Gaining confidence back

Hi there since suffering PP in December 16 my self confidence has gone completely and I feel under my own shoe with self esteem at 0, I get so upset and frustrated because even all the confidence I had in my profession has just disappeared, has anyone else experienced complete loss of confidence and self esteem, is there any advice you can give and did you ever get back to the person you were before.

9 Replies

  • Yes 100% relatewalk. And yes it wasn't too long to get back to feeling like myself. Just be kind to yourself. I found focusing on getting out of the house helped...for me exercising by walking (or YouTube if too hot to walk). And tracking progress on myfitnesspal. And being part of a mums Playgroup. Are you working at the moment or thinking about work (you mentioned profession). I had to make up my mind re going to work when baby was less than 6 weeks, which wasn't fair. I chose not to go back as I needed to look after myself even though I was totally OK to by drs etc at 6 months. Heaps of mums choose 12 months maternity or longer and that's OK!

  • Thanks Suzannah, not back at work yet as need to find new job due to only having a fixed term contract. Thanks for you reassuring post, it's been 6 months since my illness and confidence is still shot to pieces. I do try and walk when I can and attend a mother & toddler group each week, also a PND support group each week too.

    Thank you

  • Hi Beckles30,

    I am so sorry to hear you are struggling at the moment, I can completely relate to the lack of confidence after PP too.

    It was something that really shocked me, pre-PP I was really confident and like you I used to wonder if I would ever get back to my old self. It was like I had lost who I was and I can remember often being in tears to my husband saying 'I just want to be the old me'

    Now I am fully recovered (I suffered PP July 2015) and my confidence is as strong as it always was. If anything it is better, but I also have a new found appreciation for it and an understanding for people who struggle with confidence issues. So yes, 100% you will get back to feeling like your old self, it just takes time. Remember you are a new mum as well and there are so many new feelings with this too.

    Regarding your profession are you back at work now and struggling with your confidence issues or is it something you are anticipating?

    I see from your previous post that you are also suffering with depression, it's really tough isn't it? I can completely identify with what you are feeling and your lack of confidence may be related to this too. How are you coping with this now, have you had any treatment for it?

    Love to you and your daughter, you are coping with a really hard illness and it takes time to recover.


  • Thank you Helen, I am still struggling with the Depression and being treated with medication (orlanzapine) which really knocks me out and makes mornings very difficult, my partner has to get up for my daughter as I find it so hard. With regards to my confidence at work I'm not back into work yet but feel wobbly about the whole thing as I worked with children and now my confidence as a mum makes me doubt myself in my job. Thank you for talking to me, it helps to know if others have experienced the same and get advice to overcome the issues related to the illness and come out the otherside.

  • The olanzapine really does take it out of you doesn't it, I was the same and my husband had to take over nights completely. At the time I felt incredibly guilty about it, but looking back now, as a family we needed this so I could get better. At the moment you probably need the rest so take it when you can.

    I found the mornings the hardest too - my psychiatrist and psychologist said this was really common with depression, you feel worst in the mornings. For me it was contemplating the whole day ahead and I had to force myself to get out of bed. I used to write myself a list for the morning so I didn't have to think about what to do, but could also see what I had achieved! Things like 'get up, change nappy, give bottle, have breakfast, give baby breakfast, get dressed, get baby dressed...' it would just help to have it all written down so I knew I wouldn't forget anything. You are doing so so much without even realising it.

    Have you decided whether to tell your employer about what has happened? I know this is a personal and often difficult decision, it really depends on you and your employer. I decided to tell my employer and they were very supportive- I did a phased return to work which helped me settle in. Like you I was really worried about how I would cope and if I would be able to do my job. However in the end it was actually quite easy, I eased my self in gradually and it was something familiar which surprisingly helped build my confidence. Sometimes the worry is a lot worse than the reality.

    Working with children must add a different dimension to the difficulties, but remember even though it doesn't seem like it, you are still the same person as you were, and you still have the skills you had before. Becoming a mum will have taught you a whole new set of skills that will definitely help working with children! The depression will be making you doubt this, its part of the illness, but believe me everything you had before is there, and more.

    You WILL recover from this, I used to doubt this all the time, but it's an illness and gradually you will get better xxxxxx

  • Hi Beckles30,

    I suffered PP in May 2016, and like you, my self confidence was at an all time low following my illness. It took me a while to come to terms with what had happened, which had a huge impact on how I felt about myself. Initially, I didn't enjoy going out and I constantly felt guilty about not doing enough with my new son. I didn't have the benefit of having lots of Mum friends, so I found it difficult to join any groups and generally felt quite lonely. I started to go and visit family and friends once I could drive again, and I focused on fitness to help build my confidence as this is something I enjoyed before becoming pregnant. Admittedly I don't have as much time as I once did, but I enjoy walking and running and have now re-joined a fitness class in my local area. I found it beneficial for my self confidence, to get into a routine and take time for myself every now and again.

    I suppose looking for and starting a new job is a new challenge, which might help build your self-confidence. How are you feeling about it?

    I hope you start to feel better about things soon, it takes time but you'll get there. Jess x

  • Hi Jessica thank you for replying to my blog, I am still struggling with the Depression side of the illness and even my confidence as a mum has taken such a blow. I have a supportive partner who is at home full time to help me and I try and see friends and visit a toddler group once a week. I'm looking into volunteering to help re-gain my confidence to get back into work. Can I ask did medication help with your recovery and did you suffer with high anxiety?

    Thanks Jessica

  • Hi,

    I'm sorry to hear you're struggling with the depression side of it, it's such a complex illness isn't it. I'm glad to hear you have a supportive partner at home, and that you try to see your friends when you can. Yes my medication definitely helped my recovery, I suffered with post-natal depression and anxiety before the psychosis developed, and initially started taking antidepressants but these were replaced with Olanzapine when I went to the MBU which I stayed on for a further 5 months. I was lucky not to experience any further psychotic symptoms following my discharge, but I struggled with my confidence and I was fearful of experiencing a relapse. I suppose I still am in some respect, and I often reflect on my illness but I am thankful to also have a supportive family and friends. I hope it won't be too long until these feelings subside, and you feel happier about things. I'm sure you are a wonderful Mum to your little girl, you just need time to bounce back. Take care x

  • It does take time to get your confidence back. My children are now 7 and 4, and there are still times I wonder am I back to being me?!

    But bit by bit, we regain our skills, our confidence, and in the meantime you may have to seek that reassurance from others. My husband, my mum, my close friends are the people who can see and and encourage me making progress.

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