Problems with PPD?
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August 20th, 2008, 03:01 AM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Wow..nearly 2 years since I was first diagnosed with Postpartum Depression. I was diagnosed when my daughter was 1 week old. I am currently still on medication but a very small dose.
I am happy and thought free.
I have officially been diagnosed with PND with OCD tendencies. This includes depression, anxiety (including panic attacks), intrusive thoughts (thoughts of hurting Bub & myself) and many other symptoms that go along with the disease. I was borderline psychosis.
In hindsight I started to suffer depression during my 6th month of the pregnancy.
I have written a short story of my experiences and my journey through this time. Below are a few paragraphs from the story that I hope relay how I felt and what I experienced. I hope that this helps other women who may be suffering from this disease and need to have it normalized. I TRULY UNDERSTAND! I've suffered through so much but I've come through a stronger person.
I have started from Chapter 5 as this is when Bub was born.
When we got home things went from bad to worse. The resentment grew and I used to lay in bed and pretend I didn’t hear her crying. I wanted things back the way they were. I regretted having her. I used to ask myself why I felt this way about her when she never asked to come into the world, but the thoughts never went away. When my Mother got up to attend to her I felt relief. If I was called to feed her the feelings of resentment would escalate.
I just couldn’t understand why everyone said this should be the most amazing experience, such a joyful time. I started to become completely void of emotion, I didn’t want to hold her, touch her, look at her. I didn’t want to feed her, I hated the responsibility. My husband would look at her lovingly and say “isn’t she beautiful” and I wouldn’t have anything to say- “if you think so” would sometimes be my response.
This was the child I had dreamed of having, I couldn’t wait to be a Mum and didn’t understand why I was feeling the way I was.
Intrusive thoughts begin
I fought with myself for hours telling myself that I would never do that while it felt like my mind was challenging me, “yes, you can do it” .I was horrified, how could think like that? What kind of mother and person was I? I kept this to myself as I was so ashamed and the feeling of guilt were consuming me.
I thought this was enough but it escalated again and I started to have further thoughts of even more atrocities against my family & my daughter .
I felt so alone, desperate and ashamed- how could I ask for help when these images and thoughts were so repulsive.
Due to this I was not able to nurture my daughter the way I had fantasised. My little family was far from the perfect picture I had created in my mind prior to giving birth.
Fear, Anger & Hurt Plus a Mother's Love
It became so severe that I started to have suicidal thoughts, I just wanted the thoughts to stop! I couldn’t take it anymore. All these abhorrent thoughts about harming people I loved and continually battling with my head for the thoughts to cease and find some reason why I was thinking like this.
Once we returned home for the day, my Mum looked at me and asked what was wrong. I broke down crying and told her that I felt like the thoughts were consuming every part of me. I asked her why I would think like that when I would NEVER hurt my daughter or anyone. What is wrong with me? I confessed to the suicidal thoughts as well.
Learning to cope & survive
I saw my psychiatrist and was diagnosed with POSTNATAL DEPRESSION and for the first time felt confident that I could be cured. That this wasn’t for life, I could and would get better, not recovering had been a big fear of mine.
After I received the confirmation of the diagnosis and I had a name of the disease that I was suffering, I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I was never afraid or shy to tell people what I was going through. I now knew that the thoughts were not my fault, they did not define me as a person and I refused to hide away and pretend that I was fine and that I was coping. I was honest and admitted that I needed help, that I couldn’t do it on my own and that takes courage. Especially admitting what I did, considering it is such a taboo topics. I was proud of myself.
The prices you pay
When a Mother is suffering from PND the whole family is affected. My Husband did not understand and found it very difficult to cope, I had always been the strong one in the relationship and all of a sudden I couldn’t be that person anymore- I could not make any decisions, even deciding what to have for dinner was an extremely difficult process.
We have worked through it together and I believe we have come out stronger on the other side.
Throughout this whole nightmare my daughter has always adored me and her adoration never faltered. I often wondered what effect I was having on her but at the same time I knew I couldn’t care for her the way I wanted and the way she wanted me to. She craved my attention which unfortunately a lot of the time I was unable to give her. How can I care for a baby when I was struggling to look after myself.
Not every moment with her was horrible, she started to smile quite early and even when I was feeling low those little smiles put a spark in my heart.
I am not completely free from this disorder. I still have my up and down days but I get through. The down days are less frequent now and I feel a lot less depressed each time I have a downer. I am still on medication and I know that I am not ready to stop yet, but I am improving everyday.
The bond I now have with my daughter is amazing. She is my light, my joy…my everything and I would not wish her away. I love watching her grow and learn and couldn’t imagine my life without her. I am an incredibly proud mother and we are a great family.
At the onset of PND I promised myself that I would not have anymore children, I could not put myself through that again but my thoughts have changed on the matter and I do want to have another child. Hopefully things will be better with the second pregnancy (even though research does show any increased risk with future pregnancies) and if things do not work out then at least I have managed to build a support network now and know more about the disorder and we will be able to conquer it once again.
I hope this helps someone...it helps me to write it down. As I said I have a whole story if anyone is ever interesting in reading it, please let me know.
For those who are suffering from this horrible debilitating disease- you will get better, I HAVE!
Thank you Heather mom2*Lauryn*Jacob* for the most gorgeous siggy!!
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