Friday, 18 May 2012

Petrified of getting Post Natal Depression... for the second time.

This is a difficult post to write. I've written about my post natal depression with Kyd in the past and it was hard to stomach knowing people were reading it but I needed to get it out to get it sorted.... If that makes sense.

Sometimes in life things happen that don't make sense, depression is one of them. It's something which is generally out of our control, it can creep up and get you as slowly or as quickly as it likes. There are different types and it effects different people from all walks of life, from doctors to single parents, men or women and it effects everyone in different ways. It is a silent illness that can be easily hidden and sometimes deadly. Many people don't understand it and most don't even realise they have it, but for some... it takes over their whole life and they struggle to deal with the consequences.

With Kyd I struggled through pregnancy what with general teenage angst, bad relationship, fear and hormones and then after with the diagnosis. According to the doctor now, I had a mix between PND and Post Traumatic Stress stemming from the shock of the diagnosis. I had it bad but I hid it well. I became a pawn in my own game of lies and deception.... and I was good at that game... in fact I won hands down.

I'm petrified this will happen all over again.... as much as I like winning...... this is a game I'd rather not play again.

I couldn't go back to that. I know my whole life and situation is different now but I have this hidden feeling that this baby is going to drag all that out into the open and I'll be back to lieing and pretending that I'm coping, when I'm not.

I hate not having control over this. I have had to come to terms with the fact that depression is part of my life and I am a pawn in it's game rather than the other way round. I struggle regularly and if knocked by even the slightest thing in my life, I panic, as I feel it coming like you feel a cold coming on. But I've learnt to hide it with a smile and go and hide in a corner and sit it out, so not to upset or panic people & let's face it after 10 years it would get very boring for the people around me if I cried at them all the time. I have learnt to see the signs now which is good and I get help when needed. I actually panicked slightly thinking my depression was making an appearance again when actually it was just my raging hormones and really I was a few weeks pregnant. I had sat there in a complete state, I had begun to cry at nothing again and I really did get the feeling of 'oh no please not again' but I thought I'd eliminate the obvious by doing a pregnancy test before asking for help from the doctor. I was honestly expecting the test to say 'Not Pregnant' due to all the tests etc and at that point it wouldn't have surprised me if the test had said 'Depression' like some scary dream but in fact it said 'Pregnant' and from that moment I knew that these were just hormones and although this was the start of a very scary few months, I knew I could try and control them so they didn't stem to depression itself.

Is this the start?

I don't think I've kept this up that well, what with this pregnancy being traumatic in one way or another the whole way through, I haven't had time to enjoy it. I have found myself pretending that I'm happy about particular pregnancy things to other people and forcing myself to be happy about stuff that I'm really not bothered by, when in fact I have no feeling what so ever about it. I have been brushing things off and distracting myself. It's only when I see other overly happy and enthusiastic pregnant women that I realise I'm actually not that enthusiastic about it. I'm petrified. I'm scared of so many different elements from Kyd's reaction to over all failure and it's holding me back....

But I don't think it's just that. I think I can't settle until he is in my arms and the doctor has said 'he's perfectly healthy'. I know this is normal for a new mother in general but what with what happened last time, I can't seem to settle until he's in my arms and I know and can see for myself that he is healthy and with no diagnosis of anything. I know I've had all the genetic tests done and they were all clear but until I see him for myself and I know for myself, I don't think I am going to believe it. Because at the moment I don't and the excitement is all forced.

I feel stupid saying that out loud, I should be so happy at the moment and really looking forward to it all, but in the back of my mind I am heading for a fall so I can't. I know in the long run non of this will matter and I will be all happy happy but I can't help but feel cynical as it's me, nothing ever goes that right or straight forward. It's like there's a big fat wall in front of me and the happy, excited pregnant me is stood behind it I just can't get to her... I don't know whether this is Pre Natal depression or just pure paranoia and panic but it's OK I am handling it and I've not got long left now, just over 9 weeks and I will be proved wrong and wondering what I was worrying about... until the baby blues set in... *worried face*

I am not going to lie, I still cry myself to sleep at night every now and then and I generally have no idea why. I have the normal pregnancy panicking going on, plus the fear of diagnosis added in but still the biggest and scariest panic of all... will PND come back and kick me in the teeth? The truth is, I won't know until the time and if and when it happens I will have to deal with it... BUT WITH HELP THIS TIME!

The greatest thing I can do for myself right now is be aware of the signs...

The symptoms of PND usually include one or more of the following:
  • low mood for long periods of time (a week or more)
  • feeling irritable for a lot of the time
  • tearfulness
  • panic attacks or feeling trapped in your life
  • difficulty concentrating
  • lack of motivation
  • lack of interest in yourself and your new baby
  • feeling lonely
  • feeling guilty, rejected or inadequate
  • feeling overwhelmed
  • feeling unable to cope
  • difficulty sleeping and feeling constantly tired
  • physical signs of tension, such as headaches, stomach pains or blurred vision
  • lack of appetite
  • reduced sex drive
The greatest thing those around me can do to prevent me going back to the hell I was in before is... BE AWARE OF THE SIGNS... this is as important as I tend to hide things... I'm stubborn.

There is so much in the news at the moment of devastating circumstances where PND has lead to death of  women and children. If you or your friend, family member, mother of your child etc can relate to any of the above... talk about it... Get Help... don't let it grow... believe me it can all go so wrong if you don't kick it. It could lead to devastation and disaster if left to fester. Don't feel ashamed, Get Help.

There is also more help and awareness on the way apparently according to the Government... fingers crossed they stick to that... we will see.

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