Since having my first daughter in 2013 I’ve been equally interested and astonished at the number of new mums I’ve come across who seem to be battling some form of anxiety.
I don’t mean the understandable worries you have when you bring a tiny curled up bundle home. Thinking right, what do we do now? But the type of worrying that makes you feel, well, slightly crazy actually and continually in flight or fright mode.
I think I've always had some form of anxiety rolling around me since childhood. Its just that for a long time I didn’t know what it was.
Outwardly I think I came across as pretty confident and out going but certain situations would leave me with feelings of mild panic that got progressively worse. The more it happened the longer it took for the panic feeling to go when I was going to be in the situation again or a new situation.
During a particularly stressful and difficult period, I got to the point where I couldnt stop the constant worrying and obsessive thoughts about random things, racing heart and inability to sleep. The lack of sleep obviously made everything worse.
The other thing I struggled with was getting the help to identify what was actually going on. I had a pretty good female GP although I had recently moved to the practice. She really listened and wasn’t judgemental although the options of help were limited to self referral talking therapies and the waiting list was around 4-6 months.
Although it was tight financially I decided to find someone who might be able to help. I tried a few different things like hypnotherapy and counselling but although it helped It wasn’t really addressing the specific issues I was dealing with on a daily basis.
When I then moved house again and was literally the wrong side of a road to be in their catchment I had to switch surgeries again and really struggled to find a doctor who didn’t think I was depressed (clearly I wasn’t exactly happy) but I knew that wasn’t what I had.
I’ve always been a problem solver and a reader. When I wanted to know ‘why’ about something have done as much research as I can. When I found Anxiety UK I knew that was I reading was describing me.
I feel fortunate really that my anxiety was there before I got pregnant because I was already doing what I could to manage it. I cannot imagine the utter despair that some new mums feel in having to deal with the on set of anxiety at the same time as all the usual physical and emotional side effects of giving birth.