So I know this is my second post today (OMG right?!) but I have just been stumbling around the web and came across a couple of articles on PND.
You may have postpartum depression if you have had a baby within the last 12 months and are experiencing some of these symptoms:
- You feel overwhelmed. Not like “hey, this new mom thing is hard.” More like “I can’t do this and I’m never going to be able to do this.” You feel like you just can’t handle being a mother. In fact, you may be wondering whether you should have become a mother in the first place.
- You don’t feel bonded to your baby.
- You can’t understand why this is happening. You are very confused and scared.
- You feel irritated or angry. You have no patience. Everything annoys you. You feel resentment toward your baby, or your partner, or your friends who don’t have babies. You feel out-of-control rage.
- You feel nothing. Emptiness and numbness. You are just going through the motions.
- You feel sadness to the depths of your soul. You can’t stop crying, even when there’s no real reason to be crying.
- You feel hopeless, like this situation will never ever get better. You feel weak and defective, like a failure.
- You can’t bring yourself to eat, or perhaps the only thing that makes you feel better is eating.
- You can’t concentrate. You can’t focus. You can’t think of the words you want to say. You can’t remember what you were supposed to do. You can’t make a decision. You feel like you’re in a fog.
- You feel disconnected. You feel strangely apart from everyone for some reason, like there’s an invisible wall between you and the rest of the world.
- You feel like you should be able to snap out of it, but you can’t.
- You might be having thoughts of running away and leaving your family behind. Or you’ve thought of driving off the road, or taking too many pills, or finding some other way to end this misery.
- You know something is wrong. You may not know you have a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder, but you know the way you are feeling is NOT right. You think you’ve “gone crazy”.
- You are afraid that this is your new reality and that you’ve lost the “old you” forever.
- You are afraid that if you reach out for help people will judge you. Or that your baby will be taken away.
Holy F&*k. It is as if someone hopped into my head and described exactly how I was feeling 2 years ago.
One lady’s post in the comments on The Rage of Postpartum Depression:
“Oh my gosh, the anger…I think that might have been one of the worst parts of PPD for me. It was insane, all-consuming, white-hot anger that was so frightening to behold. I’ve thrown a cell phone through a wall. Like, completely through it. I’ve gotten violent with my husband, which I’m so ashamed to say. When I was pregnant with my first son, my mood swings were so bad that I told my husband that I felt like there was a different person in my body. I literally could not control the words coming out of my mouth, no matter how hard I tried. It was so, so awful.”
I can relate to this so much. I didn’t really realise it fully at the time, but thinking back over it now scares me. It really did feel like I was a different person, or that someone was controlling what I did or said. I would scream until my throat was so sore and I lost my voice. I yelled all the time. To the point where my daughter was old enough to say stop! 😦 I hit things – hubby (not proud of it but I will admit it), the wall, myself, and occasionally I would smack my daughter’s bum if she was being naughty (disclaimer – it wasn’t hard and it wasn’t abusive. just one scared mummy trying to get a handle on things). One very memorable time I hit the wall or the door so hard that I couldn’t move my hand, it just seized up and my fingers went all claw like. I had to put a bag of frozen peas on my hand/wrist for hours and couldn’t pick up my daughter. That was scary. Another time I was so angry and shaking so bad that I started punching my own arm. It was either that or grab the knife out of the knife block I was eying up. Oh the rage. I have never been that angry before in my life to shake like that. And the things I said…I can’t even repeat half of what I said to DH. It was horrible. and I feel so bad for having said them, but at the time I didn’t care. I couldn’t feel anything. The words were coming out before I could stop them, and the look on his face afterwards would normally have broken my heart but then, it was only a slight satisfaction that he could hurt as much as I was hurting inside. Sometimes I wouldn’t feel anything, I would be completely numb. Other times I would feel another piece of me shatter and I would break down and cry so hard.
The stupid thing about it all, was the reasons I got so angry. Really silly little reasons such as I had no clean underwear. We had run out of milk. Hubby hadn’t hung his towel up after his shower. etc etc. It always turned into a huge blowout.
The doctor I went to see about it once failed me. She was not my regular doctor. She basically told me I wasn’t bad enough to require meds and that it should go away in time. This was reasonably early on when I realised I had PND when I went there, I think H was 5 months old. Oh…if only something had been done. I may not have lost the plot over the next year and a half as much as I did and cheated on my husband and wanted to leave.
Thinking about it all now, I cringe. I can’t believe the way I was thinking at the time, that I was in love with the other guy and that I wanted to leave hubby for him. I would sit there at night when I should be sleeping, txting him and dreaming about our new life together. I was obsessive over it. Over him. To the point where if I didn’t hear from him for an hour or so after a txt message, or if he didn’t call when he said he would I would physically hurt, my hands would get all sore and my chest would hurt and I would shake. Then I would have to hurt myself to make it stop. I wrote him a couple of horribly soppy and stupid letters, pouring out all my “feelings” for him. Ugh. It is only now I can see what an idiot I was, and how stupid I was to fall for his tricks. I should have known better. BUT at the same time, in the throes of PND…you are different. You don’t know what you are doing or saying or thinking most of the time.
Now…out the other side of that black hole known as PND, I can sit back and breathe a sigh of relief. I don’t ever want to feel like that again. It is one of the major reasons that I don’t want to have another baby. Even now, I don’t think I’m 100% yet. I still get awful times where I yell for no reason, but it is nowhere near as bad as it was. Life feels worth it again. I remember one day just after I had snapped out of it that I was driving out to my mother inlaws to pick up my daughter, and I was noticing all the little things that made me happy again, like the blue sky, the beautiful trees, birds flying around. I wish I could take how I felt when I realised I was that happy again and bottle it. It just felt like someone had opened my eyes again, pulled the bag off my head. That feeling is really indescribable, to actually remember how it felt to be happy after so long.
I’m not saying I’m a supermum now, but things are sure a hell of a lot better.
Right. I think that’s it for now. I may post again on this subject at another time. For now…I don’t want to reflect on that anymore than necessary.