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The Dark Side.

The Dark Side.

Before I admitted that I had depression, I was a cynic. I am ashamed to admit, I was one of these people that believed that it was rubbish and I couldn’t believe that these people couldn’t just ‘sort themselves out’ or ‘pull themselves together’. Even at the time, I was struggling and I think that I have also suffered with my mental health, it has just been more so since becoming pregnant and giving birth.

According to the NHS, postnatal depression affects one in ten women, and one in twenty-five men. Halfway into my pregnancy, I definitely was struggling with depression. I hated being pregnant, I hated that I was going to become a mum and I hated everything. I was living in a small, one-bed bungalow with my husband and we weren’t getting on at all. Neither of us really recognised that I was struggling and husband would leave me alone nearly every night, to go to the pub with his friends. I had moved to the other side of the city to be near his work, but it meant I knew no one and I no longer had the support of my family. I was supposed to be attending university but I would skip my seminars and my lectures to sit at home and cry. It was a struggle to get out of bed, let alone keep on top of the housework or get myself dressed.

At six months pregnant, I decided to get a dog. He was 18 months old and he had had three homes prior to ours. He was on a sell it site on Facebook and I decided that I needed him in my life. He was an absolute nightmare, which you can read about here. As much as his behaviour was awful, he was my saviour. I had no choice but to walk him every day and it meant that I was getting out of the house, in the sun. I enjoyed spending time with him. When husband was out for the evening, I now had company and he enjoyed cuddling with me on the sofa. He wouldn’t leave my side and he was so loyal. Don’t get me wrong, there were – and still are – problems that we faced but it was amazing to have him around.

When Little R was born, I struggled. I struggled to breastfeed at the beginning, which you can read about here and I just generally struggled. Although I didn’t realise it at the time, it was obvious to those who were close to me. My sister-in-law would keep an eye on me. On one occasion, she turned up with flowers, books and a meal for husband and I, and just generally made sure that I was alright. She knew that I was suffering and she was amazing. Similarly, on anther occasion, my husband’s younger brother came to visit with his mum, and I was sat sobbing with a screaming child in my arms. Whilst Little R’s Nanny took over Little R, husband’s brother held me and soothed me until I was able to compose myself. Both my sister-in-law and my brother-in-law were amazing, and I am truly thankful that they are now a part of my family. It was husband that rang the Health Visitor, worried about my mental health. I was so angry that he had ‘gone behind my back’ but I needed it. The HV came out that day and sent me straight to the doctor, who prescribed me anti-depressants. Within a month or two, they had become effective and I was much better within myself.

Unfortunately, I still have massive lapses. At the moment, I am struggling. Not only am I really low right now, but my anxiety is horrendous. It used to only affect me when I was going out on a special occasion, where I had to look nice, and I would tell husband to cancel the event. Thankfully, he has always ignored me, told me that I look beautiful and we have still gone and I have managed to have a lovely time. At the moment, however, I am at a new low and I am struggling to even use my phone, let alone leave the house. I feel sick, it makes me breathless and I get all sweaty. My only saving grace is that it isn’t forever, and I will get over this low – I always do!

I am truly thankful to my husband, who is now able to recognise my lapses, and to all of my family who support me. It definitely helps to have such an amazing support network and it does make everything so much easier.

Do you suffer with your mental health? Were you diagnosed with PND? Or was your partner? I would love to hear all of your stories.

 

 

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14 thoughts on “The Dark Side.

      1. For many women, it doesn’t last all too long, a year or so being a very realistic time frame. Personally, I had undiagnosed depression before I got pregnant and undiagnosed anti natal depression too. Honestly, I think I suffer from depression but since I wasn’t okay to be 21 and depressed, it went overlooked and undiagnosed for years until I had my baby and then it was OK because then is wasn’t “depression” it was “post natal depression” and “normal” – for me, it’s never really gone away, but what I wrote might explain why. I will say though, that it WILL get better, things will get easier and even if you have lapses for a while, they will come fewer and father between and, fingers crossed, go completely for you soon.
        Don’t suffer in silence, always speak up and ask for advice or a shoulder to cry on when you need it, there’s no good to come from trying to be strong when you’re not xx

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  1. I haven’t experienced depression myself but I’ve helped a family member who has a serious mental illness. It’s horrible to witness the lows especially with someone you love but by being there and helping as part of a support network I think it really helps. I’m glad to hear you’ve got a good network. Plus your blog will also help ease anxieties and hopefully getting your thoughts down will give you a relief. This post will help someone else also suffering #prettyinplaydough

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  2. I’m sorry you’re suffering again at the moment. I had bouts of depression after my first was born and took a course of anti-d’s. I’m mostly ok now but have tried to have occasional courses of therapy. I’m glad you have some good support . #fortheloveofblog

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  3. I’m sorry to hear you’ve been suffering. I have suffered from depression and anxiety on and off from the age of 10. I have my moments still, but they’re not as severe as they was. I don’t have PND either. I can relate to not being around family and friends as I now live abroad. I do feel lonely in my feelings sometimes. Thank you for sharing your story with us, and thanks for linking up to #fortheloveofBLOG.

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  4. I suffered postnatal depression after A and suffered alone. my husband was the only one who knew and he himself was going through his own thing too (postnatal depression is real for dads too). I still have bouts of depression but I try to handle it on my own which I know isnt the right thing to do, but I manage mostly. Moving to the countryside has helped I think #fortheloveofblog

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  5. Glad to hear your family are taking good care of you when you really needed it. It sounds like your increasing awareness of your state of mind is helping you to make sense of things. I wish you calm and hope things are on the up for you soon.
    x Alice
    #fartglitter

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  6. Depression is a terrible illness but it sounds like your family are absolute godsends for you, and you can’t beat being in a loving family where you’re cared for when you need it. Take care of yourself and thank you so much for linking to #PoCoLo it’s been a pleasure to read your post.

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  7. I haven’t experienced depression, however I know people who have. It sounds like you have taken the right steps to overcome it, and have a very supportive husband at home. Keep your chin up lovely. Claire x #PrettyInPlaydough

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  8. Although I never experienced ‘hardcore’ PND (i.e. I ‘got over it’ quite quickly and just accepted it as part of being a new mum…,) I have had depression years ago. I think this made me more prone to PND though (along with my traumatic birth experience and the aftermath). Fortunately, I recognise the black dog and now and can nip it in the bud. Not an easy journey for anyone though. Keep trucking #pocolo

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