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

Drowning in PND - and getting worse

(223 Posts)
ImHappyDreaming Fri 28-Apr-17 22:26:52

I've not been on mn for years. Hopefully someone can help me because I'm so overwhelmed I can't breathe.

I've been diagnosed with pnd and ptsd after having ds 12 weeks ago. His birth was lovely but I was re admitted to hospital two days later with complications. Four days of hell ensued.
It's a long story and one I can't really write out just now (or even think about too much as I'll lose the plot) but in short I am not sure how to go on. I've been referred for talking therapy with cbt and have had one introductory session, but I found it to be a plaster on a gun shot wound. I know one session is just a start, but I have to live until the next one and I'm barely surviving. I've also got a dd to look after and at 13, she knows I'm not myself. Panic attacks. Tears. Anxiety. It's relentless. I'm either scared, tired or both. Of course ds is still not settled into a real sleep pattern yet and am also concerned his formula might not agree with him - thinking of switching but even this small matter seems huge and is adding to my anxiety.
My partner and mum are 'there' for me but don't understand and can't really help. I am shutting down and withdrawing into myself because I feel like I'm drowning and feel so alone.

How can I make them understand I'm REALLY NOT OK??? Anyone? And has anyone had a similar experience and made it through? I'm not sure how or if I can.

Sitting in my car crying and hoping someone can help. Thanks.

didireallysaythat Fri 28-Apr-17 22:33:15

I don't think I'm qualified to help but couldn't walk away.

Did anyone suggest medication along with the CBT ? I realise it's not a long term solution but for me it gets me out of that downhill spiral. I usually take it for a month or until I feel like I'm ready to face the world again. During those two months I focus on the positives and​ I write them down. When I come off I know that the positives are still there, but I have to look harder for them. Having them written down helps.
An understanding GP is required - be prepared to try a few before you find a reasonable one.

I wish you well.

Summer70 Fri 28-Apr-17 22:33:37

Gosh I'm so sorry. I'm not really able to help hugely as haven't been in quite the same situation but I'm sure a wise person will do soon. I had a degree of PN anxiety & felt out of my depth & it's all a bit of a fog now 4 years on. Certainly by 3 months things were improving & much better by 6 months. It's so hard to ask for help but please please do - tell your mum & partner what you need. Also perhaps talk to your GP again. Keep talking & sharing - this will pass & you will come out the other side.

ImHappyDreaming Fri 28-Apr-17 23:06:08

Yes, medication was suggested but I was hesitant. Initially ds was breastfed and I wanted absolutely nothing in my system then. Actually I stopped citalopram before ttc with him. Wasn't fond of it anyway because it was a swap from mirtazapine - not as effective for me plus I put on loads of weight. Mirtazapine makes me sleep too soundly to be comfortable taking it with ds so small/night feeds etc. Also the withdrawal was horrendous and I'm scared to ever go back really. I know that's probably stupid but the stupid cap definitely fits me at the mo. My long time (trusted and loved) gp is ironically away at the moment and seeing different gps every time exhausts me. The positive writing sounds good although I've been trying positive affirmations in the mirror and just end up in tears feeling like a fraud.
Thank you for your kind responses.

ImHappyDreaming Sat 29-Apr-17 10:10:18

Another day that feels like an uphill struggle. Have already cried this morning and feel exhausted. Does anyone have a strategy for managing waves of panic that don't involve hiding in the kitchen and wanting a glass of wine?

ImHappyDreaming Sat 29-Apr-17 10:13:25

Oh and since this thread seems a bit - quiet, what's the etiquette for trying to talk to you all? I really need someone to talk to.
I thought it might be rude to 'hijack' someone else's thread with my problems...? confused

FusionChefGeoff Sat 29-Apr-17 10:17:34

I'm not at all qualified or experienced but couldn't read and run.

There's a technique I've heard to manage panic where you stop what you're doing and try to name 5 things you can see, 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can feel, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste (or something like that!)

It's very helpful to stop your mind spinning and bring you back to the here and now.

Otherwise, I definitely think medication - maybe something for short term anxiety but definitely go back to the GP or even OOH if you can't cope until Tuesday,

Don't be scared to show everyone how badly you are affected. They need to see the full extent so they can make sure they support you enough.

This is a common and recognised medical condition. It is fine to cry / sob / ask for help. Keep talking.


FusionChefGeoff Sat 29-Apr-17 10:19:33

If you keep posting here, usually the more it stays in active and then more people will pick up on it.

I don't know if there's maybe a general 'PND Support' thread hiding somewhere - try browsing round the mental health topic. I know there is a general MH support thread so you could join that one.

LadyTennantofTardis Sat 29-Apr-17 10:19:47

I would go back to the gp/midwife and tell them exactly how you feel. Be insistent that you need more help, can your DH go with you and back you up?

LastMangoInPeckham Sat 29-Apr-17 10:23:32

Have you tried the Head space app? I know lots of people that have benefited from it, simple mindfulness techniques that will help you hopefully.

Sorry I can't suggest anything else other than keeping talking, on here and to people IRL.

Maybe try and put baby in sling and get out for a short walk? I always feel a little better when I get out of the house?

Those first few weeks can be horrendous, your hormones are all over the place. I hope things settle for you soon.

Please let us know how your morning goes xxx

DropZoneOne Sat 29-Apr-17 10:23:39

Oh gosh you poor thing. I can't think of immediate help, but I'd recommend asking if a cpn can be in touch with you until the cbt helps you. I had a cpn pop in twice a week whilst waiting for therapy, just having someone I could talk to really helped. The breakthrough was medication though.

Silverstone67 Sat 29-Apr-17 10:28:42

Whereabouts in the country are you? Do you have any yoga mums and babies classes, they are lovely to do with your baby and if you can get to a yoga class on your own it is wonderful for working out trauma that is held in your body.

derryjojo Sat 29-Apr-17 11:03:55

Please PM me if you want to talk. I went through a bad bout of PND and anxiety when I had DS. I went to two different CBT classes, one individual and one group. The group I found to be great as it showed I wasn't the only one going through it. Look to see if there is anything similar in your area.

PastysPrincess Sat 29-Apr-17 11:14:40

Hi I've been through this and came out the other side. I had PND and PTSD after a traumatic birth. I was on Paroxetine for PND which is safe for breastfeeding but there are others available. I was very successfully treated with EMDR (eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing) for PTSD rather than CBT but not all areas of the country have it on NHS.

PTSD and PND are awful things to go through but you can recover. Feel free to PM me.

ImHappyDreaming Sat 29-Apr-17 11:46:13

Thank you all so much.
Fusion - I'm really worried about going back on any medications. Withdrawal last time has put me off badly. I'll try the numbers thing, I constantly feel like am waiting for the next wobble to hit.
LadyTennant - I've seen a different midwife every time. I know it probably can't be helped but it makes me feel unwilling to start explaining everything from the start each time. I just shut down. Same with the doctors. My dp would go with me, he's great. But feel really disconnected from him too even though he's trying. I must be so tiresome.
LastMango - I'll look for the app. We have a small park and playground near us, I do try to get out daily while dd is at school energy permitting. Sometimes I feel ok when out - then start plummeting when I get home. If I drive somewhere I have been crying on the way home knowing I'm going to be a mess once inside behind closed doors.
DropZone - sorry for being stupid - cpn, is that a nurse? I did feel some security when the midwives were coming regularly just to have someone be sure I wasn't totally crazy, but at the same time I worry about being deemed unfit? Does that happen? I'm so scared of the withdrawal that follows with ADs though. I remember it too clearly to feel confident I could do it again. God I'm scared of everything, its pathetic.
Silverstone - Im in London. My dp also suggested looking into local groups. I'm not the greatest socially but maybe worth a go. Gathering myself to get out seems huge what with feeds etc. Bfing was so much easier for that.
derryjojo and PastysPrincess - glad to hear you both found ways to get better. I feel like I have a mountain to climb and can't even stand up. What if I'm just not ever going to feel normal again?? Thank you for pm offers.

Ds was being v smiley and gorgeous and is now fractious doing the fighting sleep thing. Am so tired. I would walk him out in the pram but literally cant.

Thank you all, truly.

PastysPrincess Sat 29-Apr-17 12:04:14

It starts just one day at a time. You don't need to think about anything beyond today.

The best description I found to try and help people understand was saying it's like being in doors and watching a firework display. You know it's happening and see and hear everything but it's nothing like being outside and actually experiencing it.

There were times I felt so bad that if anyone had offered to take my son I would have let them. Not because I didn't love him but because I was so totally lost I couldn't deal with it all.

Now, my son is almost three and I'm 6 months post discharge from treatment.

FusionChefGeoff Sat 29-Apr-17 15:29:18

I'm sure if you discussed your fears about withdrawal with your GP they would take that into consuderation and maybe start you on something that doesn't have a record for withdrawal. I'm not an expert but I have heard that there are many, many different types of drugs, all of which can be prescribed in a variety of doses so I'm sure there is something out there that could 'take the edge' off your anxiety and help you get back into the world a bit.

Another technique you could try to boost general well being is a Gratitude List at the end of every day. Just 5 things that you are grateful for. From massive 'I am grateful for having a loving DH and healthy son' to I am grateful that I made it to the end of the day'. Also the tiny triumphs 'I am grateful I got the washing in the basket even if I didn't actually get it done - it's one step I don't have to do tomorrow'!!

ImHappyDreaming Sat 29-Apr-17 15:56:57

Thank you both. Yes I said to dp this week that whenever things are bad in life they're likened to someone dying. This time I feel like that someone is ME - watching myself from the outside like the guy in The 6th Sense. I still feel responsive to my dcs but thats about it. I'll ask the gp about different ADs - I guess I'm only remembering the withdrawal and not the benefits I felt on mirtazapine for example. The gratitude list is a good idea and I try to think these thoughts although sometimes I think 'Why am I being such a stupid cow, I've got beautiful, healthy dcs, a loving dp and supportive family - it's not their fault they cant get through to me/dont understand - what am I crying about?!' But cry I do. I can't help thinking I've failed and continue to fail. sad I'm trying a 'one hour at a time' approach as anything else is too overwhelming.

Silverstone67 Sat 29-Apr-17 18:03:30

London should surely have some mum and baby yoga? I cant recommend it highly enough to you. Stress and anxiety relieving and sleep/relaxation inducing. Also "social" groups are so much easier with a bit of an activity focus. Sending good vibes xxx

LastMangoInPeckham Sat 29-Apr-17 18:40:18

Not much to add other than that I've been thinking of you and hoping you're doing ok. My mum says, and I've found this helpful at pints, "fake it til you make it". That isn't to say that you have to pretend everything is ok, but rather keep putting one foot in front of the other, feed your kids, feed yourself and don't give up. Completely echo PP of take one day (hour!) at a time


didireallysaythat Sat 29-Apr-17 21:19:00

I am on (and off) fluoxetine (Prozac) but I don't think it's ok while breast feeding. I don't find the withdrawals too bad but I think it's also worth thinking about being on AD for a while as it takes a while for the levels to accumulate plus I wanted to do all my regular stuff on AD so that when I did them OFF AD I could remember how possible everything can be (if that makes sense).

Blossomdeary Sat 29-Apr-17 21:24:55

PND is a hormonal problem that sends your brain chemistry awry and needs treating by putting that chemistry right with medication. CBT is not the treatment of choice; although it can be a useful adjunct.

You must go back to GP and get the proper treatment so that you can start to feel better.

ImHappyDreaming Sat 29-Apr-17 21:55:15

Thanks again all. Your advice and kind words have kept me afloat today.
Have just been managing. I did go to the park with the dcs and tuned out of my head for a while. It helped. My flat is a tip though and I'm exhausted again. The long weekend seems endless and I don't have any plans. The nights are hard too - I seem to feel much worse and I feel panicky now sad
Yoga would be lovely. I used to go to a class a few years ago so will definitely give that some thought.
I will also re-think the ADs. I hadn't realised I am ill. Illness needs treatment.
I'm just so scared.

Haggisfish Sat 29-Apr-17 21:59:37

Has your gp checked your thyroid? It can go massively into overdrive after birth and cause huge anxiety. Agree with pp re medication. My anxiety was horrendous-30mg duloxetine has revolutionised my life. Keep going. You are doing brilliantly.

Badweekjustgotworse Sat 29-Apr-17 22:03:51

I had pnd and it's horrible, I'm so sorry you're going through this. Yoga sounds great, can you find a mums and tots group locally? I found a running group where you jogged with the buggies outdoors and then had a stretch afterwards, my twins used to lie on the floor beside me and before they were even really crawling they were copying the leg lifts and other moves. It was a struggle to get out but I always felt much better for it after and they always slept on the way home and I'd just doze in the car when we got home till the woke (or sat on mumsnet grin)

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