I went to see my GP yesterday. I was very matter of fact when I told her I thought I had Post Natal Depression. She asks a few questions. Tired? I guess, not overly. Snappy? Yes. Crying a lot? Nope, not at all. Suicidal? I have been, but no plan.
I tell her I’m coping well at home, the girls are easy. No one seems to believe me but they truly are. I confide how I used to encourage Little Man to make as much noise as his kid heart wanted but now it makes my head throb. I don’t have my deep bucket of patience like I normally do.
I did the mental health questionnaire and scored 17. I’m informed anything over 12 is deemed severe.
Oh. I didn’t think I was that bad. I’m coping quite well”, I emphasise again.
Her reply is that many women with PND are high functioning meaning that they manage their home, kids and jobs extremely well. We’re not all blubbering messes unable to get out of bed. I think to myself how it must be difficult for others to spot that you’re struggling due to these kinds of misconceptions.
We discuss a plan. I’m not against anti-depressants but I’d rather see if there is anything I can do by myself first. I tell her that I think talking through the trauma of the birth and my anger at the after care I received would help.
My GP prescribes my insulin medication that I’ve not been taking since before my pregnancy saying it might help with my hunger even though some of it is emotional eating. I joke how I wish I was one of those women who simply can’t eat when they’re stressed. I tell her how much I’d love to do a gym class but don’t feel I have the time. I’m told to go for it, to make time, for my health. She gives me contacts for psychologists she thinks would be a good fit and requests to see me again in a couple of weeks to check in.
I get to my car, diagnosis floating above my head and I feel relieved. It has a name, I’m not just struggling for no reason, I’m sick and I need to prioritise myself starting now.
I go to a local garden centre, chat to the staff who have started to recognise me and treat myself to a gorgeous succulent. I then nip to the shops to get Hubby and I some lunch. It feels great to be out and about just doing normal stuff, to not feeling like I’m drowning in emotions I don’t understand.
I get home and we formulate a plan and, again, it feels wonderful to speak up for myself when I’ve been feeling so helpless and frightened for so long. I went to bed happy, it had been a good day. The first of many, I hope. K x
❤️❤️ If you’re feeling down or struggling, please talk to your partner, friend or GP. Don’t be embarrassed about asking for help ❤️❤️