My Post Natal Depression Story

My Post Natal Depression Story
My Post Natal Depression Story
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My Post Natal Depression Story: The Friend Who Won’t Leave

Everyone who has depression, has a story to tell. I hope mine’s not too boring but I want to tell it because it’s not a common story; but it is a common symptom.

BACKGROUND:

Even though I really wanted to have children, I struggled massively during the first year. Coming to terms with what parenting meant to me, with the fact that I am now responsible for this small human being, and sleep deprivation; all took it’s toll on me.

I was diagnosed with Post Natal Depression when my daughter was 6 months old. Although, I probably had it for 5 months prior to the diagnosis.

I have always had anxiety issues, so it didn’t come as a surprise that I had PND; but I was still ashamed of it.

I didn’t tell a lot of people until at least a year afterwards; and even then I was embarrassed. I’m not like that anymore, because I just don’t give a sh*t.

People need to realise they’re not a failure for having depression. It’s out of their control, and it’s really not as simple as “dealing with it”. It’s a chemical imbalance in your brain – not really something you can “snap out of”.

I still have it. To this day. I tried weaning myself off the medication, and then I got pregnant with my second child. The doctor and I talked in-depth about my options and we thought it was best I stay on medication.

Best decision I ever made.

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MY SYMPTOMS:

They weren’t the usual crying-in-a-ball-on-the-floor – although that did happen several times.

My symptoms are anger. Terrible terrible anger.

I never hurt my children, but I imagined horrible horrible things about myself.

I screamed into pillows to try and release the anger. I used to clench my jaw almost to what felt like breaking point. I even punched a few walls. My fridge took a wee beating once too … there’s still a mark to this day.

Some of you know me, most don’t, but I am not an angry person; or a violent one. So when this anger started coming out, I knew it wasn’t right.

Anger is apparently a common symptom, but we don’t talk about it so we bloody well never know. Google it – google the symptoms and signs of depression and it’s in there.

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WHAT I DID:

First, I had to admit to myself that something wasn’t right. It was when I was curled up on the floor crying my eyes out after getting seriously angry at a silly situation. Although I had other moments where I knew stuff wasn’t right, THIS was the moment I decided to get help.

After talking to Phil I went straight to my GP and had a huge cry to him. He asked me a bunch of questions, and was actually bloody amazing. I ended up on medication (Citalopram), and had counselling sessions. I also took part in a Mindfulness Course through ProCare.

As I said above, when I got pregnant with my Ronan (our second child), my doctor and I talked in depth about where I was at mentally. We talked about staying on medication and after research, and more talking, I decided to stay on my meds.

I am still on medication to this day, and I think I am now classed as having Depression. Because my children are older, it’s not Post-Natal.

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SEEKING HELP:

If you are ever unsure, please speak to someone professional. “Professionals” include your GP, the Plunket nurse, or even your midwife. You can find a great list of those who can help right here.

Please – if you speak to your friends and they say “oh that sounds like the baby blues” and you are still not sure, SPEAK TO A PROFESSIONAL. If you talk to your GP, they have a special test they can give you to gauge where you are on the scale of things.

Seriously, going and seeing a doctor about how you’re feeling is not the worst thing in the world. All they’re going to say is “actually I think you are ok”, and if you still don’t feel ok, seek a second opinion!

Your health is the MOST important. The most important for the baby; the most important for your relationship; the MOST important for YOU!

To read the next post in this series, and to find out ways to get more help, please click here: Post Natal Depression: Taking The Next Step

Do you have post natal depression?  If you feel like sharing, let me know your symptoms.

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Kimberley Perkins

OMG. I didn’t know that! I’m on medication for pnd but for a while I have found myself getting so grumpy, usually at my 3 year old. I have put it down to her not listening and having to repeat myself over and over which I find so annoying, her repeating things over and over which I also find annoying, and her taking so long to do anything. Basically I get angry about her being a 3 year old lol. Maybe I need to tell my Dr? Perhaps I need to increase my dose?

Lena

Thanks for sharing this. I have depression, and anger is definitely one of my symptoms – it’s not all just lying in bed crying (although that features too at times). It’s hard to talk about, but the more that people do, I think it makes it easier to get help. There’s a ‘self test’ my doctor showed me and it’s a useful way for me to check in with myself. http://www.depression.org.nz/depression/self+test

Lizzy Lockhart

I never would have known that anger could be a symptom of depression, thank you so much for sharing that. I think it is so important to not feel ashamed of depression, or any mental illness. It doesn’t make someone a worse person or a failure, its just one of life’s hurdles that we must find a way to make through.

Cassie

This is great! Thanks for sharing. I think I suffered from depression after my daughter was born and I still haven’t talked to anyone personally about it, but I did write a blog post about it. As a labor and delivery nurse I was ashamed to admit that I was a failure (even though I know I wasn’t). I know the risks of depression and what it can lead to, but I still didn’t talk about it. I even had thoughts of throwing my daughter out the window, I never in a million years would do this, and I would burst into tears as soon as the thought crossed my mind. Thanks again for sharing!

Carol

Depression affects a wide range of people and we need to talk more openly about it …not so much ram it into other peoples faces, just more of a sentence so it’s not making a big deal of it. My beautiful teenage son has Youth depression and it’s hard dealing with it, and getting him to be open about it with his friends is a slow journey. He’s getting there, but it’s not a overnight fix. Be open about it. If others have a problem dealing with your or a family member’s depression, then maybe they shouldn’t be in your life now.

April

Thanks for sharing. I have had depression for 8 years and on medication the whole time. I decided to stay on it while pregnant. Best decision ever.

Sacha DaSalla

Thank you for sharing this. I’ve battled depression since before high school (I’m 35 now). Strangely, during my two pregnancies I didn’t need my meds. But man, a day or two after delivery and I was a mess! Having preemies didn’t help! But I knew I had to take care of myself or else I wouldn’t be there for them. Irritability is my worst symptom. And that often leads to outright anger. It’s terrible feeling out of control and in fear. It feels so good to be able to talk about it though. Mental health issues run rampant in my family and I thank my parents for educating themselves AND my siblings and me, especially during a time when it was such a taboo subject. We were never ashamed of how we felt and never made to feel guilty. I thank god for that everyday!!! Hopefully our children will have an even better understanding of this terrible illness. If you got this far in my novel, thanks! Lol! Xoxoxo ~Sacha D.~

Roisin Hegarty

I’ve heard people talking about irritability and anger in relation to men who are depressed, but it’s not often mentioned in relation to women. I guess it goes back to those old social expectations – men are angry and women cry a lot. I mostly get irritable when depressed, and I think it’s something people find difficult to understand. There’s this expectation that with depression you feel really low, sad, or numb – like you said, people just aren’t talking about the anger. Thanks for bringing it up!

Simone @greatfun etc

I love that you’re writing about this! So many people suffer with it but so few people talk about it leaving those who struggle feeling like they’re the only one. I first wrote about my journey on my blog seven years ago, and continue to share the journey as it happens, mingled in with the rest of the adventures. What you’re sharing will help many people… because the stigma and the shame can be the most isolating thing… and the last thing depression sufferers need is top be isolated, alone and ashamed x

K

Thank you so much for sharing 🙂 I have suffered from PND since my son was born just over a year ago. I have received treatment – medication, CBT, group therapy etc. But lately I have started to get really angry at seemingly small things. I think I am getting really sick of being depressed and I’m angry at that little voice in the back of my head that says, “you’re going to be this way forever!”

Kimberley Perkins

Ok so WOW! since this article I have tried to stay on top of my anger and actively control it a bit. Not too surprisingly when I don’t lose my shizz my daughter doesn’t lose hers so much either and so the cycle goes round and round, resulting in us both being a bit calmer.
YOU DID THAT!

Alisha Barbara

Thank you so much for sharing this! I too have anxiety and depression, I can’t work at the moment. Honestly leaving my bed is very hard, I get agree too. So much built up frustration and sometimes it explodes! I know I will always need medication, but I just think if I would low in any vitamins I wouldn’t think twice about taking medication for that so I’m okay with it too 😀 xxx

April

Re-reading this blog as I’m currently pregnant and off medication. Feel absolutely terrible 🙁 worried about risk to my baby but I need to look after myself first right????

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