After having her third child, mum-of-three Yvette suffered from postnatal depression (PND). She shares her advice on how and when to ask for – or offer – help.
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We all have our off days from time to time, and if you go through a traumatic event or just had a few restless nights, you might find your energy levels depreciate.
But what if you start to find you don’t even have the energy to walk out the front door? What if you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night having a panic attack? Is this when you know it’s more than just a bad day?
Ambassador of Black Dog Institute and Healthy-ish podcast guest, Yvette Done, explains the main difference between a crap day and depression is the latter is a series of bad days in succession.
“You wake up every day with a sense of dread, you feel lonely even if you’re surrounded by people who are telling you you’re amazing and loved, your motivation for everyday things go out the window,” Done tells co-hosts Dr Andrew Rochford and Maz Compton in episode 13: How can you tell the difference between a bad day and depression?
“I felt like I wasn’t coping, I couldn’t think straight, I was feeling confused, I couldn’t make decisions,” she says.
The TV presenter and mother of three, who was once a “positive person”, found herself battling with constant feelings of anxiousness and overwhelming thoughts that eventually sent her into a downwards spiral.
“I was just constantly bashing myself up, feeling guilty about being a bad mum, worrying whether the baby was going to live,” she says.
But it wasn’t until her symptoms were so intense that it became obvious to her family and friends, in which she reached out for help.
“It was to the point where I was having panic attacks – I was shaking, my head was beating out of my chest, my breath was really short, I was waking up in the middle of the night, I’d sit straight up at two o’clock in the morning and my heart would be beating out of my chest and I’d be freaking out.”
After the medications her doctor prescribed her weren’t effective enough, she ended up in a facility for three weeks where she underwent cognitive therapy, group sessions and was heavily medicated.
‘It was horrible, but I needed to sleep,” she says.
But what helped Done the most was learning to love exercise, where she developed a passion for running.
“You don’t have to run a marathon, you don’t have to do a one hour workout – 10, 20 or 30 minutes of exercise a week can help mild to moderate depression.”
And while she has formed a new relationship with exercise to heal her body, she has also learnt to exercise her mood and be kind to herself.
Do you know someone who might be suffering with PND? Find out how you can identify the symptoms, in episode 13 of our podcast Healthy-ish. Listen at Apple iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.