I Was Scared Of Being Judged – Rachel’s Story – Mental Health Matters

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.

Mental Health Hi Rachel, thank you so much for taking part in my mental health series, please tell me a bit about yourself?

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.

Mental Health What was your biggest worry about having a mental health condition?

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 💕

Blog – http://mummyintraining.< u>Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/mummyintraining<<< tter - https://twitter.com/mrskxxxx

Speak Up – Kathleen’s Story – Mental Health Awareness

Speak Up – Kathleen’s Story – Mental Health Awareness

Hi all, and welcome back to my blog. Today is day 23 of my mental health awareness month. If you missed yesterdays interview with Misa get that here. Today I am joined by Kathleen, from lifebykathleen, who is talking to me about her battle with postnatal depression, and anxiety. Please show your support, like, leave a comment, and share this post.

Hi Kathleen, thank you so much for taking part in my series, please tell me a bit about yourself?

Mental health My name is Kathleen, I’m 30 years old, I live in Melbourne Australia, I have been with my husband for 12 years but married for four years, due to unexplained infertility we needed IVF, our daughter was our only embryo to survive the IVF process and she arrived on our third wedding anniversary.

What type of postnatal mental health condition did you, or do you have?

perinatal anxiety, postnatal depression and postnatal anxiety.

When did you first realise that you had a mental health condition, what were your first symptoms?

You hear about people falling instantly in love with their child and feeling this special connection. I didn’t feel that. I spent perhaps an hour with my daughter before I was whisked off to surgery, to be reunited with her 5 hours later. I felt something wasn’t right when I realised that my daughter was 5 days old yet I had not kissed her once. This got me so worked up that I was afraid to kiss her.

 How did this affect your parenting?

I’m not sure it affected my parenting. My daughter was still fed, bathed & slept. I think more than anything it affected my marriage. My husband couldn’t see things from my point of view and I couldn’t see things from his point of view. My husband also lacked confidence after seeing me ‘effortlessly’ tend to our daughter.

What was your biggest worry about having a mental health condition?

At this stage I have decided not to have any more children, because I don’t think I am strong enough to go through that again.

I know that I may not suffer PND the next time but I never want to feel those feelings again.

That must have been a really difficult decision for you to make.

Did you receive any help? If so, what was it?

During  my 6 week check up with my GP, I mentioned that I would like to speak to someone about how I’m feeling. As it was so close to Christmas I was unable to get an appointment until the the new year. I had approximately seven sessions with a psychologist in 2017. I booked my last session after being prompted by friends. A friend of mine was due with her baby and asked if anyone experienced PND as she has a history of depression. I was so relieved to find that some of my friends had also experienced this and they urged my to see my doctor again after a terrible week.

It’s really good when you find you have a great support system, and other people to share your worries and concerns with.

Has your mental health improved since?

Dramatically. I feel everything got a lot better around the time of my daughters first birthday. At this age, while still being breastfed, she was much less reliant on me. I think my husband’s self confidence also helped.

What do you do personally, to help your own mental health?

I think part of my struggle is the fact that I am an introvert, and I really like my ‘me time’. So it was very difficult to get that when someone else relied on me so heavily for everything. When I was able to, I had regular baths. I still do this now when I need to unwind. My doctor suggested the app Smiling Mind, which is a mindfulness/meditation app that I really love.

When my anxiety is getting the better of me I think of ‘the five things’. This helps redirect my thoughts by thinking of five things I can see, five things I can hear, five things I can touch.

Do you feel there is enough support out there, for parents with a mental health condition?

I am lucky that the healthcare system in Australia is easily accessible and affordable. Most of the support came from my mum. She was always willing to come over to help me with housework or grocery shopping or watch my daughter while I went to my appointments or had a bath.

What advice would you give to parents suffering from a postnatal mental health condition?

Speak up. Whether it’s to your partner, family, friends or a doctor. You need to be the best you can be for your child.

Thank you so much for taking the time to complete these questions, and helping me spread awareness. If you would like to follow Kathleen’s jourey her details are below. Tomorrow I am joined by Rachel, who is talking to me about her postnatal anxiety. Post goes live at 9am!

Much love 💕

Blog – www.lifebykathleen.com

Facebook – www.facebook.com/lifebykathleen

Instagram – www.instagram.com/lifebykathleenMental health

I Worried My Babies Would be Taken Away – Erin’s Story

I Worried My Babies Would be Taken Away – Erin’s Story

Hi all, and welcome back to my blog. Today is day 20 of my mental health awareness month. If you missed yesterdays interview with Farrah, get that here. Today I am joined by Erin from adventuresincrafting who is bravely talking to me about her battle with PTSD and anxiety.

Mental health Hi Erin, thank you so much for taking part in this series, please tell me a bit about yourself?

I’m 34 years old, married to a United States Marine, and we just had twin girls in November. My background is in early
childhood education and I taught preschool for 10 years before taking time off now to care for my girls. We live by Joshua Tree, CA. Before having our girls, we struggled with infertility for 6 years. While pregnant, I was on hospitalized bed rest for two months due to preterm labor.

What type of Post Natal metal health condition did you, or do you have?

I have been diagnosed with postpartum post traumatic stress and anxiety.

When did you first realise that you had a mental health condition, what were your first symptoms?

My first symptoms were racing and intrusive fears about something happening to me or the babies. These led to panic attacks.

That sounds like a really traumatic time, do you feel this had an impact on your parenting?

My babies were in the NICU initially which made interacting with them challenging. Once this happened I reached out for help.

I’m glad you felt you were able to reach out for help.

What was your biggest worry about having a mental health condition?

That I would never feel like myself again or enjoy parenting. I also worried that if I asked for help my babies would be taken away.

Did you receive any help? If so, what was it?

Yes, I have been seeing a psychiatrist and relying on my support people like my husband and mom.

Having a good support system around you, is so important.

Has your mental health improved since?

Yes, not as much as I’d like, but I’m only 4 months into parenthood. But it has considerably improved as I’m able to care for them daily while my husband is at work.

What do you do personally, to help your own mental health?

I love to craft, so I started a crafting blog to focus my mind a little bit. I also like to exercise and take baths to relax.

I Love your crafting blog!

Do you feel there is enough support out there, for parents with a mental health condition?

I feel like there’s starting to be, but the stigma still exists.

What advice would you give to parents suffering from a postnatal mental health condition?

My biggest suggestion would be to recognize that there’s nothing wrong with you, it’s a biochemical experience, and not to feel hesitant about reaching out for support from experts.

Thank you so much for taking the time to complete these questions, if you would like to follow Erin’s journey, her details are below.

Much love 💕

Blog – http://adventuresincrafting.net/sample-page/

https://www.instagram.com/adventures_in_crafting

Twins

Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help – Farrah’s Story – Mental Health Awareness

Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help – Farrah’s Story – Mental Health Awareness

Hi all, and welcome back to day 18 of my mental health awareness month. If you missed yesterdays interview with Miriam, read that here. Today I am joined by Farrah from newnaturalmom. Farrah talks to me about her battle with postpartum depression.

Mental health Hi Farrah, thank you so much for taking part in my series, please tell me abit about yourself.

I’m a natural parenting blogger and mom of five kids. I’ve been married for 8.5 years. I love writing, reading, and listening to music.

What type of Post Natal metal health condition did you, or do you have?

I was diagnosed with postpartum depression.

When did you first realise that you had a mental health condition, what were your first symptoms?

My symptoms were that I was extremely tired, disinterested in life, and withdrawn. Extreme anxiety about being alone was another one.

These are symptoms I have heard a lot doing this series.

Has this had an impact on your parenting?

I was harsher with words than I normally am. I slept a lot more when my spouse was home and he took on more of my responsibilities.

What was your biggest worry about having a mental health condition?

How much it was going to affect my children and the overall well-being of my household. I wondered if I was ever going to be the same again.

Did you receive any help? If so, what was it?

Yes, I decided to get on medication after it didn’t resolve within a reasonable amount of time.

Do you feel your mental health improved since?

I am doing much better overall. I am interested in things we love like extracurricular activities, small road trips, and working on our home.

I am glad you are doing better now.

What do you do personally, to help your own mental health?

First of all, I had to quit sacrificing my sleep. If I get less than adequate sleep for reasons beyond my control, I have to be conscious of that and lower my expectations for that day. I also take time to do things I enjoy like socializing with friends. My children are my pride and joy, but going out with friends every few months has been nice!

 Do you feel there is enough support out there, for parents with a mental health condition?

Absolutely not. There’s still a stigma attached to it. I reached out to family members and was encouraged not to get on medication because it was seen as weak or because I was breastfeeding. I was a stronger person with the help of medication. It was hard to admit that, because I am passionate about natural living, but there’s a time and a place for medication.

Definitely and it can be really difficult to make that decision if the people around you don’t support your decision. 

What advice would you give to parents suffering from a postnatal mental health condition?

DO NOT be afraid to ask for help. If you don’t get it, go somewhere else and get it. No matter how much that black cloud surrounds you, there is a way back into the sun.

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions, to help me raise awareness. If you would like to follow Farrah’s journey, her details are below. Tomorrow we are talking with Erin, who suffers from PTSD and Anxiety. Post goes live at 9am.

Much love 💕

Mental health < log - newandnaturalmom.com http:www.instagram.comnewandnaturalmom

She Is My Inspiration – Miriam’s Story – Mental Health Awareness

She Is My Inspiration – Miriam’s Story – Mental Health Awareness

Hi all, and welcome back to my blog. Today is day 18 of my mental health awareness month, if you missed yesterdays interview with Brona, get that here. Today I am joined by Miriam. Please show your support, like, comment, and share this post.

Hi Miriam, thank you so much for taking part in my series, Please tell me a bit about yourself and your child:

Mental health My name is Miriam and I am from Glasgow. I have nine year old twins, Isaac and Naomi. Both of them have a diagnosis of autism. They are my miracle children born as a result of IVF after ten years struggling with infertility. Naomi attends mainstream school and is doing well.

What Mental Health Condition does your daughter have?

As well as having an autism spectrum condition which was diagnosed the week before my daughter’s 5th birthday, she also has anxiety, selective mutism and an eating disorder, all of which are classed as mental health conditions.

When did I first notice she has a mental health condition?

When Naomi was a toddler she hated being away from me. I thought it was typical toddler behaviour but when she never seemed to outgrow it I thought she was socially shy or maybe had separation anxiety. It took over three months before she would let go of me and go into the room with a worker. Once inside she became silent and never spoke again until back home with me. The first I realised this could be anything more than extreme shyness was at four when she was diagnosed by a speech and language  therapist as having selective mutism which is an extreme form of anxiety that prevents someone from being able to speak in certain situations.

Starting School

When she started school she began having serious panic attacks. She has never been a good eater and when she was first referred to CAMHS at five and her height and weight were taken we were told she was severely underweight and looked ill. There had been so much going on with her and her twin brother (who has severe complex needs both medically and developmentally) that I had not stopped to think just how little my daughter was eating. She refused to eat and drink at all when away from me and now at school all day this was becoming a huge issue. Now in year four at school she has finally been diagnosed with anxiety and an eating disorder.

How did this make you feel?

I felt a failure. I felt I had let her down. It didn’t help that CAMHS were keen to blame my parenting too! As a parent it’s utterly heartbreaking when your children struggle and you have no idea how to help them. I also felt so out of my depth. If she had cut herself I could put a plaster on, if she had tooth ache I could take her to the dentist, if she had a headache I could give her calpol but what on earth do you do as a parent when your child has severe anxiety, is socially mute and refuses to eat? There’s nothing like that in the parenting books or emails is there? I was scared and I still am some days!

This sounds like it has been really difficult. It’s not fair for CAMHS to be blaming your parenting, there should be support offered, instead of pointing blame, that doesn’t help anyone in this situation.

Did your daughter express any concerns?

Naomi has autism. Part of that condition means she struggles with communication so it’s only been in the last year or so that she has opened up more about what she finds so difficult. I am a blogger and she told me last year about why she does not like to eat and agreed to me sharing it. Her blog has had over 250 thousands hits so far and still counting!

Wow, well done Naomi, and Mum for helping spread awareness. I hope she is very proud. Click over to read Naomi’s blog post here. Amazing girl!!

What help has she received?

School have been incredibly supportive of her issues. Child mental health seems much more important than it was when I was at school and staff seem much more aware to look out for things now. We also see CAMHS too but unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be anyone willing to help with the selective mutism. Speech and language say this needs a phycologist but phycologists just argue that’s its speech and language! Meanwhile my daughter gets no support! She is weight every two weeks and we also have to meet with an eating disorder dietician fortnightly to decide wether Naomi continues to be supported to eat orally or wether we need to proceed further with more drastic measures such as a feeding tube. I hope and pray we continue to avoid that!

How do You help your child? What makes her happy?

A huge part of my daughter’s struggles at down to her brothers complex needs. He is non verbal, has challenging behaviour, screams and attacks her. I have to make sure she is safe at all times. I never force her to eat but do give her a choice between two things I know she likes. We don’t eat at the kitchen table as she finds this far too much so instead I take food to her where she is. This works best for us. I sometimes pick her up at school lunchtimes and she can come home for lunch or I take her out, even if it’s to McDonald’s so she eats and drinks something during the day. I help in the school too so that she can speak to me there in the hope on day she will speak to others too. Mostly I stay emotionally close to her to allow her to tell me anything that is troubling her so we can work through it together.

What’s your biggest worry for her?

My biggest worry is the fact she could one day take her own life. She is a very lonely and vulnerable child who misunderstands the world and people daily. She has no confidence and no self esteem. Someday, despite only being 9, she has no interest in life at all. Her dad suffers from depression and I worry her struggles will hold her back from gaining qualifications, employment or social experience. Right now I worry that she will eat anything tomorrow when she goes to school.

Do You fell there is enough support?

No! There is still a huge assumption that only adults have mental health difficulties and that any struggles a child has are all down to poor parenting! Camhs refuse so many referral as they have more demand than they can possibly meet. For some conditions like selective mutism no-one seems to even know who can help at all! I also feel that parents get the blame too quickly instead of the child actually getting support.

What advice would You give others?

Keep fighting. You know your child better than anyone! While all children can go through phases of bing shy, anxious or feeling low if these feeling persist or you are worried about your child’s moods, eating, sleeping or outlook on life do go to your GP. Having a mental health diagnosis is nothing to be ashamed of and does not take away from how amazing your child is.Despite having all these struggles Naomi has achieved so much. Last year she made headline news when she wrote to the local ‘park builders’ asking why they never out in a disabled swing for her brother in the park. She has had a quarter of a million people read about her food struggles via my blog and just two weeks ago she was nominated for the National Diversity Awards in the category of Role Model. She is my inspiration!

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions, and help me raise awareness. Below are Miriam’s details if you’d like to follow her, and her daughters journey.

Much Love 💕

Mental health <<<<<<<< og post - https://faithmummy.wordpress.com/2017/08/07/the-reason-i-dont-like-to-eat/ Blog - https://faithmummy.wordpress.com/

Don’t Suffer in Silence – Brona’s Story – Mental Health Matters

Don’t Suffer in Silence – Brona’s Story – Mental Health Matters

Hi all, and welcome back to my blog. Today is day 17 of my mental health awareness month. If you missed yesterdays interview with Gail, get that here. Today I am joined by Brona fromSnaphappymammy. Brona bravley shares her story about her battle with Postnatal depression.

Mental health

Hi Brona, thank you for taking part in my series, Please tell me a bit about yourself?

Hi, I’m I’m 28 years old, I’m married to my husband of 3 years. We have known each other since we were 14. We were born on the same day in the same hospital! I’m from Dublin, and a first time mammy to my 14month old son. I’m a nurse but currently out sick due to my PND.

What type of Post Natal metal health condition did you, or do you have?Post natal depression and post traumatic stress

When did you first realise that you had a mental health condition, what were your first symptoms?

Probably when my baby was 6 weeks old. I knew that it was more than just the baby blues. My first symptoms were crying for no reason, getting very anxious and overwhelmed if routine deviated a small bit. I refuse to make plans, and I’m afraid to leave the house.

How did this affect your parenting?

Our bond wasn’t as strong as I felt it should have been, I would obsess with cleanliness, and I could become impatient at times.

The first few months were a blur, and I went into auto pilot. I felt I didn’t enjoy my baby and that I needed to do everything by the book for fear of being judged.

What was your biggest worry about having a mental health condition?

That my baby would be taken away from me

This is something that continues to come up during my interviews. Most if not all Mothers I have spoken to with PND fear their baby will be taken away from them,it’s terrifying.

Did you receive any help? If so, what was it?

I take medication, and I am under the care of the mental health team nurse and consultant as well as attending counselling.

Has your mental health improved since?

Yes, I initially started medication then was weaned off after 6 months as was feeling better, but unfortunately symptoms came back worse so was started back on medication which was tripled in dose. I started counselling and under the care of a psychiatrist and I finally feel I am getting there. I still have bad days and dark moments in good days, but I actually full of hope that I will feel normal again.

What do you do personally, to help your own mental health?

I took up a yoga class which I do once a week, and I try to have a bath once or twice a week to try and relax.

Mindfulness if I get time. I try to get out of the house every day and have challenged myself to do something fun every day with my son.

Writing my blog has also been very therapeutic for me.

 Do you feel there is enough support out there, for parents with a mental health condition?

No, I think there needs to more awareness about this.

What advice would you give to parents suffering from a postnatal mental health conditon?

Don’t suffer in silence. Go get help cause a problem shared is a problem halved.

Thank you so much for taking the time to complete these questions, and helping me raise awareness. If you want to follow Brona’s jourey, her details are below. tomorrow’s interview is with Miriam, who’s child has Autism and Anxiety. Post goes live at 9am.

Much love 💕

Blog –

https:/snaphappymammy1.wordpress.com/

Listen To Yourself – Gail’s Story – Mental Health Awareness

Listen To Yourself – Gail’s Story – Mental Health Awareness

Hi all, and welcome back to my blog. Today is day 16 of my mental health awareness month. If you missed yesterdays interview with Ariel, get that here. Today I am joined by Gail from Mimicking Motherhood, who is talking to me about Postnatal Depression.

Mental Health Hi Gail, thank you so much for taking part in my series, Please tell me a bit about yourself?

Hello! I am mother to five, photographer, artist and mental health advocate. I have been blogging for almost 15 years but only this year have I decided to really take it to the next level.

What type of Post Natal metal health condition did you, or do you have?

I had PPD with psychosis. I currently live with bipolar and anxiety disorder, as well as PTSD.

When did you first realise that you had a mental health condition, what were your first symptoms?

My first symptoms were fear and sadness. While I probably suffered before my children, I really struggled with the birth of my second child. Things didn’t exactly go the way I had planned, and I was left with this baby, lots of questions and horrible looming gray close.

How did this affect your parenting?

Basically, it kept me from leaving my house and in the long run, enjoying the first few months of their lives. With Davis, my second, I remember vividly trying to talk myself out the delusion that someone was going to come take him and his sister away or that I wasn’t producing enough milk, we couldn’t really afford formula and I was going to starve him to death. There was no basis for either of those fears, but they became so vivid and real, it was all I could do not to never come out of the dark of our house again.

What was your biggest worry about having a mental health condition?

That there will be a day I will fail to keep it under control and either hurt myself or someone else. I’ve lost a brother to suicide; I worry all the time, I might be next. I also worry that I have passed it onto my children. I see signs of it in them, but I do feel confident in that because I know how to handle myself now, I will be able to help them down their own mental health journeys should they encounter one.

 Did you receive any help? If so, what was it?

I take medication to help and go to therapy which is helpful. I’ve also found that a regime of exercise and diet help and recently have taken up mediation and went to my first HOT yoga experience. All these things combined seem to keep me stable.

 Has your mental health improved since?

Yes, very much so! I am a completely different person than I was then. I’m even a completely different person than I was even a year ago.

What do you do personally, to help your own mental health?

I write, a lot, and advocate. I make it a mission to keep my brother alive through words. I love people. And as I said before, exercise, diet, mediation but really self-care. I make myself a priority and by doing that I am taken care of so my family and loved ones are better taken care of too.

Do you feel there is enough support out there, for parents with a mental health condition?

Not at all. Especially postpartum. I recently started a doula course in hopes that I can help educate mothers on postnatal depression and even depression during pregnancy. I think we often assume that pregnancy and new babies are only happy, and we fail to talk about the dark side. And it happens, more then we know because women and men keep it so quiet. I want to help them find their voice and maybe, be their voice.  There shouldn’t be any shame in any kind of feelings but especially depression.

What advice would you give to parents suffering from a postnatal mental health condition?

Listen to yourself. Ask for help, prepare for it before baby. You may never have to fight through it but if you do, you’ll be a little more prepared. And preparation is key. Knowing it could happen is important. I also think if you have a past history, it’s so important to share that with your medical provider. There are ways to treat depression without medication and medications that are safe for you and baby during pregnancy. Do the research and ask your friends. I think if we asked more, shared more, we’d all be for it.

Thank you so much Gail for taking part in my series. If you want to follow Gails journey, her details are below. Please show your support, like, comment, and share this post. Tomorrow’s interview is with Brona who is talking to me about her battle with Posntanal depression. Blog goes live at 9am!

http://www.mimickingmotherhood.com/

https://www.instagram.com/phatsheep

https://mobile.twitter.com/gailabunning

Much Love 💕

Family < a href=”https://mummyingmyway.co.uk/?p=670″>

Find Something That Works For You – Ariel’s Story – Mental Health Matters

Find Something That Works For You – Ariel’s Story – Mental Health Matters

Hi all, and welcome back to my blog. Today is day 15 of my mental health awareness month. If you missed yesterdays blog, get that here. Today I am joined by Ariel from Mamaofkings Ariel is talking to me about her battle with depression throughout her life, and postnatal depression after having her third baby. Please show your support, like, comment, and share this post.

Self care Hi Ariel, thank you so much for taking part in this series, Please tell me a bit about yourself?

I am a stay-at-home mom to three children ages 4, 2, and 1. I have been out of work for over a year now due to health conditions that surfaced during my last pregnancy and have ultimately made the decision to stay home permanently to home-school our children.

What type of metal health condition did you, or do you have?

I started experiencing bouts of depression in the 9th grade when a close friend of mine attempted to rape me. I began stress eating and wearing baggy clothing because he told me that it was my fault for “looking so good”. So naturally, I began to feel guilty and wanted to hide. I accomplished that through my weight gain and wardrobe change. My best friend at the time, now husband, was the only friend who knew everything that was going on with me, and truly, if it hadn’t been for his support during that time I wouldn’t have made it. A few years later, during my senior year, my mom remarried and transferred me to the rival high school which literally ruined my academic career.

I then went on to suffer from Post partum depression, and anxiety.

I’m sorry that you had to go through that, Nobody should ever be at risk of rape because they “looked good.” I am glad you were able to find support in your now Husband.

What Struggles do you/did you face?

I had deep seated feelings of guilt and insignificance. I never felt good enough in any situation. I was one of the top of my class, the most accomplished musician in the band, very skilled in theater, was the manager of the dance team, and participated in basically any extracurricular that i could squeeze into whether it was at school or church. I felt that if i stayed busy, I wouldn’t have to face my demons. When my mom transferred me to a different school, however, I wasn’t able to participate in much, so i had all the time in the world to think of all the reasons that I hated myself. I became suicidal, and attempted suicide quite a few times.

When planning to start a family, did you have any worries, if so what were they?

I was extremely worried that it could be passed down to my children genetically. I didn’t want anyone to feel the way that I was feeling, ESPECIALLY my children. I also worried that one day it would all become to much and I would leave behind a motherless child(ren).

How did your mental health condition affect you during pregnancy?

During my first pregnancy, it actually didn’t affect me much. There was only one night during my pregnancy that I can remember feeling truly depressed. At the time I was living alone, and I believe that was a huge trigger for me.

Second Pregnancy

During my second pregnancy it was a little more prevalent. I remember getting mad at my husband (literally about nothing of importance), so I got a bag and walked out into the pouring rain. I had no idea where I was going or what the end goal was, but I just had to go. I ended up walking 4 miles, at 8 months pregnant, with a giant bag full of clothes, in the pouring rain until a friend saw me and picked me up.

Third Pregnancy

My third pregnancy was rough physically, and I think that had a big impact on my mental health as well. I cried ALL the time and contemplated suicide a few times. Ultimately, I couldn’t leave my children or risk the life of my unborn baby.

Mental health You have some serious inner strength Ariel, that’s so Admirable. 

When did you first realise that you had a postnatal mental health condition, what were your first symptoms?

I realized it in the hospital at one day post-partum with my third. I was constantly anxious about everything. I probably called the nurses into my room every 15 minutes because I “didn’t know what to do”. When I gave birth to my older two, I was never nervous and hardly ever wanted the nurses in my room. After birth, hormones are pretty crazy, but I found myself crying literally all the time.

What was your biggest worry about having a mental health condition?

Most days I could cope with my anxiety and depression in a number of natural ways. But I was always worried that one day it would end up being too much to handle and I would snap.

Did you receive any help? If so, what was it?

No, I was TERRIFIED to reach out. I spoke to a few friends that I knew had dealt with it in the past, and they all encouraged me to talk to my doctor. However, I had this fear that if I told my doctor they would take my kids from me.

This is a massive fear for most Mothers including myself who had PND. I feel there needs to be so much more support to parents suffering from PND, for them not to worry about this being the outcome.

Has your mental health improved since?

I am now just a little over one year post partum with my youngest. I have learned better ways to cope, and have also learned the importance of “me-time”.

What do you do personally, to help your own mental health?

I start everyday with worship music to set the tone for the day. When I start to feel anxious I will either go and pray or play with the kids. If my temper starts to get out of control I will go to my bedroom for a few minutes to breathe and sometimes just jot down my feelings. I have affirmation statements all throughout my home that I can read all throughout the day when passing from room to room. When I started blogging a little over a month ago, I noticed that I was a lot less stressed, so I have started implementing a mandatory blog time at least every other day and it has helped tremendously.

Do you feel there is enough support out there, for parents with a mental health condition?

Honestly, I am not very sure. My biggest support during this process has been women online that have experienced the same issues and January Harshe, owner of Birth Without Fear (birthwithoutfear.blog) who is constantly reassuring women through her Instagram feed and live videos! I didn’t look too much into professional help because my fear of losing my children was so great.

A Massive shout out to the online community, it’s such a great support for a lot of people suffering from mental health conditions. It’s literally been a life saver for some. 

What advice would you give to parents suffering from a postnatal mental health condition?

Find something that works for you! Try EVERYTHING until you find something that gives you some relief. Your babies deserve the very best you that there is, and we can’t let our thoughts get in the way.

Thank you so much for taking the time to complete these questions, and helping me spread awareness. If you would like to follow Ariel’s journey, the link to her blog is below. Tomorrow’s interview is with Gail who is talking to me about her battle with PD. Post goes live at 9am. 

Much love 💕

Blog – Mamaofkings

Things Will get Better, But It Will Always Take Time – Vicki’s Story

Things Will get Better, but it Will Always Take Time – Vicki’s Story – PND

Hi all, and welcome back to my blog. Today is day 14 of my mental health awareness months. If you missed yesterday’s interview, get that here. Today I am joined by Vicky from Mummandhermonsters. Vicky is talking to me about her battle with depression.

Mental Health Hi Vicki, thanks very much for taking part in my series, Please tell me a bit about yourself?

Im Vicki, A family and lifestyle blogger from the east of england, I have 2 children aged 1 and 5 and
I’m due to get married in September 2018 🙂

Congratulations! Not too long to wait now!
What type of Post natal mental health condition did you, or do you have?

I currently suffer with depression, My depression stemmed off post natal depression after my second child.

When did you first realise that you had a mental health condition, what were your first symptoms?

I cried a lot, and hated anyone holding my baby, and my partner said to me​ “I know you don’t want to admit it but I think your a bit post natal!” and that was it for me I knew I needed help.

 That’s really good that your partner was able to spot the symptoms, and support you to get help.

How did this affect your parenting?

Honestly it was hard for me, as I said I hated people wanting to hold my baby, I hated the touching and the kissing of the head ect it all got to me way too much, I wouldn’t leave his side, not to sleep, or clean or to make a cuppa coffee, then it all started to get me down that I had an untidy house, or that I wasn’t having time for myself.

What was your biggest worry about having a mental health condition?

I used to worry that because I wasn’t cleaning as much my house would get too
unbearable and social services would get involved, and take my children away. Thinking back it was a really silly thing but my children were/are my safety and it was a real concern for me.

That is a massive concern for a lot of Mothers suffering from PND.

Did you receive any help? If so, what was it?

As soon as my partner told me that he thinks I had PND I called the doctor’s straight away and got an appointment. It took months of trying different medications but I have finally found the one that works for me.

Has your mental health improved since?

Yes, last summer I pushed myself to go and volunteer at my local library, and since then my whole world has changed. I’m more confident, I leave my son with his dad for hours on end so I can go work or volunteer, and I feel a worth for it instead of sitting in my pj’s everyday not wanting to leave my house.

What do you do personally, to help your own mental health?

I volunteer, I push myself into situations that I don’t want to be in, so to build myself and my confidence.

Do you feel there is enough support out there, for parents with a mental health condition?

No, not unless you ask for it, for parents who are scared about speaking to a professional it’s a really hard thing but unless your actually asked by someone (like a health visitor or doctor) you could drown in it.

What advice would you give to parents suffering from a postnatal mental health
condition?

Try to push yourself, One small step at a time is fine. Things will get better, but it always takes time.

Lastly i just want to say that mental health is a big part of my blogging niche and no one should suffer alone, if you are struggling try push yourself to get medical advice and stay strong – The first step is the hardest, it only gets easier from then on.

Thank you so much Vicki for taking part in my series. Go and check out Vickis blog, details are below. Tomorrow’s interview is with Ariel, who talks about her battle with Pre and Postnatal Depression. Post goes live at 9am.

Mental health Vicki – www.Mummaandhermonsters.com

Much Love 💕

Always Seek Help – A Parent with PTSD

Always Seek Help – A Parent with PTSD – Mental Health Awareness

Hi all, and welcome back to my blog. Today is day 13 of my mental health awareness month. If you missed yesterdays interview with Sarah, get that here. Today I am joined by a lovely lady who watched her Mother suffer from PTSD. Please show your support, like, comment and share this post.

Mental health Hi, and thank you so much for taking part in my series. Please tell me a bit about yourself, and your parent.

I’m 26 years old, and my parents were together until I was 13 years old. When they split I remained with my dad who had at the time three older boys aswell as me. I was my Mums only child.

 What mental health condition does, or did your parent have?  

My mum suffers from PTSD

When did you first notice that your parent had a mental health condition?

I didn’t realise that my mother had PTSD until I was in my adult life,

How did this make you feel as a child? Did it have an impact on your childhood?

I suffered the same as my mum when I was a child, but this was caused by my father’s narcissist behaviour. I now have borderline personality disorder, which my therapist has told me that it stems from my father’s abuse.

Did your parent receive any help?

My mum tried to remain as a family for the sake of me as a child, and recieved no help until several years after she left my father.

Did you receive any support as a child?

I had child counselling as a result of sexual abuse.  I was ignored and make to feel at fault by my father (he didn’t sexually abuse me another family member did) but this was just as damaging.

That must have been really difficult to deal with, especially at a time you really needed a support system.

What was/is your main worry about having a parent with a mental health condition?

I believe if my mum had left sooner she wouldn’t have suffered PTSD and wouldn’t have been depressed. Studies have showed this can be linked to mental health issues in children later leading to adult life like I have.  I worry that this will impact the rest of my life.

Do you feel there is enough support out there for parents with a mental health condition, and support for their families?

I don’t, I saw a child counselor approx four times after sexual abuse and a serious suicide attempt (I ended up in hospital on life support for three days at the age of eleven) I felt nothing was ever solved or handled the way I needed it to be. These issues have now followed me into adulthood.

What advice would you give to parents suffering from a mental health condition?

Always seek help. If your unhappy leave,  your child witnesses everything, and it’s better to have a happy split family, than an unhappy family home which can be toxic to everyone involved.

What advice would you give to a child who’s  parent/s suffer from a mental health condition?

Talk to someone, a counselor, school a friend, anyone you can trust, However hard it may be, it’s better to deal with your problems at the earliest point so you can move on in your life, find coping strategies, leave the past behind you.

Thank you so much for taking the time to complete these questions, Please leave a comment, and show this lovely lady your support. Tomorrow’s interview is with Vicki from mummaandhermonsters. Vicki talks about her battle with PND. Post goes live at 9am!

Mental Health Much Love 💕