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Postnatal depression? Who to turn to when you have nobody?

29 replies

jesoza · 02/07/2019 16:33

My baby is 8 months old. I’m worried I might have mild post natal depression. I’m trying to get through it and I am having periods of feeling positive and happy, then me and husband have an argument and I absolutely plummet. It’s scary how low I can feel at times.

But my husband doesn’t understand it and I feel so stressed with it. He keeps saying things like:

“If you go to the doctors they will give you tablets and sign you off and work won’t keep putting up with you being off (I’m currently on last week of maternity leave) and then you won’t have a job, and we won’t afford the mortgage and we will have to sell the house”

“I thought you would be happier, you wanted a baby and to get married and buy this house. Why isn’t that enough to make you happy”

“You being miserable drags me down. I know you have had a lot on your plate, but there’s only so long I can deal with it before it drags me down too”

This all makes him sound like a dick and he really isn’t, he just really doesn’t understand mental illness and how hard I’m struggling. Hell, I don’t understand it, so how can he. But I need support and I don’t have anybody else I feel able to talk to. I’ve tried to reach out to a couple of friends, but they just dismiss it and say I’ll feel better soon. I don’t have a good relationship with my family any more (which I think it a major contribution to how shitty I feel) so I literally only have my husband for support.

I don’t really know why I’m posting. I think I just needed to tell someone how I feel. I feel I can beat this on my own without having to involve any medical people and have it permanently on my records. But I can only do that with support, or even just not saying shitty catastrophising statements.

I hate feeling like this and just want to feel happy again. I’m not even getting any joy out of things I used to enjoy.

OP posts:
Dadadadededadeda · 02/07/2019 16:36

Please contacr your HV or GP and tell them. That really is the only solution and it will definitely help. You don't need to feel alone in this.

Illstartexercisingtomorrow · 02/07/2019 16:36

I was like you. I felt like I could do it myself.

I ended up seeking help. My biggest regret - to this day - is not seeking help so much earlier. I wasted months of my baby’s life trying to fight this thing that I didn’t need to fight alone.

My DH also didn’t understand. I couldn’t understand it. Please see your GP.

Mammajay · 02/07/2019 16:38

If your mum is alive, unless she is toxic, she would want to help. The best tip I can give is to make sure you get out of the house for a short time every day. The park, the library, visit other new mum etc. It can be very hard being on your own with a baby. Often going back to work helps a lot as you get to have adult company.

AriadneesWeb · 02/07/2019 16:43

I had nobody to help me. DH said I was a bad mother, I didn’t want my baby, I should just leave because they’d be better off without me, if I contacted the GP or HV and social services started hassling us he’d never speak to me again. DM cried and said I should be happy, why can’t I be normal, I put too much weight on her shoulders and she can’t cope with me being depressed. So I suffered in silence. It does pass eventually. If you can get help from the HV or even from a friend you should do that.

Illstartexercisingtomorrow · 02/07/2019 16:45

The thing is OP, it doesn’t always pass eventually for everyone. Sometimes there are devestating consequences to untreated pnd.

SnuggyBuggy · 02/07/2019 16:48

Seek help and don't involve him if he isn't helpful

Iggly · 02/07/2019 16:49

Go and get help.

Trying to cope is just the worst way to deal with this.

And your husband sounds like a dick to be honest. I suspect he’s scared, fair enough, but why the negative response.

jesoza · 02/07/2019 16:51

Unfortunately my mum is toxic.

I don't know if it is depression or just some nerves and anxiety about maternity leave ending and going back to work in a few days. I could just be being dramatic about it. I do feel shit, and I cry every time I think about leaving my baby. I just keep crying. I'm up and down by the minute. I'm fine one minute then crying the next. I don't want it on my records, especially if it's not even depression.

I didn't feel like this until very recently (I can't pinpoint exactly when) but we were trying for baby #2 until about a month ago so it's after then. I felt great and was doing well. I don't want this to put my whole life on hold. I just want to get over it.

Maybe once I'm back in work and I see it's not as awful as I expect I'll feel better? I work shifts and I'm only doing one a week for a few weeks.

OP posts:
Mybobowler · 02/07/2019 16:54

Oh OP, you aren't alone. Please speak to your Health Visitor. I called mine in tears one day when my baby was about 10 weeks old. She came around for weekly "listening" visits - she'd just let me talk, she'd reassure me, give advice on things like sleep and feeding, and she told me what other help is available. My daughter is 6 months old and I still have days and weeks when I feel pretty low, but my HV's visits have been an absolute lifeline. I'm sorry your husband isn't more supportive - it can feel so lonely when it seems like nobody understands. You don't have to struggle on your own. Be kind to yourself Flowers

Mintjulia · 02/07/2019 17:00

Go and see you GP. I was feeling miserable, despairing, and was waking at 3am despite being exhausted, and getting more exhausted.
GP was brilliant, sorted me a weekly hv visit, some very mild ADs and a variety of other suggestions.
My ex was equally bewildered and unhelpful, he just didn’t understand.

Mintjulia · 02/07/2019 17:05

Sorry you had to cope with that ariadneesweb you deserved better. I hope you have better friends now. And realise your family didn’t know what they are talking about.

jesoza · 02/07/2019 17:12

I think my husband is probably scared and he is pessimistic by nature and always jumps to worst case scenario. I think he's panicking how he would manage everything if I did have depression.

We had a good chat last night and I felt better and more positive and felt supported and loved, but then we had a stupid argument this morning, and he made me feel so ungrateful for all the lovely things I do have and like I'm just being a brat for feeling sad when I should be the most happy ever. I've wanted to have a baby for so long.

OP posts:
LouLouLoupee · 02/07/2019 17:17

Honestly if you think you have depression you are best seeing a health professional. They will ask some questions to determine a score on the spectrum and take it from there. I’m sure the questionnaires will be on the inter web somewhere if you want to get an idea yourself. If you have no other support it is imperative you know what to do if it gets more severe. Another good resource is the black dog video, must be on YouTube. It’s good for helping others understand how you feel as well. Your husband needs to educate himself and learn how to support you. Piling on the guilt is never going to help.

LBTM · 02/07/2019 17:19

Your medical records are totally private - only you and your GP will know about it if you talk to your GP so you shouldn't worry about it being on your record. And you won't be signed off work unless that's what you want. Your GP can talk you through options like pills or seeing a counselor.

When I needed help for my mental health, just seeing my GP made me feel much better because I had done something proactive, there was someone to talk to and I had made the first steps to getting more help if needed. I would really recommend seeing your GP.

LouLouLoupee · 02/07/2019 17:21

Black dog video and others here -

LouLouLoupee · 02/07/2019 17:22
SnuggyBuggy · 02/07/2019 17:45

OP loads of people are treated for depression, it's just a health condition like any other and it isn't something to be ashamed of.

GrouchyKiwi · 02/07/2019 17:54

Echoing those who say go to your GP and/or HV. Even if you don't want treatment (yet?) they'll be able to direct you to other forms of help, like a local PANDAs group. When I had PND with my third child I found talking with other mothers who were experiencing the same to be absolutely invaluable.

If you don't feel like a support group would help you, then there's a great Twitter group run by @ PNDandMe on a Wednesday night from 8-9pm. I think the hashtag is PNDHour. They're a lovely bunch of people, really supportive.

beingmum39 · 02/07/2019 18:22

I think you could speak to health visitor, or maybe look at doing something once a week that allows you to get your identy back a little bit.. for me it's walking and I had emergency c - section, I suffer with depression and my baby was born in winter so all the above was going to mean giving up the one thing that kept my mind balanced. I perhaps pushed myself more than I should have, but each time the midwife came over in the early stages she remarked on how well I was looking and how well my son was doing and any unsettled feelings began to disappear. The health visitor, gp are the best way forward.. but the biggest help is knowing your not alone. And Mumsnet has been a god send through any of my doubt and dark days.

jesoza · 02/07/2019 18:33

Thank you everyone. Truly thank you all.

I need to give myself a break a bit and see how I feel. I think I'm very overwhelmed right now and going back to work is not helping that feeling. I'm going to see how work is and see how I feel on Friday. If by Friday I'm no better I will ring and make an appointment with GP.

Until then I've deleted/moved my social media apps to break the habit of mindlessly opening them and seeing everybody's "happy wonderful lives" and feeling like a failure.

OP posts:
gollygoodnessgraciousme · 02/07/2019 18:46

I would second talking to a professional, you don't have to be signed off work, you may be offered counselling or medication, but you don't need to do this on your own.

If your DH is genuinely just struggling to understand could you try sending him some links to some websites that explain depression in a way that relates to how you are feeling. I did for my DH a while ago and it was the start of him making a real effort to understand and since then I have felt much more supported.

ekalwe1 · 02/07/2019 20:46

I've never, ever posted anything before and I'm honestly not even sure how I came across your post tonight, but I just couldn't not reply to this...

Along with many others, I've been there. I'm kind of there now. After my son was born 6 years ago I thought I could handle it myself... And I kind of did for a long time, but I wasted so much time not getting help sooner. Now my daughter is 5 months old. Because of my history I've been offered a lot of support and I almost refused because I'm not feeling as bad as I did last time and I thought, I've been through this before, I can manage and anyway there's nothing new anyone can tell me (not only have I been getting treatment for a long time, I'm a psychologist myself)... But then I started feeling down again so I decided to keep my first appointment with the perinatal psychologist. I went yesterday and it was actually really helpful and she does have something new to offer me to help me with what is going on in my life right now. I guess my point is, try to keep an open mind about what PND is and how it can be treated. Also, don't wait to reach out until you're sure it's really bad... First of all, it can be harder to treat the longer you leave it, and also you have to be prepared for it to take awhile to get things moving. Best to make the phone call or appointment as soon as possible... If you're feeling better by the time it comes around, great! If not, you won't lose even more precious time feeling rubbish.

I don't know your husband, but I believe you if you say he's not generally a dick 😊 He might just need educating about what depression is and how he can support you. But the other thought that crossed my mind is that he also sounds rather depressed and anxious. Sleep deprivation, added responsibility and stress, major life changes... all can be triggers for depression. My husband also had to get treatment for depression after the birth of our son, and it wasn't because I was "bringing him down"...he was struggling with all those things on his own. You know your husband best but I just thought I'd throw it out there as something to consider. If you think that might be relevant, talk to him about it, or ask your health visitor or GP about support that might be available for dads, too.

Good for you for identifying something that was making you feel worse and doing something about it! I really, really hope that you realise you're not alone in feeling like're not a brat or ungrateful for feeling down and no one talks about it but the reality is that for many, many parents it might be a happy time but it is simultaneously also likely to be one of the most difficult and miserable times you will ever live through. I really hope you get the support you need and are feeling better soon. Sorry for such a long post, just hit so close to home tonight and I also think I'm rambling due to exhaustion (we've had a lot of sleepless nights due to teething lately!) Good luck!!!

Howmanysleepstilchristmas · 02/07/2019 20:58

Don’t worry about your “records”: they’re confidential. If you need help get help. That said, I’ve had depression 3 times (PND once) in 20 years and I always leave it later than I should to get help so I know where you’re coming from. Like yours, my dh takes it personally. I think he sees it as a judgment on him that I’m not able to be happy.
If you aren’t at the stage where you can seek help yet, I recommend exercise, omega 3&6 oils in large doses (pregnancy depletes them, which can increase susceptibility to depression) and daily connection with other human beings in whatever form you can find it.

HM88 · 02/07/2019 21:02

I'm sorry to hear you are feeling this way. Please speak to your GP or HV, there's lots of support out there. The hardest step is acknowledging there is something wrong and taking that first step to get help.
I was diagnosed with PND when my DS was 9months old, but I didn't deal with it properly and just carried on with day to day things and ignored it. He's now 17months old and it's gotten worse at the moment, so much so it's been affecting my work and I'm currently off sick.
My GP and Advanced Nurse Practitioner have been fantastic. The hardest part for me was admitting it to myself and telling my family.
I find counselling is really helping - something I never thought i would find helpful.
I'm also trying meditation - find the headspace app really helpful especially to help me sleep, it can help with stress, anxiety, self esteem, sleep, lots of different things
I've started doing some yoga and walking helps
There is also a free 4 week stress control course available on the NHS you could try.
Some people have suggested keeping a diary and writing positive points down everyday
And most importantly making time for yourself is soooo important - not feeling guilty about taking time out from house work etc to do something you enjoy.

Hope some of these suggestions help and you get the help you need and feel better soon x

HM88 · 02/07/2019 21:09

I also found deactivating my social media accounts for a little while helped. In my work place 9 of us went off on maternity leave at the same time, making it impossible not to compare myself and baby with theirs. Seeing them happy and loving life only made me feel I was doing a rubbish job as a mother and knocked my self esteem. Also made me think that if everybody else is coping fine, then why aren't I? X

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