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To think the GP is wrong and I'm not...(warning- whingy and self indulgent)

73 replies

Piggyleroux · 14/04/2011 12:33

....depressed, just really tired and in need of a break?

Just got back from seeing gp. Got bullied persuaded by dh to go as been feeling a down the last couple of months. It seems to have coincided with ds 13 mo crawling, which means even simple chores like having a wee become a bit of a challenge.

Things came to a head yesterday after ds did not have his usual nap all day and I got nothing done that I needed to do. Dh got home to find me in floods of tears, because tbh, I was just over it all. I was utterly mentally drained and it just all got on top of me.

I haven't had a nights sleep in a 13 months, dh does minimal childcare because he works long hours, so everything falls to me. Ds is a lovely, lively little boy and I feel so bad but yesterday he was so challenging and because he didn't have his nap, I didn't get a break.

Gp wanted to prescribe me anti depressants, but I don't think I'm depressed. I'm just knackered. No one tells you how hard being a parent is. How do people cope with more than one??

OP posts:

squeakytoy · 14/04/2011 12:35

You do sound like you could be depressed to be honest. By your own admission, lots of people DO cope with babies and toddlers and dont feel at their wits end like you are feeling now.

Is it possible to put him into nursery or let a relative look after him for a few hours some days a week, just to give you a break?


Librashavinganotherbiscuit · 14/04/2011 12:39

I know what you mean about being knackered but not depressed, I get days and weeks where I feel I am about to collapse under the load of noise/mess/mudaneness but I know it's not being depressed as a condition because I know at some point soon I will snap out of it and depression isn't that easily "cured" IYSWIM. You can occasionally be depressed without having depression.

Your DH might work long hours but you need to tell (not persuade or ask) him that you need a couple of hours to yourself next time he isn't working (weekend?)

I cope with 2 by wondering how people cope with more than 2 Wink


Pixielovescake · 14/04/2011 12:39

I think it depends on how you normally feel. This miht be normal for you but out of character for some. If you could maybe have a few days break and see how you feel then it might help ?


BarbaraBar · 14/04/2011 12:41

I agree with the nursery/relative option. You need some light in your weekly tunnel (corny but you know what I mean).

I was low/exhausted/shell shocked after the birth of my 2 dc (1 year age gap) and have no relatives around. I put the dc into nursery two mornings a week just to give me a break. We did the whole meeting up with friends thing too but them being in nursery meant I had time to myself for a couple of hours and it didn't all feel so claustrophobic and relentless. It does get better, I promise.

Are you eating well? Are you getting out of the house? Do you have friends nearby you can have a laugh/moan with?


Piggyleroux · 14/04/2011 12:41

squeaky Smile I don't think I need ADs though. I don't think they are always the answer.

I was fine before he started crawling. I am just really tired. He still has bf at night so I have not had a full nights sleep since he was born.

He is napping now and I am managing to relax and I feel fine. It's when he doesn't nap that it all feels so relentless.

OP posts:

moomiemoo · 14/04/2011 12:42

Honestly, I think you might be a little bit depressed although maybe just going on anti-depressants isn't the right first step for you.

I remember how hard it was with my first I really do. You have all the time in the world to think about everything that you want to get done but very little time to do it, especially when your DS is demanding/crawling. I had total cabin fever.

Do you get out of the house a lot. There's a double benefit of, hopefully, being able to go to places where you can chat and your DS is entertained and if you're out of the house it doesn't get in such a mess!

Did the GP offer anything else? Perhaps talk to your HV? I know they can sometimes be a pain but one with my first came over every week for a chat for 6 weeks and I honestly think that prevented me from getting full blown PND.

Do you have a good friend with a similar aged LO? Perhaps you could swap and look after each other's children for half a day once or twice a week so you both get a break? Can you hire a cleaner? Buy more ready meals? Get food shopping delivered?

It does get better, honest. I've got 3 under 5 now Smile


NightLark · 14/04/2011 12:42

But a lot of the people who cope without feeling at their wits end have had some (often regular) full nights of sleep by the time their baby is 13 months old.

I hadn't - DS is 5 and still only sleeps through once or twice a week (NB this is not usual OP and is not likely to happen to you!) - at 13 months he had never slept through. I remember very clearly that everything is so immensely difficult when you are long-term exhausted.

Sleep deprivation and exhaustion can feel very much like depression - the issue for me is that the treatment is different. A few full nights of sleep and, if it's sleep deprivation that's the issue, you will feel like a different person - ADs are not necessarily the way to go and shouldn't surely be the first port of call?

OP - could you talk to your GP about IAPT, CBT or other talking therapies, about referral to a sleep clinic if your DS is still a really bad sleeper, or look into getting some half days of nursery or CM care to help you out? I'd try all of the above before ADs for 'depression' that may well be exhaustion.


Piggyleroux · 14/04/2011 12:43

Agree with Libra. I'm normally fine. I do get down days but doesn't everyone?

OP posts:

Pixielovescake · 14/04/2011 12:45

Yes im with Nightlark , ADs are quite serious medication and probably shouldnt be the first thing to try. I cant understand why they are given out so freely. Although if you need them you need them but if you arent sure maybe you should look at getting support first then seein how you feel.


paddypoopants · 14/04/2011 12:46

I was the same when ds was about 13 months- ds didn't sleep through, was up at 5.30 am, didn't nap for more than 30 mins if I was lucky, was really mobile and into everything. My house was a mess, I didn't have time for a shower most days and dh was home late. I was at the end of my tether and knackered but I wasn't depressed - I put ds in nursery for 1.5 days a week. I was lucky we could afford to do it. A week later I was a new woman.


Piggyleroux · 14/04/2011 12:47

I think it's just about having some time out. I'm 37 and before I had ds I was extremely a bit selfish and did what I liked Grin

Good idea Moomie, I know someone who might be up for that.

OP posts:

harassedinherpants · 14/04/2011 12:48

I remember hitting a stage like that with dd, but she was 10 months and started walking (clever yes, but not good for me!). I was also bfing and working 3 days a week and it all got too much.

I don't know if you feel the same, but that was what nudged me stop bf'ing. I remember sitting in bed at 3am trying to feed dd back to sleep, and feeling like a dummy, knowing that I had to get up at 6.30am.....

I've had pnd and depression, and this wasn't what I had. I was exhausted! But, I think you should listen to your gp or speak to your hv. Have you done the pnd test?

Will ds take a bottle?? Can you express for a couple of nights over the weekend and dh take over? Or can he get up with ds and let you sleep until lunchtime?


BarbaraBar · 14/04/2011 12:50

Everyone gets down days - you are right. I totally see where you are coming from.

When my dc finally started sleeping through the effect on dh and me was amazing. Sleep deprivation is a killer and can lead to you feeling down/depressed/struggling. It does not necessarily mean that you have depression but you shouldn't rule it out.

A friend of mine had a baby the same time as I had ds1. Her baby slept through from 8 weeks, mine from 14 months (and I was pg with ds2 for most of that year). As a result, our experiences of our child's first year is poles apart. She has nothing but coochie coo memories and I can only remember exhaustion and everything is a fog.


lemmein · 14/04/2011 12:52

I remember that feeling - my youngest is now 13!

I remember the utter despair - I was a young mum (had my first at 18, second at 20) and found it really, REALLY hard. My DH went out to work at 7.30 and didn't come back till the same time on the evening. I felt so alone and isolated and just couldn't cope at all. It really was one of the darkest times of my life and because I was so young I mistakingly thought I was rubbish at it just because of my age and kept my feelings to myself because I didn't want anyone else to know I was rubbish. Stupid really, but at the time made perfect sense to me. It started a long period of mental illness which I've only just started to recover from over the last few years. I applaud you for admitting you're finding it hard - so many mums don't, get as much support as you can - there's no shame in asking for help. My friend is going through the same thing now, it DOES get better, its just a bad phase which will pass if you continue acknowledging how you feel and asking for help.

One of the things I did which looking back made the situation a zillion times worse was hid myself away (sometimes I didn't even open my curtains!). Try every day to get yourself out with the baby, it really does make a huge difference to your mood. Buy a playpen (controversial I know) to put the LO in with some toys when ya have to leave him for a minute. Oh and try and make sure he gets his nap - nothing worse than a tired, stroppy baby! Give yourself a break though - its nothing you are doing wrong - LOs are VERY, VERY hard work, you're right - no-one tells you this. It appears everybody else does it so effortlessly, appearances can be deceptive though.

I look after my 2DNs whilst their parents are at work and its only now I'm realising it is hard, I wasn't rubbish afterall.

Talk to your HV see if they can offer ya any advice. Do you have family close by?

Be kind to yourself when you can - you're not just a mum, and grab any help that comes your way with both hands. People generally don't offer though unless you ask so keep being honest. Hope you see the light at the end of the tunnel soon - it really does get better, eventually.


Piggyleroux · 14/04/2011 12:54

Harassed - dh does need to do more. He has this slightly chauvinistic attitude that because he works, everything else must fall to me.

I will ask him to doa bit more this weekend. He is lovely and he will do it if I ask.

Thanks everyone. I feel much better!

OP posts:

Piggyleroux · 14/04/2011 12:55

Lovely post lemmein, thank you Smile

OP posts:

AyeRobot · 14/04/2011 12:56

Can you ask your husband to take a day or two of holiday so that you can go to a hotel/friends/family and get some sleep and then see if you need ADs? Not a solution in the medium or long term but could help right now. He might also be able to get a bit of insight into your day as well.


queenbathsheba · 14/04/2011 12:57

If you could find some way to manage DS and your time so that you are in control I'm sure it would help.

Why are you still Bf at night? is it possible to offer him water when he wakes at night? usually within a few nights they take the hint! Make sure he gets plenty to eat and Bf or top up with formular before bed. Even if he goes down much earlier you could wake him before you go to bed and then over a few weeks bring that last feed forward by half hr each day until he sleeps through from his bed time until morning.

Lots of activity am, sleep before lunch not after and keep him awake until his bed time-may help.

If you could get whole nights sleep everything seems so much easier what ever happens all day.

I second what others have said about a few hrs childcare. Sleep and 2 mornings child care saved my sanity.


elliephant · 14/04/2011 13:01

Many clinical trials show that people with major depression who regularly exercise get better at the same rate as they do with antidepressants.

30 minutes a day is the magic number.

Stick your DS in the buggy and get walking. Good for the head, the body and the baby.


namechange100 · 14/04/2011 13:01

Arrange and immediate break with you - use family and friends express some milk. You need to sleep you are not depressed IMO.

Arrange some easy parenting activities - DS in buggy/softplay where you are sitting down

Get whatever help you can with house etc over the next week/ready meals whatever to lighten your load until you restore yourself

TBH and blunt review your feeding and feeding patterns, get tough at night times for wakes ups. What is not good for you is not good for DS.

You need to be a bit selfish here to readdress the balance between looking after yourself and your DS


queenbathsheba · 14/04/2011 13:07

namechange I agree, if you can get control over the night time feeds and sleep pattern it will make the world of difference.

OP you are truely amazing and obviously a great mummy to still be bf after 13months but now might be good time to be a bit selfish and start looking after yourself more.


jumpinghoops · 14/04/2011 13:13

Piggyleroux- I have an 11 month old crawler who sometimes drives me mad, she is into everything and super curious and I don't feel like I can take my eyes off her for a second. I have days like you that end when I burst into tears of frustration.

I have gone back to work 3 days a week and what used to feel like a demanding, tiring job (early years teacher for 3-4 year olds) now feels like a walk in the park in comparison with being at home!

Could you try to send your partner in to settle your baby when he wakes in the night (maybe with expressed bottle)? For our baby this was the only way we could break the cycle of waking in the night for a breastfeed but I know all are different and what works for one might not work for another!

Good luck and definitely ask your DH to help out more- especially at weekends if he is not working, having a few hours to myself at the weekend definitely preserves my sanity!


Asinine · 14/04/2011 13:14

Gradually try putting him to bed later, get to bed early yourself and hopefully he may wake up later or need that nap in the afternoon. Will he go in the cot for a 'quiet time' after lunch, even if he's not sleeping?

I second getting out with the buggy, exercise will help your mood. Try to socialise with other first time mums who will understand how you are feeling.

If you're still tearful, low and not coping go back to your gp.

My GP told me I was depressed when I thought I was just tired, and I didn't believe him. I went back a month or so later when I realised he was right. I changed jobs as I realised I had too much on my plate.

I hope you feel better soon.


LisasCat · 14/04/2011 13:15

I feel very sad about the number of GPs who push ADs as the first solution. My GP was fab and, although I did eventually end up on ADs, his first course of action was to sign me off a few weeks of uni, and tell me to come round to his house for a relaxing afternoon by the pool (no such thing as a poor GP!) where his lovely wife served me Pimms! Now obviously not every GP will do this, and I had an extraordinarily strong bond with my GP owing to family history and length of patient relationship. But he was right...all I needed was some time out, to clear my head and step back from the stress that every new day presented me with. Once the load was fractionally lighter, I was better able to assess everything that was getting me down. He also got me ten free sessions of counselling which was more than enough to air a few bottled up grievances and re-invigorate me with a feeling that I could fix things on my own.

OP I think you very much need a bit of space away from the routine, to recharge your batteries a bit and come back at it with a clear head. This will achieve far more than ADs, especially if, like the ones I eventually ended up on, all they do is wrap your brain in a cotton wool-like fog, that prevents you enjoying the bits that are actually really good about your life, such as the lovely moments with your DS.


nulliusxinxverbax · 14/04/2011 13:28

Gp's love doling out AD's, problem solved they think.

I had NO sleep for years.....and years....

It makes you a bit mad after a while. I dont think you are depressed just very....very....tierd.

Good way to test, ask someone to have him overnight, for one night. SLEEP.
If you feel better the next day, you are just very very tired.

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