Postnatal depression is a funny old thing, I sit here writing this with full knowledge of that fact. Some people with postnatal depression will have a history of mental health problems and some people don’t – either is perfectly normal and fine.
My mental health journey started from the very young age of 13, when I developed Anorexia. After a long, long battle with food I recovered; however this is not something I am quite ready to blog about yet.
So, we will start at the age of 17 when I was diagnosed with depression as a ‘replacement’ to Anorexia – it is like a drug addiction, it has to be replaced with something. It’s crazy how meeting someone you love wholeheartedly can change the way you think. I started to feel better and see life in a different way. When I fell pregnant I knew it would be difficult for me to see my body change and go over weights I wouldn’t be happy with, but I knew it would be totally worth it when I had Theo. Something I struggled with throughout my whole pregnancy was watching my thighs get bigger and stretch marks develop all over my body but there was nothing I could do about it.
The common Baby Blues is something everyone talks about, the typical feeling emotional and tearful. This should last for the first couple of weeks and it is a completely normal thing to experience after having a baby I mean, hello, you have just spent nine months carrying a small human and then gave birth to it!
Symptoms of postnatal depression last a lot longer than a few weeks and can make you feel awful. You can feel: like you have no energy, like you’re an awful mum, a persistent low mood, like you can’t bond with your baby and sometimes you can even have awful thoughts about harming your baby. So many women don’t even realise they have postnatal depression and bottle it up, this is when it gets worse. Let alone the sleep deprivation from having a new baby!
I went to the doctors with all of the feelings listed above when Theo was just 8 weeks old, since then I have been on medication to help with my moods/feelings and have seen a therapist.
My plea to any mums reading this nodding their head is to go and seek some help! Its not stupid and it is a real thing. Don’t withdraw from your friends and family, reach out and talk to them.
I am also always here for anyone feeling low