PND: An Update

Stop Fucking Attention Seeking

What’s priceless? Friends like Charlotte who know my sense of humour well enough to send me cards like this: it will sit framed in my bedroom and remind me to smile every morning. Thank-you Charlotte xx

I have never been scared of going to the doctors or hospital. I spent my early twenties with endometriosis and have suffered many an uncomfortable exam, so I’ve always been pretty pragmatic about getting naked in the name of medicine. When in labour with Hux at my first exam/sweep I remember turning wide eyed to Will saying “did you see that? She put her WHOLE HAND in. WOAH”. In general I find the world of modern medicine fascinating rather than scary and if I could just get over my fear of vomit and blood and grow some compassion I would love to be a Doctor.

So no, I’m not ashamed of my body, my bits. We all have them and they all do weird things.

My mind though, my brain, now that’s another matter. That scares me. It’s a total enigma.

Last Monday morning found me sitting in the waiting room at the doctors surgery,  lip quivering, waiting to see my GP. I was terrified that I was going to have to admit defeat and depression to my nice lady doctor and I didn’t know how to do it without crying: I really hate to cry in public. While I was waiting I read through my last couple of blog posts on my phone so I’d have a clear idea of what I wanted to say to her but I felt sick to my stomach.

When my name was called my heart leapt into my throat and my tummy flipped. I sat down in front of the GP.

“I think I might cry now” I said. And I did.

She was very sympathetic and quick to help. She asked about my sleep, my support, the ages of the children. She agreed I was teetering on the edge of a big black hole and straight away told me that my concerns about going on anti-depressants were not particularly valid, I needed help now. She offered a referral to the health visitor which I eagerly accepted and agreed I was doing the right thing with my exercise and booze-free plans. She told me CBT wasn’t realistic at the moment as the waiting list is 6 months long but I want to be added to it and potentially send myself privately in the new year. I left with a prescription for antidepressants and a massive sense of relief.

Taking antidepressants is not somewhere I wanted to be right now. But hey, 3 years ago when I was living the high life in London the countryside was not somewhere I wanted to be either. I need to remember that I have 2 little lives that depend on me so I don’t have the luxury to wallow any longer in the state I’m in… I need to get better. And so I have started taking the scary little white tablets.

I know they will take a little time to get to work but since I started talking I have been feeling so much better. I feel like I’ve opened the floodgates and I don’t want to close them: I have PND and I am not afraid to talk about it. I must remember this feeling and keep talking, remember that it’s ok to speak to my friends and family about how I’m feeling. A bit trickier in real life as I have the tendency to weep a bit but it’d do me good to get over this fear of public crying.

There have been some rubbish side-effects, however. Insomnia, weird unconscious teeth grinding, ever such a fuzzy head and drowsiness. I’ve developed bad anxiety – on New Year’s Eve I was convinced there was a burglar hiding under my bed from the hours of 1-3am – not ideal as Will was working away. I lay there for two hours convinced I could hear someone breathing under the mattress.  But I’m told these are short-term symptoms that will ease soon.

It’s progress.

Read the post about when I realised I have PND.

25 thoughts on “PND: An Update

  1. That was me under your bed just checking you were ok, innit. So pleased you’re making progress and sorting out your weird phobia of crying in public. Do us a favour though, l want to see a picture of your cry face to see if it’s as ugly as mine and Lil’s…

  2. Hi Alice – I read your first post and have been wanting to say something, but was unsure what to say just wanted to give you a big hug! Really pleased the doctors went well and you’re getting the help you need. You really are an inspiration (not a word I like to use lightly), I’m probably one of your biggest fans ;) Always found your blog so helpful (and was turning to some of your pregnancy posts the other day being pregnant myself now) and one of the reasons is your honesty, but ability to deliver it in a humorous way. Keep on smiling (or crying if you fancy it, I will happily join you) and know that you have a support network (fan club). xxx

  3. A very brave account Alice, very brave indeed. There is no shame in seeking help and certainly no shame in beginning a course of anti d’s. The symptoms will ease up soon, and hopefully pass. You are very right that speaking to friends and family is OK, but it is important too. Hope things pick up soon, Spring and all it’s loveliness is on its way. xx

  4. I don’t think very many of us would find it easy to do this. Like you, I’ll happily be prodded, poked and turned into a pincushion without batting an eyelid, but I’d find it very hard to ask someone to look into my mind and make it feel better. But you did it. And it’s very reassuring to hear that you got such quick, honest and attentive support.

    Anti-depressants are one tool in your mental health toolkit right now. Maybe later you’ll switch to another one. It’s all good, as long as it helps.

    That you’re sharing this and might help someone else make that appointment is wonderful.

    You’re doing everything that you can, including being an excellent mum, and you should be extremely fucking proud of yourself right now. (I thought I’d throw in a swear to make up for being all serious ‘n shit.)

    Onwards. x

  5. I took Citalopram for a year for PND – it made me yawn ALL THE TIME :| It was not very nice in long meetings at work, but it was all worth it in the end.

    The main thing is that you will feel like a new person in no time! :)

  6. Great news that the visit to the doctor went well (well, as well as you might expect!)

    Hopefully the only way is up now!

    As Bob Hoskins said in that old BT ad “it’s good to talk”- keep doing so.

    It sounds like you have lovely friends and family around you who will support you.

    As I said before, you’re very brave to blog about this, and i’m looking forward to reading about your progress.

    Have a good week with your babies :-)

    Becky

  7. I’m glad you are taking the little white pills, and they are not so scary after a while. I was worried that when we talked about it on text that’d I’d come across a bit med-happy, and I wasn’t trying to, but you said it yourself – you needed something to pick you up there and then, and sometimes that little bundle of chemicals does just that.

    BIG LOVE! And soon we shall paint the town red in London once more, with our faux LOUBIES!

  8. I think it’s great that you have felt comfortable yet brave enough to write about this. The more we talk and get things like PND out in the open the better! Good Luck with your recovery Alice x

  9. PND isn’t talked about enough and people such as yourself who share their feelings and experiences are paving the way for future mums to feel confident and secure enough to talk about it openly and honestly – thank you x

  10. You are honest and brave. And I’m sure what you’ve posted here will help a quiet someone you may never even know.
    It sounds like you have a good, sympathetic GP and are making real positive steps to finding your way of getting better. Keep doing that.
    And I thought you might like this – someone posted it yesterday – it’s Stephen Fry’s letter to someone suffering from depression http://www.lettersofnote.com/2009/10/it-will-be-sunny-one-day.html
    All the best to you Alice x

  11. So glad that you got a sympathetic response from your GP and you’re getting the help you need – well done you and for being brave enough to share this, I think you’re amazing xxx

  12. oh, I just found your blog and your (not) unicorns and rainbows post. I’m so sorry you’re suffering and to echo others, thank you for sharing and I’m so glad you had a sympathetic, helpful meeting with your doctor.

    Sending you good vibes for feeling better in 2013.

  13. Wow. Thanks for writing about this! It’s important for people to know that others can feel this way too and it’s not necessarily just something that will go away on its own or should be ignored. Brave story, lady!

  14. Hi
    I have always wanted children and after a long journey had twins through IVF.
    I was absolutley over the moon to have concieved so found it a complete shock when i suffered PND and felt a failure.
    However having taken antidepressants for approximately a year i found they helped.
    The twins are now 6 and life is better.
    Just wanted to show my support. I love your blog.
    Chin up chuck it gets better xxx

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  17. I do not leave a comment, however after looking at a few of the responses on PND: An UpdateMore Than Toast | More
    Than Toast. I do have 2 questions for you if you don’t mind. Is it simply me or does it look like like a few of these comments appear like they are left by brain dead individuals? :-P And, if you are writing at additional online social sites, I would like to follow anything new you have to post. Could you post a list of the complete urls of your shared pages like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

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