Welcome back to my mental health guest post series. After a few weeks off over Christmas and New Year I am back over the next few weeks with some brilliant bloggers sharing their mental health stories. This weeks post is by the lovely Rebecca from All About Hurr.
Being Mentally Aware
I’m very aware of my mental wellbeing having suffered from postnatal depression after having 3 of my 6 children. Depression affects people in different ways but for me I found myself not wanting to go anywhere and found it almost impossible to find the energy or enthusiasm to be a mum. I became withdrawn and shut myself away from the world.
It’s difficult to understand depression because from the outside it seems you have everything. The rational side told me I had a wonderful new baby, a loving husband and home – what did I have to feel down about? But I couldn’t seem to shake it off. I struggled to function and became very unhappy with very little patience. I would find myself making plans, only to cancel them or start to go somewhere only to turn around. I cannot tell you how many trips I’ve made that should have taken 10 minutes, but with the indecision would take me over an hour.
The only thing that was keeping me going was the fact that I had to, I had to feed a baby, I had to get other children to school and this was in fact my life saver. Luckily after a trip to the GP I was prescribed some tablets which made a huge difference. Postnatal depression is extremely common and is due to chemical balances not returning to normal after the birth of a baby, however it’s only now that it’s being talked about more.
Suffering from depression and living with someone with depression are two very different things and I have experienced both. Mr All About Hurr is a keen runner but due to multiple fractures in his back (that’s a whole other story!) he’s not been able to run over the last few months. Coupled with not being able to work he’s been driven to an all time low and finally admitting that he needed some help.
The usual fun, happy and motivated man I knew became withdrawn, angry, frustrated and deeply unhappy. Simple things like cooking tea, putting the children to bed, engaging in social situations or playing with the children were gone. Living with someone with depression is extremely difficult and exhausting. Just as laughter is infectious, so is sadness. My role within the family had changed, I became Mum and Dad not only due to the depression but also because of the physical restrictions. Trying to see the positives when you think there are none is a very lonely place to be.
The only advice I could give Mr All About Hurr was that sometimes you had to pretend that you were ok, get up and get on because you have no other choice. People are relying on you and then one day, you won’t have to pretend anymore, you’ll really be ok. Depression is an illness, not an excuse. You need help, support and love, and to find your reason to get up in the morning.
Thankfully Mr All About Hurr has turned a massive corner and I can see him becoming more relaxed and content again. Cheeky giggles and enjoying the children again. There are still bad days, but they are just days and not weeks or months.