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Wife has post-natal depression - Carers UK Forum

Wife has post-natal depression

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My wife has had post natal depression since August following the birth of our second child in June. She was refered to a mother and baby unit over 100 miles from home in September and made good progress there especially bonding with our child. Unfortunately the distance away from home meant that her leaves were 4-5 days long and she would panic about what she would have to do when she was discharged from hospital about 48 hours into the leave and so would go back early. After three months she was transfered to a mother and baby unit 20 miles from home but, with hindsight, I can now see that her depression had worsened. After two days in the new unit she refused to go back to the hospital which was always my greatest nightmare. However, she seemed to get much better on the afternoon of that day and so went to a ballet show our eldest child was in and then went back to the hospital to get all her stuff. The following day (17th December) she was very depressed, would not get out of bed or go back to the hospital. I asked for our youngest child to be put in care as I could no longer cope with the thought of all looking after all three of them. Ultimately my wife went missing that night and I had to call the police to find her. She was found in a hotel in out home town after having taken an overdose. She has recovered from the pills and has been in a psychiatric hospital, on her own, in our home town since 22nd December. Our eldest child is with me, as she has been from the start, and our youngest child is now with his grandparents. My wife is making good progress with the treatment she has had over the past three weeks but I don't think that I will ever get over what has happened, Icry a lot, especially when she comes home for leaves which are fairly frequent. I understand she was ill when she took the overdose and don't blame her. I can function but I am in a very bad way and find it difficult to see how we can ever have a life together after this. The thought of not being with my daughter almost kills me but I question whether for the sake of all of us I need to be away from my wife once she is discharged even if only temporarily so that I can deal with what has happened on my own.
Did you know that there are support groups in the UK? Have a look at PNI.org.uk - PNI stands for Post Natal Illness. My sister in law, a senior air hostess, had dreadful postnatal depression after her second child was born. After several periods in hospital she went back to her family in Egypt with the first child, leaving the baby with me for four months. I found it very difficult to understand what was going on, and how she could even think about leaving her baby, but she just couldn't cope. With the baby, and my son with severe learning difficulties, and his brother to care for I couldn't get to the hospital. My brother was as confused as you are now. Sadly, their marriage ultimately broke up, and their children have carried the scars ever since. Whenever you feel like giving up, just remember what life was like before all this started, and it can be like that again. You have two lovely children who need to be with both parents, so please, just hang on in there, however tough it seems right now.
I have no experience of this awful illness but a friend of mine did some years ago after the birth of her twins. She was away from her family as she came from New Zealand so I stepped in and had her twins every day until her husband came home from work as she just couldn't look after them. I don't think hers was as bad as your wife's but she did get better gradually and after 6 months was able to care for them again. It was fortunate that she had me as my son was only 2 at the time, I don't know what they wold have done otherwise.

I think it should get better in time...try to keep it together and find some support for yourself too.
Hi, I know everything seems hopeless at the moment, but please do not give up. I had PND with my first daughter who is now 24. I could not cope with anything at the time, I could not be by myself. I spent the first 6 months having to be dropped off at various people houses and collected on an evening, while my poor husband tried to maintain a job. Pleeeeese dont give up on your wife, things can and will get better. When I look back on this, which is really hard for me to do, I cannot believe that that person was me, I now lead a full life and am a full time carer for my 21 year old son. I cannot go into too much detail of what happened to me because it is too painful and I do not want to remember it but believe me she will get better and you will get back to where you where, just give your wife time, that all it took for me. When she is better she will be devastated at the upset she has caused, just remember it is a mental illness and she cannot help what she is doing and does not mean what she says, I said and did some terrible things to my husband, which he will never forget but like I have said time makes them slightly better and a normal life takes over. It took me about 16 months to really start to feel better, with the help of medication and counselling. Your wife will get there, and it is really comforting to know that the people you love are there for you no matter what, which really helped with my recovery.
Hello and welcome.
You are right to think what you do and to feel what you feel. You are allowed to have angry thoughts and feel utter despair - you are human after all and these are all natural feelings.
You are in a terrible place at the moment and time is a great healer and things will get better.
As has been said on here, PND is a severe condition and your wife is not the only one suffering. But she will get better and you have to remember that you have 2 wonderful children to care for and be there for.
Take time out for yourself, ask your parents if they can have your eldest for a bit as well and go out and do something for yourself - you need you time as well.
Is your marriage worth saving - only you can answer that one, but try to remember the woman you fell in love with and married, she is still there.
Hang on in there mate, you have support.
Good luck
Thank you for all the replies, both on the forum and sent privately. My wife is likely to be discharged within the next week and although I am pleased she is better, I feel a broken man. I don't know if this has been something too great that our marriage can survive, only time will tell. I am seeing someone tomorrow from the local care in community team who is responsible for carer's support and maybe she will be able to help. I will also look at PNI.org.uk
Wishing you all the best. I hope everything goes well. Let us know how you get on. India.x
All the very best and I am sure the next few weeks will have their challenges for you all. one day at a time my friend.

Bell x
Hope all goes well and you get the support you seek.
Unfortunately, sometimes life doesn't go according to plan, in fact it feels like it's positively derailed. My whole world changed forever when my son was born brain damaged. At my most depressed I didn't even bother to correct people who didn't call me the right name, but I plodded on, and a few years later graduated with an Honours degree. This will only be is a temporary setback in your married life, until you get back on track again. Have you thought how you would feel if you had a mental health issue and your wife wanted to leave you? I know that "Don't Panic" is being used rather flippantly, but it's certainly the way to approach a crisis. You MUST develop tunnel vision for a while. Concentrate only what must be done in the immediate future. If your wife is coming home soon, then think about doing a good shop online so there's no need to worry about food. Make sure the washing is up to date (if you can possibly afford it, a washer/dryer will save loads of time and effort for both of you), have a good clean round the house. Then you can both concentrate as much as possible on make the return home as gentle and stress free as possible.