Postnatal Depression doesn’t make me a failure

Ok. Truth time. I’ve been struggling a bit lately. The year got off to a pretty positive new start with keeping the house clean and tidy, being fitter and eating healthier, and reducing my antidepressants. When I announced this, my friend Sam from andthenthefunbegan expressed a concern that this was all a bit much. Oh you wise woman you, you may have been right.

In my defense the house cleanliness and fitness objectives were designed to help my mental state. And they have. Having the house clean and tidy definitely makes me feel calmer. The exercise makes me feel great and I am fitter. The diet hasn’t been going quite so well though and I have succumbed to eating comfort food a fair amount because I have been feeling really low lately.

The reduction of the dose of my antidepressants started off pretty well and I thought maybe I was ready. Maybe I don’t have Postnatal Depression anymore. Then slowly… But oh so surely, the negativity, stress and anxiety came creeping back.

The ball of stress in the middle of my chest has returned and I feel like I could cry. I wake up unhappy and I get so irrational and angry. Angry with my husband, angry with my children, angry with inanimate objects. I know this feeling and I don’t like what it means. I do still have PnD and I need to go back to the full dose of my antidepressants.

Much as I don’t like it, there is a feeling of failure associated with this. Now, rationally, I know I haven’t failed. Depression is an illness and I am not better yet. I tried to reduce the medication on the advice of my doctor but this clearly isn’t the right time for me yet. That doesn’t mean I have failed. But I can’t help but feel like I have.

The stigma associated with depression is a difficult one to break. I have always tried to be understanding of anyone with depression but I do think it is difficult to fully understand until you have it… And even then it’s tough! Surely I should be able to snap myself out of this? Come on think positive, stop wallowing! But I know now it isn’t that simple.

Recognising that I need to go back to the full dose of my antidepressants isn’t failing. Failing would be not recognising what I am feeling. Failing would be not accepting the help that is available to me. Failing would be letting the Postnatal Depression take hold again. To give in to the anger and tears and stress that prevents me from being the mum and wife that I want to be and that I know I can be… With a little help.20160124_171935

So I am not failing myself or my family. I am back on the tablets for a bit longer. I will try and reduce then again at some point and will see how it goes as you don’t know if you don’t try. But now isn’t the right time. These years at home with my kiddies are fleeting and I don’t want to waste them feeling stressed and unhappy and blaming them for the way I am feeling. It’s not them it’s PnD.

And you know what? I hate depression. Depression sucks. I hate the way it makes me feel. The way it makes me want to curl up and stay silent. The way it stops me enjoying my family as much. Maybe this is uncomfortable reading and maybe I am over sharing and I apologise if you feel that way. But maybe you feel the way I do and it helps to know you are not alone. Someone recently told me that by sharing my Pnd I had encouraged them to seek help too. That makes me so proud and grateful and if this having this stupid depression and talking about it helps someone else… Then I won’t say it is worth it as I wish I didn’t have it….but it helps so I will keep on sharing.

My word of the week is depression.


27 thoughts on “Postnatal Depression doesn’t make me a failure

  1. I think being honest with yourself and doing what you need to to take care of yourself is definitely a success from every perspective, no question about it. I hope it’s not too long before you feel ready to try again, but it’s better to take your time without putting any extra pressure on yourself – you’re doing a great job x

  2. There’s no failure here Hun. In fact probably success as you are so self aware and are doing what is best for you and your family. Like any medical condition drugs are needed and PnD is no different. Keep going Hun as you do an amazing job being at home with two xx #wotw

    • Thanks hon you are so lovely. Thanks for being so supportive, I definitely don’t feel like I do that well lately but I will keep trying my best 🙂 xxx

  3. You are doing an amazing job Caroline – postnatal depression is a horrible thing and it is not something you can simply snap out of by trying to be more positive. As you say, it is just not the right time at the moment and you still need the antidepressants. Nothing wrong in that – they are helping you to be the best mum you can be for your two beautiful children and to enjoy those fleeting moments a little more fully. Hope the depression starts to lift for you soon x

  4. No failure there, lovely.
    Keep going at the pace that is best for you, no one else.
    I felt ashamed at first when I had to seek help because I felt continuously down.
    Speaking up about depression helps others, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time X

    • Thank you lovely it can be so hard to seek help as it feels like admitting defeat… When it isn’t that it really isn’t, it’s brave xx

  5. Definitely not failing, as you rightly say, it’s actually a very positive thing you’re doing in acknowledging your illness and taking steps to get better and then sharing it to empower others. I do hope things improve for you soon xx Thanks for sharing with #WotW

  6. Ah hon – I can’t remember exactly what I said but hopefully it was not negative! I guess maybe it was a case of trying to run before you can walk? I really support your decision to address the PND with the anti-depressants – I know that they can do wonders for keeping at bay what I’ve read other people who suffer call ‘the black dog’ and there is definitely no shame or failure at all in that. I know how it can feel though to some extent as I gave up breastfeeding to avoid those horrible feelings and to ensure that I enjoyed every second with EJ (the experience with JJ had been so traumatic!). Xx

  7. I think it’s a really brave thing to speak out about depression. It helps to break the silence and the stigma around it. You’re right though, it is hard. I’ve been suffering from it too recently and I too hate the way it stops me from enjoying my family as much as I should be. Really hope that the increased antidepressants help. Thank you for posting about it, it helps people to understand it better x #wordoftheweek

    • Thank you, honestly I get so nervous when I post about it but I hope it helps. Hugs and I feel the same, hope things improve for you xxx

  8. I’m sorry to hear that you are suffering. In my experience getting low and eating comfort food is cyclical and it releases a high initially then you are met with a low that makes you eat more. I hope you find happiness. #wotw

  9. Sending you lots of (virtual) hugs! I so agree with you about depression, until you’re there it doesn’t really make sense. Never see needing medication as a sign of failure – see it as a sign of strength in that you recognise you’re ill, and you’re doing something about it. x #maternitymondays

  10. Don’t worry too much. We all try to take on far too much at the start of a new year. Just slow down and remember that everyone needs to walk at their own pace. And remember, when we do, we can turn our heads and enjoy the view x

  11. Not a failure at all!! You are a success because you recognise what you need to do to help yourself get better and you are taking the steps to do that. You have an illness so don’t be so hard on yourself. You sound like you are doing an amazing job and being really strong. Big hugs #twinklytuesday

  12. I understand how you feel completely. As you may know from my blog, I struggled with PND and anxiety a great deal. I came off my medication after 18 months a year ago but experienced an anxiety relapse several months later so went back on it. It’s a much lower dose and I have since lowered the dosage even more but for now I plan to stay on it as I feel really good at the moment.

    May I ask have you had therapy at all? I found CBT more helpful than any medication.

    If you ever want to chat feel free to seek me out. Or if you want to feel less alone just read my blog because I spout all kinds of stuff about PND there lol! Lastly, feel free to use #pndchat on Twitter if you want to talk x #twinklytuesday

  13. You’re so right, depression DOES suck! I have lived with depression for 18 long years, had PND with all of my children and have a whole host of mental health issues but I still remind myself every single day, I am not a failure!! We didn’t choose this path, we fight every single day to wade through the fog of depression and we battle it out because we won’t give in. In my eyes that makes us pretty amazing. Go you! #TwinklyTuesday

  14. I am so sorry to hear about what you are going through. This is such an honest post. You are certainly not a failure – especially as you are admitting your situation and doing something about it. Wishing you all the best #TheTruthAbout

  15. Very ambitious New Year’s goals, indeed! Mine was to find all the Mr. Potato Head parts in my house.

    I’m sure there’s got to be a feeling of failure on your part but it seems like you logically know it isn’t true. It sounds like you’re doing all you possibly can do and that means you’re winning!


  16. Thanks for linking this one up to this week’s #thetruthabout Caroline – it’s an important subject that lots of people will be identifying with no doubt Xx

  17. Oh honey, I hate to think that you are a failure. Because you are not! If you had asthma or high blood pressure then you wouldn’t give taking medication another thought. You have an illness that can be controlled by medication. There is no shame in that. But you are right, depression is still stigmatised in society. So to admit that you are struggling and depressed feels like failing. But it is not. It is better to seek help, then push those feelings away. Depression is a bitch. You think you are okay for a while and then it sneaks up and bites you in the arse again. Stay strong and be kind to yourself. You are doing great. Hugs Lucy xxxx

  18. Depression does suck my darling and it is not a race. It doesn’t matter if you take medication for 10 months more or 10 years. You are doing your best for your babies and that is all anyone does.
    Take it one step at a time.
    Big hugs xx

  19. It sounds like you’ve done exactly the right thing and for that I think you are very brave. You’ve recognised that you still aren’t well and you’ve gone back to medication. It doesn’t matter and anyone who thinks you are over-sharing can simply not read! Helping just one person is amazing but I reckon you’ve probably helped more! Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

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