When I first found out I had PND I’ll be honest, I was embarrassed. How could I feel depressed when I had a lovely life and everything I wished for? My initial reaction was to not tell anyone. They would think I was ungrateful. So I hid it, and I hid it well. My husband knew, but that was it. Over the coming months I opened up to my parents, and then my two best friends eventually sat me down and said they had noticed a change, and they were worried about me. That’s all the people I ‘admitted’ my PND too. I remember telling my two friends I was unhappy and that I’d even contemplated suicide. They cried, and I was shocked and touched that just the thought of me being that unhappy and wanting to end my life had affected them so much. It was a massive relief when I’d told them, and from that moment they would text me, and make sure I was ok, They were brilliant.
As my anxiety worsened and I struggled to leave the house, the 5 people who knew were gentle with me and didn’t force me out of my comfort zone. I will forever be grateful for that & for them supporting me. My best friend, she would catch my eye on the rare occasion I did go out and mouth the words ‘are you ok?’ She still does and I love her for that. I’d open up to my husband – poor man had me crying and waffling on about how I felt most days – my mum was also on the receiving end of these conversations too. I felt guilty offloading on them but it was such a relief, getting all the thoughts going around my head out.
Eventually I discovered #pndhour on Twitter. I can’t tell you how much help it’s been in my recovery talking to other people experiencing the same things as me. As much as I’m grateful to my dear family and friends, they all said they didn’t ‘get it’ and I completely understand that. Unless you have experienced a mental health issue like Depression or anxiety you can’t know what it’s like. That’s why having the support network of #pndchat and #pndhour run by @PNDandme on Twitter or Pandas charity has been a brilliant help. If you are suffering then I really recommend these outlets. I lurked for quite a while before I felt ready to join in the conversations but the community is really welcoming and just reading a lot of their tweets had been helpful.
***Remember you are not alone in this, there are people who understand, people to help listen and support.***
Samaritans UK http://www.samaritans.org – 08457 90 90 90
Mind UK helpline – 0300 123 3393 or TEXT 86463 – http://www.mind.org.uk