Maybe it’s because I’m British – we do have a bit of a rep – but in the midst of my depression, I was incapable of discussing it with anyone. I told three of my friends about it while I was still on maternity leave, but I always ended, brightly, with “but I’m fine now!” Knowing as I said it that I was so far from fine. Knowing I had a cupboard full of paracetamol and that I resented my baby and sometimes -often – wished she’d never been born.
Those were things I couldn’t talk about, even with my husband. I explained to him how I was feeling, but I left out the suicidal thoughts and the way I felt about the baby. Maybe I was trying to protect him? Maybe I was afraid they would take her – or me – away. Then one day, I left a tab open on our shared tablet about suicide and post-natal depression. I still wonder if I did it by accident, or if it was a subconscious cry for help. Either way, he saw it and he understood. He came to find me, and he said, “I had no idea.” I burst into tears. It was such a relief to have someone to share this terrifying feeling with.
I can’t say it enough. If you are suffering from post-natal depression, talk to someone. TALK TO SOMEONE. They won’t think you’re weak, or incapable, or dramatic, or crazy. And if they do, find someone else. Because you are none of those things.
You have to build an army to fight this. One person cannot do it alone.
Image from Pixabay.