:: A look inside my experience Being diagnosed & the long recovery with some amazing support from my partner, family and friends ::
My partner Dan (Born and Bred in New Zealand) and I met in March 2011 through mutual friends where we lived at Bribie Island, QLD Australia. We were both working a lot (Dan in the underground mines and Me managing clubs in Brisbane ) and PARTYING SUPER hard (Which we’ve now thankfully got THAT out of our system, rarely even drink or go out now days) , we share a lot of similar interests re. Cars/music/computers/movies and after a couple failed attempts finally became ‘AN ITEM’ .
We mosie along living in our seperate places, both working our asses off and spending time together when Dan was home, as his job in Mount Isa was FIFO (Fly In Fly Out) rostered 2 weeks on 1 week off. Things in our relationship were going tremendously 💖💖.
A year passes and I start having MAJOR mood swings , cry at the smallest of things (sometimes nothing) and would start arguments for no reason (we literally never really argued prior to this ) , was hanging out with my sister and she suggested a pregnancy test .. and yup sure enough it was positive (I’d had a course of antibiotics and clearly misjudged the effectiveness of my contraception) , so that explained a WHOLE lot . (Later finding out I more then likely had PreNatal Depression, Which I didn’t even know was a thing)
Tell Dan , of course he’s excited, he’s a good dude so no worries there and his Mum is ecstatic , my family super happy and supportive too!!
So we survive 40 weeks of a super uncomfortable pregnancy (no vomiting though so YAY) and I go into labour , boom 💥shit hits the fan , got a epidural at 9cm , where a nerve got slightly jarred (I still get random jolts of pain in that area) , Darren (FirstBorn) comes Super Fast after 1st stage of epidural (so I could still walk straight to the shower 🚿 felt like I was floating ) .. during his fast arrival , I lost 9.5 units of blood and for some reason (I still can’t fathom) I refused a transfusion. (Which is what my Psychiatrist and I thinks might have been enough to enhance if not initiate my impending Post Natal Depression)
From the birthing suite , were moved to a shared room with a lovely lady and her very very ill baby (I felt so sorry for them both) so we went home that day , because I felt it was better for everyone (turns out maybe it wasn’t)
Months pass and Darren is meeting (sometimes surpassing) all the milestones, We love him dearly , but I can’t seem to shake ‘The Baby Blues’ and make a few too many worrying remarks (like “maybe I won’t come home” when going to the shops etc) , still instigating massive arguments for what seemed like no reason and just wanting to sleep all the time (not wanting to participate in anything) to the point that my Brother and Sister in law spent so much time at our place helping with Darren , even taking him to their place for a night every couple weeks , because the situation was getting so dire between Dan and I . Darren always was loved, treated well and kind of ‘shielded’ from seeing my ‘Episodes’ Which I am ever thankful for.
During a massive ‘Melt Down’ as we began to refer to my episodes, I’d managed to put a hole in the wall and a steak knife through my pinky finger severing 3 tendons and requiring surgery (I’ve never ever been one to break things or hurt myself out of anger, so this was very very out of character) I was losing myself , we were frightened for our happiness and my mental well being. This was the trigger for me/us taking that first step to get HELP.
I talk to dan and suggest I go see our doctor , which he then told me he’s been thinking the same aswell but didn’t know how to approach the subject without me going BATSHIT crazy, so we go see my doctor and tell him exactly what’s going on . And we begin a long and tiresome process of waiting on referrals and appointments, finally We get the right referrals to see a fantastic psychiatrist at Pine Rivers Private Hospital , she prescribed medication for me being daily SSRI’s and Mood stabilisers…. while taking those meds I banged on sooooo much weight as it suppressed my metabolism (I still remember joking about it “ how making us crazy people also fat is kinda mean” , luckily my awesome psychiatrist ‘got’ my humour and laughed along with me 😆) .
But all jokes aside , the medication was doing its thing , I was a slightly numbed version of myself which was hard , but I wasn’t angry and sad all the time allowing me the energy and motivation to ‘find myself’ again, work through how to make well thought out choices again and most importantly THINK RATIONALLY AGAIN .
Now 5 years on, I’ve felt like ‘ME’ again for a good 3.5 years now , we have had a second gorgeous boy Darius (only slight symptoms easily mamanged considering we are equipped with the tools to deal with alot now ) and am thankful for all the help and support I received (even when I didn’t want but definitely needed it), Darren (5yo) is nailing it at school and just generally is an amazing son.
Taking that initial ‘First Step’ is the biggest turning point for me in recovering from my Severe Post Natal Depression, and if I was to offer one piece of advice to anyone going through/watching someone else go through similar struggles is; take that first step , it opens up the pathway for the rest of your recovery .
I now am basking in the glory of watching my Brother and Sister in laws journey with their first pregnancy 🤰 knowing they are going to be OUTSTANDING parents , without them and their unrelenting help, I don’t know that we would’ve come out of these struggles the solid family unit we are today.
Thanks for reading
Much Love 💖