I Was Scared Of Being Judged – Rachel’s Story – Mental Health Matters
Hi all, and welcome back to my blog. Today is day 24 of my mental health awareness month. If you missed yesterdays interview with Kathleen, get that here. Today I am joined by Rachel from mummyintraining. Rachel is talking to me today about her battle with Postnatal Anxiety. Please show your support, and like, leave a comment, and share this post.
I am Rachel, I’m 32 and live in the West Midlands with my husband and two children – Samuel who is 5 and Lydia who is 20 months. I am a full time mum and a blogger at Mummy in Training.
What type of Post Natal metal health condition did you, or do you have?
I have Post Natal Anxiety.
When did you first realise that you had a mental health condition, what were your first symptoms?
I first felt like there was something was wrong when my son was about 6 months old but I had no clue it was anxiety. I started to suffer from really bad bouts of dizziness which I now know was coming from hyper ventilating when I felt anxious. It was a good 6 months or so after this until I realised and accepted that I had a mental health condition.
How did this affect your parenting?
The main thing it affected was taking my baby boy out on my own, I was very scared to take him out for fear of him crying or being sick, the usual baby things really. I feel really sad now to think I lost out on quite a lot of experiences with him as a baby because of my anxiety.
I have days like this still with my anxiety, I want to go out all the time, but it seems to stop me walking out my front door.
I was scared of being judged. I was scared that people would think that if I had anxiety then I wasn’t normal or not a very good Mum. I still am scared of this in certain situations.
Such a common fear in Parents with mental health conditions.
Did you receive any help? If so, what was it?
I tried to manage it myself after having my son which was a bad idea in hindsight. After my second pregnancy where I lost one of my twins at 29 weeks I seeked help when my anxiety peaked for a second time. I was put on a low dose of anti depressants and I am still on those now.
I am really sorry to hear about one of your twins.
Has your mental health improved since?
I am definitely still an anxious person, some days more than others. However, I can deal with things a lot better than I used to and push through more situations if I need to.
What do you do personally, to help your own mental health?
Self care is a massive part of my weekly routine now. I have realised if I don’t look after myself than my anxiety gets worse and I end up struggling a lot more to be a good Mum and to get on with life. I try and have some time to myself every week and do something I enjoy like read a book or watch a bit of trashy TV.
Do you feel there is enough support out there, for parents with a mental health condition?
This is a tricky question to answer. I feel like there is certainly a lot more support out there for parents. Even when I became a first time Mum over 5 years ago there was a lot less support out there than there is now. However I do think there is still a lot stigma surrounding it and an element of people still not knowing what to say. It is definitely going in the right direction though.
Slowly but surely it’s getting there, we still have a long way to go as a society in accepting, and treating mental health conditions.
What advice would you give to parents suffering from a postnatal mental health condition?
Talk. You might not be ready to talk to a professional but talk to someone. I know I felt a lot better when I told my best friend about it. Just saying it out loud can help a great deal. Having someone to hold your hand through tough times can make such a difference.
Thank you so much for taking the time to complete these questions, and helping me spread awareness. If you would like to follow Rachels Journey, her details are below. Tomorrow’s inteview is with Mel, who has battled with OCD.
Much Love 💕