Thank You to everyone who has contacted me via the blog and via email and Facebook to share their stories of Post Adoption Depression Syndrome (PADS) after my post on PADS last week. I thank each and every one of you. It seems I am very much not alone in how I'm currently feeling which really does lend credence to the fact that this issue is a) not spoken much about and b) relatively common. It is also saddening to think how many people suffer silently through fear of being seen as flaky or unable to cope and the potential over-reaction from their Social Worker. In case you're wondering, no, I haven't talked to our Social Worker yet about how I'm feeling. I feel far too anxious about it and what might happen. I may write about these issues but it doesn't mean I am a trail blazer. In fairness I do think our Social Worker would understand and be supportive but the knot of anxiety I feel in my stomach even thinking about talking to her makes me feel sick. I'm going to see how I feel over the next week or so but I do think I've been feeling like this a long time and our placement has been totally fine so I don't see the point in bringing it up now. Depression is very common in our current time. It is a horrible experience but it is mostly surmountable. Having experienced depression previously I know I will recover. I also know how I am effected by it and how best to help myself. I am quite cross with myself for taking so long to recognise the symptoms though but I'm not going to beat myself up about it. My life currently has a significant amount of stressors that are sapping my energy and I need to decide where to spend my energy points more wisely. I don't feel that I'm not coping at home or need extra support but I do need to put my energy just into my family unit until I feel stronger and less invisible again.
So with these issues in mind I visited my GP this week and tried to talk at him for as much as I was able to
within my 10 minute appointment slot. I would just stop to ask how the hell a GP can fully diagnose you with depression in 10 minutes? I tried to help as much as possible. I don't see the point in sitting there and saying nothing but it generally rushes out in a flood. I have a lot of stuff going on medically that might actually be impacting on me as well as all the adoption related issues. I'm peri-menopausal which can bring depression along with it plus being Coeliac brings it's own challenges. I don't really feel that he sufficiently assessed my situation if I'm honest and admitted he was surprised that I might feel depressed at a time when I should theoretically be happy *holds head in hands at the lack of training GPs clearly receive on this issue*. We discussed CBT counselling and anti-depressants and I've decided to do both. We then negotiated the anti-depressant I would take. I will just say that I hate anti-depressants with a passion and I know which ones I won't take. Not because of the job they do but because of how I feel when I'm taking them however I know when the need is greater than the dislike so I'm now back in the world of the horrible taste in my mouth and yawning all day long. It's not just a normal yawn either - it links right down in my stomach and makes me feel sick. It will pass and I will start to feel better I know but it was with a heavy heart and a feeling of resignation that I opened that first pack. My over-riding desire though is to be a good mum. It's more important to me than anything else at the moment. I don't want to continue feeling flat or angry or put-upon or haunted by the past. I realised that everything I was doing I did with a sigh. I want to embrace life and enjoy each day. As a result of this I need a two pronged attack this time .....
There are things in my life that need to change. One particular relationship that has been set with a long history attached. It is a relationship that saps my energy and my mind and takes over my life on a daily basis. I have been trying to make changes within this relationship for over a year now and mostly it causes arguments. The ripple effect of the changes is painful but necessary. There is still a long way to go though and I know I need another insight to help me through it. This is where the CBT counselling comes in. I am learning to live with the guilt that I feel when I withdraw my attention and support to that relationship but it is tough and it erodes my self-esteem. A close friend told me this week that I need to decide how I want my family unit to be and then send that intention out to the universe and if others don't like it those are their issues to deal with. This is very true but I can feel a huge resistance in me at being so assertive, especially with this particular person. I yearn for an easy life without daily confrontations. I am content with small things really and I hate dissent and arguments and I don't like avoiding phone calls. I am not a mug or unassertive by any stretch of the imagination but I do go out of my way for other people and like to help but I often bend to what they want, mostly because I'm too tired to work out what I want. Most of my energy is needed for my family unit these days whereas once upon a time I had energy to spare because we didn't have children. The trouble with that unfortunately is that relationships have to change as well. People have to accept that when you have children your focus shifts and you can't be there all the time for them as well. When people can't accept that you have a problem. I also take responsibility for facilitating the difficulties in this relationship and have realised that endlessly helping someone isn't always the best thing for them because my help might be preventing them from standing on their own two feet. My rescuer tendencies need to be kept in check I think.