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  • Writer's pictureKate O'Sullivan

Post Natal Depression

"When the sleep deprivation kicked in and a bigger black cloud arrived"

PostNatal Depression (PND) - I can honestly say this is the hardest thing I have ever gone through (and still am going through), and you may wonder why don’t I wait until I’m better to post this - I am sharing this now in the hope that someone who can even slightly relate to how I’m feeling might like to meet for a coffee and a chat or someone might know of a support group that could help me battle this. I'm currently on a waiting list for a support group and I wish there was more resources out there to help. That said, I am getting help from the maternity hospitals mental health team and my own therapist but I find that feeling like your not the only one can be a huge help.

PND can be different for everyone I believe but for me it started with intrusive thoughts, what if something happens to the baby what if I dropped him or harmed him in some way. Then the low mood - iv struggled on and off with mental health throughout my life but this was the lowest I have ever felt - crying every day, terrified to be on my own with the baby. I was irritated and annoyed by his crying and still am when I’m feeling anxious. The anxiety heightens everything and makes things so much worse. In the days running up to Christmas I was at my lowest and met with my psychiatrist with my partner to make a plan to get me on the road to recovery. One of the particularly hard things for me with this is that there is nothing “extra” I could do for the PND I have been told it’s just depression in the postnatal period so to do all the usual things for anxiety and depression - eg mindfulness, journaling, medication, exercise, self care. I want something more, I’m a very proactive person and if you give me a list of things I will do them all but unfortunately for this there is no quick fix. I also wanted ways to bond with the baby as my mind runs back to those antenatal fears of what if I never love the baby, what if motherhood isn’t for me, but I haven’t found anything in this area that works for me. I have had a very long “newborn” period with George so no sleep just feeding, changing, sleeping but now that he is a little older he has started to smile which does help to some extent. Also planning excursions with George is something I need to start doing as it is still possible to do the same things I used to do but with him which has been a bit of a roadblock in my mind.

Right now every day is a struggle some days are better than others but I’m trying to keep my mind busy and have lots of willing helpers to help me with George while I am recovering.


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