If you are familiar with my blog or instagram account then you may know that in April 2018, three months after giving birth to Cassius and after months of feeling absolutely terrible, I was diagnosed with post natal depression and put onto anti-depressants. I am now well over a year into being on medication and probably past the diagnosis of post natal depression. You could probably say now it is clinical depression.
Being completely honest with you I think it was clinical depression all along. My symptoms started way before I had given birth to Cassius. In fact, I think the hormones that come along with childbirth just heightened how I was feeling and I was well and truly clouded by darkness.
My mental health issues have developed from my experiences with alopecia (not the other way around as many people assume). I have struggled with depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and stress since I discovered my first patch in April 2016. It just took me two years to reach my lowest point and finally admit I could do with some help.
I am certainly in a better place than I was a year ago. I am working full time following nine months of maternity leave and that has actually helped me tremendously in being proactive. I have more good days than bad days. My bad days are more frequent when I’m not at work actually which I find very interesting!
As I mentioned above, I am currently on medication to help with the hormone imbalance but I hoping to wean off of the medication in the near future. To support this transition I have been in touch with our local wellbeing service to discuss cognitive behavioural therapy (also known as CBT). I have been referred and hopefully I can start learning and applying these skills to support my mental health. For those that are unsure Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a talking therapy that can help its users to manage their issues by adapting the way they think and behave.
I also am in the process of trying to fix up some of my bad habits in an attempt to support my mental health. On a bad day, I am very likely to retreat into my phone and the depths of social media or mindless games, as a method of distraction. This is a habit that I really want to kick. I downloaded an app called Space that tracks my times spent on my phone and it is incredibly shameful the hours I spend on my phone! Time that could definately be better put to use elsewhere!
Other habits I am looking to introduce to support my mental health include yoga (I am going to find the time to practice!), meditation, running/exercise, journaling and sorting out my diet. By dieting I don’t mean necessarily restricting the foods I eat but more nourishing my body with “good” foods and less “crap”.
Another habit I have picked back up on is reading. Reading is a huge passion of mine but I lost my love for it! Now I can’t stop and its great! I keep my interest going by mixing up the genres I read. Flitting between fiction and non-fiction!
Well there you have an update on my mental health. I’m not fixed. But I’m getting there!