About Me

Kent, United Kingdom
I have the perfect family but still struggle to find the light in the darkness of post-natal depression.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

one step forwards, one step back....or going nowhere fast!

It's been a mixed couple of days here in mad-land...
And it's hard to tell what the overriding feeling is.
Yesterday I was proud and pleased after having a frank and open discussion with someone I had just met about my experiences of PND - and yet again finding that they didn't run screaming from the room.
But she is pregnant with her first baby and confided that she is worried about developing PND once it's born. She's not the first to have expressed such fears to me, which makes part of me wonder if actually my almost defiant honesty is proving to be more of a catalyst for panic than anything else.
After all, it's a bit like birth stories - most people gloss over any icky bits unless they are talking to someone who has already gone through it. I'm lucky there - Tash's actual birth was all I wanted and I am happy to be positive about it to anyone who cares to listen.
But it's what happened after that caused the problems, when the reality of becoming "mum of Tash" instead of me kicked in.
There's maybe another side to that - I can talk about it now because I've come through it. So hopefully I can be a positive sort of role model as well as inspiring panic.
But all of this deep thinking has been making me feel overwhelmingly sad that there has to be such horrible stuff in the world. Experiencing what I have - and coming out the other side, or at least being on my way towards the light at the end of the tunnel - means I have even more empathy than before for people who are suffering, in whatever way.
And I really hate it. I hate knowing what someone newly diagnosed with PND could face, and that the latest unfortunate recipient of my soapbox speech could see what should be one of the best times of her life turn into the worst.
I desperately want to scoop them all up, feed them cake and keep them safe until the darkness has passed but that's just not possible.
So in the spirit of my post-therapy self I'm trying instead to focus on keeping myself as sane as possible and allowing that to help others where possible.
But if anyone does want hugs and cake, you know where I am!


"me again" said...

You said She's not the first to have expressed such fears to me, which makes part of me wonder if actually my almost defiant honesty is proving to be more of a catalyst for panic than anything else..

Or maybe it's proving a catalyst for getting things off one's chest? A case of being able to say something that you're afraid of saying to other people because they'll either do the "YesYesDearNeveeMind" or the "Don'tBeSillyDear" routime. I think it links in with earlier posts about people being unwilling/afraid to discuss
mental health issues. It may actually be reassuring - as you hint later with the positive role model. So I guess you need a variety of soap-box speeches :-) Thass my principle anyway - different squokes for different folks!

Email wibble about an earlier post on way (if I get one of those tuits of the correct shape!). /me hatesss scruffy little text boxen. Why can't sites provide decent size ones - 's not rocket science! /me wanders off into middle distance doing a technology mutter under breath :-)

Sarah Jane said...

I think 'me again' is right. Mental health problems cannot be caused by someone else, the incidence of them cannot increase because there is greater awareness of them. But talking about them and breaking the taboo makes them easier to deal with. Even if you don't get any better on a practical level, your suffering is still lessened so much if others around you do not judge you harshly because of this one aspect of your makeup.
If you think you are the only one with a particular weakness or problem, it seems terrifying and enormous. You feel like a freak. Only when others tell you they suffered in a similar way do you even begin to think about not beating yourself up quite so viciously over your weakness every day.

Liz said...

Good points wisely made, both!
Maybe I should adapt my soap box speech to those yet to experience the 'darkness' and focus on recovery and the future instead.
And thinking back, I don't remember a single conversation with anyone about PND before I had Tash and I'm sure that would have been helpful.
Sarah Jane, you are right too - I will keep spreading the word in a bid to make it all less terrifying. Or at least a bit more bearable.