Maisie has kindly agreed to share her post-natal depression story.
Please tell us a little about who you are and what you do.
My name is Maisie. I’m a 23 year old new mum to my 7 month old baby boy, a blogger at Love Maisie, social media manager and caffeine addict! We currently reside in the beautifully historic city of Gloucester.
How did you feel when you became pregnant?
I felt overwhelmed with emotions. There were so many things going through my mind when I saw those little blue lines appear on that pregnancy test! I suppose the two emotions that stood out were excitement and fear.
How did you feel after having your baby?
Immediately after I just wanted to go home. We ended up being in hospital for a week with a long induction, complicated birth and blood transfusions. Although I was unwell and did need to stay in those two extra days, I just felt like a bit of a prisoner and wanted to get back to my “normal” life. I was very tearful the week that my son was born, but of course I felt that this was completely normal, baby blues and all that.
What made you suspect you had PND?
It was actually my partner that suspected it first. I think that’s because I was in denial. I was in denial when I was pregnant that I had Pre Natal Depression but I just kept trying to fight it and ignore it, so I don’t think it really came to us as a surprise when I found that I was struggling with my mental health post partum. It wasn’t until one day that not only was I feeling overwhelmingly low, but also angry(very out of character for myself) that I started to actually believe that I was suffering with PND and needed to get some help.
Who did you ask for help? Who supported you most?
Initially it was my partner and my mum and I honestly don’t think I would be here today if it wasn’t for them. I then went on to have appointments with my GP and my mum and my partner were there for me every step of the way and still are to this day. My partner has been the biggest support as he has been so hands on with our son and is always trying his very best to make sure that I am okay.
What made you decide to seek treatment and what was that treatment?
As mentioned, it was the overwhelming feelings of being low followed by the constant anger and angst I had against the world. I felt like everything and everyone was out to get me because I was a “bad mum.” Upon having the appointments with my GP I started a course of sertraline anti-depressants and CBT over the phone.
How are you now?
I’m definitely doing a lot better now compared to how I was 6 months ago. I still have my down days where I can get really low, but I’m finding ways of coping with them and helping myself to get out of them. It’s a daily battle but it’s one worth fighting.
What would you say to a mum who feels she has lost all hope?
YOU ARE NOT ALONE! I felt so alone, as if I was the only person feeling the way that I did and struggling, but the more you open up, the more you realise that actually, there are(sadly) so many other women who feel very similar to how you are feeling. You are NOT a bad mum, even if it feels like you are.
Why do you think it is important to speak out about depression and similar issues?
I think it is so important to speak out about all mental health issues to raise awareness and to let people that are struggling know that they are not alone and that the fact that they are perhaps reading something like this or googling things like this is proof that they are strong and that they have so much worth fighting for. Depression takes over too many lives and ruins some too and I can honestly say that it nearly took my life. I am so thankful that it didn’t and I just wish I could speak to every single mum out there that feels lost and hopeless, just so that I can try and help them, even if in a very small way.
Do you have a post-natal depression story to share? Please leave a comment or let me know if you would like to share your story on my blog.
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