Thursday, 29 May 2014
Postnatal Depression. This is going to be one of the hardest posts i will have to write on my blog, however now i have over come this i believe by sharing my story i can show others that it is not a shameful thing to have, its a illness that you can recover from. I was sweet 16 when i fell pregnant with my first son, and i was 17 when i gave birth to him, it was the happiest days of my life, however it would be also the start of one of the darkest points in my life. My son was very poorly during his first 3 weeks after birth, he had various problems such as irregular heart beat, not feeding etc. This led to him being in ICU in Hereford county hospital. I had to travel back and forth to see him, and as i couldn't drive i had to rely on others. Any mother who has had there child on a ICU will tell you how difficult it can be, and sometimes make it very hard to bond due to complications, unable to feed yourself or other problems that may arise Although my son eventually came out of ICU, and is now a very healthy five year old i do believe that was the start of my PND. Shortly after he was brought home i moved into my own home. I didn't have much support from family or friends so i was on my own most of the days. All my friends went out on weekends and i was stuck at home with a baby. It didn't seem fair at the time. Between my son being 4 months till around 2 years old i struggled to cope. I went out with friends and drank heavily (i wasn't an alcoholic or addicted, however alcohol was an escape, a chance to feel normal.) When i did have my son with me we would sleep 12 hours at night and then more during the day. My mood was so low i didn't want to get out of bed, my friendships suffered and i was at rock bottom. I had wrote and planned suicide attempts but never had the guts to carry them through. I cant remember when the exact turning point came, however i know that i started to look at life in a different way, such as wanting to prove everyone wrong, prove that i wasn't a waste of space that i often felt i was. I got on the internet and started researching courses online, and i came across a charity based in Llandrindod wells. The charity helped people between the ages of 16 and 25 years get back into employment. I contacted them and a lovely lady called Linda came out to see me. Linda took notes of what i wanted to do and where i wanted to be in the next 5 years time. Over time she helped me apply for a college course in health and social care. I was unsure at first about attending, it had been along time since i had studied and i wasn't sure i would fit in. I did however agree to give it a try and see how things go. I started there in September 2012, and i loved it. I made some wonderful friends and i had a reason to get up in the mornings. That was the light at the end of the tunnel that i had been searching for, for the past 4years. I also started realizing that the people i was around were not my real friends, they used me. They used my home as places to hang out, and didn't really care about how i was. So i began looking to move, i was eventually offered a place where i am now in Newtown. I was a bit worried about moving here as i didn't know anyone, i would completely loose my support network and i would have to start from scratch. I'm so glad i took that decision to move and make a better life for me and my son, i started to feel better about myself, i completed my college course with an overall merit and i also got a job in care at a local elderly home. That feeling i got was amazing. I had finally proved everyone wrong, that i could achieve what i wanted and give my son a better life. Although i wasn't formally diagnosed with PND (i didn't go see a doctor, i thought i was just grumpy!)i now realize the signs were there. I still suffer with depression and i am on medication, however its under control. Me and my son are very happy here and i am proud of myself that i changed my life around. I am now expecting my second child, and i am going to be very aware that it may strike twice but i now know the signs and i will not hesitate to ask for help, i only wish i has done it sooner. If you think you may be suffering with PND please don't hide it, its always best to speak to someone weather it may be your GP, family member or a friend. PND is very common with around one in eight mothers seeking help from their GP.