when you hear of postnatal depression what do you think of? For many it’s not bonding with your baby instantly after birth. For me that wasn’t the case. You see it’s different for everyone. There isn’t a right way to suffer PND and there certainly isn’t a wrong way. unfortunately you get the version you’re given.
For me I’ve been treated about a year after both my kids. Looking back it reared its head immediately but I soldiered on. I don’t know who I was trying to kid.
The stigma is still there with any mental health issues. People are frightened to speak up for fear of being judged. When you’re already feeling like you’re not good enough the last thing you need is others thinking it too.
I instantly bonded with both my children and it was love at first sight for me. weirdly the case for me- as it is for most is I love them… a bit too much.
Newborns scare me. The anxiety they give me drives me insane. I love the squishy, pink, milky bundles but what about all the other stuff they come with? For example cot death statistics, how much they should be eating, pooing and bloody peeing! Anything I can worry about I would.
When I had my first I slept with the windows locked in a first floor flat all summer. For fear someone would come and take my baby. I called my Nan once to ask her to look after the baby while I had a shower. She suggested I left him to sleep while I showered and I genuinely couldn’t believe she would suggest something so absurd.
When I had Joy, my second I stayed awake for 3 whole days. Even when she slept. For fear of something happening to her if I slept. Of course that didn’t last and I eventually passed out with exhaustion.
Second time round it’s much easier to spot though and luckily I’m surrounded by love and support. I’m now very good at asking for help if I need it now and I’m aware of the importance of self care. We all need to look after ourselves first. You can’t pour from an empty cup.
The more we talk about these issues the more we educate others. If we normalize talking about mental health then we put people at ease and eliminate ignorance.
My point? Keep talking. If unsure ask questions. Never be ashamed and make sure you have a good GP who understands what’s going on. I can’t stress that enough. These issues are often easily resolved but only once treated. Either it be with counselling, drugs or maybe both. Whatever works for you.
Try not to put too much pressure on yourself. We’re all guilty of it. Some days I can clean the whole house, have 2 playdates, make the dinner and do a food shop. Other days I stay in Pjs and that’s okay too. It’s about balance.
I’ll say it again. Keep talking!
I’ve posted some links below that may be helpful: