Anxiety and depression do not always strike at the times we think they will. When looking at this photo I am filled with a certain sadness, because although I am filled with the glow and contentment of life growing within, about an hour earlier I was having a serious panic attack and wanted to disappear.
I struggled with antenatal depression and anxiety and until recently I haven’t been able to openly admit that. I felt ashamed, a failure and so guilty for feeling the way I did during a time in my life that I was also so grateful for and so happy about. But we cannot always control how our bodies and minds respond to certain situations no matter how much we wish it might be different. All we can do is try to recognise our struggles, admit to them and ask for help. That is much easier said than done and I, like many people struggled in silence for a long time, until I realised what was happening to me was not right. It is only through others speaking out about their struggles that enabled me to recognise mine. I am so grateful to Tommy’s, Mind and PANDAS Foundation for sharing the information and stories they did. They enabled me to discover what I was going through, see that it is more common than we think and access the help that I needed. If you are pregnant or have just had a baby and feel as though something is not right emotionally or mentally, I urge you to look at their websites and see your GP.
I was lucky enough to receive help relatively quickly and CBT sessions did help me through the rest of my pregnancy. The problems have not magically disappeared and after thinking I was better I have had relapses, but after overcoming the hurdle of asking for help and admitting I was not well, I am in a much better place than I was.
I know how important and helpful speaking out about issues with mental health is, as without others doing so I may not have got through the difficulties I have. Knowing that others struggle, knowing it is ok not be ok and knowing that there is no shame is so important. That is why I am going to continue to share my experiences with anxiety and depression on my blog frommissjtomrsp.com and hopefully help others the way that I was helped.
Thank you for reading.
Mrs P xxx
Pandas Foundation website: http://www.pandasfoundation.org.uk/preantenatal-depression/