wants to change things.
Hang on in there, but do make sure you are getting the space, relaxation and support you need to stay strong.
You have to put your own oxygen mask on before you can help others.

DropZoneOne Wed 15-Feb-17 21:24:23

I feel for all of you, I had PND and the first year of my daughters life is very fuzzy for me, everything blurred together, just one big struggle.

It''s not your fault this has happened though. Your wife is in a bad place and looking for something to blame, but there isn't anything to blame. Having a baby is a huge upheaval, it changes everything in your life and the immediate effect is more obvious for the stay-at-home-parent. She is not well at the moment, please try not to take what she is saying to heart.

If she's been on the ADs again for a month or so, and no improvement, she should go back to the doctor. It may be with the stress of another change to her routine (the starting back at work then stopping again) that she needs to increase the dosage for a while until she feels back in control.

Also, FYI, its advised to stay on the ADs for at least 6 months after you feel like you don't need them anymore, and then do a gradual withdrawal, pausing if at any point you feel like things aren't good again. If she'd mentioned to her doctor she was wanting to come off, then she should have gotten this advice but so many of us feel better and want to be off them, we don't bother to get the advice - not a criticism of your wife, both me and my OH made the same mistake!

I would also go and see the GP for yourself. It's so hard supporting someone else, you need an outlet too. NHS counselling can take quite a while to come through but there are charities you can speak to. Also, there may be group talking therapy available, and whilst I was waiting for a place on that, my GP arranged for the CPN to visit me once a week - not as therapy, but just to keep an eye and make sure I wasn't getting worse.

I wish you both all the very best - recognising that we need help is half the battle x

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