PND and Panic Attacks

Up until last Thursday I thought I was doing quite well. I thought I had a bit of a better handle on things and that I was starting to balance out a bit. I was, I guess, but then I had a bit of a set back. I certainly wasn’t prepared for my PND and/ or anti-depressants to bring on panic attacks.

panic attacksLast week John had a lot going on at work. Apart from Monday night because I was working, he worked late every other evening. By Thursday evening I was really tired and very much looking forward to him coming home that night. Storm Doris had other ideas though and that meant all of the trains home were cancelled. At about 9:45 John rang to tell me he couldn’t get home pretty much.

Now, before Thursday I had never had a panic attack before. I’d never even really thought about them. But, when John said he couldn’t get home and would probably stay at his friends, I definitely panicked. The thought of him being away and me being alone with Erin and Jackson all night did me in. The thing is, I’ve spent a few nights just the three of us and it’s not bothered me before. However, anxiety gives me the need to have things planned and I do not do well with spontaneity in certain senses. Had John’s night away been planned I wouldn’t have been bothered in the slightest.

Instead, within a couple of seconds I was crying so hard and I felt like my chest was about to explode. I knew instantly that I was having a panic attack. I was hyperventilating and it took a lot to calm me down. Jackson came over straight away and stroking him actually helped. My breathing was so bad though that I was sick.

Thankfully, our lovely friend who John was going to stay with actually drove him home. I’d had to put the phone down on John during our call because I couldn’t speak. He was obviously worried. When he walked through the door I was so relieved. It took a good while for him to completely calm me down.

Panic attacks are absolutely awful and I’ve certainly never experienced anything like that before. I definitely don’t want to again. Things like this make me question my decision to take anti-depressants. It may have been a cause and it may not have. If it happens again at any point I will seriously rethink my decision.

Have you experienced panic attacks before? How do you deal with them?

 

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PND: A month of anti-depressants

It’s been about five weeks now since I went to the doctor’s for my first appointment to talk about Post Natal Depression. I had a follow up appointment two weeks later but both the doctor and I decided that it’s a good idea for me to carry on taking anti-depressants for the time being.

anti-depressants

I don’t really think I knew what to expect when I first started taking the anti-depressants. I know the doctor I saw originally warned me that life would be hell for probably 4-6 weeks. I’m not sure I really believed her though and I certainly wasn’t prepared for the side effects.

The first month has definitely not been smooth sailing. The first couple of weeks weren’t too bad at all and I didn’t really feel any side effects. However, I did slowly start to feel a bit better within myself and a bit more relaxed about certain things. It’s only been the last 2 wees or so that things have gone downhill.

I’m struggling at the minute because I’m not sleeping very well. I seem to be unable to nap during the day like I used to so I’m shattered by 4 or 5pm. This is messing with how I feel when I’m at work because I work from 5:30 to 9:30 a few nights a week. If I have a nap when I actually feel tired it messes up everything else. There have been some nights where I’m still wide awake at 2 or 3am but I feel tired at the same time. I try to go to bed at a normalish time but I end up laying there staring into space for such a long time!

I’ve also had really bad stomach problems. The less said about that the better! There was a very rough few days and a lot of pain to be felt!

Although there have been some really rubbish side effect so far, I do still feel better overall. I’m calmer in general. If there is a situation that could be quite stressful I don’t freak out about it like I did before. If Erin is having a bad day I don’t get upset or cry or panic like I was doing before. I’m also not going insane about tiny little things that aren’t right or that have annoyed me.

My doctor and I have agreed to a 6 months trial on this medication and go from there. Do you have any experience with anti-depressants?

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PND and Me: Seeking Help

Yesterday was a hard day. After posting about my admittance of having post natal depression I quite quickly made a doctor’s appointment. I knew that if I didn’t I would probably chicken out and not want to go. Seeking help really is the first step to recovery.

seeking help

My doctor’s surgery changes its rules about when you can and can’t book in advance for so getting an appointment with a particular doctor is nearly impossible. My appointment ended up being with someone who doesn’t work there very often and I had never seen before. I actually think I liked it better that way.

The appointment wasn’t nearly as bad as I had imagined it to be but it also wasn’t great either.

So I went in and straight out said what I thought was wrong. The immediate response was ‘so you want the tablets?’ I think I could have done with telling her why I felt a certain way or what was going on before being offered a prescription for antidepressants. Anyway, I ended up saying yes because I have to try something. I’m on a really low dose though for 2 weeks to see how things go. The doctor actually said to me ‘they will make your life shit for the next couple of weeks’. That obviously wasn’t what I was expecting to hear along with the long list of side effects.

What I thought was really strange was no mention of counselling or help from anywhere else. I had to ask about this. There was no information there about the self referral service so someone is going to contact me apparently. If they don’t I’ll try to figure this out towards the end of next week. I think I was more surprised that they were so quick to give out a prescription to fix something rather than it be talked over!

My appointment was in the morning so I had to take Erin with me. Not ideal but not the worst thing in the world. Strangely, she held my hand through the appointment. I got a bit teary while I was there and she just reached out for me and that was it until we left. My husband couldn’t come with me because he was at work but having Erin there actually really helped.

So now I have two weeks of taking these tablets and seeing how it goes. Fingers crossed they’re not quite as bad as I’m expecting them to be.

Being able to admit that something is wrong

When I think about it, I think I knew something was wrong months ago. It was only earlier on this evening, after a row about something stupid and me crying pretty hysterically, did I admit to my husband that I think I’ve got postnatal depression (PND). I don’t think it though. Really, I’ve known for months but haven’t wanted to really admit it to myself or anyone else. It’s not just one thing that has got me here either, it’s really quite a lot of different things.

pnd

I sort of feel like a bit of a broken record here but I do feel like this is largely down to Erin’s difficult birth. Actually, when I think about it this could quite easily be PTSD as well. I’ve never gotten over what happened. I have had a particularly shit year in terms of health. I finally have an appointment to see a specialist next month about my c-section scars but I still don’t feel like anything is being taken seriously.

My relationship with John has certainly changed since having Erin. We used to be a really cuddly couple. We’re not anymore. John is lucky if I even cuddle him in bed. Unfortunately, because of how I feel about Erin’s birth I cannot stand being touched. I don’t want this bit taken the wrong way though. I love my husband very much and I’m still very much attracted by him. I just don’t want him to touch me anymore. We’ve also just sort of lost who we are as a couple. We’re parents now and I feel as though that is who we are together; Mum and Dad.

In just over a year, I have had a whole of 3 days away from Erin. I love her so much but I think everyone needs some time for themselves and I just don’t get that, ever. When my sister, her boyfriend or my mum come to visit they are fantastic. They pretty much play with Erin from the minute they wake up until Erin goes to bed. However, I can’t help but feel like we could have had more support from other family members. It’s something I won’t go into on here but we don’t really talk to a lot of John’s family. So unlike a lot of families, we don’t have anyone we can ever leave Erin with. She doesn’t get to go to someone one day a week or a morning here and there. This also means that John and I have never been out together alone since Erin was born.

I guess a big part of how I feel now is that I am now Mum, and that is it. I don’t feel like me anymore. Well, the pre-Erin me anyway. The before me was so full of life and bubbly. The now me is a miserable bitch who whinges and whines (no, I’m not Whinge, Whinge, Wine but do check out her blog) about anything and everything. It doesn’t matter what John does, it’s wrong most of the time. I’m never happy. I’m always down. It’s like the life has been sucked out of me.

I don’t want to do anything and I don’t want to go anywhere a lot of the time. I loved going to baby groups in the beginning. Now, I want to stay at home in my PJs. I love seeing my friends though and they do make me feel better for a while. They don’t know about how I really feel though but it’s nice to be able to talk to them about Erin and just forget about things for a couple of hours.

I think John was really surprised when I mentioned PND to him this evening. He said he hadn’t realised. I tried to make sure he didn’t. I guess he really did notice the not touching thing though!! Now that I have told him that this is how I feel and why, I feel like I can actually admit it. Although my doctor is crap and I haven’t really seen any I like in the past year, I will go and see them to talk about PND. Unfortunately, I feel like I’ll get fobbed off. We’ll soon see.

I’d really love to read some more posts about PND. Let me know if you have any experience with this or have written about it!