Tuesday, November 13, 2012

How's your mental health?

If you go to my sidebar, you can click on "The Yellow Wallpaper (PTSD)" and see all my posts about dealing with PTSD and PPD. I don't know if I have ever told you the whole story of what happened. I don't know if I can right now. It was a hard, hard time and I remember telling my father that I knew why veterans would turn to drinking as a way of coping after a war. I felt like I had been through a war zone. I got it.

In many ways, I had been through a war zone. Studies show that the emotional trauma of the NICU has a huge impact on parents. It is something that is hard to understand, unless you lived through it.

In addition to depression and PTSD, I experienced anxiety after the NICU. I think it is common, because anxiety levels are high while your baby is in the hospital and they may remain like this afterwards. When you have spent so many days wondering if your child will live or die, it's normal to be anxious about their health! To this day, I dread cold and flu season, wondering if George's lungs are still strong enough to take the onslaught of germs. Yes, I know it is silly because the child has never had anything wrong with his lungs (since birth!). But it is there. This article from Hormonal-Imbalances is a source of good information about one woman's experiences with anxiety after the birth and death of her twins.

If you want to know why I call PTSD and PDD "The Yellow Wallpaper" go here.

If you want to read about the niggling effects of PTSD and meeting one of our nurses 3 years later, go here.

In some ways, trying to take control of PTSD and living with PPD/anxiety is like constantly living in fall, praying you never see winter and wishing for spring. But sometimes, fall isn't so bad. There can be help in fall.

And maybe you can skip over winter and head straight for spring.

1 comment:

  1. Laura, (((HUGS))) I suffer from anxiety and PTSD, however mine stems from a childhood situation. Some days, I can get through the day without thinking about it, but if I see something or hear something that can set a trigger, my anxiety is through the roof. I do a lot of meditation (brain-sync has some great programs) and try to do my best to refocus on something else. In a sense, having a child with special needs brings back that PTSD/anxiety feeling. I can't recall the day when we found about about our son's Apraxia/SPD without starting to feel like I'm going to hyperventilate. It's always helpful to have people around you that can keep you in check. I'm so grateful for my husband, my brother and my parents for helping me keep things in perspective when my "sh*tty committee" starts working overtime. Know you're not alone! :)