So its been a while… I’d like to be strong and pretend I’m not ashamed to say I have Postnatal Depression. The truth is deep down I do feel shame. Lets be honest, now you know you think differently of me. I can’t help that, as humans we can’t help but judge others, the difference is whether you act on your judgements. I feel very fortunate that I have no psychosis (wanting to hurt your baby) but only get the weepies.
So I’ll set the record straight about my diagnosis, straight off the bat. I’m also addressing all my friends with PND.
In no way does your condition affect your ability to be a good mother. Read that again. Remember that, if nothing else. Please please remember that.
Secondly, its not your fault. Its a chemical imbalance in your brain, purely scientific and out of your control. No one chooses to be depressed.
Thirdly, it will get better. It is treatable. Unfortunately like most forms of depression its not something you ever live without but you certainly will get better. Surround yourself with good friends and family and most importantly get the professional help you need.
The decision to visit the doctors came about when my daughter turned 3 months old. I realised the baby blues really wasn’t going away and as someone who has battled with depression since my early teens, I knew the signs. I obviously got very down. Spent all my energy on caring for my baby and forgot about myself. I lost my appetite and my anxiety went through the roof. I spent my evenings crying, holding my child and imagining all sorts of horrors happening to her. I stopped letting anyone hold her, constantly worried about her health even though there was nothing wrong and I even panicked leaving her with Joe for a few minutes while I got dressed or did something necessary. For some reason I thought he would harm her, even though she is the love of his life and the thought is absolutely ridiculous my anxiety had spiralled out of control. This was around breaking point and after Darcy was asleep soundly in her cot, I lay cradled in Joe’s arms sobbing and declared that it was time to get help.
My darling fiance gave me the gentle push in the right direction and I went to the doctors the next day. In the Doctor’s room, I couldn’t talk at first. I burst into silent tears, while Joe told the her how I was feeling. I managed a few words of confirmation and surprisingly felt relief as I was told, that was I was feeling was normal. I had Postnatal Depression.
I was put on antidepressants specifically targeted at PND patients and was to be visited by my health visitor soon. I began to feel better after a few days and I’m pleased to say its onwards and upwards.
I still have the occasional bad day but I just view my situation as a small hiccup in an otherwise very very happy life.