Saturday, 12 December 2015

The problem with headlines

All too commonly, a mum in a TV show has PND and hurts her baby, a mum gives an interview to a tabloid and her words are given a 'hurting baby' title (despite that being a tiny part of the story which ended in happy recovery), or a really good paper article discussing the darker side of intrusive thoughts had a published title about 'drowning baby'.

My paraphrases are merely taken from memory from 100 weeks of being a member of the #pndhour crew. My point is this: PND does not equal not loving your baby.

I didn't know this, at 4 weeks post partum with baby #2. Nor did I know it when he was 6 months, it took the #pndchat and #pndhour heroes to teach me that it was definitely PND, and that PND doesn't always affect feelings towards your child. Whenever I say I have PND (I'm very open about it) I have to immediately follow it up with 'but I always loved my children'. Not because of my judgment of other women and their struggles, but I have to state it here that having PND made me a better mother. Although, I was awfully low, unable to move much through the constant push-pull of depression and anxiety. However, i counted calcium, I counted TV minutes, I counted fruit and veg portions, I followed the rules of parenting because all I wanted was to be the best mother, and I always came up short of my own estimates. I have 2 well attached, affectionate and good little boys. My PND didn't upset their lives and thank heavens for CBT!

People with mental health issues deserve to not be stigmatised, for accurate statistics and quantitative research to be cited, rather than using words like 'many' or 'most'.

Every mother with PND is an individual and suffers in their own, unique way because PND affects every person differently, as with any mental illness. Yes, there are trends, parallels and the amount that I say  'yes, me too!' To the #pndchat and #pndhour chatters shows that.

We aren't all TV show stereotype mums crying in the dark thinking up ways to do it. It does happen, and those intrusive thoughts must be incredibly scary, and they happen to real women and their families, either in mind or in reality. This needs talking about so that women can ask for help before they act on the thoughts. Acting upon them is not always a choice, nor is ignoring them.

Please, if you're reading this and you struggle with thoughts about harming yourself or others, please seek help from someone close or a health professional/ GP.

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