In July 2013 our second child was only 2 weeks old but I had been feeling a bit 'off' for a couple of days. Crying at the smallest thing. Anxious about leaving the house, then anxious about being in the house and found it hard to do the simplest of tasks. My husband was about to return to work so I put it down to nerves of being by myself with a 5 year old and 2 week old.
So, he returned to work a few days later and that morning went well. Our eldest was at nursery so I decided to go back to bed whilst our wee one slept. I closed my eyes and my mind started to race. How could I comfort our wee one if she started crying, how was I going to occupy our eldest when he got home from nursery, how could I get showered...,things that I would never have batted an eyelid at before. I somehow fell asleep and woke sometime later with a jolt. I thought I was dying. I couldn't breathe, my mind was going at 100mph, I had this horrible feeling in my stomach, I couldn't breathe, then hysterical crying started. I didn't know it but I was having my first ever panic attack. I managed to phone my husband at work who came straight home. Whilst he was on his way home I was on the phone to my mum.
Once home my husband called our GP who saw me straight away. I couldn't stop crying. I couldn't speak, the words just weren't there. She referred me straight away to the crisis team who saw me within 4 hours. My GP had diagnosed me with "full blown post natal depression" and started me on a course of antidepressants and diazepam. The next few days I can honestly say were the worst of my life. I didn't want to be alive anymore. I'd been told there was a 21 week wait to see an NHS counsellor. I didn't have that time. Luckily my family found Bluebell PND Counselling in Glasgow who managed to see me in a couple of days through their fast track system. I attended counselling once a week for 3 months. Honestly, it saved me.
I decided in 2014 not to return to my full time accountancy job.
wanted to do 2 things...
1. Be at home to be with our 2 children and
2. Set up a peer support group in Lanarkshire to support other families living with post natal depression. Both of these have happened!
I love being around to get our eldest from school, helping with homework etc and watching our youngest grow into a determined 2 year old. I started our peer support group in March 2015 and it's growing from strength to strength. It is on in the private party room at Jollytots & Cookies Cafe, Uddingston every Thursday from 930-11am. I also set up public Facebook page providing information about PND and also a secret Facebook page for online support. Since starting 10 months ago we are now supporting more than 60 families across Lanarkshire.
If you feel you have any of the symptoms below please speak to your health visitor or GP. Please also know that it is nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about. And if you feel you would like to chat to others going through the same experience please get in touch through the Facebook page
Remember, you are not alone xx
NHS website states: "Post natal depression has many symptoms:
a persistent feeling of sadness and low mood loss of interest in the world around you and no longer enjoying things that used to give pleasure lack of energy and feeling tired all the time. Other symptoms can include: disturbed sleep, such as having trouble sleeping during the night and then being sleepy during the day difficulties with concentration and making decisions low self-confidence poor appetite or an increase in appetite ("comfort eating") feeling very agitated or, alternatively, very apathetic (you can’t be bothered) feelings of guilt and self-blame thinking about suicide and self-harming