Kind of ironically, I was diagnosed with Postnatal Depression during Mental Health Week 2015.
Things had come to a peak and I had to admit to my family that I wasn’t coping. (As if they hadn’t noticed me crying over the morning porridge).
My son was 6 months old at the time. I was going to my GP about his sleeping (or not sleeping) as it was really starting to take it’s toll on me – mentally and physically. I think anyone that can survive months of sleep deprivation without going crazy must be a some kind of miracle woman. While at the doctors, I tried to maintain the issue was his sleeping but she could see past this and made me take an Edinburgh test. The results of that made it obvious I was suffering from PND.
I wasn’t surprised to be honest, I knew I hadn’t been happy for a long time, including during my pregnancy.
I remember leaving the doctors that day with a mixture of feelings.
– Relief – that there was a name for the way I was feeling and that meant that hopefully I’d be able to recover.
– Fear – of the unknown, would I be called crazy, what would others think of me?
– Failure – I’d failed this “mum gig” at the first hurdle.
– Confusion – what was going to happen next, how would my family react?
My doctor gave me some information, told me that she thought getting in touch with a psychologist could be good for me and also mentioned there may be a need for medication.
I said I’d think about everything and come back in a week. I needed time to absorb all of this.
I actually ended up rescheduling my appointment for less than a week. After thinking about it I knew I needed to get things sorted sooner rather than later. I had a little boy that needed his mum to be on her game.
I found that I quickly accepted the diagnosis but my first question was how do I get better and how can I speed up the process. This is a theme I’ve been battling alot – learning to have patience.
The doctor started me on a low dose of a SSRI anti-depressant medication and put me in touch with Gidget House for a meeting with a psychologist. She also gave me some tips on how to handle the extreme anxiety I was feeling. I was told that the medication could make me feel worse before I got better… that was definitely the case for me. I’ll go into more detail on another post.