Do I have Postnatal Depression?

I think I've suffered from postnatal depression on and off for the last six months. Three people knew about this before I went to see a therapist last week.
I think I've suffered from postnatal depression on and off for the last six months. Three people knew about this before I went to see a therapist last week. It's unlike me not to share.

Weakness is scary- by being so public about this, I tell myself it's brave- but my jaw is clenched as I type.

Isolation is probably the main contributing factor (among others I'm not ready to write about). I'm thousands of miles from my family and (American) friends. Six months ago I became a suburbanite with a city-girl heart. I no longer have my bearings.

Anxiety about travel, driving on the highway specifically, is a new and unwelcome passenger in my brain.

Yesterday I had plans to take an hour and a half drive to see a very good friend and she knew I was struggling with the thought of it.

Sometimes all it takes is someone to force you outside your comfort zone. If my mother were here she would tell me to suck it up and go (and since I'm a Mom now too- I may actually listen rather than do the opposite) but alas, she is not.

My friend drove the whole way to my house and talked to me about my fears until I agreed to follow her halfway to her house (where we were meant to meet). The reward- at our destination I would able to show my daughter the ocean for the first time.

The drive was tense, the experience both challenging and confidence-building. More importantly, I witnessed the perplexed and pleased look on Lavinia's face when the first, cold, bubbly little wave washed over her tiny pink feet. I feel like she is going to be a natural water baby, just like her Momma.

The ocean has always healed me- imagine if anxiety stood in the way of me introducing that lifelong gift to my baby girl.

I will work on this and share my journey here. Stay tuned.

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6 comments on “Do I have Postnatal Depression?”

  1. It takes a lot of courage to just write that down, let alone publish it. Mad proud of you. Also, I love therapists! A few weeks with a good one and I feel like my spirit spent 3 months in a gym. (Seriously, it walks around with its shirt off for quite some time.) - Derrick

  2. Thank goodnss for "facetime" which shrinks the world a little bit. Looking forward to your visit

  3. Thank you so much Derrick- I am a firm believer in paying someone to listen- it helps so much!

  4. Thank you for sharing this. I am pretty certain I suffered from PND after both of my kids (and 4 years in, I don't think it has completely gone away). I have stupidly never seen anyone about it, or discussed it openly. I realise after reading this that I had anxiety over going anywhere much for a long time too. An interstate trip for a wedding 5 weeks after our 2nd child was born just about broke me. Ugh. I could never have a third, with the thought of going through all that again!

    1. Please give yourself credit for being self-aware enough to make sense of your feelings. Four years ago, last week, today...all that matters is that you admit certain things to yourself. I have heard from many women about how they wished they got help for PND or anxiety but instead powered through. I think it's rare that PNDA goes away on it's own. I would definitely encourage you to look into speaking to someone- it's a gift you can give yourself that will ultimately help your family too. Beyond Blue and Panda are great places to start. Feel free to email me if you want to chat more.

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