Anti depressants

I was wondering  how I was going to approach this one.  As I have said before, I am not medically trained and this is opinion based only. This bit of information is regarding my life and no one else’s.

I was asked by my doctor when I went to see him, to try relaxation techniques which meant repeating a work over and over again for approximately 15 minutes every morning and 15 minutes later that day.  I do believe in relaxation techniques , yoga ect but unfortunately my mind at that time was racing far too much. It was probably when I was prescribed anti depressants because I was visiting the surgery so much that he really didn’t know what to do with me.

I started taking them and I do believe that they also had the placebo effect as well as working to get me on an even keel.  However, my opinion is very different now and I think that has more to do with how I found my way through trial and error or different things , as well as counselling and studying counselling.

As I said, I believe in them to the extent that they stopped my mind racing so much but on the other hand, I believe them to be a sticky plaster which doesn’t really deal with the problem at hand. I know that a lot of people will not agree with me but this is how I responded to them and the beliefs that I hold.  I think once I was doing things like writing a journal, starting back exercise, making sure that I was getting out the house,that I really didn’t need them anymore. I was also receiving counselling and was able to talk through and hear my thoughts out loud.

The thing about counselling is that there is someone there to listen, who takes a non judgmental approach, that is there completely for you and who wont self disclose and make the conversation about them and their experiences or give their opinions.  You have an hour to say what you feel, to cry, to laugh, to just be. Its YOUR hour with no interruptions. It takes time adn you really uncover a lot about yourself. It is also very empowering at times.

I learned that I had a life time of consistent putting myself down and expecting far too much of myself and when I didn’t achieve , I would beat myself up about it. I am still very much like that but I am aware now of WHY. It makes things easier to know the why because it is then that you can start to heal and change.

So yes, I have been off of anti depressants for a long time now, and I don’t regret taking them but I had to personally confront not just the PND, but I got to a point where I was realizing how strong I had actually been to go through it and to come out the other end.  It was a slow process but it was things that I did in order to get me to where I am just now. It was tiny steps one day at a time.  Exercise is probably one of the best things that helped me, the endorphins lifted my black moods and it made me get out for some time on my own. I now want to get to a point where I can do these relaxation techniques, I need to get rid of the anxiety that I still have as a result of the PND and this is what I am working towards.

The clouds are lifting….

I think I may have talked enough about the negative aspects of my PND journey… I was driving home from work tonight and I was trying to think about a time when I had noticed that things were getting better.

It may have been when I met someone who I could talk to and be honest about things with , that lived near by.  She understood and would let me talk and I had no fear of telling her about the days when all I wanted to do was pick up my daughter and throw her half way across the room.  I guess that until now and starting this blog, there were only a few people that I could be completely honest with.  This person is also, along with Kate, one of my best friends.  We were lucky that we could sit and talk about things throughout the day, have a plan in mind whether it be taking the kids to a book shop, coffee shop or shopping in general. It was someone to just “be” with. someone to help with the loneliness that many people feel.  Again, she is an amazing woman, mother and friend, and is simply amazing more than she will ever know and I am so proud of her achievements. She knows who she is ; )

The other support that I had and still do to this day ,  is with a cousin and uncle who I cant thank enough. They would let me come over and just stay until it was time for my husband to come home from work. I had company and someone to talk to, I had something to look forward to the following day as I knew on the days that my friends were busy, that I didn’t have to be on my own. This really helped to to break up the weekend because up until I met my friends or went to my cousins, the weeks were long and I only had the weekends to feel less anxious and as close to normal as possible.  They didn’t force me to talk about things, no questions were asked, and no expectations were set.  They are just there and I know I can go when I need support.

The turn could have also happened when I had decided to go back to work when my daughter was 6months. I was working in the evenings, 5-9pm and I think that when I had a bit of time to be “normal” again, as I would class it,  that things took a turn for the better. i met new people, stated a new job, and had other interests again. it was great.  i also started talking to people about my PND and wasn’t going to ignore the fact that I was experiencing this. I started to see how it was shaping me as a person.  I could see that I was actually a lot stronger than I thought….I was also able to recognize this through counselling.  Don’t get me wrong, this change did not happen over night, Not at all but it was the start of something good.

First encounter of the mean kind…lol

Im going to tell you about one experience I had, my first I should add… of the dreaded… wait for it… BABY GROUP!!! does that send as many shivers up your back as it does mine?  If so, you are not alone! I know a few mothers who have the same reaction when mentioned.

Now, I dont want to give all of them bad press , because there are some good ones out there.. I just never found them.

My first experience of going to a baby group was when I was in the depths of PND.  I wanted to go because it was recommended to me and as stated before, I try to be as proactive as possible.  The morning that I went, it was raining … now that’s nothing new when you live in Scotland  but i’m sure it probably did contribute to the way that I was feeling.

I was advised by my health visitor that there was one not too far from me and that it started at 10:30am.  I tried getting up early in order to get out the door but as most new Mum’s and Mum’s in general really, that it can be difficult to get out the door before 12!  I drove up and before getting out the car, i think I was having a minor panic attack as I just wasn’t up to meeting new people or leaving the house unless it was to see family and on the odd occasion, friends especially if my husband wasn’t with me.

The building itself was a concrete building with no windows …. so i walked in and waited.  I saw that there was a gate but didn’t know how to open it or who to speak to.  I started to panic. A janitor opened the gate for me and said that I should go in and pay  whatever the fee was. I went in and there were tonnes of kids running around and many mothers, and 1 father.

I scanned the room looking for eye contact with someone who would come and speak to  me but no one did. I tried smiling at many of the adults, no one smiled back. i felt like a child in the playground who no one wanted to play with. I felt like shit. Sorry for the language but this is an honest account.

I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes, the fear in my body and the need to get out of there fast. The harder I tried not to cry, the faster the tears came. I put my head down and went to walk out but I was stopped by a woman with a baby who looked around a year old who i would later come to know as  Rachael and a little boy with the cutest glasses that resembled the milky bar kid and his name was Nathaniel . Her name was kate and she is one of my best friends now.  If she hadn’t came to speak to me that day, I don’t know how things would have turned out.  She is one of the many supportive people that I have in my life and I am so thankful that I attended that baby group on that day.

P.S. I never set foot in that group again.

A list of links for dad’s

Afternoon!

I was wanting to put a list of links for Fathers (should any be reading), that I thought were interesting.  the first one tells us that 10% of men suffer from PND, I wonder how realistic this really is?  I’m sure that many cases of male PND is not reported as much as female cases as women are more likely to have most contact with  a health visitor and doctor. I wonder if they do the Edinburgh PND scale for men as well? I would certainly like to find the answer to this and on my next visit with the doctor, I will ask and report back.

http://www.dad.info/health/your-health/post-natal-depression-dads/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-13454471

I don’t want to post too many  just now for rear of information overload. One thing I did notice was that there wasn’t a lot of information available  for Fathers.  I think that this is something that should be highlighted and changed.   Although it affects men and women in different ways, we all have valid experiences which should be treated accordingly.

I also found the following link which answers a question about people in remote areas. This can be used by men and women and men. 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/highlands_and_islands/8170237.stm

Buggython Fundraiser

Hi

Just wanted to share with you all about the Buggython which is taking place in Glasgow this September. I will attach the flyer for anyone who is interested and I really hope that you can all come out and support this amazing fundraising event.

As you all know, the Tom Allan Centre had a major impact on my recovery , and I will continue to support them in any way that I can.  They also require volunteers for their creche, admin, and fundraising. If anyone wants to volunteer, the details are detailed on the flyer.

                                                          BlueBell Buggython

Saturday 10 September 2011
10.30am to 1pm
BOTANIC GARDENS
730 Great Western Road, Glasgow G12 0UE
Face painting, Arts & Crafts & Entertainment
Walk starts at 11am – all welcome with buggy or not!
Registration £5
To help families affected by Ante/Postnatal Depression
Contact:
Jackie Walker Bluebell PND Service Tom Allan Centre
at: Bluebell PND Support
Church of Scotland Social Care Council, Operating as CrossReach The Church of Scotland, Scottish Charity No. SCO11353

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