Depression and Anxiety

I am not ashamed to admit that I suffer from mental illness. I am however saddened that there is such a stigma surrounding it. No one would ever wish these feelings upon themselves (or anyone else) had they ever really suffered through it.

My diagnosis occurred when my second child was four months old. Post natal depression. However after reflecting on my life and reading back through journals I can see that I suffered for a lot longer with depression than I initially thought. After the birth of my son – is a huge red flag for me – It took a long time to bond and just put it down to having a caesarian  and the inability to breast feed. I also felt incredibly isolated at the time of becoming a first time Mum. I remember calling up the local council to see whether I had been placed in a mothers group yet, and I recall being scared to be left alone when my husband had to return to work. I cried and begged him to stay. I am shocked and also sad that my struggles were not picked up at the time.

I also have had time to consider some of my character traits and can see it stems further then pregnancy and hormones. My earliest recollection of anxiety was from around sixteen years old. It is a shame that I was none the wiser at the time and that no body pointed out to me that this may have been what was happening to me. Instead I fumbled my way through adolescence (like most I presume) and then struggled in my early adulthood as my parents (divorced) both moved on with their lives, having apparently already completed the task of raising myself and my younger sister (also depressive and obsessive compulsive).

Exhaustion, lack of enjoyment, zero motivation and frustration are all symptoms that I experience when I am “having a low”. It is a vicious cycle. I am so tired but I cannot sleep, as a million thoughts race through my mind. Are the kids happy? What can I do better? We need cheese, bread, milk…. Fuel was cheap – I should have filled up today. Caitlin has calisthenics – where did we put her rod? What was Logan telling me today about bull ants…. I must follow that up.  Why is that light shining through the blinds. The pillow is hot. My pajamas are scratchy. I haven’t booked out tax in to be done yet. {I hear a noise- possibly a cough – possibly a huge power vomit all over a bed – I get up to check} A minute has passed. I am so tired, but I cannot fall asleep.

I take a pill every day in an attempt to remain the best parent I can be. I know what some people may think but for me it is important that I am there and present for my children. I enjoy watching them excel in sports or at school. I watch as they study the world with curious eyes and occasionally wonder what life would be like without this little white pill… I don’t imagine it would be pleasant for any of us.

Not being able to motivate myself is a killer for me. Because hand in hand with it goes a huge frustration at myself for not being organised and I end up feeling very overwhelmed which sometimes causes me to want to give up the task – whether its my study or cleaning the house.

My husband tries to understand what goes on in my mind, but I know he will never “get it”. I appreciate that he puts the effort in though. My children are not expected to bare my burden, however I will do my very best to educate them both on mental health and taking care of themselves in that respect.

 

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