"Post Natal Depression has made me a stronger person"
About: Brooker Centre Brooker Centre Runcorn WA7 2DA
Posted by shellb (as ),
"Having a baby is supposed to be the happiest time of your life" so all the books say. For me it was very different I think i was in a daze towards the end of my pregnancy, although i had a great birth i was not prepared for the storm i was about to ride.
It all began as soon as I brought my little girl home, straight away I cleaned the bathroom because I didn't want people talking about me. I was a perfect mum and I could do this, but when the sleepness nights built up and the bickering began with my partner I felt like a complete failure. I couldnt eat and began to start feeling really anxious and nervous all the time. I remember thinking "why am I feeling sad?" but this was just the beginning i struggled on for four weeks thinking I just had baby blues although I was open with midwives from the start they said it was normal as a relative tried to kill himself when my daughter was five days old and It was all a result of that.
I first knew something was very wrong when I got this overwelming feeling of blackness like i just wanted to die, I had no idea what was happening to me I was shaking and couldn't calm down. I then rang my health visitor and was diagnosed with Post Natal Depression (PND). I was sent to the doctors who just prescribed anti-depressants and sent me off with a handful of leaflets.
The day after i took the first tablet I woke the next day and felt so anxious i cannot explain it i just wanted to die i have never experienced the blackness and it brings a tear to my eye to think of it.
Then the obessional thoughts about harming myself and my baby, I was so scared of telling anybody so i continued for a week suffering with them until i got to the point where i could take no more I rang the crisis team and told the truth.
I remember my first visit to the brooker centre. Inside I felt like i was being tortured but i felt a little relief that I had nothing else to hide. A lovely Doctor changed my medication and ensured me I would get better. Of course I thought WHEN, WHEN, WHEN will I get better I can't take this anymore but was so afraid of being kept in the brooker centre and sectioned. Looking back I don't know why I was afraid I think it was to do with the stigma that is attached to mental health.
I was so relieved that I had finally told the truth, when I felt like I had been hit by another big bus SOCIAL SERVICES became involved i was not allowed to be on my own with my daughter at anytime. I remember the the social worker saying "if you didn't have such a good support network we would have to taker her away" I will never foget that as long as I live.
Dealing with the obsessional thoughts was the biggest challange I have ever had to complete but some of the staff have been such a great help I really am so greatful. My health Visitor was fantastic, she stuck by me through it all and helped me. A certain person from the crisis team was great to.
As a service user I do believe that professionals should be very careful how they handle people who suffer with mental illness. I feel we all cling on to words they say and store them. I will never forget some of the things said to me by social services and trainee doctors. They made my anxiety shoot through the roof and I think this made me a lot worse than i should of been. Sometimes I'd be fine, go the brooker centre and come home a mess. That is not how it should work and for me, it was all down to unexperienced staff talking to me and knowing nothing about me.
Someday I will tell my daughter about this, but I still feel robbed of one of the most precious moments ever, but I have to look forward and look to the future. In a funny kind of way I think the PND has made me a stronger person. I really want to help others but don't really know where to start?