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  • Feeling anxious, sense of panic
  • No sense of enjoyment
  • Feeling grumpy, irritable or angry
  • Tearful or sad
  • Feeling overwhelmed (everything is too much)
  • Tiredness
  • No motivation
  • Can’t think clearly, poor memory and concentration
  • Can’t make decisions
  • Worry a lot
  • Negative thinking
  • Scary thoughts
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Appetite changes
  • Body aches and pains and headaches
  • Feeling hot and cold or "flu" like
  • Loss of sexual interest
  • Not looking forward to things

My postnatal depression - Erin

Tearfulness and anxiety: I put this down to being tired all of the time and remember thinking “What have I got to cry about?” I felt nervous and worried all the time.

Extreme Tiredness: I don’t think I caught up with any sleep after the birth of my baby. My whole body felt drained and heavy, I just existed. I was so desperate to sleep at night only to find myself wide awake at 2.00am and this was so infuriating. I still had to do my jobs to care for my baby and husband and this was so hard. Everything was such an effort and I became so negative. Trying to think straight or concentrate was really difficult.

Pain: My body ached. I had tension in my neck and shoulders constantly together with daily headaches which led to me clenching my jaw. This constant pain wore me down.

Denial: I went to the doctor to sort out the headaches and pains and was told that I had PND. I burst into tears, “How could I have PND? I asked myself 'What do I have to be depressed about?' Depression/anxiety could not possibly cause pain like this. I do not want to be on medication.”The doctor prescribed medication but I took only half of the dose, this prolonged my agony. Finally months later I reluctantly took the full dose, but still did not want to accept that I had postnatal depression. Why? Because to me it meant I was not coping and I desperately needed to believe that I could cope.

Feelings: I disliked being stuck at home alone. Before the baby arrived I was used to having people and noise around me. Having this baby brought a lot of joy but it also meant giving up so much of my freedom.

I felt envious that my husband still had some normality to his life, going to work. I felt angry at having the same routine 7 days a week, housework, housework! We were stressed financially as well which did not help. I hated living in our new house because there was so much to do.There was little communication with my husband and no interest in sexual activity. I was angry at him for working late all of the time. I was over weight, had no self esteem and no energy to help myself.

I desperately wanted support from my husband, mum and close friends. My husband struggled to help as he did not understand… it was easier for him to say nothing, do nothing! I now realise, how could he help me when I could not even help myself?
My mum said that she had never experienced anything like this in her life and often did not know how to handle me. My friends were supportive but could only hear so much…you cannot really understand depression until you come through it yourself”

Postnatal depression is not something you choose to have it just happens. I wanted to escape my life and I questioned whether I really was ready for this baby?

Knowledge of PND before having children:

“I was aware PND existed. It was briefly talked about in our antenatal classes. I assumed it would not affect me as I had a good knowledge of babies and children and was confident in handling them and caring for them. To be honest it is not something you give much thought to, unless it affects you or someone close to you.”

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