A young family of adventurers living by the sea

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Depression, Teen Mums and Me

(Stacey Solomon and her kids)

Post Natal Depression is an illness where you feel you have no connection with your child, where you feel darn and negative about the world when it should be the best time of your life.  Stacey Solomon discussed this in a show that was on BBC 3 last night. 

I was six months pregnant when we found out that I was expecting Max. Being thrust into motherhood suddenly with less than three months to sort out living, studying and life in general was tough. I was overwhelmed with all the emotions. I was twenty and pregnant. Scott was my lifeline and he was so excited and happy about it all. He was prepared and seemed to know exactly what to do. When he was born I was so overwhelmed that I was in this bubble. Just us three. 

When Max was a month old I was diagnosed with PND. The bubble had burst, Scott was back at work and I didn't know what to do. I was there with this child that I knew was mine but I swore hated me and I felt so unprepared for what to do. How had I found out I was pregnant and ended up with a child in less than six months. I remember Max lying in his bouncer crying and me locked in the bathroom crying because I had no idea what to do. Most days I was beyond hysterical. I was scared that Max was going to get taken away. 

I've suffered with depression in the past, and I've discussed it in a previous post but this was something different. It wasn't just me, there was Max and Scott involved too. Scott got me a doctors appointment and the most judgemental doctor told me that being a young mum was the reason I was depressed. She threw a prescription at me and told me to leave. I had no idea what I was suffering was PND, I had no idea what the side effects of the anti-depressants were, I was just as lost with only Scott to help me. 

Taking the tablets didn't help much. There was no support groups to go to. I found it hard finding friends that had kids too. I didn't really know what to do. Returning to uni made it a million times worse. I had such a negative experience returning there that it spiraled me back into this dark place. My lecturers weren't supportive and infact told me to quit and said that having a young child wouldn't help to be a photographer. Max was always my number one priority. I loved him so much and I didn't want to let him down. I wanted to be a good parent for him. 

I finally moved doctors surgeries and my new doctor made things so much better. We spoke about everything and he told me that I was suffering from PND and my background with depression wasn't helping. Two years on and I'm off the tablets, graduated uni and I still get those days, I don't think they will ever go but I think thats part of my character. I'm learning of better ways to cope. Writing is the best thing to help me and it's one of the reasons that I started blogging. Me and Max have a great bond now. I know he will never resent me for what happened and I hope when we have a second child I won't suffer the same way. 

Young parents get grief for being young parents when in fact PND affects more young parents than older ones. In most places there are no support services out there for these mums, myself included. With all these budget cuts I don't think there ever will be the right services for mums which is heart breaking. It's a complete postcode lottery with the support that you will get and that needs to change. 
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1 comment

  1. Wow, you have basically just described what happened to me. I was 21 when I got pregnant & juggling being a mum, finishing uni and still remembering who you are whilst fighting PND is so tough.
    Also the reason I started my blog too. Thelaurenmcgee.com
    Thank you for sharing your story, it helps to know others have experienced the same thing.

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