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26Aug 13

Postnatal depression – the truth

 

 

 

Waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, your back tense due to anxiety and stress, you have this overwhelming fear that this is how you are going to be for the rest if your life … the tears come , the hopelessness,  the anger and the question of “why me?” the self loathing because why not you? People go through tragedy every day, some people are unable to have children and you have been blessed with two perfectly healthy babies. Stop being so selfish, get on with it pull up your socks and stop feeling sorry for yourself!

These are thoughts that I once had, every day. Sleep was an escape, anger was my friend and thoughts were my enemy. I felt for sure that I would not go through PND again because I KNEW who to speak to , what to look out for , and how to cope.  I was the one who helped other women after beating it first time round, I was the one who recognised that I was not bonding with my unborn child and I was the one who demanded that I get help to stop it in its tracks. I was the one who after having her 20 week scan and suddenly bonding over night because the thought of having a boy this time just filled me with happiness, was NEVER going to go through it for the second time. I even tried to convince my cognitive behavioral therapist that I would no longer require his services after having my child and humored him at our last session when he said “you can always come back if you need any more sessions”. I thought, as much as I have enjoyed our sessions I have taken away some valuable coping strategies which will help if the inevitable does happen.

I was also the one who was part of a film for the NHS talking about my first experience along with other women and presented it at a conference on perinatal Mental Health in front of consultants, psychiatrists,GP’s, Nurses,midwives and challenged a respected Dr for her “studies”into the effects of PND on children.  I was the one that campaigned and knew statistics, that the chances were high that I could go through it again. But I did.

There are many times when I realise that it wasn’t a completely bad experience, I learned a lot about myself, I feel that it made me a stronger person and good mother, it made me less judgmental and it helped me to raise awareness about an illness which is still very much a stigma in society. It helps me to challenge those in the health profession who don’t understand it and dismiss it as being the “baby blues”. because lets face it, its much more than that. A dark cloud, a deep hole , whatever words you use to describe it as it is an individual experience, its utter hell.

It is a hell that you can get through though. I promise you. The clouds do lift and the sun does come out. I sometimes laugh at silly rituals that I used to follow when I was in the midst of my depression, laugh because I am through it and laugh because its a relief to be better. A sigh of relief and a smile of self congratulation as I am a great mum, as are you who may be reading this and going through the same thing. You are great because you love your children and that is the best gift to give to your children. Not material possessions, just good old fashion love.  Yes, I shout , I cry and I vent out of frustration but who doesn’t? I go out the house with drool or vomit on my clothes, I am not immaculate and I am not perfect but I am GOOD ENOUGH and so are you.

Here are some links for further help:http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/expertadvice/problemsdisorders/postnataldepression.aspx

A film about PND:http://www.mindreel.org.uk/video/maws-our-journey

 

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2 comments

  1. Well written. I think the scariest thing about depression is you can’t possibly see the way out & how it can be better. Is ell done!

    Reply
  2. Thank You. It is true that when in the midst, all you see is a bleak future and fuzz.. but there is really so much help out there that its worth it to just hold on and keep taking each day as it comes.

    Reply

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About Coping with postnatal depression…

Hi, my name is Angeline and I am mum to two kids, ages 6 months and 6 yrs. I had postnatal depression with both kids and prenatal depression with one. I have decided to write about my experience in order to help break stigmas relating to perinatal mental health, and actively campaign to see changes to services available for both men and women.

I am open and honest about my experience and, although it was a very dark time in my life, I want people to know that you can overcome this and there is light on those dark days.