Depression, so taboo... Why? If you have an ailment you'll take medicine, if you feel rubbish you'll tell someone, why can't this be the same with depression, post natal or otherwise?
I suffered with depression very badly before I had children. After one of the world's most pitiful and ridiculous suicide attempts I was told to leave my job, leave London and was put on anti depressants. When I found out I was pregnant with the first, I then (stupidly) took myself off them and after the birth of the first one I was in denial about it all.
I was tired beyond recognition (that I put down to the sleepless nights and the breast feeding and babies) I was low (that I put down to being tired and loss of freedom) snappy and short tempered (that I put down to everything else) and generally a nightmare to be around most of the time. I flipped easily, bed was a haven and something I returned to as often as possible, life became mundane and drudging, my new daughter felt like my prisoner and life (which actually, compared to most, was rather lovely) felt like an existence that I endured, rather than lived. Then, once I could ignore it no longer I took myself off to the Doctor. He gave me a questionnaire to fill out and, as it turned out, I was a full house of yeses. Not entirely sure if that makes me more depressed than anyone, but it did make me certifiably depressed which, to me, really is enough. Anti depressants, that weren't all that great, were prescribed, until I fell pregnant with the second when I also (again foolishly) took myself off those with reckless abandon.
Hormones have a funny way of making all these things better, then slowly but surely the spiral began. Again, just like most, I tried to tell myself to "pull yourself together, things aren't really that bad, it can't be depression, what do I have to be depressed about?" Long and short I was given Sertraline which, again, I didn't get on with, so regularly forgot to take it and thus it made very little difference. Long story short, I ended up in the Dr's surgery again with various ailments and he said that it sounded like depression, out came the questionnaire, this time not so many yeses, but I was still a "looby" as my father would say. I told him (Dr not father) that the only thing that would change this is Effexor XL which I had been on before I had had children. Duly the drug was prescribed and after careful monitoring and jigging with the dose I am right as rain, provided I remember to take it!
If things are getting on top of you and you don't really know which way is up, then perhaps, just maybe, you might need a little pick me up? No one need know if you don't want them to, but you'll know you feel better and, in a way, that is pulling yourself together, surely?
This is something that I feel very passionate about as I have seen so many people struggle (possibly with depression although I am no Dr) and yet you can't tell them that they're depressed, who am I to judge? But it's a real life thing that happens and it doesn't mean that you are a bad person, or less of a person, it just means that the chemicals in your brain aren't quite doing their job properly and they need a bit of help. If you don't do it for yourself, then as my brother said to me, "do it for your children". Problem shared is a problem halved, and solutions are so satisfying even if it's just a chat. No one is perfect, least of all me but if we can share and we can chat and we can be honest, then... who knows?
This new year, I have decided to be honest, so, now it's clear, you should no longer read any of the drivel that comes out of my blog, I might be clinically insane... I have two children, isn't that proof enough?