Yvette has a powerful story to tell. Her blog She is Sacred began as a very personal blog, documenting her thoughts and struggles with her battle of severe Post-Natal Depression (PNT) and anxiety. The idea for her blog came at the peak of her PNT, while she was recovering from a suicide attempt whilst in a psychiatric ward.
Her writings are raw expressions of her experiences which epitomise the very thing that DearBub Blog and Magazine stands for also. She wanted put her experiences to words that could reach out to those who were suffering like her. She wanted other mothers to take comfort from her words and know that they are not alone in this dark, bleak, messy storm.
We spoke with Yvette, and asked her some questions about her experience.
Q: How soon after having your child did you realise you had PND?
After a first couple of months, I knew something wasn’t right.
I thought it was exhaustion, and just brushed it off. As the months went by, my post – natal anxiety escalated where I obsessed about mother guilt and clung onto to the “The Perfect Mother” idea. It was not until my son was a toddler, my depression seeped in and I was a complete mental mess.
I obsessed about mother guilt and clung onto to the “The Perfect Mother” idea.
Q: Did something in particular make you realise that you needed help. What are some of the signs you recommend looking for?
When my son was around six months old, I was constantly on edge. I was obsessive compulsive with my thoughts, and not only was I heavily critical on my husband and most of all I was extremely critical on myself. I could not think straight and found myself crying questioning my ability to be a mother to my son. I started regretting becoming a mother.
The signs I recommend looking for is;
- Obsessive compulsive thoughts
- Intrusive thoughts of harming oneself
- Distancing from partner, friends and family
- Sporadic moments of crying and extreme overwhelming times
- Insomnia or sleeping a lot
Q: How did you manage your feelings while also looking after a newborn?
Initially, I bottled everything up until I saw my GP, which was not until my son was around 6-7 months. Before that, I never told anyone how I felt, not even my husband. I snapped if anyone questioned or disapproved my parenting decisions.
When my son was born, my mind was in a perplexed state. Don’t get me wrong, I love my son with all my heart. I found out I was pregnant the night before I handed in my honours thesis. I had just gotten married 5 months earlier and was still planning a future with my husband and myself. It was a shock to the system finding out I was pregnant. And I could not believe I created a little being that depends on me. The overwhelming feelings from the newborn days decided not to leave me.
Q: What would you recommend to family / friends of someone suffering from PND?
Never desert a loved one suffering from post natal depression. It is frustrating if a PND sufferer shuts out their friends and family. But it is not them that are doing that, it is the PND.
PND just takes over the sufferer like a dark, cloud hovering the sky. Then PND pours down like rain, which makes the sufferer hard to see any cracks of light so they can easily shut themselves out from the world.
Have patience. Check up on them once in a while. Don’t get discouraged if they do not communicate straight away.
Q: How are you feeling now??
I am truly on the road to recovery now. The PND ride has been one hell of a ride. When I reflect on the darkest times of my life, it feels like it was a nightmare. It was in fact a living nightmare. I am so relieved I managed to “wake up” from the nightmare and figure out how to recover from a transparent illness, which almost killed me.
The break through from recovering PND is being able to enjoy life again. To laugh, live and enjoy the littlest things has made me feel human. Most importantly I am enjoying my role as a mother and wife. I love all the moments I am having with my little family. And I am able to handle the hard times without falling apart.
Yvette is the founder of She is Sacred, where she created a sacred space for raw heartfelt stories, self-love and sisterhood. Since launching her site, Yvette has been featured in numerous blogs, online magazines, including being featured in Mamamia for PNDA week 2015 revealing her experience of PND. When Yvette is not advocating for mental health awareness, she enjoys reading classic novels, travelling, spending all summer at the beach and precious moments with her boys. You can follow her journey on Facebook and Instagram.
#Content in this article has been by contributed by Yvette of She is Sacred, edited by DearBub Blog and Magazine Staff. Please apply credit if referencing this article.
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