Monthly Archives: August 2013

A thank you, and a promise

The response from my last post has been overwhelming. My blog had double the amount of views than I had ever had, friends and strangers sent messages of support, and the whole experience was very positive for me. It also made me realise how important writing about my experience with post natal depression is. So I have made the decision to continue to write about it. When I first started this blog, I wanted it to represent the journey I was on, and what I was learning. The truth is, the major part of my journey now, is trying to overcome post natal depression. Home made play dough, and teething rusks are all well and good, but to be honest some days my journey consists of trying to survive the day without committing myself to hospital. If I truly want to share my journey, I must also share this part.

I truly hope that in doing this other sufferers of mental illness may find support, ideas, comfort and hope. I use the general term sufferers because it’s not just mothers with PND who I write for, it’s everyone who has ever had to struggle to live under the shadow of mental illness. Maybe I’ll even find a measure of peace for myself in writing about it.

I will still blog recipes, fun play ideas, and other aspects of motherhood too. Those things are also present in my life, and deserve to be shared. I want to thank everyone who read the last post though, for showing me the kind of support that allows me to put my journey out there and show motherhood in all its aspects. Much love and gratitude to you all xx

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Mummy health and wellbeing, Post natal depression

Hi. I’m a Mum, and I have post natal depression.

With RU OK day just around the corner, I have decided it’s time to write this post. I have no idea how to start this, what to say, or whether this is a terrible idea, but I feel like it’s important I share my story, and maybe it might help someone else.

Deep breath..

I have blogged before about developing antenatal depression in my second pregnancy. At the time of that post I was feeling pretty good, but things got a lot worse during the pregnancy, and by the end I was severely depressed. I had a wonderful natural birth, and brought a gorgeous little girl home, and for a few weeks things were good. The new baby bliss was not to last though, and over the next few months my mood went up and down, and slowly it got to a crisis.

I thought I was okay. I thought it was just normal fatigue, that I was still in my pajamas each day at 3pm because I had a new baby. The truth was I was so depressed I wasn’t functioning. My toddler, Boo, would beg me in the mornings to give her breakfast, and I was so depressed I would give her a packet of sultanas, or a yoghurt. I literally could not move off the lounge room floor. This was nothing compared to the anxiety. It manifested in strange ways: screaming at Boo, excessive anger, a paralysing indecision that left me rooted to the spot wondering how I was going to look after the kids. I would open the fridge door, and see all the food but had no idea how to put it together into a meal, so I’d close the door and just cry. The weirdest thing was that I STILL did not realise how unwell I was.

The turning point came when I could not leave my house one day. I was supposed to visit a friend, but had a stream of panic attacks so intense I could not move. My phone was next to me and I called my good friend, and naturopath for help. She asked me to come to the clinic, took one look at me and took me straight to the doctor. I believe she saved my life.

The next month was hell. It was obvious I needed medication. I had been taking natural medicines this whole time, and it just wasn’t enough. The doctor prescribed some Valium and an SSRI, and I committed to try them. It did not go well. My super sensitive, breastfed baby reacted badly. I stopped taking the medications. I thought her health was more important than mine, and I was committed to breastfeeding. It took me two days to be completely dysfunctional again. It was then I realise I had to be on medication, even if it meant weaning. I felt like a failure, and was absolutely devasted.

At this stage I was recommended to see a psychiatrist who specialised in PND. This was the turning point in my journey. This wonderful doctor found me medications my baby could tolerate and that were effective. She pulled strings to get me into a brilliant psychologist. She saw me weekly, and charged me a reduced rate. Finally there was hope again. It took months to get my levels right, and to start feeling better. But, it did happen.

Am I okay now? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Today I am anxious and sad. A week ago I felt amazing. In another week, I’ll probably feel amazing again. My life is up, and down. My family suffers through my moods, and our lives can be chaotic. Slowly the down periods are getting less, and the happy periods are really good. Even when I’m down I can function now, and I am a good Mum again. Life has hope, joy and is constantly improving. I know one day soon, I will be able to answer that question with an unequivocal yes. That feels good.

Post natal depression is a serious issue. It’s sneaky, and devastating to families. It is driven by hormonal changes, and is not just about the woman worrying about daily stressors. It also has nothing to do with how happy the mother is with her new life. I adore my girls. They give meaning to my life that I have never known. They are the best thing that ever happened to me, but that did not stop me developing PND. If you think you have PND, I want you to know that you are not alone, and that there is help out there. And, there’s hope. Because one day you will look back and realise you have left the dark behind and reemerged into the light.

This RU OK day, ask your Mummy friends how they are; how they REALLY are.

13 Comments

Filed under Mummy health and wellbeing, Post natal depression