A few days ago, I, Kit, posted on social media that I had struggled with a stint of postnatal depression earlier this year. I say stint as I tend to deal with things quickly and have a very strong need to self regulate and thus managed to get on top of it quickly. But in saying that, the few weeks that I suffered, I suffered hard. The tears were relentless, as was the guilt..and this prompted me to want to be honest with you and distinguish, where I can, between motherhood-being-hard and postnatal depression.
Let’s be honest, no two days with young kids are the same. You think you’ve worked them out and then BAM, they’re like a whole new baby the very next day. This unpredictability, coupled with mommy hormones, and a lack of sleep, makes mommying by far the hardest thing we’ll ever do. Like seriously hard. Like impossible some days.
3 telling signs that you’re potentially suffering from postnatal depression..
- You keep crying…like a lot, a lot.
Whilst mommying is HARD, and there are days when we grit our teeth until bedtime, and then sob uncontrollable tears of frustration and guilt; this cannot be confused with postnatal depression. The number one tell-tale sign that this was more than mommying-being-hard, for me personally, was the longevity of my tears. They couldn’t stop.
Tears once a week, or month can be seen as somewhat ‘normal’ as tired moms with babes. But when they tears go on for days, and are brought on even on happy days , it may be time to see a professional.
- You feel disconnected from your baby
Another real, and incredibly hard to experience, sign of postnatal depression (PND) is disconnect from your baby. This may come in the form of you avoiding baby, feeling sad every time you’re holding baby or feeling a lack of love for baby. Again, this is more than just a moment of frustration, or post-long-day, this is a dreadful lingering feeling, that doesn’t go away.
- Severe anxiety that leads to social isolation
Anxiety with a baby is somewhat normal, we all feel anxious some days, especially when baby is playing up/sick; but this level of anxiety is usually about things that wouldn’t normally bother you. Mums suffering from PND often begin to isolate themselves from friends and family, they stop replying to messages, calls and often find that they’re spending all their time alone.
If you’re sitting there now, sobbing, and finally admitting to yourself that perhaps what you’re experiencing is more than just hard-motherhood, then please contact a professional (a psychologist, or your local GP) and get help. Whilst you can put things in place to move to a happier, more positive space; a professional is likely to guide you here faster and the need for medication may just be your answer (for this season of life). On the other hand, if you’re coping okay (you’re not depressed) but you’re struggling to love your life as a mom, and experiencing body-hatred then consider contacting me, Kit, and setting up a mentoring session with me, see info here.