I have been diagnosed with anxiety for 13 years now. 13 years ago I was prescribed medication and since then I have been off and on medication as required.
When we started trying for a baby I was self-managing my anxiety and my GP had a good talk to me about ppd/a (postpartum depression/anxiety) and what to look out for to be diagnosed early.
The nurses told us there were people we could talk to but never pushed it while we were at the hospital. During that time I was in survival mode and I didn’t know if I’d be able to cope if I stopped to process what was happening. I wish sometimes they had pushed it a little more to be honest.
The nurse came over a couple of days after the boys came home and asked me how things were. Once my boys were home I felt like I could finally do it and explained how I was aware of my anxiety but feeling great!
She never asked how my husband was.
I saw my obstetrician and she made me complete a test to see if I was coping. I passed with flying colours. My husband was with me.
She never asked how my husband was.
I have a few friends that needed help after their babies were born, they inspired me with their strength sharing about their experiences, I knew it was something to watch out for but all in all I managed ok. Did you know 1 in 7 mums suffer from postpartum depression?
I knew all the signs but I wasn’t seeing them in myself.
As each night went on my husband was more and more unlike himself. He didn’t want to hold the babies anymore. He cried almost as much as the boys did, always at the same time they were. He didn’t want to leave the house and would constantly talk about the night we were going to have ahead, predicting the lack of sleep and screaming.
One night he was in the lounge room with one of the boys and I had just settled the other. All of a sudden I heard my husband scream ‘just shut up!!’ I’m not sure I’ve ever jumped out of bed so quickly. This wasn’t the first time but this time I wasn’t going to let him yell at our little miracles again. I grabbed him and said ‘don’t yell at my child’
This was so hard. I knew he wasn’t well but I couldn’t stand back and pretend it wasn’t happening anymore.
The next day we talked. He knew he needed help. The doctors appointment was booked and so was an appointment with a counsellor before the end of the day.
Our doctor was amazing (he always is honestly) and talked to daniel about some short term and long term goals. He prescribed him medication to control his anxiety and said ‘now this is for 3-6 months and we will reflect, you need to make sure you get more sleep’.
My mother in law moved in, she helped daniel with his night feed so I could sleep and then I was up learning how to manage 2 alone for the rest of the night. We wouldn’t have made it through without the extra help.
My husbands therapy appointment went well. She made him do the test, the one the obstetrician made me do, he scored extremely high in both depression and anxiety but showed no risk of harming himself or the children (thank you Jesus).She talked him through some strategies to manage when he wasn’t coping and suggested a psychiatrist specialising in postpartum.
Did you know 1 in 10 men suffer with postpartum depression and anxiety? I didn’t.
Some days are harder than others but my husband is working hard every day since being diagnosed. Daniel has chosen to be open about this as it’s not spoken about. No one talked to him about how hard it can be like my girlfriends warned me.
1 in 10, that’s huge, how is it that we are still so silent about something impacting so many families?
If you have supported a partner with postpartum depression or anxiety I would love to chat! Please comment or send me a message on Instagram @wifetomama any time!!
Statistics taken from the following website: https://www.postpartum.net/