You + PND: So, Now What?

Once you’ve realised/acknowledged there could be a problem, that you are displaying signs and/or symptoms of Postnatal Depression, it can be difficult to know where to go from there, especially if you have to wait for a doctor’s appointment. I highly recommend that you push for an appointment that day if at all possible, even if just to keep you from driving yourself mad thinking about it.

Here are some things which worked for me and a couple of things I wish I had done as soon as I was diagnosed;

* See your doctor – I wasn’t going to list this, but then I decided to do so anyway to cover all the bases. See a doctor you trust and talk about the options available to you.

* Connect – Your doctor will probably refer you to any available services in your area, but if he doesn’t bring it up yourself. I have discovered there are many services equipped to help mums with PND such as Family Support, Volunteer Home Visiting Services, a Mental Health team and many other community run programs. Once you have been referred or have the details make sure you contact them. As I was told at one point: “These service are here for a reason and if you don’t use them I will be out of a job.”

* Say yes – I connected with all the services in my area and then when it came to having them visit and help me I freaked out. I wanted to use any excuse to say no, and so it took a lot of courage and will power to say yes, please come into my house and help me. And, every week I struggled with it but I did so because I knew it was one thing that was keeping me going in the worst time.

* Ask for help – I know I am not the only person who struggles with this. I’m sure I am not alone in wishing others would see what needs to be done and do it; whether it be cleaning the house, shopping, taking the kids when things are particularly hard or just sitting to have a chat. But, mostly, things like that don’t happen. Mostly, you need to swallow your pride and ask. Even now, I find this so hard and will often leave things to avoid having to. Yes, it’s bad and I am working on it.

* Be specific – Depending on who you’re asking, you may need to be more specific than “I need help”. The problem I find here is that sometimes I have no idea exactly what I want them to do for me, sometimes I just want them to interpret what I need and get on with it. But, if you do know what you want speak out. Doing so will avoid frustration for all involved.

* Accept help – As above, this is a difficult thing. I want to be Super Mum, I want to be able to do everything and then some more but I can’t. So, if by some miracle, somebody does see what you need and offers to help, graciously accept their offer. They are not offering pity, they are offering you a hand, they are offering you love and want to do what they can to make life that little bit easier.

* Be accountable -What form this would take for you, I don’t know. For me it meant sharing my condition and struggles here, on the blog and finally sharing with the world that I was suffering and not coping. By doing so I have been surrounded by the most amazing support group and discovered others have been here before. I’m not alone and neither are you.

* Take the time to look after yourself – We all know how hard it is to get time to ourselves with husbands, children, pets, extended family and housework to take our attention, but we need to make sure we are looking after the person who looks after everyone else. Ourselves. If we’re not happy then it spreads to all those we love and care for. If you’ve been following my It’s ALL About Me posts, then you know that this is something I am trying to work into my family life.

* Ban the negative thoughts – In the above paragraph the urge to tell you I was failing was very strong but FAIL is a word I have banned myself from thinking and saying. Such a negative word that does nothing but bring you down. Trying to replace negative thought patterns with positive affirmations can be a powerful thing.

None of these things are easy. They take time, practice, courage, energy and while it may seem you simply don’t have the ability to do more, it is worth giving them a shot and finding the things that make your life easier, things that help you through the day and make good days trump the bad.

If you’ve been here, too, please feel free to share some of the things that helped you.

Other posts on You + PND:

You + PND: Know the Signs
You + PND: So Now What?You + PND: The Shame Factor {Coming Soon}

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5 Comments

  1. Ah, Becky, you're doing so well, having the clarity of thought to even write this post. It will help many people – bravo you. J x

  2. Thanks again for another great post about PND! And thank you for having the courage to share your journey!

  3. Becky, I don't know how I got to your blog but Thank you so much! My BFF has a 6 week old & it breaks my heart to see her falling apart. She is already much less than herself & has yet to get the help she needs. I am here ready to support her & am in constant contact with her Hubs who is somewhere between protecting her, letting it all be her sad way & going insane with worry. I am convinced she has PND & it's getting her to hear & getting her the help. She has already seen GP who prescribed sleeping pills, I'm angry that's not good enough. I just flicked your "Know the signs post" to her Hubs & will be checking in on you regularly. I have 3 kiddies & for me it's been the most joyous experience, after her infertility struggles I really want my friend to feel the joy that's possible.Thank you again, Angela.

  4. What a great web log. I spend hours on the net reading blogs, about tons of various subjects. I have to first of all give praise to whoever created your theme and second of all to you for writing what i can only describe as an fabulous article. I honestly believe there is a skill to writing articles that only very few posses and honestly you got it. The combining of demonstrative and upper-class content is by all odds super rare with the astronomic amount of blogs on the cyberspace.

  5. The key is definitely to get on to it early isn't it? To look for help and accept it. Such hard, hard things to do in the grips of PND. Kudos to you for a great post xxx

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