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  • Writer's pictureKate O'Sullivan

Trying & failing to get help

I feel frustrated at the lack of PND support services in Ireland and how long everything takes.

The PND kicked in for me when George was approx. 7 weeks old – the end of November 2021. At this stage I went to my CBT therapist, and she advised I needed to take some time to myself to recover – I think I mentioned this before – I was horrified at the idea, how could I leave my partner to struggle with the dog and baby alone. At which point she said – what if I had a broken leg or needed an operation and had to go to hospital – there wouldn’t be a choice. I was also referred to a private hospital by my psychiatrist to give me some time to recover but I wasn’t accepted.

Finally, 4 months on I have taken the experts advice and am taking a couple of days for myself and going on a yoga retreat to get some head space. That doesn’t mean I’m not wracked with guilt and have constant thoughts that “I’m not spending enough time with George”, “I’m a bad mother”, “other mothers don’t need time out”, “This won’t help the bonding”, etc, etc. I also have no doubt that a two-day retreat isn’t going to cure me but if it makes me feel even 1% better it will be worth it.

I went to my GP in December time for something else and we spoke briefly about the PND, and the GP said – I imagine the psychiatrist is going to change your medication. It is only now – 3 months later that I have changed medication, why has it taken so long? If it had been changed back in December, would I be feeling better now, or be further along in my recovery?

Just yesterday I went to a birth trauma specialist and although she was very nice – I spent an hour telling her my situation only for at the end of the session her to tell me that PND wasn’t her area, and I should go to her colleague.

I have also desperately been trying to get into a PND support group – the only one I know of is in Dublin which is partly organised by the Rotunda. This group started in March only for me to be contacted to be told there is no place for me (due to an internal miscommunication) but there will be a space for me in September! When you are feeling bad, I can tell you that September feels like an eternity away.

I was then told a home visit from a nurse who specialises in PND would be arranged for me – I got a letter with this appointment date which is in 4 weeks’ time (on the day I return to work). Everything is painstakingly slow. Anyone who has suffered with depression and anxiety knows that the sooner you can get help the sooner you can start feeling better, and sometimes when you are feeling bad you need to speak to someone that day – not in 4 weeks’ time, or 4 months’ time. I am trying my best to get help, but it just doesn’t seem to be there.

I mentioned previously that the best resource I have found to date is the book by PND Ireland (based in Cork) and they have a support group on Monday night via zoom which I hope to join.


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