Postnatal Depression – Daring to Talk about Mental Health

Family, Mental Health / Thursday, November 24th, 2016

Writing about postnatal depression isn’t easy.  I’m torn between wanting to write about it, not quite being ready and worrying about what people will think if they read it.

Depression is a tricky subject.  It shouldn’t be, but it is.  People don’t always like to talk about it, sufferers often feel ashamed to admit it.  The stigma that is attached to mental health is as hard to deal with as the condition itself.

As a previous sufferer of depression I am well versed in the signs, symptoms and effects that it can have.  For this reason it wasn’t a shock to me when I started to feel depressed soon after Baby J was born.  Most probably before.

I felt like I was the one who had to bring up this little baby.  I shouldn’t need help.  Battling with colic, reflux and a second pregnancy all at the same time wasn’t my wisest move.  I wouldn’t change my situation now, but I didn’t allow time for my body or mind to recover.  I didn’t have a traumatic birth but I gave birth nonetheless.  Having a baby is massive, hard, tiring and painful.  No matter how strong you are, giving yourself time to get over it is essential.

Having hyperemesis during both pregnancies didn’t help.  I’ve written all about it here so I won’t go into too much detail, but the strain on my body mentally and physically was too much.  Torturing myself because at the time I didn’t want to be pregnant, but knowing that it was wrong to feel that way was incredibly difficult.

Having postnatal depression is like living with the Devil constantly on your shoulder.  I paint a smile on my face for my children, I am a good mother.  I give them everything they need and more.  The Devil doesn’t let me believe it though.  He sits on my shoulder and tells me that what I’m doing isn’t good enough.  He is a constant niggle that leads me to believe I am not happy.

Postnatal depression leaves me feeling like I constantly need a break.  When I get a break I can’t relax.  I should be with my children, leaving them must mean I am a terrible mother.  We all know this is untrue, but if depression was based on rationality it wouldn’t be as much of a problem.

I am lucky that I am educated in this field.  I have qualifications that help me recognise depression.  I know the skills and techniques that need to be put in place to combat it.  I have had intensive therapy, from this I know myself inside out.  I know what to do and how to do it, I just wish it didn’t take so much time.

I am constantly told that life with two under two will get easier.  That I need to enjoy this time because school is just around the corner.  It doesn’t make a difference though does it?  Depression won’t just go away because time will pass quickly.  I can’t enjoy every second just because I’m being told that I should.

As I work with my demons to get them back in their box, I urge anyone who may feel the same to speak out.  Admit that you are depressed, say those words.  It’s the first step to recovery.  A vital step to allow you and your family to move past what could be the most difficult time of your life.

It’s time to talk about mental health.



81 Replies to “Postnatal Depression – Daring to Talk about Mental Health”

  1. Thank you for speaking out about PND, it’s so important that we do. I have lived with depression for 18 years, having PND with all five of my children and even being hospitalised at times. I understand how hard it is to have two under two, I had three two and under and it was hard work, I think anyone in that situation would feel depressed at times, all of those hormones and the sleep deprivation and the stress. At 2, 3 and 4 it is slowly getting easier though, hang on in there! #picknmix

    1. Bless you, you have been through so much. That really is a long time to live with depression, you did so well to have more children knowing what you would have to face. They are worth it but it can be incredibly difficult. I’m so glad that it’s getting easier for you, I’m going ton take some comfort from that! Thanks for stopping by x

  2. Brilliant post and brave of you to broach the topic. I’ve been struggling with writing a post on my own postnatal depression for months now and still haven’t published it. I genuinely wish you well and continue to write about it, whether you publish it here or not #fortheloveofblog

  3. This is a very brave post. I was fortunate enough to avoid this awful demon. Telling any parent to enjoy the little things because school is around the corner won’t help. Parenting is bloody hard but add depression into the mix and I can imagine it’s like trying to row a boat through snow whilst everyone wonders why you are making such an effort out of it! I hope you find a way out of the fog.

  4. A really strong, valuable and well-written post. We definitely need to address this topic more. Thanks for sharing your experiences and thoughts – it will definitely help people. #fortheloveofBLOG

  5. I think these posts are really important – for people with PND to know they aren’t alone, and it’s going to be ok, and for people that don’t have it to get an idea of what it’s like, how to help and what NOT to say. #KALCOLS

  6. I so agree that we simply can’t talk enough about mental health. As you very wisely say, knowing and recognising depression (or indeed that the tough times when they’re little is comparatively short) intellectually cannot on its own help you overcome PND. Its wonderful that more and more people are sharing their stories to remove the stigma and raise awareness. On a personal level, I very much relate to what you said about needing a break but feeling guilty for having one. Perhaps irrational but definitely something I’ve felt a lot! Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday.

  7. Anxiety and depression are so difficult to move through and navigate. They do suck the joy right out of motherhood. It is a really difficult topic to discuss. I personally have not brought myself to broach it quite yet. Thank you for your courage


  8. Colic, reflux and a second pregnancy all at once, that sounds like really hard work. No wonder your mental state suffered. Speak up and be heard, it is such an important issue to face. #BigPinkLink

  9. it really doesnt help when people go on about making the most of “it” and enjoying them while they are young. not nice having to go through hyperemesis either xx #KCACOLS

  10. You’re very brave, I want to write a post and acknowledge depression and all its evil tricks on the mind and heart but I’m not quite there yet. I’m glad I want to talk about it, it’s just getting my thoughts and feelings into alignment in order to makes sense… if that makes! Thank you for writing this post though, it is really nice not to feel so alone. #bigpinklink

    1. Thankyou, I’ve this one sat in my drafts for months until I felt ready so it makes total sense! Thanks for stopping by x

  11. This is an amazing post! I tried to share my own experiences with PND on the blog recently and don’t think I got it quite right – it’s so hard to explain all of the confusing feelings and remain upbeat. I had hyperemesis too and that didn’t help at all. Thank you for sharing this post! #DreamTeam

    1. Thankyou. I’ve had this one sat in my drafts for months, it’s certainly not a easy task to put it into words. I hope you find your way soon! xx

  12. Very informative post. Thank-you for sharing your experiences. I think people making comments such as “Enjoy time now because soon they’ll be grown-up.” or things along those lines don’t help anyone, especially those with PND. We can all only live in the now and do the best we can. I’m glad you have found a way to manage your own depression and hope that this wonderful post helps others! #DreamTeam

  13. So important to talk about it as people can watch for the signs and help themselves and others. Parenting is so hard without depression added in so you do well hun everyday. Thanks for being brave enough to share with #bestandworst x

  14. Very brave post – thanks for sharing. You’re so right, mental health can get tucked under the carpet and its especially hard for mums who feel like theyre in some way failing and therefore keep their anxiety to themselves #bestandworst

  15. Really poignant and important post. I’ve written about my experience with PND – it’s the most horrendous illness. Frightening, isolating and just utterly debilitating. We need to talk about it more. #ablogginggodtime

  16. I think I may have had a touch of this my first time round. I can’t be sure though as those weeks passed so quickly. It does sound horrible for those who have been diagnosed with it though. Its good you are able to pull through it.

  17. Thank you and well done for writing this. The more people share there experiences the normal it will become to talk about depression and mental health and less stigma will be attached to this terrible illness. I hope you have help in place and are making good steps towards your recovery! Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime ?

  18. I always feel incredibly humbled by those who share their experience of PND. Being a Mum is bloody hard, even without the additional hardship of mental health struggles. Thank you for speaking out and sharing your experience with #coolmumclub x

  19. SO glad you are sharing this I think this should be talked about more because it can easily be dismissed, even by your loved ones who know you best. I have had close friends deal with this so I know to some respect how difficult it can be and how isolating it can feel as nobody truly understands, but you sound like a very strong woman and an amazing mum (from all the posts I’ve been reading : ) ). Thanks so much for sharing with #StayClassyMama!

  20. Rock on. You talk about it. I’ll talk about. Everyone needs to talk about so mental health loses the stigma and people can get the help they need. I am so sorry you suffer(ed) through this. I had a massive depression in my late 20’s, early thirties. It was astounding how bad that was and what I needed to do to overcome and see life with the proper lens again. I hear you and I support you. Xoxox #bigpinklink

  21. Such honest and brave writing lovely. You should be very proud of yourself and keep going. Kids don’t get ‘easier’ I don’t think, but the challenges and neediness change and I promise you’ll come out the other side soon. Sending you #bigpinklink

  22. It’s so important to talk about postnatal depression and get rid of that thing where people don’t believe it’s a real. Thank you so much for being brave enough to share this with the #DreamTeam xx

  23. I hate it when people tell me I should enjoy every minute. I had two under two – in fact I had two in 11 months and it was bloody hard and quite honestly not every moment is enjoyable but thats OK. They are one and two now and it is still hard but I do certainly find it easier and feel as though the black cloud has lifted a little. I hope it does for you too, although I know it is not as easy as that. Good on your for writing about it, it was very brave of you. #ablogginggoodtime

    1. Bless you, there are only 10.5 months between mine too. I’m glad to hear things are getting easier for you 🙂 thanks for stopping by x

  24. I know you found it difficult but I am glad you published this as so many suffer PND after birth and the more people write about it the more it will encourage people to get help. I had HG in pregnancy and then Miss H went on to be a reflux baby it was hard enough that way around you have had a tough job coping with both at the same time. Stay positive and make you sure you continue to get all the help you need x

  25. Sorry you’re going through this. I suffered with postnatal anxiety and I know how draining it can be to not feel yourself and always feel guilty for that. I’m glad you’re getting help and I hope it passes quickly.

    Thanks so much for linking up with #outsidemywindow, I do hope to see you back this week x

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