PND Assessment

Yesterday I had another appointment with the psychology dept to see how things were going since I last met before the baby was due.

The usual questions which are important such as any suicidal thoughts, thoughts of harming myself, the baby or anyone else and do I hear voices, how is my eating and sleeping patterns etc.

Now, I know that I am over depression but the anxiety is there but that’s also something that I have had for years, can recognise and thanks to CBT , I can work through although not always successfully but no one is perfect.

So I volunteered the info and was told that we can increase my level of sertraline to which I responded with that as my 6wk check is due in 2 weeks, I was hoping to get the all clear for exercise and had done some yoga the night before that made me feel good, that I felt it would be right to hold off. I was met with a bit if reluctance and was told “you were never really keen about medication, were you”? The answer is , no not really but I know it has its positives and will take it in order to improve.

I was asked a few questions such as “do you feel refreshed after sleep”? Errr… With a 4 week old and a 5 year old , are you serious?! Again I was questioned about increasing my medication….

I was then asked if there are times in the day that I felt more anxious and I said that the mornings were harder due to getting a new born fed and a 5year old to school on time and that as my husband did the night feeds and needed to be at work in the AM, it made more sense for him to sleep on.

It wasnt acknowledged that he was supportive, and that getting two kids up would naturally be stressful even without PND, or that it’s great that I can get two kids out the door for 8:30am.. It was “well an increase in medication would help that” what part of “No, I’m feeling good and empowered that I’m no longer depressed, I’m getting out, seeing people and I’m bonding with my son, and I contacted YOU, the team that are here to help, do you not understand”?!

I was then told that I would be called in a week or two to see how I was doing and if I needed my medication increased!! WTF?! I was also told that I appeared a bit more “flat”, then our previous meeting a few months ago… I am sleep deprived for goodness sake! I already said that I am enjoying life again, no despair and I know that sleep etc will come back again.

I feel like I wasn’t listened to or that the positives weren’t taken in to account which is a shame… Other staff would have been more encouraging because I have encountered it but I’m not too keen on the approach taken by this individual at all which is a shame since they do some amazing work at the unit.

Last CBT Session!

This Friday see’s the last session of my CBT session at the Mother and Baby unit in The Southern General, sniff sniff. Its gone by fast and I am really proud of myself and what I have achieved so far. I remember thinking at one point that I felt I hadn’t really made a lot of progress but its about what you put into it that matters and I put my heart and soul as I wanted to make significant changes in my life.

I also feel that I had a great relationship with my therapist, which counts for a lot because you don’t want to divulge information to someone that you don’t feel comfortable with, its not how the therapeutic relationship works. Although they don’t tell you the answers and its all about how you yourself works through things, its helpful when someone can use unconditional positive regard and empathy where its needed. Also, I feel that my therapist was pretty darn good at challenging me, it was hard and there were tears but it was done at the right time and in the right circumstances. It did exhaust me and there were times when I didn’t want to attend but went because as I said, if you don’t put in the work, you will get bugger all at the end.

So how do I feel about ending my sessions? I feel good, I feel empowered and I feel positive about the future. As someone who has an HNC in counselling, it was difficult to change roles and be the client but once I was able to get over that and believe me it was very difficult as I was constantly going over things that I said , trying to self analyze etc that was when the hard work started. I learned so much about how I view the world, how I use values that I have been brought up with in positive and negative ways, how I used negative thinking styes in so many different aspects of my life and for so long. I feel like I am starting to see the world through different eyes and that I have woken from a hazy sleep.

I am under no illusion that I won’t at times slip back in to these ways of thinking or behaviors but I am aware when I am doing it and I have learned the skills, taught myself  really, how to get through them and to use positive self talk.  These are skills to have for life and at the beginning I was skeptical about CBT, but I realize it was a belief of someone else that I took on as my own , as it being the new fad for the NHS due to cost effectiveness. I used to be more into person centered, and I think that there will be a part of me that will always be, but sometimes you have to let go of the past. Yes it is of major value but sometimes dealing with the here and now can actually help you to deal with ghosts of the past.

My CBT Revelation

Some of you know and some of you don’t know that I attend the Mother and Baby Unit as I was a bit scared about  the feelings that I had at the start of my pregnancy. I was also scared about what would happen post natal wise as I have a high chance of going through PND for a second time . However as soon as the thoughts entered my head, I was on the blower to the doc and made choices to try and support me through it and one of the things was getting a referral asap.

I have been going for a few weeks with a 2 week break in between due to holidays but I really felt that yesterday for some strange reason, put it all into perspective for me and I have changed my thought process in a big way. when the penny drops and you can see things clearer, its immense just how much weight is lifted from your shoulders and any experience that you have had in the past or about to have in the future, becomes less scary and how you deal with it is within your control. I know that I have been so much better since finding out the sex of the baby and with the sickness passing (that was a major major part of the way that I was feeling), but to know that I can pick apart my own thoughts and see them for what they are, is bloody amazing.

I did study the unit of CBT when studying counselling but when you have to put it into practice, its a whole new ball game and you start going through all the fears that you have, whether they be minimal or life affecting, and you see them for what they really are. I have always been proactive but I guess I didn’t really know how to get  beyond a certain stage and there was something that was said yesterday which makes a hell of a lot of sense. Its knowing when you have reached a goal that makes the difference. That is it, plain and simple. no big huge pa-lava of words and sentences and things that don’t make a lot of sense.

Some of the fears apart from the new baby coming and the sleepless nights, pnd are all becoming less and less of an issue and are manageable to pick apart and rationalize for me now. I had some stress relating to re entering the blogosphere in that I felt I needed to write every day. Who says I need to?I became a bit crabbit this week if something got in the way of me doing it, whats that all about? its about me thinking that I will lose the feeling I get when I write , coming out with crap posts and losing followers. However, I started writing for me not anyone else (thanks to those who follow and read, it isn’t a dig) , if I continued on that way it was making me feel , ie stressed which then manifested itself into a physical feeling which is tiredness and waking up in the middle of the night thinking about what to write the next day, where was the fun in that? I wasn’t being true to myself. yes, I may write each day but now it will be because I want to , I was the one putting the stress on to myself, no one else.  Its amazing just how much stress affects us and sometimes we aren’t aware of that.

So now its about taking time, not taking too much on. having a cup of tea and chilling! Now off to work…


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