High Five For PND!

I expect you have all been waiting with baited breath to find out how my week of medical professionals has gone. Yes? Yes.

It has been a tough week, I won’t lie. Very hard. There have been emotions, discussions, realisations. Man flu. Tiredness.

My Health Visitor came to see me on Monday and she could not have been more supportive. She listened to me and asked all the right questions to get me talking. She was at our house for over an hour and had a chat with Will, too. I felt like she heard what I was saying and made all the right noises, offering me different kinds of help.

She had me do a test which apparently I scored highly on for both Depression and Anxiety (the first test I have not felt proud for getting a high score on).This was a bit of a revelation to me as I really didn’t think the anxious thoughts I had been having were anything out of the ordinary. For example, I fear a lot for mine and my family’s personal safety when we’re out and about and until Monday I really thought this was quite normal. Apparently not!

The Health Visitor wanted to refer me immediately back to the GP to discuss medication. I didn’t want to return to my old GP and the old medication (Citalopram) as it gave me so many side effects before – most notably leaving me exhausted – but she was the first GP available. She tried to prescribe me Citalopram over the phone but I refused. And so I visited my doctor’s surgery on Wednesday with a list of medications (mostly suggested by you helpful lot and then researched by me – thank-you!) and came out clutching a prescription for Fluexotine (Prozac). My Health Visitor really gave me the confidence to stand up for what I thought I needed, as did everyone who commented here.

I’ve also had an urgent referral to a local department called the Access and Short Term Intervention team who should be calling me in to see them for an assessment in the next few days. I have heard on the grapevine that a great way to handle stress is through CBD such as that you can buy from Gold Bee. They offer full-spectrum CBD products, meaning they contain a host of active ingredients thought to support the effects of CBD, sometimes called ‘the entourage effect’. No products exceed the legal limit of 0.3% THC so therefore they don’t cause any psychoactive effects.

On top of this all Will, Hux and I woke up with a stinking cold on Tuesday: poor H isn’t sleeping much and sounds very Darth Vader-esque, my throat and sinuses are torturing me and I have a bright red nose that’s been rubbed raw by tissues. I’m an all-round mental sexy snot bag at the moment, but despite that I feel so much better already. I managed to drag myself out the house last night for a long-awaited double date with some good friends for Steak and BJ day and it felt so good to not think about how I am feeling for a while, to just laugh and enjoy the company of other people. I’m on my third day of medication and so far there have been none of the nasty side effects that Citalopram gave me (insomnia, shakes, jaw clenching, exhaustion).

Admittedly I have been left feeling quite bonkers this week. The urgency with which the Health Visitor treated my case, the referral to ASTI (it has the word ‘intervention’ in the title therefore it sounds serious) and the Prozac.  I kind of feel like maybe I should be expected to run round the village screaming ‘faeces’ with my pants on my head or something. But you know what? That is fine with me. I have finally realised that the way I feel is a product of experiences I have gone through: two pregnancies in two years, two young children. Breastfeeding, a complete upheaval of our lives.

I am not ashamed any more of the way I feel  – I have Post-Natal Depression and Anxiety and it’s OK. High five for mental health!

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  1. I’m really happy that you are feeling more confident about the way you feel love. I don’t think you have a single thing to be ashamed of. It’s just like that cold you have – you want to recover from that and you just have to remember that you have an inside-cold too. Dead proud of you. But I’m sure you know that already. YAY FOR ALICE! xxxxx

    Posted 3.15.13 Reply
  2. Janet wrote:

    I used to think the anxiety thing was totally normal too.. until I tried to explain it to my husband and he just looked at me and I realised how mad it sounded. “but.. something could happen at any moment.. ever.. and you never know what or when.. you never know. isn’t that scary?” – apparently not for everyone. Not that I have done anything about it yet. Too anxious, or something.

    I’m so glad your health visitor was helpful, and caring, and the things that she should be. I’m glad you were finally listened to by the gp too. I hope the fluexotine is better for you. xx

    Posted 3.15.13 Reply
  3. gilly wrote:

    High five!

    Posted 3.15.13 Reply
  4. Anna wrote:

    Hello! I know just how you feel. I had ‘it’ too after my first child who’s now nearly 4. I’m due again in a month or so and tho I haven’t thought about it much at all since being pregnant I am now having to consider the possibility of it happening again. God, I really hope not though. I didn’t take meds as was too anxious about taking them!!! but prob should have. I wouldn’t say I was depressed tho, I felt like I’d been charged with electricity like I was running a million miles an hour and my brain was spinning 24/7. I also had that awful panicky feeling of dread.
    You’ll get better soon, I keep telling myself that if it happens again I’ll know this time that I will be my old self again soon.
    Love Anna

    Posted 3.15.13 Reply
  5. High five indeed! x

    Posted 3.15.13 Reply
  6. Amy wrote:

    Yey mental health! You are doing great, lady. Love how open you are about this and hope you’re on the right path now. :)

    Posted 3.15.13 Reply
  7. Caroline wrote:

    It’s so scary to be treated urgently. I was prescribed with Fluexotine and some other medication that treats anxiety as Fluexotine apparently can make you anxious as a side effect. I was mostly suffering with anxiety, so nervous it hurt me so that didn’t really make sense to me to have something that can give anxiety. I went to another doctor for a second opinion and she really listened to me but was very worried about me. I hated that she was worried about me and begged her to make me better without pills. She took the pills away from me and instead gave me setraline. It’s changed my life I feel so much better. So just to say that if you find the prozac doesn’t work there are other pills in that family that work and good luck. You’ve managed so much without intervention it’s pretty amazing, I didn’t last 3 weeks after birth without intervention xx

    Posted 3.15.13 Reply
  8. And high five you too. Take care x

    Posted 3.15.13 Reply
  9. josie wrote:

    Yay for feeling postive about depression! That sounds glib but it’s not meant to be, I really think those who suffer anxiety and depression feel so much worse because of the stigma mental illnesses seem to have. And it takes lovely bloggers like you to say how they feel without any apologies. Because there is nothing to be ashamed of. Go Alice! xx

    Posted 3.15.13 Reply
  10. I too had – still recovering from – PND and anxiety, and like you, I thought my anxiety was normal – including all the intrusive thoughts of death and disaster, and terror of anything happening outside my home – but it clearly wasn’t. I couldn’t see the wood for the trees – I didn’t realise how unwell I had become. And medication did help in the end.

    Posted 3.15.13 Reply
  11. Bryony wrote:


    I’m on Fluexotine at the moment and something else for anxiety on top (apparently fluexotine can make you even more anxious? You might want to mention that to the GP? Or I could of got my wires crossed!) and I’m feeling so much better for it. I’m so glad the health visitor was so helpful, they really can be such life savers.

    Mine had to sit me down and explain my anxiety was Anxiety with a capital A… it’s not normal to not be able to look out of windows at night for fear that someone will be looking back at you apparently.

    ASTI isn’t as scary as it sounds… promise! I cried when I got my referral because I convinced myself they were going to section me (that pesky anxiety again!) but it’s not like that. You know I’m here (when I’m not being vomited or pooed on) for a chat.

    Lots of love and sloppiness xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Posted 3.15.13 Reply
  12. Steph (@imcountingufoz) wrote:

    This was nice to read. HVs sometimes really do come through don’t they?!

    I’m on Sertraline, and I thought I’d be able to come off it soon, but if this week is anything to go by, I’ll be on them for the foreseeable.

    I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to our Harold/Chapman gallivant around the forest next week.

    Posted 3.15.13 Reply
  13. Met Mum wrote:

    So happy to read that you were able to stand up for yourself and that light is on the horizon.
    Just don’t be too hard on yourself when it comes to achievements like leaving the house – nobody judges you if you don’t. As you rightly said, you had two babies in two years! Your life has been in constant motion since I have known you. No wonder you feel exhausted and are more prone to anxiety and depression.
    You are fabulous, pants on the head or not. Much love, Dxx

    Posted 3.15.13 Reply
  14. Be loud, be proud, mega high five!

    When I moved to the UK 10 years ago I was going through a rough patch and I was really afraid to talk to anyone b/c of worries about mental health stigma. Finally I self referred myself to some private CBT, which opened my eyes beyond my issues and allowed me to ultimately put them behind me. At the time Chris and my family were the only ones I admitted this to though. With retropsect I realize that I did not need to be ashamed of how I felt at that time….your honesty about your feelings and standing up for them is a great thing that I think others will be inspired by.

    Posted 3.15.13 Reply
  15. Naomi wrote:

    Wahoo! Go you! Amazing attitude. Love it. xxx

    Posted 3.16.13 Reply
  16. Heather wrote:

    well done for being honest with your HV and good on her for being supportive. Well that’s get job, but you know what I mean!

    Posted 3.16.13 Reply
  17. Wicked news that you stuck to your guns and stood up for what you believed best for you – I bet that felt good. I bet the HV coming through and being one of the good ones felt good too. Hopefully thinking of those good things will help carry you a little when you are all feeling snotty.

    Huge amounts of love from someone who’s been there – the jaw clenching and inane grinning I did on my meds is still fresh in my mind x

    Posted 3.18.13 Reply
  18. Petit Mom wrote:

    Fluexotine is what I was on when I was 16 years old and fought for years to be taken off it because it left me very sleepy which was not good for someone who was trying to finish college and often was shook awake by teachers. But we’re all different but it can make you very sleepy!

    Glad you are getting the right help you need. Due to my history with depression I’m now getting proper help during my pregnancy (got very little during my 1st pregnancy). Depression is a bitch that needs a big slap and I’m happy to help slaps yours around for you ;)

    Posted 3.18.13 Reply
  19. Kelly wrote:

    I am so pleased that you found the strength to stand up for what you needed. I’ve mentioned before that I take Fluoxetine, it can make me a bit sleepy so now I take it just before I go to bed and that really helps. I have found that one of the symptoms of my PND is being over tired anyway, so as boring as it can be I try and get extra sleep when I can.

    Posted 3.20.13 Reply
  20. Horray for lovely Health Visitors! So pleased you’re now firmly on the road to recovery.

    Posted 3.22.13 Reply
  21. can’t remember how I found you (surfing on a saturday night? so rock n roll!!) but it’s an interesting read. I’ve been on Fluxotine ever since my first child (a scary 13 years ago) and it’s helped sort out my hormone induced depression/anxiety. I’m only on a low dose (20g p/day) but it keeps me sane. I came off it for a year a couple of years ago and it was the worst year ever – a literally begged to be back on it! I now accept I’m on it for life – or at least until I’m through the menopause. I hope you are back on an even keel and enjoying life as you should be. Fee xxx

    Posted 6.29.13 Reply