Wednesday, 21 June 2017

This is PND for me

Every time I think of my Postnatal Depression (PND) journey, there is one thing that makes me very upset and that is how long I suffered before I was diagnosed. I don't blame this on anyone and I certainly don't blame my health visitor. In fact she was the one that picked up on my strange behaviour and finally got me to admit everything. I believe it was overlooked on my part due to my total lack of understanding of the mental illness. 


Before I had a better understanding of PND I thought that depression presented itself in one way only, which was all doom and gloom. I thought you had to be crying constantly and basically locking yourself away. Don't get me wrong I do have those emotions and actions but actually my PND presents itself in many different forms.

I think this is such an important thing to comprehend when you are dealing with PND yourself or trying to help someone who is a sufferer. I couldn't recognise my PND as I was dealing with many different symptoms, many of which you may not necessarily associate with a mental health problem.

This is how my PND presents itself, this is PND for me:
  • A low mood - This sometimes lasts an hour, sometimes a few hours, sometimes a day, sometimes a week and sometimes it's extremely prolonged and can last for weeks.
  • Irritable - Every little problem bothers me and I snap very quickly.
  • Feeling ill - When I am suffering I always have a headache or I feel sick.
  • Feeling overwhelmed - The usual day to day tasks that I normally do become too much for me to handle.
  • Lack of concentration - This is always a contradictory symptom as I usually go into overdrive when I have bad days and I create lists of tasks to myself of things I need to achieve which then leads me to have no concentration at all. I am quite zoned out when I am suffering. I am an aware of anything going on around me.
  • Rage - This is one of the surprising symptoms. I become so angry. Everything and anything gets me angry. I have no tolerance for anything. When I was very bad I actually used to smash things to let out my rage.
  • Scary thoughts - This one always frightens me. I constantly run through 'what if' scenarios and send myself into a bit of an emotional frenzy.
  • Insomnia - When I am suffering, I don't sleep. If i'm not crying then I am running through lists in my mind etc and I just can't shut it off.
  • Feeling Guilty - Mum guilt is everywhere in my life but when I am having a lapse with my PND, I feel guilty about everything. I always say I am a rubbish mum and I always feel like I've let my girls down.
  • Comfort eating - My goodness can I put on some weight when I am going through this. I literally eat anything and everything in site to attempt to make myself feel better.
  • Crying - Sometime I cry hysterically for hours on end. I lock myself away and scream.
  • Laughter - This is a symptom I never would have recognised. Sometimes I am unusually happy, I am overly smily and I am constantly laughing. This is a charade. This is to cover up how I am really feeling. I become very silly and very excitable. It's very up and down behaviour. 
  • Workaholic - I get the sense of urgency to please anyone and everyone. I don't like the idea of failure and I like to look busy. I will take on way too many tasks and immerse myself in work, not wanting to let anybody down and especially not myself. 
  • Having cabin fever - I refuse invitations from friends and family. I shut myself away and  make excuses not do to things.
  • Lack of confidence - When I am suffering I lack confidence in every part of my life. That being my body, my mind, my personality, my clothing, my ability to parent etc.
  • Exhaustion - I get so tired. My mind is heavy and my body is heavy.
  • Noise Sensitivity - Suddenly noises all become very loud. Everything hurts my ears and it's all too much.
I'm still yet to overcome my mental illness, maybe I never will but I am now able to recognise my behaviours and symptoms and so is my husband. It's very hard to understand the behaviours of someone with PND when they can present in so many different ways. I guess it's important to recognise erratic behaviour and over compensating when they experience different emotions. 

Some people will never understand how I can behave in these ways especially those that are closest to me and that is because they just aren't used to seeing me that way. Just know that if you have a friend or relative that suffers with PND that they are doing just that. They are suffering. This is not something they asked for. It may change them but if you look closely they are still there deep down. They just need that bit of extra support and patience. 




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46 comments

  1. This is a beautifully written post - and it's amazing that you're able to recognise these symptoms in yourself. That's really self aware. Well done Kerry. You're amazing.

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  2. I can imagine how difficult PND is. When I was pregnant with T, I've heard of it, but if I certainly wouldn't be able to tell if I had it then. I didn't. But as a new mum, it's difficult sometimes to even pinpoint what exactly one is feeling. Reading posts like this one, will certainly help those who think they are suffering from it and hopefully will help them know when and how to seek help. x

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  3. I very much admire you for talking about your PND, and being open. Can take quite a lot to even admit it. I was similar, in that it took someone else to recognise I had it, and for me to realise it. Was a difficult time, because I just wanted everything to be right with my and baby. That was 22 years ago, and I did come out of it. I have since been involved with a group that was set up to help others that have it, and I was able to share, comfort and advise. From all the mothers that came to the group, I saw many different sides to it all.

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  4. So honest and open I think it's so great to hear it laid out so candidly in that way as I think from people who don't suffer with PND it's hard to get your head around what it must be like.

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    1. It's so hard for people to understand

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  5. I can't even begin to imagine how PND must feel after reading the list of symptoms. I wish you all the best with your recovery!

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  6. I have lived with PND for 13 years now, and it took me a long time to get diagnosed too. The issue with me is that I already had been diagnosed with depression and I was told that it was simply an existing mental illness and fobbed off with no help. It was only when I became drastically ill, and was infact admitted to a mental health unit, that they realised I had PND. I wish you so much love and support. xx

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    1. Thank you and I hope you're doing well x

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  7. Such an honest post :) I never realised how varied the symptoms could be, must be so difficult for you :( x

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    1. Me either until I had it. It can be so confusing to understand x

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  8. When mine gets the better of me I tend to get quite angry at times too. I hate it!

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    1. I hate the anger. It's frightening and I always then feel like I've let myself down x

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  9. This is good that you are being so open about it. I hope this helps others who read this post and start to see the signs in themselves. I have PTSD and while I am in remission right now, this past winter I suffered a major depressive episode that didn't always present as a bad mood or sleeping all day. Sometimes I was in a great mood but had little energy or I was highly energetic because my brain would shut up. I love your post!

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    1. Thank you and I hope you're feeling better x

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  10. Thank you for speaking out. So many often think of having a mental illness of it being one way or another but it can manifest itself into all sorts of characteristics including physical symptoms which are often overlooked.

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    1. I had no idea how different it could be until I suffered with it x

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  11. It's so great that you are able to recognise the symptoms and that you are talking about it. Thank you for being so honest!

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  12. Beautifully written. I can definitely relate to parts of this. It is hard but a good step that you are aware of it x

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  13. Such an honest and raw post. I wish you all the best.

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  14. I had many if those symptoms when I had PND too - it is beatable xx

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  15. I also suffered PND but never admitted it to anyone and it last a lot longer than it should have. Thank you for sharing this so that others can see the signs that they may not even realise are part of PND.

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  16. Kerry I think this is a brilliant post to write. For people who have not suffered from PND, or for those unsure if they are suffering, this highlights some symptoms for them to consider. It is something I am lucky not to have suffered from but often wondered what symptoms someone might have with PND and through your post I now know some of them. I've known about your PND and your struggle with it, mainly through your IG posts and see how much it can affect you and your family. I admire you for not being afraid to speak out when so many wouldn't dream of it. You should be very proud of yourself for this!

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  17. Well done for putting that out there and sharing how you feel. I am sure others who read this and are also suffering from PND will find a little comfort that they are not alone x

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  18. PND is a particularly cruel type of depression. It robs you of happier emotions at such a vital time. I applaud and admire you for being so open.

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  19. Great that you feel able to share the many and varied ways that you have experienced PND. Depression in all its form has no standard or normal

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  20. I think many of us who are uneducated about PND expect it to be just one form and not the many manifestations you've shared. This will definitely help someone out there

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  21. Well done for sharing this post Kerry. Not all symptoms are the same for everyone so hopefully this post may help someone who's struggling. I can definitely relate to some of them you listed above. I suffered from PND after I had Sophie and it took 3 years to overcome it. I don't think it will ever go away completely and there's a high chance of it returning after I've had this baby, but I will fight it again if I have to. It's a horrible illness so well done for sharing your story and raising awareness! We've got this! X

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  22. Well done for opening up about your PND. If I ever experienced it, I wouldn't be sure where to turn - it's good that women like you are sharing your stories!

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  23. I also suffered from PND. Not an easy time in my life but posts like this really raise awareness and reduce the stigma. Thank you

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  24. Thank you for sharing this well written post. It is a major thing Lind, and can affect those without even realising. T is always great to be open and speak about it, those are the first important steps.

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  25. I never really understood all of the symptoms until now. Well done you for raising awareness.

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  26. This is a well written post. It's great u have opened up and shared ur story and are raiding awareness. I feel there is too much stigma surrounding PND and other mental health conditions, the more we talk bout it we can start to break that stigma.

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  27. This was really interesting to read. I have not personally suffered, but many people close to me have. So good to watch for the warning signs x

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  28. This is a very interesting read. I'm always wondering of I would ever get diagnosed with it. Some of those symptoms occur to me too. Plus I'm sure I habe anxiety.
    When it's evening time and the kids are in bed i always tell me hubby to tip toe around the house and don't make a single noise. I can't help it.

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  29. This is so important to share, and so important for others to read all the symptoms too.

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  30. Huge well done you Kerry for being honest and open, I found this really interesting and have realised I actually suffer from a few of these symptoms too! Thank you for sharing xx

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  31. Thank you for putting this out there! I felt so much of what you've described this time around. I went to a group postnatal illness support and that has been a little lifeline 💕

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  32. Thank you for this honest post. I had PND and recognised lots of what you've written about here. Very important to highlight and
    encourage anyone going through this to ask for help x

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