A Bubble of Darkness – Lisa’s Story
Hi all, and welcome back to my page. We are on day three of my mental health awareness month, if you missed yesterdays interview, get that here
Today we are joined by Lisa from Pass the prosecco please
Lisa has suffered from Postnatal Depression, and PTSD as well as birth trauma. Lisa who describes her feeling as a bubble of darkness has kindly decided to share her story with us in order to raise awareness.
Hello, I’m Lisa and I’m a mum to my awesome little boy who is three. I work part time in a dental surgery, part time blogger/writer and full time juggler!
Full time juggler, I love that! What type of Post Natal metal health condition did you, or do you have?
I had post natal depression, PTSD and birth trauma, after a traumatic delivery in November 2014.
When did you first realise that you had a mental health condition, what were your first symptoms?
As soon as my son was born – I had an emergency c-section and it felt like a switch flicked in my head as soon as he was born – after years of fertility struggles and wanting a baby so badly, I didn’t want any of it. I just wanted to be alone, and just wanted to die.
That sounds like an awful time, do you find that this had an affect on your parenting?
The first few weeks were the worst – I was completely numb to everything, I didn’t want anything to do with my baby, I just wanted to sleep and cry. Things got easier after the first six months, but for six months I was stuck in an awful bubble of darkness.
What would you say was your biggest worry about having a mental health condition?
That my baby would be taken away. At the time I didn’t feel it but of course I loved my baby more than anything in the world, yet I was so poorly with PND I was terrified if I spoke up I would be seen as an unfit mother.
That was my biggest fear too, I didn’t want someone to think I couldn’t cope, and take my baby away. Did you receive any help from a healthcare professional? If so, what was it?
I will always praise the NHS, and I’m a huge supporter, however I was badly let down – my GP gave me medication and that was it, health visitors said due to budget cuts there was no support for me. And so I was just left to work through it myself. It was a very bad time, and has left lasting damage mentally.
There really doesn’t seem to be enough support available for someone suffering from a mental health condition. Would you say your mental health improved since?
Yes and no – I’ve bounced between various anti-depressants and therapies ever since, but never really got anywhere or had any ongoing support. In the last six months(my son was three in November 2017) I’ve started paying for local counselling which is helping me hugely, my nightmare have almost stopped and my head feels clearer. Anxiety makes life difficult daily but I’m working to fix that.
I am glad that counselling is helping, I am a big supporter of talking therapy. What do you do personally, to help your own mental health?
I try to look after myself – I try to eat properly, drink enough water, and set myself mini goals like having a shower or putting on a nice top. I try to go out for a walk every day, fresh air and all that, and I try to get decent sleep – I’m not very nice on no sleep!
Setting mini goals is a great idea! Do you feel there is enough support out there, for parents with a mental health condition?
No, not at all. Personally I’m disgusted that no one took the time to recognise how unwell I was in the days after giving birth, had someone done so it could have saved me from the dark place I ended up in. Health professionals are so focused on natural births and breastfeeding that it can have awful effects on women who struggle. And after the first year there are no mental health services specifically for parents – my local area classes me as ‘general anxiety’ and there are no support groups or therapy sessions that work around childcare. And as for the dads – there is no support at all, partners suffer too.
I agree with you 100%. I think there really needs to be more support out their for parents suffering through a mental health condition, and for their families.
Finally Lisa, what advice would you give to parents suffering from a postnatal mental health condition?
That you are stronger than you think – and please ask for as much help as you need. Despite the first six months being awful my little boy and I have the most amazing bond, and he is my everything, my reason for keeping on going.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions for me, and helping me raise awareness surrounding mental health conditions. If you would like to contact Lisa, or follow her journey, you can find her details below. Please show your support for Lisa, and leave a comment below, and share this post.
Tomorrow I am talking to Ross from Isablog. Ross is going to be talking to me about having Postnatal depression as a male. Post is going live at 9am!
Much love 💕<<<<<<