depression: Hi everyone. Is it normal... - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis

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depression

fluffy22 profile image

Hi everyone. Is it normal for postpartum depression and anxiety to take a break and then come back randomly, even if I am taking medication? My first period came back after birth and I am wondering if it is tied to that. The feeling of depression is strong and I am tired of it. The medication suppresses my tears. I just need anyone to hear me out because I feel really low. My heart and head also hurt and I am finding it difficult to be positive.

16 Replies
alisonrw profile image
alisonrwVolunteer

Dear Fluffy22

Thank you for your message. It's lovely to hear from you, but I'm sorry to hear that you're struggling with anxiety and depression. These aren't easy things to go through. I hope you're doing OK.

I do think that anxiety and depression can come and go. I experienced this too as part of recovery of my mental health (I accessed support from APP when I was planning my pregnancy as part of my longer term recovery from psychosis that first occurred several years before I became pregnant).

I think part of this is linked to my periods/hormones, which have a big impact on my mood and daily life in the second half of my cycle. I use a period tracking app and make sure I take extra time for day to day life as much as I can to make things easier, if possible. It is strange to feel OK one day then completely different the next. I look forward to the days when it lifts and make the most out of these as much as I can.

I find the amount of sleep really impacts my mood too, so try to get as much as I can throughout the month. This is not always easy as a parent! I'm increasingly finding the time of year also impacts my mood and have noticed a pattern that my mood dips in June and July, which coincides with each of my hospitalisations. Even though it was several years ago I try to be understanding with myself during this time now.

Sending you lots of positivity and good wishes. These feelings will pass and you will feel better - we are all here for you 🌸

fluffy22 profile image
fluffy22 in reply to alisonrw

Thank you Alison,

I don’t have much positive words to say at the moment. Trying to hang in there and not let my negative thoughts spill out. For example I am not feeling motherly and just feel this annoying thought that I don’t want to take care of my children or be with my husband. They are scary thoughts for me because I don’t really know what is right or wrong because of this mask of depression and anxiety and being on meds. I just need emotional support.

alisonrw profile image
alisonrwVolunteer in reply to fluffy22

Hi Fluffy22

I'm sorry to hear that you're having these difficult and dark emotions. It's completely understandable that when you're trying to look after your mental health, at the same time as being a wife and a parent plus daily tasks and work in general, that you would feel like you would like time to yourself.

I remember before I had my son, one of my main coping strategies for anxiety and depression was to spend time alone in a quiet room and wait for these feelings to pass. I find it difficult too now as I'm unable to take as much time as I need and I often feel pulled in difficult directions. I don't think yearning for this is bad or wrong. Everyone needs emotional support and time to themselves.

Have you found anything that has helped in the past? Are there any new things to lift your mood that you could try? I feel emotional support is so important to feeling well , especially for parents as being a mum isn't easy. Is there anyone that you trust that could speak with about how you are feeling? This could be a relative or a counsellor, if you feel you would benefit from speaking with someone outside your social/friend circle. I find being able to talk things through generates feelings of closeness which helps. I am thinking of you and hope lighter feelings return

fluffy22 profile image
fluffy22 in reply to alisonrw

Thank you Alison for the reply. I am trying my best to get through the daily tasks of being a mum and wife. Through all this mess my husband had a falling out with my family so hes not on speaking terms. It is eating away at me daily of how I can spend my time with someone who talks bad about my family now. I wish I had a reset button. Sorry if I am oversharing but I don’t really have anyone to talk to at the moment. I am just waiting for when we go back to Canada on August 9th for better services like counselling.

I like watching cooking competition shows. When theres a sliver of free time I watch it. Even if its just 10 minutes. Trying to ignore the beasts that are depression and anxiety and overall lack of motivation and energy. My eldest daughter is 2 yrs and 6 months and my youngest is 7 months old. It’s just exhausting but I am trying to count my blessings even when my brain sees everything as black. I am hoping our return to Canada helps.

Thank you for providing a safe space for me ❤️

alisonrw profile image
alisonrwVolunteer in reply to fluffy22

I hope your week is passing OK and you're getting some time to relax. Even if it's 10 minutes - it is so important to grasp breaks to do something you enjoy.

It isn't long until your return to Canada now. I'm sure this will help and it's good to hear that you're thinking about accessing counselling there. No need to apologise, you're not oversharing. This is a safe space. These are difficult emotions to process, please don't be hard on yourself.

As others have said be proud of how far you have come and how you've reached out for support. Please write again anytime if this helps ❤️

Pikorua profile image
PikoruaVolunteer in reply to alisonrw

I can resonate with this Alison. Female hormones and our monthly cycle may affect our well being and daily routine. Another issue after PPP is the peri and menopausal stage.

In my case I only found out eight years later after PPP that my continuous mood swings were in fact BP. Since I was a teenager I was up and down like a yoyo and lived always on the fast lane.

I believe it is vital to listen to our ancestors, look into our family tree. In my case families just did not talk about mental health.

I liked your post very much!

Lilybeth profile image
LilybethVolunteer

Hello fluffy22

Good to hear from you although I’m sorry you are trying to keep a lid on annoying thoughts. Depression can be very draining so I’m sorry you are struggling.

In your earlier post I mentioned the link to Postpartum Support International in Canada and wonder if you had connected for their support? As isolating as depression can be, I think you need to talk openly about how you are feeling. Is it possible that your doctor could arrange talking therapy or counselling for you? I hope you are having regular reviews about your medication too.

It’s very tiring to be depressed. I had severe depression following PP and the feeling of being helpless and hopeless. The thoughts you have are your illness challenging you so try not to engage with them. Find a distraction, such as music or exercise, walking or even baking.

After such an illness you need to rebuild your confidence. Giving your child formula is not breaking your bond as you thought in your other thread. My sons were given formula as I was too ill and without them in hospital. They are now both loving and supportive to me so try not to dwell on negative feelings.

Please be honest with your family about how you are really feeling so you can find the help you need. Be proud of how far you have come and reach out for care. Stay safe.

fluffy22 profile image
fluffy22 in reply to Lilybeth

Hi Lilybeth thank you for your message,Yes thank you I just took a closer look at the PSI website and I will for sure utilize it once I return to Canada. I know I need talk therapy and just someone to help me with my medications to make it work for me. Yes my self confidence and overall energy levels need a boost. Thank you again for providing a safe space for me to be open with how I am feeling.

xx

Pikorua profile image
PikoruaVolunteer in reply to fluffy22

Take good care of yourself. Wishing you well and hope you will be able to develop a good support network with health professionals once you return to Canada.x

Lilybeth profile image
LilybethVolunteer in reply to fluffy22

HI fluffy22

It’s not long now until you return home in August, so I hope you will feel more supported. It’s not easy coping with two little ones if you are feeling depressed so I hope your family understand how hard it is for you. Try not to judge yourself, you’re doing your best fo now. This is a great safe space to unwind so thanks for sharing. Take care and hold on to hope.

Lilybeth profile image
LilybethVolunteer

Hello fluffy22

I think you are now on your way home to Canada? I hope when you have had time to settle, you can reach out for the support of professionals there. Depression is very hard to cope with and can be very draining, so take good care of yourself and find the help you deserve.

We are all here to listen 🌻

fluffy22 profile image
fluffy22 in reply to Lilybeth

Hello Lilybeth,Thank you for your message it means a lot. Yes I am in Canada right now and I am trying my best to hold on to hope and have patience until my doctors appointment on the 17th. This depression is very hard to cope with indeed it is just always there. Trying to slowly here and there take care of myself. Thank you 🌹

Lilybeth profile image
LilybethVolunteer

Hello fluffy22

So good to hear you’re safely home. The 17th is not far away but I know how draining and never ending depression can feel, so holding on to hope is a challenge. Everything is such an effort isn’t it? Caring for two little ones and family routine isn’t easy for you either, as I remember the uphill struggle it was for me.

Do you think your doctor might review your medication or refer you to counselling? I hope he / she has time to listen and will have a care plan going forward. I’m glad you are finding a bit of time to slowly take care of yourself. I think self-compassion is very important, hoping you have friends to lean on and understand while you are healing. You will feel much better eventually but until then, please remember to be kind to yourself.

Thanks for writing .... 🌺

fluffy22 profile image
fluffy22 in reply to Lilybeth

Yes it is such an effort. I just had a little cry just to get some of the bad feelings out. Yes hopefully my doctor will refer me to the proper professionals and if not her then someone who can review and adjust my medication. I will be completely honest about everything with the doctor so I get all the help I need.

Whats sad is that I scared off three good friends of mine during my psychosis phase. It’s sad and not helping my depression to have no friends to talk to right now. My husband is the only one I have to lean on. That is why I am grateful for kind people like yourself and this forum.

Lilybeth profile image
LilybethVolunteer

Hello fluffy22

I’m sad to hear you were upset but I think a little cry now and again is good for releasing how you feel .... like a kettle letting off steam!

I really hope the doctor will understand and find the right support for you. I wonder if it might be easier to make a note of any questions you might have? I don’t know about you but I was always anxious at appointments, in front of professionals, and would forget some of the questions I wanted to ask.

I’m sorry your friends are not available. I think when we were psychotic it was the scariest thing for us, as I know I was a completely different person ... very loud and argumentative (although I was reacting to a commanding voice in my head at times). So I guess it was overwhelming for everyone to witness your phase too?

Is it possible you could reach out to your friends and explain how lost you feel without their friendship, also how much you have struggled to get this far and need them? Or perhaps your husband could get in touch with them and explain what a difference it would make to you to hear from them? I think this would help your husband to also have their support.

Your husband is a great strength and we are all here to lean on too. Thinking of you across the miles ... take care.

Lilybeth profile image
LilybethVolunteer

Hello fluffy22

I hope things go well for you tomorrow at your doctor’s appointment and she offers all the help you need. Perhaps when you can find a bit of time at home, it might be helpful to contact Postpartum Support International, mentioned earlier?

Always remember how amazing you are .... we are here for you 🌻

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