Its Mental health awareness week (18th-24th May 2020)

Here is my story and how I received the help I needed.  Links to different support networks are at the bottom of my post and dont hesitate to reach out if you need any form of help!

It’s been 4 years since I was admitted to the local psychiatric unit following the birth of my first child.

“Its just baby blues” springs to mind whenever I think back. I dont think anyone took seriously any of my comments or lack of communication. “You cant just do what you want now” was another comment after I’d returned home after disappearing for hours, not even bothering to try anymore. Midwifes didn’t care about my low moods sadly and family didn’t seem to understand it. My partner left trying to manage me and learn how to look after a new born.

I’m grateful for the cars driving speed limit the 3 days prior, I knew it wasn’t fast enough to do any permanent damage so lost my nerve last second. I couldn’t think anything other than I was wrong and the best thing I could do for my daughter was not be here, I’d sat and written her a note on my phone before I’d left the house. I went and sat for a few hours before returning home to bed not moving until later that night.

Again next days I resorted to feeling like I was being wrong/silly/melodramatic/stupid and tried to pretend my failed suicide attempt hadn’t happened. My partner returned from paternity leave and a few hours later I was just crying for hours, calling my partner to leave early and come help. Luckily the health visitor was due the next day and was on the ball, my partner had stayed home, when I told her my moods were low she immediately asked me if I had self harmed I just nodded, next question was if I had suicidal thoughts and I just burst into tears. In the weeks prior no one had ever actually asked me what I meant by low moods, she did and made the jump when I didn’t answer.

Next thing she had me an evening appointment with my GP, he got me an emergency psychiatric referral and she looked and me and said she was concerned and recommended I dont leave. My husband left to get me some pieces and left to spend the night alone with our child. I was lucky to be transferred to a specialised unit after just one day/night.

A mother and baby unit it’s called, only 2 of them exist in Scotland (Glasgow covering the Glasgow area, Livingston covering the rest of Scotland) and combined have a total of 14 beds. These units are designed for women with postnatal mental health problems while baby is under 1 year old. It allows mother to be treated by not separated from their little one. It was a month later before I left.

It didn’t end there for myself as much as I wished it would and I’ve spent the following 4 years going through CBT courses and psychology appointments and weekly 1 to 1 support in my local area.

Without the support the health visitors I have met have given me I doubt I would ever be on a path to managing my mental health like I am know. I still have my days, with COVID-19 the stress and the lockdown is taking its toll a bit (anyone notice how quiet I’ve been this last week? 🤫).

Support is essential and support is there for those who need it! Even if it’s just an quick 5 minute chat to let go of frustrations do not hesitate to reach out! There is no shame in needing help. We are in this thing called life together and a helping hand when needed can bring much needed support and joy! 🤝

Some support available:

https://co-operate.coop.co.uk/how-to/how-to-look-after-your-mental-wellbeing/

https://www.samh.org.uk/ – Alternatively, if you would like to speak to someone from SAMH you can call 03448000500, 9am-6pm Mon-Fri (excluding bank holidays)

Andys Man Club Dunfermline – http://www.andysmanclub.co.uk

#BeKind #kindnessmatters #mentalhealthawareness #dunfermline #itsokaynottobeokay #ITSOKAYTOTALK #AMC #fife #ItsWhatWeDo

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