This is a story from a friend who kindly shared her story of how counselling helped her with postnatal depression.
“I was a Mum with a 9 month old baby and everyone kept telling me that I was lucky to be staying at home with my baby. So why don’t I think I was lucky and why wasn’t I happy? I thought having a baby would bring me joy and happiness. Instead I felt constantly tired and I wasn’t sleeping at night. I used to dread her crying and felt no bond to my baby. I find myself angry at silly things and my anger came out in all sorts of ways. I’d shout at baby and I am often felt irritated with my husband. In fact, I don’ think he could do anything right. I couldn’t be bothered with anything. The pile of washing was piling up, the house was messy and paperwork was piling up. I felt so lonely and isolated. I visited toddler groups but it felt like no-one wanted to talk to me. I’d just sit there hoping that someone will come and talk to me. I used to be a confident person who could talk to anyone. I had a couple of good friends that were supportive but even they stopped ringing me. It feels as though they have dropped me. I thought there was something wrong with me but it was just because I was depressed.
In 2012 I saw an advert about a counsellor who helped with PND, but more importantly for me did the counselling by email. As a Mum this was ideal as it meant I could do my counseling while the baby slept. It was hard to admit that I had depression but it was certainly my first step forward. I had contact with my counsellor for 3 months. At the end of this time I felt I was a different person. I can’t believe how sharing my thoughts and problems have helped me. I felt like a mum who was now under control. One day my child was running into my arms and I was overwhelmed by the amount of joy and love that I felt inside. I suddenly felt blessed and lucky to have such a wonderful child. The counsellor encouraged me to plan my day and take small steps.. She taught me techniques to turn my negative thoughts into positive ones. Not every day is a good day but generally I am happy. I am slowly making new friends and I even enjoy the days I have with my toddler when we are on our own.”