For those who don't know, I had quite bad post natal depression immediately after the birth of Reilly for about a year, that was nearly four years ago now. Since then I have had more than a few ups and downs. Post Natal Depression is an insidious bastard, it stole the first few months of precious moments with Reilly from all of us. In addition it also nearly destroyed my marriage. On the up over time it has but taught me allot about myself and made me stronger. I am no longer embarrassed or ashamed and make no secret of my depression or the importance of my happy pills (medication) in keeping me on the up.
Anyone who has been there knows how horrible post natal depression can be. How deep and dark the big hole is you fall down and how powerless and paralyzed you feel to do anything to get out of that hole. The closer we got to Macca's birth at the start of the year, the more worried my husband and i got that I would go post natal again. I was determined I was not going back there. Obviously when I found out I was up the duff I went back to check my med's with the psych. In an attempt to be proactive I went to the Post Natal Depression course at the Private Psych Hospital. Sharing and listening to others journey is incredibly powerful and normalizing. It was all a little overwhelming and took me back to some uncomfortable memories but gained a heaps of new skills that help me today. After Macca's birth, with the support of my Psych I pumped the happy pills up and a little more and a little more. Thankfully No deep dark hole this time... touch wood....
|Me and Macca|
|I must, I must, I will, I will..|
As I sit here typing I realize how happy I am right now and that life is good bla bla bla. I'm not ready to give up the happy pills just yet, will just keep trucking along and enjoy the daycare days.
|Life is good|
I am no expert on the subject but if you are a new mum feeling more than just blue, like shit, crying at nothing, erupting like an Iceland volcano and generally not getting over being pissed at the world or in my case feeling nothing about the world or new baby. These are my tips based on my journey:
1. Don't ignore it the hole just gets bigger.
2. If you can't talk to your partner, family or a friend, breakdown to your doctor they are a good place to start and they can medicate.
3. Give yourself a break and lower your expectations of yourself, they are probably far to high. Nobody is perfect, some are just really good at faking it.
4. The shower is the best place to cry, no one has to know, no one has to see and your eyes don't get so puffy.
5. Remember you are not alone. I was amazed when I started to talk about my depressions (drip by drip), how many other mums we in the same or similar boat. I never ever would have thought it because they presented so well.
6. Don't let the shame, guilt and feelings of failure eat you up inside, it's the most destructive part of the illness. Even though it doesn't feel like it there are 10's of 1000's of mums just like you out there, you just have to find one or two good ones and you will start to feel a little more normal.....