Disclosure: Sorry to begin with the boring bits and bobs but I just have to clarify that I am not a trained professional. I am quite honestly just another unmumsy mum who struggles, suffers and perseveres through the tough times. A woman who wants to help support other mums and dads through challenging times in postnatal parenthood.
The subject of mental health is now becoming vastly popular and well known. It seems that everyone knows someone who suffers and/or struggles with their mental health. You could either look at that as being a good thing or is it actually, in fact, a bad thing? Far too many people have to deal with these types of issues on a daily basis and it’s just not fair. I think its great that as a community everyone is coming together and being more open on the subject, however, it’s still not okay that we have to go through this hardship.
Today I wanted to openly discuss the topic of postnatal mental health. Although, I have been dealing with my issues for a very long time however during pregnancy and the start of motherhood hit me the worse. I want to help other mums like me break the stigma and show that even though you may struggle from time to time you are still a good mum.
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TOP 10 MOST COMMON MENTAL HEALTH ILLNESSES:
Firstly, let’s talk about what mental health really is? Mental health is a personal condition with regards to their psychological and emotional well-being. It can be a complete mixture of lots of different things which people can experience differently, There is no right or wrong to what you feel and our struggles are very different from one another.
There are so many different MH illnesses that it would be almost impossible to mention them all right now. Below you will find a list of just a few of the main groups;
- Bipolar Affective Disorder
- Schizophrenia and Other Psychoses
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Personality disorders.
- Eating disorders.
- Trauma-related disorders (for example; post-traumatic stress disorder)
- Substance Abuse disorders.
I’m sure that there are many of you reading this now that either have one or more of these and/or know somebody who does.
MENTAL HEALTH IN MATERNITY:
Hey, mum to be! It’s important to remind yourself that Postnatal depression can start any time in the first year after giving birth. It also can affects around 1 in 10 new mothers so you most definitely won’t be alone.
There are so days that I wake up and I wonder how I’ve made it through the day. Whereas, other days I am the most fantastic mum who breezes through the day like I’m Usain bolt running in the olympics.
SIGNS OF POSTNATAL DEPRESSION YOU SHOULD LOOK OUT FOR:
Although, post natal depression is only one of many types of depression you may experience during motherhood. It is in fact the most common and well known. Even if you don’t have a history of mental health before becoming a mother it’s still possible for you the struggle with this.
These signs have been taken directly from the NHS website. For more information please click here.
- a persistent feeling of sadness and low mood
- loss of interest in the world around you and no longer enjoying things you used to enjoy
- lack of energy and feeling tired all the time
- trouble sleeping at night
- the feeling that you’re unable to look after your baby
- problems concentrating and making decisions
- loss of appetite or an increased appetite (comfort eating)
- feeling agitated, irritable or very apathetic (you “can’t be bothered”)
- feelings of guilt, hopelessness and self-blame
- difficulty bonding with your baby with a feeling of indifference and no sense of enjoyment in their company
- frightening thoughts – for example, about hurting your baby; these can be scary, but they’re very rarely acted upon
- thinking about suicide and self-harm
MY BPD STORY:
If you have read some of my previous blog posts you will know that I quite often talk about my depression, anxiety and BPD diagnosis. This is something that I have been battling both emotionally and physically since I was 13/14 years old. It all began back in school when I hit puberty. I quickly discovered that I am not very good at controlling my emotions and at certain times of the month I struggle very badly. It wasn’t until I was pregnant that I was finally taken seriously and actually got a diagnosis.