I saw my GP, asked for a referral for talking therapies and she handed me a script for Citalopram. She is a lovely lady and said, 'I have to prescribe this, because it's the cheapest' ... Well, I appreciated her candour but it was frustrating to be told that. Anyway, I took the citalopram for 2 days and decided that I didn't need it. I'd taken Escitalopram previously and I decided that because it hadn't worked last time, that taking a basically the same drug wasn't going to work this time.
I went about fixing myself with passionflower extract, regular exercise on the exercise bike and wishy-thinking.
This didn't work. I found a local PANDAS
Support group that was just starting and I figured that I had ages to get better (well, 5 months) before I went back to work.
I got worse, I started taking 5-HTP supplements that I'd read about on the MIND website. These helped... A bit.
I accessed mindfulness counselling through occupational health at my work... I really didn't get it, and the lovely lady REALLY tried to teach me. How, oh, how can I be mindful when I have 2 under 2??
I got a little bit worse every 10 days (the length of MrB's shift cycle), I'd cry and beg him not to leave before his day and late shifts. I'd send him texts saying, 'I can't cope' and 'please help me'. I don't remember much from October to January to be honest, it all melded into one.
I told my mother in law about my PND. She is he closest thing to a real mum that I've ever had and she is so kind and lovely. I am lucky to have married into such a welcoming family - some people marry for money, I married for love and a sense of belonging. Since I told her, she often asks to take one (or, occasionally both *high five*) boys for the morning. This gives me space. I need it.
Christmas came and went, I withdrew into myself, not making eyecontact with people at soft play centres, not seeing friends and just being generally knackered.
Anyway, skip forward to March and I realised that I needed meds, I started on sertraline via an NHS psychologist and I'm now on 150mg. I have found it helpful in evening my bad and nasty moods. Sometimes I can see the wood for the trees.
Finally in June I realised that I was falling apart, that I needed more than just go to work and hope that everything would be ok. I dreaded going home to the boys, I was anxious all of the time, I was miserable. Mostly incapable of self-care and I couldn't manage. I avoided our Rhythmicality class and I was basically exhausted through acting all of the time.
I realised that I hadn't come to terms with how ill I actually was. I needed time, I needed space and I needed to be ok. Not ok enough to scrape myself into work, I needed to be able to face collecting my children at the end of the working day and do something other than lying on the sofa, paralysed by the headfog and emotional exhaustion.
Over the last few weeks, I've come up with my self-care strategy and it is helping me to help myself.
Not to mention the CBT, which started about 6 weeks ago, and I feel like I really 'get'. I'm hoping that it will help me to sharpen my mental tools.
I wish I could have a word with myself 12 months ago and tell myself to demand sertraline. But that is the benefit of hindsight. At least I tried to fix myself, and man I tried!