The REAL Thursday.

Okay, I have to be honest but Four Focuses for Thursday was not the post that I wanted to write today. I felt somewhat ill at ease doing it, and second guessed even publishing it. But it has an important place in this story.

Yesterday I wrote about my experience with the psychiatrist and their concern regarding my blog. This conversation left me confused and I deliberated with my husband about the value of continuing (look how much easier it is to write this post!!). I had an appointment with my GP today and on the advice of my husband as well as the natural flow of the conversation, I confided in them about the blog and my writing. They considered the position of the psychiatrist and replied that they could not see any harm in the blog unless, hang on… it is public? So people other than your friends and family can see? Hrm. Perhaps not so okay then.

  1. Women might want to come and take my child away because they might see what I am saying as a declaration that I don’t love or deserve my baby
  2. I might cop some negative feedback from the public about my posts due to the continuing stigma around mental illness.

I had a similar conversation with a soulfriend of mine just prior to walking into the appointment, and they offered similar concerns. I replied that:

Part of the problem of mental illness is that we don’t talk about it so it continues to be stigmatised. But this experience is now part of my identity the same way that giving birth is a part of my identity.

My soulfriend got it instantly.

I am still left confused as to the approach of professionals around mental illness. I was given truck loads of pamphlets around perinatal mental health, including of course, postnatal depression. It did not say in any of these pamphlets to ‘hide your experience’, ‘get better in private’, ‘beware of stigma’. In fact they say the opposite, about it ‘not being your fault’, and encourages women to ‘seek help’.

Where are we going wrong? Why is perpetuating this veil over mental illness, and especially perinatal mental health, such an accepted practice in Australia? I can make this blanket statement because I attempted to get help from MANY sources including hospitals, sleep school, doctors, midwives and still managed to fall through the ‘cracks’, quite literally and into a chasm of mania.

 


5 thoughts on “The REAL Thursday.

  1. Oh I just want to run up and hug you. I empathize so much. I had terrible anxiety after my babies were born. Especially after my twins. I had anxiety problems before but was so distracted with my pregnancy that they kind of “went away” and then when the babies came “Wham!” back they were. And there were other issues going on at the time that exacerbated it all, but anyway, just want you to know that I can relate. At first I was afraid to tell as well because I thought that they would think I was crazy and take my kids. And I don’t know all the details of your particular circumstances or diagnosis but postpartum anxiety is very common, and now I know that I had no reason to be afraid to tell. Of course back then, I was afraid of my own breath so its not surprising I felt that way.

    But anyway, best wishes to you and your little one and I hope things are better for you soon. 🙂

    Like

    1. Thanks so much for reading! It is debilitating but the medication is definitely helping so that I can relearn how to manage my anxiety. I think the worst thing is that my previous, main coping strategy of exercise was not possible during pregnancy or even now due to pubic synthesis. I am glad to hear that I am not alone #BeatTheStigma #solidarity xx

      Like

  2. Such an important post and message you are giving to others. I firmly believe honesty is the best way forward. I’ve had several bad encounters with health ‘professionals’ regarding my mental health in the past few months and their lack of knowledge and understanding has really surprised me.
    Keep up the good work – keep writing yourself better. Xx

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s