I should have seen it coming, it has been there, waiting in front of me 3 times before. A deep dark hole created by sleep deprivation, lack of self care, being on call 24/7 and BLOODY HORMONES. I didn’t see it until I had fallen in again.
I get revelations when I am on the loo. the epiphanies I have when I am seated outnumber the non-lavatory based realisations 10:1. I was having a good wee (alone, oh the luxury!) pondering things like; “Why am I not writing more, why don’t I feel like exercising, where is my motivation to wash my hair and cook, where is the joy and the passion? Why am I so fat and unlovable and useless?” when it hit me, ‘Fuck, I am depressed.”
I recognised it because I have been here with every baby. it is horrible but I have recognised it early and I am taking action to send it scurrying back to it’s own dark hole. I am eating a truckload of fruit and vegetables, taking iron supplements, magnesium, maca root powder and natural progesterone cream to get my extremely out of kilter hormones back into line. I am trying hot yoga but I am having ISSUES. Not being able to do the asanas….I can do them quite happily but Motivational issues and CONFRONTED BY THE MIRROR issues. I am bouncing on my rebounder a bit, walking a bit, peeping a little higher out of my hole. Some days I slip back down into the darkness but I have support from my beloved and awareness that this is a biochemical thing, a temporary thing that this too shall pass and I mustn’t let it consume me.
There is nothing shameful about it.
I have chosen not to take SSRIs or anti-depressants, not because of any misguided belief that I should be strong enough to do this without medication, I am not, it is absolutely necessary for me to medicate but I have a hormonal imbalance and not a serotonin issue. I have tried anti-depressants in the past and the flatness and absence of joy I felt for the brief period I was on them is not something I want in my head. I have seen people I am close to struggle with withdrawals and suicidality and other side effects that are the exact symptoms I am trying to treat. If anti-depressant medication works for you that is a wonderful thing but they don’t suit me and I am already having promising results using progesterone cream.
I have seen doctors before about my post natal depression and I am well versed, if you think you might have it please do talk to a trusted health professional and seek some more information from organisations such as The Black Dog Institute.
I am not a doctor, I am not pretending to be a doctor, I don’t know your circumstances, only my own. Please don’t think I am telling you what you should do (except do please seek some help if you are depressed!- I am telling you that!)
(I am a little pissed off to say the least that no-one has mentioned the massive drop in progesterone that we all go through when we give birth as a huge causal factor in many cases of PND. I am a little pissed off that the awful pre-menstrual dysphoria I have has been declared to be clinical depression and I have been given inappropriate prescriptions when I have all the signs of having estrogen dominance and not enough progesterone. But, one mustn’t dwell, that does not aid recovery. I have my progesterone cream now and it seems to be working for me.I can feel it wear off, when my thoughts get dark and I think I am unworthy and unlovable and no-one likes me and I am a terrible person, I rub a bit more cream in and lo and behold- within half an hour the thoughts drop away.)
Bouncing on my rebounder (mini-tramp) is also good. Cuddles are good. Talking about how I feel is good. Asking for help is good. Sometimes tears are good.
I am getting there, I am recovering.
Thank you for all your support.