I never discussed my feelings with anyone, and never shared the fact that I bonded with my baby when he was only 3 months old. I felt ashamed and pathetic and was worried they would think I’m a bad mom. Everyone around me seemed to be happy and coping. They seemed to juggle motherhood, being a wife and working so successfully that I felt a failure, so I kept quiet and slowly fell deeper into this endless black pit that was, unbeknown to me at that time, post natal depression.
The final straw came one morning, when my husband and I were getting ready for work, I deliberately picked a fight with him – over what I don’t remember, but I was so frustrated that he wouldn’t fight back. I had all this pent up anger inside of me that was waiting to explode, so I threw my eye shadow at him. It broke and landed on the floor, and in slow motion he picked up his car keys and in a calm voice said ‘you need help’, and he left.
I stood in our bedroom alone, feeling numb and empty inside, and finally admitted to myself that I wasn’t coping. I was unhappy and I needed help. I paid a visit to my GP who, when I started explaining my emotions turned to me and said, “I wondered when I was going to see you”. I was finally diagnosed when my son was 7 months old.
The first steps
No one can help you if you don’t admit to yourself that you are not coping. Don’t feel guilty or ashamed - that lady who sat opposite you at the clinic smiling away as if nothing was wrong, probably felt exactly the same as you do!
Once you have acknowledged you need help, and accepted that it doesn’t mean you are a failure and a bad parent, you have started your journey of healing.
Take solace in knowing that you will get better, that PND is a temporary condition but it is an illness so you need to be patient as it will take time.
Did you suffer from PND? How did you cope? Share your story with us.