Am I depressed?

Am I depressed?

I wasn’t sure about publishing this post as I was writing it. But I decided that despite it being an uncomfortable subject, it’s important to talk and if people don’t want to read it they don’t have to, it’s their choice.  Asking myself the question am I depressed, has helped me feel a bit better just writing about it so really that’s all that matters. I apologise if it’s quite a waffly read too, I just wrote thoughts and feelings down as they came to me.

I have been very lucky in my life and unlike several close family and friends I haven’t suffered from depression. I like everyone have had days or weeks where I feel a bit low but I have always been able to snap myself out of my slump quickly enough.

But not this time seemingly, I’ve not been feeling quite myself for a while. The change has been quite insidious starting since having Austin.

Am I depressed?

I suppose I just don’t feel like myself. I am flat. I feel like a faded out version of myself. Going through the motions but not taking anything from them, I’m just on autopilot.
Life at the moment feels like a never ending carousel that I’m not enjoying and I just want to get off for a while but I can’t obviously.

And I cry… a lot. I cry several times a day, sometimes for seemingly no reason at all.

Even though I can now see that something is not right and I’m not coping that well I am loathed to label this as depression.

Why?

I don’t know really, lots of reasons I guess.

I’m embarrassed.

I feel like it’s my fault somehow.

I’ve always been well mentally and don’t want that to have changed.

I don’t want a label.

I don’t want people to worry about me.

I don’t want to take medication.

They say doctors make the worst patients and I think this is probably true. It’s hard to admit you may (you see even now I’m not committing and saying ‘may’) be unwell.

I just feel so sad and the guilt is overwhelming.

I feel guilty for not enjoying this time in the boy’s life knowing that it goes so quickly and I will never get it back.

I feel guilty that I no energy or inclination to play with Hayden for any length of time.

I feel guilty for being crap company and a rubbish wife to Mike when he’s home.

I feel guilty for not keeping the house clean and tidy.

And yet despite all this guilt, it doesn’t make me change anything or become self-motivated like I feel it should. Quite the opposite in fact, in renders me paralysed.

I wasn’t ready to publish this initially because it means acknowledging there’s a problem something which I hate doing. And because I know that I will have lots of messages of support which is amazing but then I feel like there is added pressure to get better and be ok again. When people ask you how are? They will probably understand if you said how crap you felt one time but they would expect to see an improvement over time. But what if there isn’t one? What if I feel like this forever?

I dread waking up and having to start the day in the morning. I long for the evening where Mike is around to help.

It’s a Vicious cycle of feeling low making you feel tired with no energy, leading to doing less and less, leading to feeling more stressed and overwhelmed, which in turn makes you feel more depressed.

Even when I try and force myself to be productive, it seems to backfire. Any little thing that goes wrong feels like a tidal wave knocking me out, letting it engulf and overwhelm me. My reactions to situations are completely disproportionate. Objectively I know this but I can’t seem to control it either.

I want to do something to make myself feel better and yet I don’t do anything I am frozen and incapable. My thought processes are foggy and slow. I can’t seem to help Negative thoughts creeping in.

I never have any thoughts of hurting myself but I have had occasional thoughts about just running away from it all and being on my own for a while. Which I would never do despite thinking about it, I would miss Hayden and Austin too much. My future happiness is intrinsically tied up with the boys and yet looking after them is the main stressor in my life.

I have of course also experienced some really lovely moments with both Hayden and Austin, and as a family over the past few months. It just my happiness from them is not sustained. I love them both so much but just can’t seem to enjoy them all the time as I feel I should.

I am also aware though that having 2 children under the age of 2 was always going to be hard and I know that everyone finds it difficult, but at what point do normal ups and downs with children become something more, something that isn’t just going to change by itself? I really don’t know. Do you?

I think I give a good outward impression of coping really well, lots of my friends say to me “you’re amazing, I don’t know how you’re doing it?” Supportive yes, but typically instead of seeing it for the compliment it is I just think it’s all just a facade, I’m not amazing not even close. If only they knew.

It’s hard to say to people in person, friends and family the truth, that I’m really struggling. Perhaps subconsciously that’s I have written this post, as a way of reaching out. Embarrassment as I said earlier yes but also because it’s awkward and I feel guilty for putting something difficult to them, that they and you know, they can do very little about to help. I then feel guilty for other people’s feelings of helplessness, sadness and responsibility they then will feel towards me.

So after writing this all down, am I depressed?

If I’m honest yes I think I probably am, it’s doesn’t feel like Baby blues or just a blip, despite me wanting it to be. I suppose largely though this is irrelevant, the relevant question now is what I’m going to do about it?

Bridie By The Sea
Am I depressed? My realisation that I am suffering from postnatal depression

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16 Comments

  1. Rebecca
    July 30, 2017 / 7:29 pm

    A wonderfully honest post. You’re not alone! If people were more openly honest it would give relief and support to others feeling the same. I am a mum of six mini bods and had 3 under 5 years at one point and suffered post natal depression with my first and third child. It is okay to not be okay and the most important thing is that you are aware that something isn’t right.

  2. July 30, 2017 / 8:24 pm

    I would echo that it’s perfectly okay not to be okay. I think depression can make us think in ways that usually wouldn’t be typical. So when you say that you don’t feel like yourself, you’re probably not yourself. But as you’re aware of that – I seriously would just go and talk to someone. They won’t necessarily medicate. But life is too short to just let things go on if you’re not feeling yourself! Brave post but good luck with the next one xxx
    Laura recently posted…Activities: Does Your Girl Play Football?My Profile

  3. July 31, 2017 / 5:52 am

    Totally agree with the two ladies above. Talking about it is the first step, or so they say. Can someone take the boys to give you a little break and some me time? Thinking of you x

  4. July 31, 2017 / 7:41 am

    The first and positive step is that you’ve acknowledged your feelings. That’s hard enough, the second is to know that there is no quick fix but it will take time. I had a 2 yr gap with my girls but to be honest pnd doesn’t penalise you for having a large or small age gap. Find your support, friends, family, local support groups and charities and your health visitor and GP. You are not alone in this. X

  5. July 31, 2017 / 7:44 am

    Support groups bluebell.org and mothers to mothers.co.uk

  6. July 31, 2017 / 7:54 am

    Sometimes I feel low and don’t want to start the day. Especially when I am super stressed out. Good you are talking about this. It is the first step to healing. Sending you hugs.

  7. July 31, 2017 / 9:12 am

    I am so sorry that you feel like this but understand that it’s normal and you aren’t unusual to be feeling down. Your best bet is to go and see the doctor and describe exactly how you are feeling because they’re there to help you x

  8. Fay
    July 31, 2017 / 9:39 am

    A great post and so good that you have recognised the signs. I suffered from PND after having my first two boys (only 14 months apart) and I wouldn’t admit what was wrong until it got so bad I tried to take my own life, thinking my boys would be better off without me. I was just so tired and like you say I just wanted to get away. Please go and speak to someone before you get to that stage! And know that there are so many of us, you will never be alone x

  9. July 31, 2017 / 7:10 pm

    I don’t know where to begin to say what I want to say.

    I feel every bit of that. I relate, probably not something you want to hear. Sometimes you just want ‘something’ that’s just yours. It’s personal to you. It’s just truly yours.
    I found out last March I suffer from postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety & OCD. At first I didn’t know if what I was going through had a name for it. Or if it was normal. Or how I would have anything problematic because I love my kids. But then it was the guilt that constantly bombarded my thoughts, constantly making me cry ..even at times no exact situation.. I spent years like this. I didn’t know. But then I found out..there is a name for it. It is normal for mothers to get this mixed in with all the stressors of motherhood and then some. But you are not alone. You are not weak. I felt embarrassed to the point where my anxieties were always on full throttle. But I promise you this, medication isn’t the only help there is for this. Speaking to your family physician, helps with the steps and knowledge of what you can do to receive some relief. Speak to a therapist, sometimes being moms and alone all the time we just need someone who can truly understand.

    Know that you are not alone. Know that no matter how hard and sad it gets there are people out there who are willing to walk with you through the same thing. Most people may share this illness but they don’t always have the exact same path. I’m here if you need anyone.

    Praying you are surrounded with people you love. Please share this with your SO, and those you love. Support is important. So they too can do what they can to help.

    Here’s my email if you ever wanna talk: m.mhrnndz@hotmail.com

    Maria | https://imommy.co

  10. August 1, 2017 / 12:26 pm

    Refreshingly honest trail of thought. I have experienced a lot of what you describe but for me it did seem to pass eventually and was tied in with sleep deprivation (my son woke every hour for months). I found blogging to be cathartic so I hope your writing it down has helped. My blogs seem to be very angry and sweary compared to yours so this was a nice change of pace for me and a very worthwhile read. I hope you have some time to attempt to think things through and decide your next steps. Big love.

  11. August 2, 2017 / 6:51 am

    A lovely honest reflection. A step towards the light? It is most definitely okay to not be okay. Admitting is such a hard step and I’m glad you’ve done that before hitting rock bottom. Would it help to talk to a professional? I’m finding that our local time to talk service is very helpful. I’m sorting through and finding little things that help. Good luck and remember that you are not alone. #dreamteam

    • Lisa Gumn
      August 14, 2017 / 8:58 am

      Thank you. Yes I do feel better for admitting how I’ve been feeling.

  12. August 3, 2017 / 8:46 pm

    I’m so moved that you’ve been able to share this honest and courageous post. I’ve also experienced PND and the overwhelming guilt that it brings with it. It can be so debilitating, but please know that you are not alone and you are not responsible for the way you currently feel. I hope that writing this has started your journey in reaching out for the support that you so rightfully deserve. Keep talking, and please know that “this too shall pass.” Sending hugs xx #DreamTeam

    • Lisa Gumn
      August 14, 2017 / 8:52 am

      Thank you so much, it really helps to know people have gone through the same thing and come out the other side so to speak.

  13. August 15, 2017 / 12:11 am

    Go and seek help and soon. I left it 10 years and that is way too long to feel the way you do when you really don’t need to. I know it is really tough when you are feeling like you are to be honest about those feelings but look how well you have done here so you are already amazing and brave. There is so much help out there and if you can’t access help yourself because I know I felt I couldn’t face seeing a GP or whatever, ask someone you trust to go with you, make the appointment etc and if you need to write things down for that person and the GP. You are not alone. You are wonderful and you have helped so many people with this post.

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